8 eCommerce Email Marketing Campaigns To Increase ROI

2 Jul
8 eCommerce Email Marketing Campaigns To Increase ROI

The Google cookie apocalypse and iOS privacy crack-downs have left many marketers scratching their heads as to how to move forward with effective advertising.

Thankfully, if you’re an avid email marketer, you’re already a step ahead of the game. Why? You have access to first-party data—data your customers actually want you to have. Namely, your subscribers have already provided you information like their name, email address, and email preferences.

Email marketing has always had one of the highest ROIs out of any digital marketing strategies. And this trend will continue through current privacy issues.

This article will look at the 8 different types of eCommerce email marketing campaigns to boost sales during this time. These campaigns include:

  1. The welcome email
  2. The product recommendation email
  3. The referral email
  4. The promotional email
  5. The upsell and cross-sell email
  6. The customer loyalty email
  7. The survey email
  8. The cart abandonment email flow

What is eCommerce email marketing?

Before introducing the eight different email marketing campaigns to increase ROI, it’s essential to cover what eCommerce email marketing is.

eCommerce email marketing involves employing specific email marketing tactics in your messages to build relationships and generate sales.

These email marketing tactics can include best practices like personalization, list segmentation, and automation. It also involves using different campaigns to nurture customers through the sales funnel, no matter where they are in the customer journey. 

Let’s take a closer look at why email marketing is important for your eCommerce store.

Why is email marketing important for your eCommerce store?

There are several reasons why investing in email marketing—even over other digital marketing strategies—is critical for the success of your online store.

Here are the top reasons why eCommerce store owners should take a closer look at email marketing:

  • Email works off of first-party data. We touched on this in the introduction, but email marketing is so effective because customers opt-in to your messages. In other words, they already like your brand, willingly give you their information, and ask you to keep in contact.
  • Email marketing promotes an ongoing relationship. Many digital marketing avenues have one shot at making a sale. Email marketing is different in that you can engage customers over and over again with relevant messages, increasing your opportunities for sales.
  • Customers expect emails. Stats show that nearly 75% of consumers expect a welcome email after subscribing. This is akin to someone willingly and enthusiastically opening their front door for a door-to-door salesman. 

Above all, email marketing has the highest ROI out of any digital marketing strategy. Any eCommerce store that doesn’t invest in email marketing is leaving hundreds to thousands of sales on the table.

8 email marketing campaigns to boost sales

Now that we’ve talked about what eCommerce email marketing is and why it’s critical for eComm stores, let’s dive into the eight types of eCommerce email marketing campaigns to increase ROI.

1. Get fans on board with a welcome email

The welcome email is the first email engagement a new customer gets when they subscribe to your email list. It’s the perfect time to introduce yourself and make a good first impression.

You don’t ever want to skip your welcome email because they have famously high open rates. Some campaigns can see up to 91% open rates, according to Hive.

As you prepare your welcome email, here are some high-level tips to keep in mind:

  • Trigger your welcome email to send when someone signs up for your list
  • Personalize the first email by using the subscriber’s name and relevant behavioral data
  • Introduce your brand in a fun, warm, and inviting way
  • Set expectations about what customers can expect when they subscribe to your email list
  • Offer special welcome promotions to get new subscribers to make purchases
  • Include a call to action, encouraging new subscribers to engage with your content

Here’s a killer example from Glossier that does all of these things:

glossier ecommerce email example


2. Watch sales soar with a product recommendation email

Once you’ve introduced yourself, you can officially start engaging customers on the regular. Remember, customers have opted into your email marketing list, so they want to hear from you.

If you’re an eCommerce store, you can bet the house on the fact that they want product recommendations from you.

Don’t be afraid to give the customers what they want—personalized product recommendations. Kappa, a leading sportswear brand, started sending emails with personalized product recommendations and saw an AOV increase of 11%.

Here are some ideas for sending product recommendation emails:

  • Trigger your emails to send after a customer has viewed a particular page or product 
  • Tailor your messages around customer data (product type, gender, size, etc.)
  • Send a reminder 24 hours after a customer has purchased a similar product

In the following example from Good Eggs, the marketing team sends a product recommendation announcing new summer items. Outstanding!

good eggs ecommerce email marketing example

3. Drive more customers to your store with the referral

The referral email has two parts. The first part is an email you send loyal customers asking for referrals. The second part is the email you send a new customer letting them know a friend has referred them.

Referral emails are a must for any eCommerce store. Why? Because customers trust personal recommendations over a brand’s voice every time. Additionally, referred customers have a 37% higher retention rate.

Here are some ideas for your referral emails:

  • Automate your referral emails to send to customers who have purchased from you recently
  • Create a rewards program that offers incentives to customers who send referral codes
  • Give the newly-referred customer a discount to encourage them to buy

Look at this great referral email from MeUndies. Who doesn’t want the same undies as their friends, but for 20% off?

meundies ecommerce referral email example

4. Show off your best products with the promotional email

Promotional emails are similar to product recommendation emails in that you’re informing customers of a new deal.

Remember, your customers opted into your email list and want to hear about deals from your brand. Sending a promotional email is the perfect way to show off your products and hook your customers up with a deal.

If you’re worried about coming across as too “salesy,” don’t. 49% of American consumers report they want weekly brand emails.

But that doesn’t mean they want any email. Here are some things to keep in mind when sending a promotional email:

  • Personalize the promotional email based on past purchasing behavior
  • Plan to send promotional emails before and during high online shopping holidays (e.g., Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, etc.)
  • Think about how you can add value to your subscriber outside of the promotion (e.g., subscribe to save, save on product bundles, join rewards programs and earn points, etc.)

This email from Judy is a great example. Judy offers a discount and insight into what subscribers need to be prepared.

judy ecommerce promotional email example

5. Make more money with the upsell and cross-sell email

As a quick review, upselling is when you encourage a customer to buy a higher-end version of a similar product. Think of a luxury skateboard with all of the bells and whistles instead of the generic board. 

Cross-selling is when you ask customers to buy complementary items. If you sell the luxury skateboard, then a cross-sell would mean the customer ends up with a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads in their cart too.

Upselling and cross-selling emails are integral to your e-commerce email marketing, considering most revenue comes from existing customers. Stats show that 70-95% of revenue comes from upsells and renewals on average.

Here are some tips for upselling and cross-selling:

  • Show off your VIP products or luxury line in your emails
  • Include relevant recommended products that complete the purchase
  • Ask customers to join your subscription instead of completing a one time purchase

Here’s an excellent example from Strava of how to sell a subscription.

strava cross sell up sell email example

6. Appeal to your fanbase with the customer loyalty email

Customer loyalty is the ticket to a successful eCommerce business. Customer retention is the most powerful way to grow revenues. 

In fact, 61% of businesses reported that the majority of their revenue came from repeat business, with repeat buyers spending 67% more than new customers.

If you have a customer loyalty or rewards program, shout it from the rooftops.

Here are some ideas for how to crush the customer loyalty email:

  • Update customers on how close they are to redeeming a reward
  • Create a promotion to help customers level up in your rewards program
  • Inform customers how they can earn extra rewards

Here’s a fun customer loyalty email from Hollister.

hollister customer loyalty email example

7. Get customer insights with the survey email

Successful email marketing is all about understanding your customers and creating messages that will resonate with them.

Sometimes the best way to learn what your customers want is to ask them.

Here’s the most important high-level tip for survey emails: 

  • Send regular Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT) emails
  • Ask for Net Promoter Score (NPS) ratings right after significant customer interactions
  • Automate an email to ask for a product rating 24 hours after a purchase

You’ll also want to send emails asking for product reviews. Here’s an example of how World Market does this.

world market survey email example

8. Recover lost purchases with a cart abandonment email flow

It’s safe to say that the cart abandonment flow is the most critical series of emails for eCommerce stores to send.

Cart abandonment rates can be as high as 70% on average, but here’s the good news. Customers respond well when brands remind them (via email) to return to their carts and complete a purchase.

Here are some tips for setting up an outstanding cart abandonment flow:

  • Capture an email address during check-out or using an exit-intent pop-up before they leave
  • Trigger your emails to send when a customer abandons their cart; we recommend waiting 4 hours to send the reminder 
  • Send an additional 2 or 3 reminders and sweeten the deal every time

Here’s a good example from Innoxa of a cart abandonment email that incentivizes customers to complete their purchases.

innoxa ecommerce abandoned cart email example

Best eCommerce email marketing software

When looking for an eCommerce email marketing software, remember not all companies are created equal. Let’s look at what you should look for in an ESP for eCommerce companies.

What to look for when investing in an eCommerce marketing software

Here are the features you must have in an email service provider:

  • Built for eCommerce (like Sendlane is)
  • Integrates with top eCommerce tools like Shopify, WooCommerce, Miva, and ClickBank, to name a few
  • Includes SMS marketing functionality
  • Provides easy marketing automation
  • Allows multivariable segmentation
  • Gives you access to real-time analytics
  • And more!


Sign up for a 60-day free trial of Sendlane!

eCommerce email marketing campaigns are one of the best ways to drive enthusiastic buyers to your website. 

As large companies continue to crack down on the use of third-party data for advertising, email marketing will become even more relevant and important.

If you’re ready to send your first automated eCommerce marketing campaign, take Sendlane for a spin. Sign up for a free 60-day trial of Sendlane today!

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