There’s a good amount of data that supports email marketing as a driver for eCommerce growth and success. A report from Emarsys shows that 81% of small businesses still rely on email marketing campaigns as their primary mode of client acquisition.

In the next sections, we’ll learn why email campaigns matter and how to build an effective strategy using the industry’s best practices.

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What Is eCommerce Email Marketing?

eCommerce Email Marketing: Email Marketing as a Driver for eCommerce
eCommerce Email Marketing: Email Marketing as a Driver for eCommerce

eCommerce email marketing is a powerful tactic used by online businesses to communicate directly with their customers via email. Think of it as the digital version of traditional mail flyers, but now sent to your customers’ inboxes.

Imagine you’re an online clothing retailer. You can send out an email blast announcing new arrivals, a flash sale, or even personalized recommendations based on customers’ past purchases. 

This technique nurtures the customer-retailer relationship, keeps your brand at the forefront of consumers’ minds, and encourages repeat purchases.

The goal? To stimulate engagement, boost revenue, and foster customer loyalty. It’s also cost-effective. You can start small and reach a broad audience in as fast as a few weeks, making it a preferred marketing strategy for many eCommerce companies vying for customers’ attention. 

How Does Email Marketing Impact E-commerce Success?

Strategic email marketing efforts can pay dividends in the long run. Understanding its impact on eCommerce success can help us appreciate how this marketing tool amplifies returns on investment. 

Why Email Marketing Works So Well With eCommerce

  • Personalized Communication: Email marketing enables businesses to provide personalized shopping experiences, simulating an in-store interaction. 
  • Customer Retention: Regular, relevant email communication nurtures strong customer relationships. Harvard Business Review reports that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% boosts profits by 25% to 95%.
  • Cost-Effective: Email marketing offers a high return on investment with minimal expenditure. 

Email Types for eCommerce Marketing 

Different email types have various impacts that can drive customer engagement and sales. Here are some of the most effective types you should consider using in your eCommerce email marketing campaign.

Welcome Emails

Welcome Emails: Email Marketing as a Driver for eCommerce
Welcome Emails: Email Marketing as a Driver for eCommerce

Source: Nutshell

Welcome emails are your first interaction with new customers. They include a warm greeting, an introduction about your brand, and may sometimes include a welcome offer.

Example: An online bookstore sends a friendly email to its new subscribers, introducing its selection of books and offering a 10% welcome discount.

Best Practice: Keep your email warm and engaging. Include a clear call to action (CTA) and consider offering an incentive to customers who subscribe or make an initial purchase.

Newsletter Emails

Newsletter Emails
Newsletter Emails

Newsletter emails are designed to inform your customers about the latest news, trends, or updates about your products or services.

Example: A clothing brand sends monthly newsletters showcasing its latest collection, fashion trends, and bestseller list.

Best Practice: Make sure your newsletter is visually appealing and well-structured. Highlight important information and ensure there is a clear CTA.

Transactional Emails

Transactional emails are sent after a customer’s initial engagement with your content, such as order confirmations, shipping notifications, or receipts.

Example: An electronics retailer sends an email confirming a customer’s order and providing tracking information.

Best Practice: Aside from providing necessary details, use transactional emails as an opportunity to upsell related products or request reviews.

Cart Abandonment Emails

Cart abandonment emails remind customers who’ve left items in their shopping cart to complete their purchase.

Example: A beauty product site sends a follow-up email to a shopper who left skincare products in their cart, often offering a limited-time discount to encourage completion of the purchase.

Best Practice: Make your email timely and personal. Include a persuasive CTA and consider offering a small incentive or showcase the items they’ve left on their cart to trigger action.

Promotional Emails

Promotional Emails
Promotional Emails. Source: Wordstream

Promotional emails are designed to highlight specific offers, deals, or events like flash sales or clearance.

Example: A furniture store sends an email promoting their weekend sale, offering up to 50% off select items.

Best Practice: Avoid spamming your customers with too many promotional emails. Make them count by offering significant value and using attention-grabbing subject lines.

Birthday & Holiday Emails

Birthday & Holiday Emails
Birthday & Holiday Emails. Source: Getresponse

Birthday and holiday emails are personalized messages that acknowledge a customer’s special day or wish them well on a festive season, usually accompanied by unique offers or discounts.

Example: A jewelry shop sends their customer a 20% discount voucher on their birthday.

Best Practice: Use these special occasion emails to make your customers feel valued. Include personal touches and enticing offers whenever possible.

Upsell & Cross-sell Emails

Upsell and cross-sell emails are sent after a purchase to recommend higher-priced items or related products that complement what they’ve bought.

Example: A customer who recently bought a mobile phone from an online retailer gets an email recommending a protective case or upgraded earphones.

Best Practice: Be thoughtful and relevant with your recommendations. Use previous purchase data to ensure you’re suggesting items your customers will genuinely find useful.

Customer Feedback Emails

Customer Feedback Emails
Customer Feedback Emails. Source: Cranny

Customer feedback emails are used to gather opinions and reviews from your customers about your products or services.

Example: A sporting goods store sends an email to a customer who recently bought a tennis racket, asking for a product review.

Best Practice: Make the feedback process easy for your customer. Keep your email simple and direct, and ensure that you show appreciation for their time and thoughts.

Signs of an Effective eCommerce Email Marketing Strategy

Every eCommerce business wants an effective email marketing strategy, but how can you tell if yours works? Here are tangible, measurable signs that can give you insight into your strategy’s effectiveness.

  • High Open Rates: A clear indicator of an effective email marketing strategy is a higher-than-average open rate. This means your subject lines are engaging, and customers are interested in your content.
  • Low Unsubscribe Rates: If customers stay subscribed, your email content is relevant and beneficial to them. 
  • Increased Website Traffic: An uptick in website traffic after sending out marketing emails suggests they successfully engage readers to further explore your website.
  • High Click-Through Rates (CTR): This shows that your emails are not only being opened but are also encouraging customers to click on links, indicating an interest in your products or offers.
  • Increased Sales: Ultimately, an effective email marketing strategy should lead to an increase in sales. If you see a correlation between email campaigns and sales, your strategy is making an impact.
  • Positive Customer Feedback: If customers are responding positively or directly engaging with your emails, it’s a clear sign they value your content.

Top Qualities of Effective Email Marketing for eCommerce

Quality email marketing campaigns for any online store encourage customers to take action.  Let’s look at the top qualities that make these campaigns a massive success:


Personalization in email marketing refers to creating tailored messages for individual customers based on their browsing behaviors, preferences, and history. 

Personalizing your emails improves open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. It fosters a deeper customer relationship, increasing loyalty and higher sales.

Mobile-Friendly Design

Mobile-friendly design is a must if you want to keep your customer’s attention. Emails that are easy to read and navigate on a small screen result in a better user experience, encouraging customers to engage with your content marketing ideas and potentially purchase.


Sending emails that align with your customers’ journeys, interests, and preferences increases your authority and trustworthiness in your niche. Relevant emails show that you care and are more likely to engage customers, fostering a positive relationship with your brand.

Strong Call-to-Action (CTA)

A strong CTA is an essential quality of effective email marketing. It guides customers on what to do next, whether purchasing, reading a blog post, or exploring a new product line. A clear, compelling CTA helps improve conversion rates.

Consistent and Timely Communication

Consistent and timely communication builds trust and keeps your brand on top of your target audience’s mind. The key is to identify the optimal time they will likely go online. Find a balance to ensure you’re providing value without becoming a nuisance.

Analytics and Testing

Successful email marketing strategies are built on continuous learning. You can gain insights into what works best for your audience by measuring key metrics and testing different approaches. This enables you to optimize your strategy for better results continually.


Email marketing plays a vital role in the success of any online business. It’s one of the most powerful marketing channels that champions personalized customer relationships, increasing a company’s email subscribers. 

Investing in email marketing can drive sales, build your brand, and keep existing customers happy. It’s a strategic move that yields tangible benefits for your eCommerce site. 

We hope this article serves as a helpful guide for you. Remember that the best email marketing service automates most manual tasks with the added benefit of real-time customer data. Choose your email marketing tool wisely and watch your online business thrive.

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