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How to use email marketing for eCommerce to drive conversions across other channels

A computer screen with an open email on displayed on the screen

In eCommerce, having a healthy mix of marketing channels helps your brand stand out from the competition and remain at the forefront of current and prospective customers’ minds.

One of the most impactful channels eCommerce businesses can leverage is also one of the most traditional: email. Email subscribers are already invested in your business because they’ve voluntarily opted in to your communications. They’ve probably purchased from your company as well and so can be reengaged for future sales.

A successful email marketing for eCommerce strategy can:

  1. Expand your reach,
  2. Grow your revenue, and
  3. Develop your brand image.

In this article, we’ll explore how email marketing for eCommerce can support your other advertising channels, along with effective ways to leverage it.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing for eCommerce sites provides a direct line of communication between businesses and their customers. It’s a cost-effective way to reach a large audience, build customer relationships, promote products and services, and generate sales.

Further, email is a proven customer acquisition and retention marketing tool that boasts a median ROI of 122%. Email marketing is easy to implement and measure at little to no cost. It’s also an excellent fit for A/B testing and curating segmented lists to test new product ideas.

An effective email marketing for eCommerce strategy begins with a well-defined target audience. That allows you to tailor your messages to the interests and needs of your consumers. You then produce a series of personalized emails that deliver value to each recipient.

Your communications can take various forms, from simple, text-based letters to more sophisticated designs with images, graphics, or even video.

Email marketing platforms like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor make it simple for businesses to craft and send emails, as well as manage their mailing lists.

What to push with email marketing for eCommerce

An appealing advantage of email marketing for eCommerce is the ability to include clear calls to action (CTAs) with links that send your audience to specific places.

The destination depends on what you want to highlight and the desired action you want your recipients to take, but there are some common end points to direct to that can maximize your campaign’s ROI.

New sales channels

If you’re scaling your business and adding new sales channels, a targeted email blast is a great way to announce it to your existing consumer base.

Expanding to a marketplace like Amazon or Walmart makes for especially enticing email copy, as customers will be excited to shop diverse products while enjoying the platform’s unique advantages.

To capitalize on this email promotion, include a clear CTA that brings recipients directly to the new channel and communicates what action they should take (e.g., log in or sign up).

Additionally, highlight any channel perks such as coupons or savings upon their first purchase to sweeten the deal.

Your store

A common strategy in email marketing for eCommerce is to transport recipients to your business’s website, Amazon shop, or another online storefront. Doing so increases traffic to your website and, with the right promotions and timing, sales.

Event registrations, demo sign-ups, and associated surveys

Email marketing paves the way for businesses to deliver an incredible customer experience and build relationships, so don’t limit its reach to typical pages.

From live shopping on social media to webinars or invite-only in-person events, leverage emails to encourage your audience to register for events and sign up for demos.

You can then send surveys as follow-up to capture feedback on their experience and understand what kinds of products, services, and events they’d like to see from you.

Product landing pages

Pushing your email audience to a product page reduces the number of clicks it takes for shoppers to reach the final purchase stage of their journey.

CTAs that direct to a particular item are also a great way to promote a new product or highlight special promotions.

Newsletter sign-up

Launch a separate newsletter with tips and tricks or other helpful information. Newsletters effectively build brand loyalty and provide greater value to your customers without running the risk of becoming sales spam.

Invite your customers to sign up for it in your next product marketing email.

How email marketing for eCommerce supports your overall strategy

eCommerce businesses and non constantly vie for consumer attention. Emarketing for eCommerce provides a targeted and cost-effective opportunity to reach potential buyers and retain existing ones.

It offers several benefits that prove it’s an essential addition to your marketing mix.

Direct, personalized communication

Email marketing for eCommerce enables a level of personalization that’s difficult to achieve through other advertising channels.

With the help of consumer data, you can create targeted campaigns that speak to recipients and provide them with relevant information, offers, and promotions that encourage them to buy.

This helps build strong relationships with your customers, increase brand loyalty, and, ultimately, drive sales.

High ROI

Another advantage is the ability to reach a large audience at minimal expense. Unlike other advertising channels that can be expensive, email marketing allows you to communicate with thousands of customers at a fraction of the cost.

Especially for small businesses, it’s a cost-effective way to compete with larger companies.

email marketing for eCommerce also makes it easy to track and measure your campaigns. That data provides rich insights into their effectiveness and can inform decisions about future marketing strategies.

Track metrics like open rate, click-through rate, and conversions to fine-tune your campaigns, achieve better results, and increase your ROI.

Even more appealing, you can automate email marketing campaigns to send personalized messages to customers at the right time — no manual intervention necessary.

Set up automated communications such as welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders, and birthday shout-outs with triggers based on specific actions or events. This saves time and resources and ensures consistent, engaging communication with consumers.

Easier multi-channel marketing

Based on the longstanding Rule of 7, an eCommerce customer needs to hear (or see) a brand’s message an average of seven times before they make a decision to buy. Given the need for that amount of exposure, email marketing for eCommerce is a great support to your multi-channel advertising.

It could start with a pay-per-click ad on Google, then a Meta ad delivered on Facebook or Instagram; then TikTok; back to Meta; an email; a trip to your website; retargeting; and so on.

The digital shopping journey can be lengthy, but email helps you target your customers at each stage with relevant messaging and products.

Drive customers to your physical locations

In-person shopping experiences are on the rise as customers seek unique, experiential opportunities to engage with their favorite brands.

Promote these physical sales channels through emails to encourage more foot traffic, highlighting aspects like location, hours, special promotions.

Push other perks for in-store shopping at brick-and-mortar stores like pop-ups at other locations such as gyms or markets or experiential shopping opportunities like “sip and shop” or “try before you buy” events.

Different ways to use email marketing for eCommerce

We’ve explored how to drive your audience to other sales channels, but you can leverage email marketing for eCommerce in other ways to grow your brand.

Launch a newsletter (that doesn’t focus on sales messaging)

One of the most effective email marketing for eCommerce tactics to grow your brand is to launch a newsletter. This regularly scheduled communication should include a variety of content, such as company updates, industry news, and educational articles.

The key to a successful newsletter is to avoid focusing on sales messaging. Instead, feature valuable content your subscribers will find useful and interesting.

This builds trust with your audience and positions yourself as an expert in your industry. Also, include a clear CTA that encourages them to engage with your brand.

For example, you could ask recipients to follow you on social media, leave a review of your product, or share your newsletter with their friends.

Send informative emails

Another approach that yields lucrative results is sending explanatory emails that focus on how customers can make the most of your offering.

These communications should provide tips, tricks, and best practices for using your product and be tailored to your audience’s needs.

Offering helpful information that supports your customers increases their satisfaction with your product and strengthens their loyalty to your brand.

You’ll also position yourself as a company that cares about its customers and is committed to their success.

When crafting these emails, employ a friendly, conversational tone that resonates with your consumers. Include plenty of visuals as well, such as screenshots and videos, to illustrate ideas and make your content more engaging.

Highlight your invested parties

Email marketing for eCommerce offers a prime opportunity to spotlight your customers, suppliers, or team. Showcasing the people who make your company successful creates a more personal connection with your audience.

You can send an email that features a customer success story to emphasize how your product helped them achieve their goals.

Or, you might plug a supplier who provides high-quality materials. You could even feature a member of your team and detail their expertise or company experience.

By placing these people front and center, your audience sees your brand is more than just a name — it’s a community of people who are passionate about what they do.

Offer an email course

A less common but equally effective use of email marketing for eCommerce is to offer an email course. This is a series of educational communications sent over a period of time that are designed to teach your audience a specific skill or concept.

An email course is great for positioning yourself as an expert in your industry and providing valuable information to your audience. It increases trust and credibility among them and can drive sales by showcasing the advantages of your product.

When crafting a course, choose a topic that’s relevant to your target segment’s needs and interests. You should also break down your content into bite-sized lessons so it’s easy to consume.

This approach increases both engagement and the likelihood that your subscribers will complete the course.

Alert your subscribers to live digital sales

Send alerts to inform your mailing list of live sales online and achieve maximum exposure. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram now offer live stream sales that allow businesses to showcase their products in real time and interact with customers in a more personal way.

Informing your subscribers via email before a sale launches encourages more people to tune in and make a purchase. Include relevant details like the date and time of the sale, the products you’ll feature, and any special discounts or promotions.

Want to really sweeten the deal? Offer an email-only discount code!

Tactics to employ

Beyond the applications we’ve covered in this article, you can adopt other tactics to maximize the results of your email marketing for eCommerce. Give the following strategies a try to help your brand stand out from the competition.

Leverage CTAs strategically

CTAs are the backbone of your emails. These buttons (or links) nudge subscribers to take a specific action, such as making a purchase or signing up for your newsletter.

To craft successful CTAs, make sure they’re clear, compelling, and relevant to the email’s content. For example, if you showcase a new product in your communication, you should feature a CTA that encourages subscribers to learn more or buy.

Experiment with different types as well, such as offering limited-time promotions or free shipping. Track the results of your CTAs and adjust your strategy based on what yields the best response from your audience.

Most email marketing platforms provide this capability, but you may consider setting up Google Tags so you can also monitor individual visitor actions on your site.

Streamline CTAs

With recipients spending less than a minute reviewing an email communication, it’s best to decide on a single focus.

For example, a simple CTA can inspire a customer to buy or learn more. You’ll want to streamline it as well: Don’t send people to a landing page where they have to enter their email again, or make the customer navigate your website.

Keep it easy with as few steps as possible to fulfill the CTA (e.g., if you have a Learn More button, direct them to a product page).

Include “Tell your friends” options for easy sharing

Make it simple for subscribers to disseminate your emails farther by incorporating share buttons in your correspondences. This is a small but powerful way to increase your reach and attract new customers.

This is another opportunity for a CTA to encourage subscribers to share content with their friends, family, and social network.

You could even offer a reward, such as a discount or free shipping for every new customer they refer to your business.

Consider your audience

Being thoughtful of your recipients is essential for a successful campaign. Who reads your communications? What do you want them to do? Once you answer these questions, plan your CTAs around them.

Segmented lists boost email effectiveness. You can sort your consumer base according to interests, location, age, gender, stage in the buying cycle, and other relevant categories.

Successful grouping is important, since research has found that segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue.

For example, welcome emails generate four times more opens and five times more clicks than regular marketing campaigns, so be sure to segment your new customers before sending any communications.

Once you’ve organized these groups, it’s much easier to craft personalized, relevant content for your customers. Also, regularly refresh your lists and clear inactive subscribers to avoid being marked as spam and keep your open rates strong.

Most email programs offer automatic segmentation of your customer lists based on their behavior, purchases, and other preset parameters. For instance, you could categorize customers based on:

  • Product category
  • Direct product purchase (e.g., if you sell accessories or filters)
  • Responses to previous emails
  • Interests

You can change groups as you acquire more data or even create ones that contain multiple sub-segments.

Make it personal

As we previously discussed, effective email marketing for eCommerce makes a customer feel the communication was crafted specifically for them.

Similar to segmentation, personalization boosts the chances of your recipient reading your email. Adding a customer’s name to the subject line alone increases open rates by 26%.

You can also empower your customers by allowing them to decide what content lands in their inbox. That could look like offering options related to frequency and communication type, or sending a courtesy email with the choice to opt out of promotions around a holiday that may be emotionally difficult, such as Mother’s Day or Veterans Day.

Give them something they want

Always provide value when you reach out. If the recipient gains nothing from your content, they’ll stop opening your communications or unsubscribe altogether.

An email campaign is meant to be mutually beneficial: Your recipient needs something from you (your product), and you need them to follow through on the included CTA.

Don’t be too salesy or misleading. This is especially important for top-of-funnel shoppers who need more nurturing while they’re in the research stage; pushing for a sale too soon may put them off (this is where those segmented lists prove their worth).

Avoid inserting too many trigger words as well. Overusing terms like “free,” “sale,” “cash,” or excessive punctuation makes recipients suspicious and dilutes your value proposition.

Further, even if someone is subscribed to your list, too many of those words can result in your email being filtered into their spam box.

Make it accessible

As a general rule, plain text with a few HTML elements is best. Although it’s tempting to create an image to maintain consistency in your formatting, large pictures are fraught with issues.

For one, nearly half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, and some customers on the go disable images to conserve data.

Or, if they’re in an area with poor service or Wi-Fi, the image might not load correctly. In either case, you risk your recipient deleting the email before they’ve seen your content.

Remember, your recipient is likely to spend less than a minute reading your email, so stylistic decisions and first impressions are critical.

Consider font choice, effective use of bolding, underlining, and headers, and the overall color scheme (for example, don’t put white text on a light background).

Keep the communication clean and uncluttered, controlling your use of white space to give your recipient the ability to skim. Finally, ensure you have an unsubscribe link.

It’s bad practice not to have this button readily available, and you could even be in breach of data protection or consumer law if you forgo it.

Be memorable

You need to hook your customer with a catchy subject to entice them to open the email. The best subject lines are 28-50 characters long. (For context, the length of that linked sentence is 48 characters.)

In the body of the email, use voice and tone to your advantage and make sure it matches your brand. As an example, overly formal language wouldn’t work for an athleisure wear company targeting Gen Z consumers.

Conversely, emojis and trendy abbreviations may not be the best fit for a more mature audience. The point is to appeal to your readers’ emotions and preferences.

Employ humor and a human touch to connect with your recipients and urge them to follow through on your CTA.

The ideal length of an email varies depending on the study, but most data indicate it’s best to keep it under 200 words. Emails with a count between 50 and 200 had the best response rate at just above 50%.

Find the right cadence

“Cadence” refers to the sequence of your overall email campaign through the strategic planning, timing, order, and content of communications throughout the buyer’s journey.

As a general framework, abide by these guidelines:

  • Send a welcome email and follow-up communications to keep your business at the front of the customer’s mind, but avoid making them feel harassed. Make sure the emails can stand alone but clearly flow together. While you shouldn’t repeat the same information (see point four about annoying your follower base), you also don’t want a customer to feel lost when they open email three of five.
  • Timing depends on where the prospect is in their buyer’s journey. Obtrusive daily reminders and promotions can come off as pushy, but if you only reach out once every three months, your customers are likely to forget you. Again, this comes down to segmentation and preferences, so allow your customers to choose their communication settings to remove the hassle of finding the right time; they’ll tell you themselves.
  • A/B testing (also called split testing) is a strategic method to compare the effectiveness of different versions of a campaign. As an example, you could send two segmented groups, lists A and B, slightly different email campaigns and track their resulting actions. The variants could be an alternate subject line, email template, different personalization elements, image use, or even what day or time the email lands in a customer’s inbox. The results are then compared to see which iteration generated the best response.

An email is meant to grab the consumer’s attention and convince them to carry out your CTA. If you want them to read more than 200 words, use your communication to link to a blog post or a longer marketing offer.

Wrapping up — Capitalize on digital communications for greater conversions

Email marketing for eCommerce is a powerful and cost-effective avenue for eCommerce businesses to connect with their target audiences, build strong relationships, and increase sales.

By crafting targeted and personalized communications that deliver value to your subscribers, you can systematically expand your reach and grow your revenue.

At MyFBAPrep, we understand the impact of a successful email marketing strategy and are here to help you make the most of this channel.

Enjoy streamlined operations, reduced costs, and greater business growth with our suite of services. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive eCommerce solutions and how we can help you smash your goals.