3 Emails Every eCommerce Sales Funnel Needs (with examples)

3 Jul
3 Emails Every eCommerce Sales Funnel Needs (with examples)




Marketers like you and I use words like this all the time in our day to day lingo. But they all lead us to the same thing:


At the end of the day, our job as marketers in eCommerce is to turn the execution of our strategies into revenue for our businesses and companies. And even when we do that, we have to constantly go back and find ways to improve our execution to increase income while lowering spending.

That’s likely why you’re here reading this post today. You and I both know there’s always room for improving our email conversion.

And today, we’ve lined up some really great email types that you should consider adding or updating in your current eCommerce email marketing strategy.

3 eCommerce Email Types To Send For Higher ROI

Chances are, you’re already running most of these email types in your email marketing strategy.

Even if that’s the case, you’ll find some really helpful suggestions in each one. I’ll cover more about how to use these rather than what these are.  

That way we can dive deeper into getting the most ROI from each email.

Let’s do this!

1. Welcome Emails

There’s a saying that goes, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” Which is a really weird way of saying there’s more than one way to get something done...

Anyway, the point is that this saying rings true with welcome emails.

Everyone sends them and they all seem to have a personal flair to them. More importantly, they do a really good job of converting interested subscribers into paying customers.

A study done by Listrak looked at 1000 of the top online retailers that were sending welcome emails. They found that the top retailers welcome emails converted more than 25% of the time.

More than that, the data they gave pointed to things that are worth trying to improve the conversion rates in your own welcome emails:

  • Have at least 3 emails to your welcome sequence. 64% of the best-performing retailers sent at least 3 emails for their brand. If you have only one, try upping your sequence to 3-5 depending on what you believe works for your brand.
  • Offer a discount right off the bat. There’s usually a bit of hesitancy here, but this is a great conversion tactic worth testing. 34.4% of the top converting retailers do this with great success.

(examples of BYLT using discounts in 1st welcome email)

There are a lot of ways to make the offer tantalizing while making it worth your while to even offer that discount. Like the image above, you could offer a discount based on the amount of money spent. You could offer $X discount, free shipping over $XX, or a Free Gift.

You could then try to run a multivariate test to see which of these offers converts better for your audience to make sure you narrow in on a discount strategy that increases conversion.

  • Send your first welcome email right away. The top 100 retailers send their first email within 5 minutes of sign up with most of them sending immediately after someone subscribes. Sending an email with a discount right when someone is interested in purchasing an item makes sense for increasing sales from this email type.

As you can see, when you send these emails and what offer these contain can have a large impact on sales.

So when you want to increase sales from this email type considering testing the offer made inside and how quickly you send these out. Also, test and measure which email in your sequence gets the most opens and when.

Look at the time of year to gauge if certain events during the year (holidays, back-to-school, etc) lead to higher conversions.

That way, you can prep and change up your welcome series as needed to take advantage of the buyer’s mindset.

2. Retargeting Emails

Ah, retargeting emails.

The handsome, better converting cousin to the promo email. We love a good retargeting campaign as much as the next marketing nerd, and with good reason.

According to Moz, the average conversion for your run-of-the-mill eCommerce email is anywhere from 2%-4%.

But what about retargeting eCommerce emails? They average a whopping conversion rate of 40%!

To add to that moo-lah pile, these emails generate 4X more revenue and produce 18X greater net profits.

Again, nailing these emails is a fast way to produce more revenue for your email list. Typically, when it comes to retargeting emails, we think of a couple types in particular:

  • Abandoned Cart emails
  • Browse abandonment emails

But what about the retargeting strategy behind those emails? Why and when you send your emails is just as important — maybe even a bit more important — as what you send.

In our Email Retargeting Strategy post, we cover 3 strategies you can use for your emails. Here are the couple of strategies we mention:

  • Segment your list, then upsell products based on past purchases. Have you ever considered retargeting your current customers based on what they’ve purchased before? Sometimes we forget that this is an option and yet, it can be a goldmine!


When someone purchases one thing, you can segment them into a certain list, perhaps based on Product Category. Then you can have that trigger a new automation that will upsell or cross-sell a product to compliment what was purchased.

This example from Dollar Shave Club gives you an idea of upselling through email. It’s one of the best examples we’ve seen done. Essentially, an email sends out ahead of their product shipping to the customer. The email then lists items that complement the original purchase with “Add” as the button CTA to make these upsells easier.

Not only is this a helpful email, but it’s also personalized making it more likely to work at making the sale.

  • Target your emails based on various browser behaviors. Well, one way you could do this is to trigger an email automation to send when someone abandons browsing a certain web page, but you can go deeper. Email platforms differ in what you can do, but at Sendlane we have a feature that helps you trigger automations based on tracking events coupled with conversion rules.  

There are a few types of behavior emails that you can send. If you run a loyalty program, you can send emails based on when someone signs up, what they purchase, and even use them to get your subscribers to refer other people to your products.

This example from Dominos is a great rewards emails example because it shows how close someone is to earning free pizza. This is personalized to this person but makes for a fun visual way to see how close they are.

Bombas does a nice, straightforward email about referring a friend to get free stuff. Even without a rewards program, you can set up an email like that that elicits this type of action.

Getting browser behavior emails up and running can take a little bit of technical skills to get right, but definitely worth the try.

As you can see, even though there are relatively few types of retargeting emails, there are some other strategies and even list segments you can start creating if you get creative enough.

As mentioned before, your past customers are a great place to start because they’ve already purchased from you so it takes less efforts to get them to purchase from you again. Putting together up-sells and cross-selling emails wouldn’t take too much time and effort on your end.

Also, look at your current retarget emails and match them to what you know about your customer journeys. Be sure to ask yourself questions like:

Would adding SMS messages to your automations help move things along?

Should I add some social proof to some of those emails? What should happen if those emails aren’t opened? Should I resend the email with a new subject line to increase opens?

Only you can answer those questions. What’s important is that you’re seeking answers.


3. Post-Purchase

Want to increase sales but don’t want to spend more in acquisition?

Start with your current customers. (Seeing a theme here, eh?) More specifically, start with newly converted customers since this will be the easiest place to begin.

According to Conversion XL, post-purchase and follow-up emails have open rates of 40.5%, 6.4% for CTR , and a CVR of 0.7%. These aren't bad numbers at all.

But post purchase emails can also include transactional emails. And when sending digital receipts, everything takes a big bump up with a 65% open rate, 10.4% CTR, and 1.4% CVR.

Generally, eCommerce brands will keep their post-purchase emails simple by sending a receipt and then some sort of shipping confirmation — that’s it.

But this is a great place to double down on increasing customer satisfaction and making more offers. To give you an idea of how to do this, why not try a sequence that include emails like this, instead:

  1. Order confirmation/digital receipt + upsell included
  2. Thank you for your purchase + Product recommendations in email
  3. Shipping confirmation with tracking information
  4. (wait 3-5 days) Personalized Product recommendation
  5. (wait 2 days) Offer a discount for their next purchase
  6. (wait 3-4 days) Review or feedback request
  7. Put into welcome email sequence

It’s a bit longer of a sequence, but 4 of the 6 emails have either offered a product or a discount to really squeeze every cent out of a new converted customer.

And as long as what you’re offering adds to the experience for the customer and is personalized to them, they’ll see your emails as being helpful rather than annoying.

Keep in mind that a sequence like this is very fluid. It’s only meant to give you an idea of one way you can re-mold a post-purchase automation to convert more sales out of them.

With UTMS and exclusive coupon codes used in these emails, you’ll be able to see which emails in the sequence are converting toward your goals. You can even test different versions of certains emails to double down when you think you’re onto something.

And wrapping up this sequence by putting the subscriber into a new sequence like a welcome email series for customers can help continue to build brand awareness and customer loyalty.

Tinker, Send, Tinker Some More

Marketing should be like a flywheel, which each things propelling something else in your strategy to keep everything growing.

This requires a lot of watching, testing and tinkering and then trying out new things that seem to work.

Many of the email types listed are one you’re likely familiar with, but a fresh perspective and a step or two outside of your comfort zone can help open up new pathways to better conversion that benefits your revenue, email marketing AND the support other marketing endeavors.

Have questions about increasing your conversion? Comment below.

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