Shopify Ecosystem

How to use Email Marketing to Drive eCommerce Sales


With today’s abundance of marketing tools available for free online, it’s easy to forget how useful the original eCommerce marketing tool can be: using email to drive sales and increase customer retention is still a very viable method of eCommerce marketing, and there are a number of tips and tricks that can make the process more effective than ever before. Thousands of online businesses use email marketing to make millions each year, and the formula is more simple that some may think.


The basic idea of email marketing is simple:


  1. Ask customers to subscribe for discounts when they first visit a store or checkout for the first time.
  2. Send offers and newsletters to their inbox several times a week to encourage sales.
  3. Send emails and offers frequently enough to remind the customer of your business, but not enough to annoy them.


While the idea may seem fairly straightforward, there are a number of ways this process can be improved to increase sales generated from email marketing by a very wide margin. Essentially, the key to successful email marketing is to ensure that each subscriber feels that they are being treated as special every time they open an email from an eCommerce website they have subscribed to. What does this mean? When customers open an email from a company, it should not have a cookie cutter discount that can be found anywhere on the web to achieve the same results. Instead, the reader should feel as if the discount or sale is for them and them only, as they will be far more likely to engage with the email when they feel as if it is targeted directly at them, rather than to a large audience.


The first key to successful email marketing is through a successful and informative welcome email. This is sent when a store visitor first enters their email to sign up with a website or subscribe to their email list. The welcome email should include some fun information about the company, as well as a welcome discount that is specialized for the customer. When the reader opens this first email, they should feel encouraged to visit the store again in order to use their personal welcome code, whether it be for store credit or a certain percentage discount. Whatever the case may be, the customer should feel special when they receive this email, as it will determine their future shopping habits with the store.


The second key to successful email marketing is to keep the customer engaged over time with personalized emails offering discounts and sales “just for them.” This should be combined with creating a sense of urgency, using phrases such as “You’ve been chosen to receive 15 percent off of your next order, but you’ve only got 24 hours!” While this phrase is far from the perfect example of a great email marketing catch, it gives the basic idea of what captures the reader’s attention and drives them to make a purchase.


Finally, it’s important to send emails whenever a cart or category has been abandoned. It’s common for customers to put items in their cart only to leave the site and never checkout. This may be the result of a higher than expected total, and can often be remedied with a small discount. Be sure to send personalized emails with small discounts to each customer who leaves the store without making a purchase, as it is a highly effective way to convert lost sales into repeat customers with ease.


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