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8 Email Marketing Best Practices Every Merchant Should Know


As an ecommerce business owner, one of your main objectives is to find the most effective marketing channels for your store. Look no further. Email is the answer.

Despite the popularity of messenger apps, a vast majority of consumers still prefer brands to contact them through email. 

Research has shown that 6 out of 10 consumers prefer to communicate with their favorite brands through email instead of social media channels. 

Even if you’re targeting a younger demographic, you shouldn’t have second thoughts about using email. Nearly 40% of millennials check their email multiple times a day. 

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about:

  • The importance of email marketing in today’s business climate
  • The difference between promotional and transactional emails
  • The best email marketing tactics you should implement in your campaign

Without further ado, let’s get into it… 

Why is Email Marketing Still Important?

One of the biggest misconceptions about email is that fewer and fewer people are using it. That’s simply not true. At the moment, it’s estimated that 4 billion people worldwide are actively using email to communicate. 

Despite this fact, social media marketing seems like a much better investment for many business owners. After all, nobody has shared an email since that time in 2004 you were promised bad luck if you didn’t forward it to at least 10 people.

None of that, however, matters in this case. 

While Google is sometimes used for serious research, social media is used to unwind. Some people simply want to scroll down their timeline, without being bothered with ads. Social media marketing is definitely worth the investment, but not for ecommerce sales. 

Just consider this, your email marketing campaign can potentially achieve an ROI of 4200%. That means, for every dollar you invest in it, you can possibly earn $42.  

Here a few reasons why email marketing is so successful compared to other tactics:

  • Email gives the user far greater ROI than any other channel
  • It also has much more active users than any other platform out there
  • After texting, email is the most personal way to talk to your customers
  • You can automate email marketing to grow this channel even faster

Promotional vs. Transactional Emails

All of this is worth your attention, time, and effort. But before you can start launching email campaigns left and right, you need to know about two types of emails you’ll be sending out: commercial and transactional emails.

While they are interchangeable in some situations, they’re two different entities. One is used to increase revenue and improve your bottom line, while the other is mainly used for customer support and user relations. 

Here’s what you need to know about transactional and commercial emails:

  • You send transactional emails when the shopper’s interaction with your website is strictly on functional terms. Hopefully, it’s an order confirmation, but could also be things like changing passwords, getting notified about a failed transaction, shipping confirmation, etc.
  • On the other hand, a promotional email is sent to a certain number of people who’ve agreed to receive promotional content from your brand. Things like sales promotions, newsletters, and product updates all fall into this category. 

Both emails are important to your business. For that reason, you need to pay special attention to both and to make sure that your message gets across. Making a good impression is always important, so give every piece of content the attention it deserves. 

8 Email Marketing Best Practices 

Knowing how much email can help your online store and what types of marketing emails you’ll be writing is important. But all of that means nothing if you don’t know how to write a good email. Here are a few marketing tips for emails to maximize their effectiveness…

1. Send a Welcome Email to Every Single Subscriber

Here’s something many people are not aware of: welcome emails have 91.4% click-through rates. Welcoming someone is a great way to start the customer journey. A simple gesture like that can motivate a customer to opt-in for your ecommerce store for the long haul. 

Just remember: little personalization can go a long way. Simply by looking at the popup a customer signed up with, their order history or even engagement in previous emails you can come up with new product recommendations that will motivate them to visit your website again. 

Shoppers want to have personalized experiences with brands they do business with. That’s why every email should use the customer’s name. You can create a few welcome email templates to make sure not everyone gets the exact same message. 

2. Confirm Every Order Through Email 

People know more about online safety than ever, but doing business still requires a certain level of trust. When a person orders something from your website, they’re giving you the benefit of the doubt that everything will go smoothly and that they won’t be scammed.

What will make the customers feel safe? A lot of things. For starters, a good customer support channel that answers their inquiries instantly lets the visitor know that the website is active and that there are people behind the scenes running the show. 

Furthermore, knowing their order has been registered. Confirmation emails are now considered essential. It’s no wonder that they drive 8X more opens than standard, promotional emails

3. ? Don’t Be Afraid to Use Emojis in the Subject Line

Everything we’ve covered so far has been pretty serious — so let’s loosen up a bit. Promotional emails don’t have to be serious to help you with your sales. 

They just have to be memorable — and include a CTA.

Ever thought about using emojis in your promotional material? Year-by-year, in ecommerce marketing, emoji use grows 775%. So if you needed any confirmation that emojis can be used in serious promotional material, there you go. 

But emojis are not only there to show that your brand has a wacky side. They can help you improve your email open rates. More than 56% of companies using emojis in their subject lines have experienced an increase in their open rates, compared to their peers. 

4. Use Curated Email Newsletters to Stand Out 

A newsletter is a form of ecommerce email marketing, in which you inform your users about a number of topics. It’s a great way to inform current shoppers about your brand and attract new subscribers with interesting content. 

Here are some of the things you can include in your newsletters:

  • Industry news and breaking stories
  • Tips on how to use products you sell
  • New product updates and launch dates

As a business owner, you probably follow industry news closer than your customers. Every week, you can simply gather some of the articles you’ve read and include them in your email. Creating a curated newsletter doesn’t even have to feel like work and it’s a great way to help your customers use more products. 

5. Make Sure to Offer Discounts in Your Emails

This is a controversial one, but discounts move. Giving a discount is a great way of creating a surge of traffic to your website for a certain period of time and giving your sales a quick boost. But first, you need to make sure that people know that you’re offering a discount code. If they don’t know about it, you can’t wait for them to find out.

You need to act quickly.

One of the most effective ways of notifying your shoppers about a discount is through the use of the BAB (Before-After-Bridge) technique This copywriting technique will provide a way of notifying existing customers about upcoming discounts, without sounding overly promotional. 

You’ll learn how to write the right email in no time, present the information properly, in context, and show how the email recipient will benefit from your offer. 

You may want to consider what your customers have to do to get the discount. Sign up for your newsletter, buy a product, or create an account are three of the most popular.

6. Ask Your Shoppers for Referrals On a Regular Basis

Word-of-mouth has been the biggest promotional tool since the dawn of trade. To utilize it, you need to encourage existing customers to talk about your business and spread your brand message at every opportunity. 

Influencers do the same thing. However, personal referrals work much better. That’s because people trust their friends more than they trust strangers, no matter how they’re knowledgeable about a certain topic or industry 

A recent Nielsen study showed that a person is 4X more likely to make the first purchase if product recommendations come from their friends. So start working on a referral strategy as soon as possible.

It can be as simple as adding “we’re a small business that relies heavily on word of mouth to grow, thank you for helping us spread the word” to your transactional emails.

7. Set up a Cart Abandonment Sequence

For years, shopping cart abandonment rates have been growing. At the moment, the average cart abandonment rate across all industries is close to 70%.

Basically, this means that today, 10 shoppers will add a few items to their cart, get ready to go to the checkout, and then leave your site before the purchase is complete.  

That number should be way lower if you want to stay a step ahead of your competitors. You need to deploy re-engagement tactics. And wouldn’t you know, a simple thing like sending a cart abandonment email can help you lower it. 

Sometimes, people get distracted and leave the site without going to the checkout. Other times, they leave because they can’t be bothered with the checkout process. Your marketing automation should include sending follow-up emails to shoppers with a clear CTA, which will improve your conversion rates in no time. 

8. Re-engage Previous  Shoppers to Increase Your Sales and Profitability

How much do you appreciate your customers? Are you showing them that appreciation? You better start showing it if you want to keep them loyal. Failure to do so may cause them to unsubscribe from your email list, or worse, go to a competing ecommerce store. 

Losing a single customer may result in losing a lot of money down the line. Don’t believe us? Just consider this: it can cost you 25X more to acquire a single new customer than it will cost you to retain an already existing one. 

During BFCM 2019 last year, according to Klaviyo, around 60% of sales were driven by consumers who previously engaged with the brand via email. 

What’s more, people who clicked on the email had a 10% greater AOV and accounted for more than 50% of total sales during the Cyber Weekend. 

Of course, nobody is going to purchase from you again if they have a painful experience with your support team.

Email Stays the King

Email marketing allows you to build new relationships with first-time visitors, cultivate important relationships with repeat customers, and even mend broken ones with past shoppers. 

Let’s go over the key takeaways: 

  • Email is worth your attention because it’s effective than most forms of digital marketing
  • Knowing how to write both commercial and transactional emails is extremely important
  • Making sure that your emails are sharply written will maximize your efforts

Customer service and email marketing go hand in hand. Customer service helps increase your email open rates and email allows you to communicate with customers more easily. It’s also the most intimate email relationship you can have with your customers.

Both need to be at a high level if you want to see success. Start using Gorgias to provide a better customer support, improve response time, and nurture customer relationships. 

Try it now, sign up for Gorgias and get a 7-day free trial. 

Special thanks to our friends at Gorgias for their insights on this topic.
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