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What Is eCommerce Email Marketing?

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Time travel doesn’t exist yet (or so we think), but it doesn’t mean we can’t look back.

Have you ever stopped to think about how technology has changed the way we do things?

A few years ago, we had to wait for actual phone calls made on landlines before getting to talk to each other. A decade ago, we had to fall in line at banks just to make a deposit. In the early 2000s, physical stores were brimming with shoppers.

Fast forward to today. Two-thirds of the world’s population now has a mobile phone. People can call and text each other at any time of the day. Nine out of ten people are banking from their homes. eCommerce has become part of consumers’ daily lives. Data from Pew Research Center shows that eCommerce’s share of retail sales has more than doubled in ten years.

Today, people can even shop via social media. Retailers take advantage of this by using ads and targeted content. Though 44% of the world’s population is on social media, e-mail still performs better when it comes to sales.


Have you read some opinions on how email is dying, and how new technologies have buried it? Well, email has existed since 1971 and it isn’t going anywhere. It continues to dominate the digital world, especially in eCommerce marketing strategies.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is the use of emails to send commercial messages to customers. When a current or potential client receives an email, that is email marketing. These can be advertisements, solicitations, or information for brand awareness.

Physical and eCommerce businesses depend on email marketing strategies for communication. So, if you’re eager to earn more online, add email marketing to your eCommerce marketing strategy.

And what is eCommerce email marketing?

Ecommerce email marketing is using email to drive sales and revenue to your business. You can do this by sending follow-up emails to shoppers who added products to their carts but didn’t “check out.”

Other eCommerce marketing ideas include running promos and giving away freebies.

The end goal? To build an active and responsive list of regular customers.

With eCommerce email marketing, this is possible.

So how does email marketing fit into the eCommerce industry?

For many eCommerce businesses, one-third of their traffic comes from returning website visitors.  Most of the people who visit your website are new visitors. They won’t come back unless there is a very compelling reason. Having an effective email marketing strategy will make sure of this.

Industry standards show that around 21% of your list will open your email, and 2.56% will continue to your website. Also, 33% of recipients will open your email based on the subject line alone. Email marketing is the best marketing channel for eCommerce, even beating social media. In fact, email is almost 40 times more effective compared to Facebook and Twitter combined.

The Direct Marketing Association found that 72% of people prefer receiving promotional materials via email than social media. Also, 38% of people shared that the top reason they subscribe to an email list is because of the special offers.

Since eCommerce businesses are online, all communication with customers is also done online. So what makes email marketing fit into the world of eCommerce?

Customers receive emails in their inbox. In fact, 90% of emails are delivered to the intended inbox, but only 2% of Facebook fans see your posts.

Basically, email marketing is the perfect eCommerce marketing strategy. When implemented right, the results can be amazing for businesses.

Ecommerce email marketing strategies done right

Zachys Wine & Liquor, a family-owned wine merchant, used to focus on offline sales. In 2013, they started improving their online shopping. They used triggered emails based on cart abandonment, product abandonment, and search abandonment. With the right messaging and timing, Zachys grew its eCommerce sales. Their eCommerce sales now stand for more than 20% of the whole company’s revenue.

Marriott International’s goal was to be “the world’s favorite travel company.” Instead of the usual emails, they banked on the data they already had about their users.

They developed a personalized Year in Review that was emailed to users. The Year in Review contained personalized data on the individuals and the community. As a result, their December 2014 revenue was 86% more than that of December 2012 and 2013 combined.

Why should you include email marketing in your eCommerce marketing strategy?

Let’s expound. Here are some of the reasons why email marketing can transform your eCommerce business.

Your business will experience an increase in sales.

Did you know that for ten years in a row, email marketing generated the highest ROI for marketers? That’s not all! For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI. This proves that though there are a lot of options for marketing online, email still takes the top spot.

You will have more leads and conversions.

In a survey, 23% of marketers said that generating more leads was the top benefit of email marketing. The average click-through rate of an email campaign is 3%, but the average click-through rate from a tweet is only 0.5%. This shows that someone is more likely to go to your website via email compared to Twitter.

You’ll have better relationships with potential and existing customers.

Sure, social media is a great way to get noticed by future customers. But the thing is, email is still the boss when it comes to maintaining relationships through time. In fact, you can highlight user-generated content (UGC) in your email campaigns, such as customer feedback and product reviews. Why UGC? 88% of consumers trust the recommendations of customers like them. This is especially true if these recommendations come from people they know.

Your monitoring and evaluation mechanisms will help you in decision making.

Email marketing has metrics like the number of opens, unique opens, clicks, and bounces. These will help retailers come up with campaigns tailored to the consumers’ preferences.

Your business operations will become more efficient in the long run.

If you decide to invest in an automated email series, you will save time and effort as your business thrives. This automation can be as simple as sending follow up emails or confirmations. Automation will also increase the engagement rate between the customer and the retailer.

Email will not be gone for a long, long time.

Can you still remember the ghosts of MySpace, Friendster, and Multiply? While the once in-demand social platforms are now gone, your emails are still very much alive. It keeps growing. Other social media platforms may come and go, but you will always need your trusty email address.

Tips and best practices for an email marketing strategy for eCommerce

So how do you start implementing an email marketing strategy that will actually work? The success of eCommerce marketing ideas revolve around these ideas:

  1. Always be growing your email list!

    Be creative in placing your opt-in forms so you always have new signups! Don’t forget to study which opt-in forms are performing best.

    Give incentives when customers sign up to be part of your list. These can be exclusive discounts, store credits, or free content. If you’re still struggling to get traffic, try to explore Google and Facebook Ads. Get your brand noticed by people who are most likely to buy.

  2. Practice list segmentation.

    Not segmenting is one of the biggest mistakes that will cost you. Emailing the same thing to every person on your list will likely earn you a bunch of ‘unsubscribes.’ You can segment your list in these following ways:

  • According to customer type. Segment your lists and set up targeted emails. You will be able to convert potential customers into new customers. Likewise, you can also convert new customers into loyal customers; and inactive customers to active ones.
  • According to interests. When a customer clicks on an image of a dog leash in your e-mail, he or she can get segmented into dog owners. You can set up your emails such that the customers get emails on all pet items, encouraging them to keep buying.
  • According to location. This is a useful segment to have when you also have a physical store. For example, create a segment of your customers who buy at physical stores. Then, send them announcements on upcoming sales.
  • According to behavior. Send occasional messages to check on your inactive subscribers. Remove those who are not contributing to revenue, and make room for newcomers.
  1.  Craft great and attractive emails.

    As of March 2018, there were already more than 281 billion emails sent per day. As a business owner, coming up with creative ways to stand out should be part of your eCommerce marketing ideas. Here’s a basic checklist you can use for reference:

  • Entice your customers to open your emails. Write short, spunky, and attractive email subjects.
  • Don’t overuse the word ‘free’ or your email can land in the Spam filter!
  • Use button graphics for your call to actions.
  • Tuesday is actually the best day for e-mails.
  • Encourage your buyers to review the product.
  • Make sure your email is mobile-friendly–this means short sentences and paragraphs.
  1. Keep the engagement going.

    No business survives without solid customers. Remember that emails can help you build stronger relationships with customers. You can also explore creating other content that will touch their emotions. Some examples are newsletters or drip campaigns. More examples are special occasion greetings, life events, and rewards for loyal customers.

The Power of eCommerce Email Marketing

Ecommerce email marketing is such a powerful strategy to use. Building your list will take time,  but it will also take dedication and commitment. There are no limits to what you can do when it comes to segmenting or creating automation.

Just remember to know your market, to map out their customer journeys, and to build relationships. In no time, your eCommerce business will soon be reaping the benefits of your hard work.

Talk With Us!

Interested in harnessing the power of email marketing for your eCommerce store? Here’s your chance!

Ready to get started?

We’ve put together a handy-dandy eCommerce marketing calendar to help you forecast all the sale dates you’ll need to watch out for! It’s chock-full of major and minor holidays, perfect for your eCommerce brand!
Book a call

Ready to get started?

We’ve put together a handy-dandy eCommerce marketing calendar to help you forecast all the sale dates you’ll need to watch out for! It’s chock-full of major and minor holidays, perfect for your eCommerce brand!
Book a call