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Email marketing remains one of the highest-converting digital marketing channels for e-commerce businesses. But with inbox clutter on the rise, standing out takes strategy and finesse. 

In this article, we provide 15 tactical email marketing tips to help online stores boost conversions and sales. 

Whether you’re just getting started with emails or looking to improve performance, these best practices will help you engage customers, automate workflows, and maximize revenue.

Importance of Email Marketing for E-Commerce Businesses

Email marketing delivers unmatched ROI for e-commerce businesses of all sizes. Across all industries, email generates an average of $36 for every $1 spent – a 4,000% return. When done right, emails also provide one of the highest conversion rates across all marketing channels.

The graphic below shows how much revenue email marketing generates in the US alone: 


Beyond impressive revenue and conversions, email marketing offers meaningful relationships, repeat sales opportunities, promotional capabilities, branding improvements, and additional benefits for online stores. 

Through valuable and relevant messaging, merchants can build meaningful relationships with customers. They can then leverage these connections by remarketing to past purchasers to drive additional sales. 

Emails also allow stores to actively promote new arrivals, sales, special offers, and other updates to engage both existing and new subscribers. Strategic email call-to-actions can also help drive increased traffic to online stores.

Furthermore, email enables e-commerce businesses to collect incredibly valuable customer data and feedback. These insights allow brands to inform both marketing and product decisions to better meet customer needs. 

Automated post-purchase email follow-ups also encourage reviews, referrals, and repeat purchases from happy customers. 

Emails additionally provide the opportunity to increase order value by strategically cross-selling and upselling relevant products or services. Finally, by maintaining constant communication through automated and regular email campaigns, stores can elevate branding and visibility, as well as retention.

With abundant potential, email marketing is a top-priority channel for any e-commerce merchant. When executed strategically, it drives sales, traffic, loyalty – and substantial long-term profits. The following 15 tips will help e-commerce businesses maximize email performance.

1. Optimize the Subscriber Signup Process

The path to growing your subscriber list starts by removing any friction from the signup process. Begin by paring down the number of required fields to only essentials like email address and name. You can optionally include fields like birthday, location, or interests later once they’ve subscribed.

To incentivize signups, consider offering a lead magnet – a small freebie that encourages visitors to exchange their email addresses for something of value. 

Popular lead magnet examples include:

  • Discount code or coupon
  • Relevant resources like an ebook, toolkit, or checklist
  • Webinar or online course registration

Not only does a lead magnet encourage more signups, but it also allows you to deliver value upfront while collecting a subscriber’s email address for future communication. Just make your lead magnet relevant to your products, brand, or ideal customer interests to provide useful – not random – value.

With an optimized, frictionless signup process and enticing lead magnet, you’ll be well on your way to growing a reliable subscriber base to market to.

2. Send New Subscriber Welcome Emails

Welcoming new subscribers promptly helps ensure they have a positive, value-driven experience from the start. Well-crafted welcome emails accomplish two core objectives for elevating subscriber relationships right out of the gate.

  1. Welcome emails demonstrate the caliber of exclusive content and offer subscribers access to it by signing up. For example, send new contacts a special coupon code, deal on popular items, free eBook chapter, online course trial, or other high-value sample content. This incentive primes new subscribers to anticipate similar perks in your future emails as well.
  1. An introductory welcome email plays a pivotal role in framing what value to expect from your brand’s messages moving forward. Clarify what insightful, entertaining, or helpful content subscribers can look forward to receiving, from unveiling new arrivals first to money-saving promotions. 

Additionally, indicate the general regularity subscribers can anticipate your emails as well, whether weekly product highlights or monthly educational newsletters. Establishing aligned expectations upfront allows subscribers to get excited about the value ahead.

Most importantly, a warm and personal welcome email cements the immense value new subscribers will gain by opening future communications. First-impression welcome messaging pays dividends in continued engagement, trust, and eventual conversion down the line. 

Sending new contacts purpose-driven value samples alongside value expectations for the future provides a strong foundation for healthy subscriber relationships over the long term.

3. Confirm Opt-ins to Ensure Permissions

While gathering email signups is crucial, it’s equally vital to confirm genuine consent through double opt-in. Double opt-in takes subscriber permission one step further by sending a follow-up email asking them to actively click and confirm they want to receive messages.

Requiring double confirmation provides important benefits for securing genuine permission and interest. Primarily, subscribers must take deliberate action to verify they supplied the actual, legitimate email address they check regularly. 

This safeguards your domain reputation with ISPs by dramatically minimizing spam complaints. On top of that, double opt-in satisfies legal consent needs for marketing emails in most jurisdictions. Subscribers signal clear agreement to future communication through their multiple intentional actions.

Despite being an extra step, double opt-in considerably cuts misleading list inflation from invalid email entries. It gives you confidence subscribers granted genuine permission and truly wish to hear from you moving forward. 

For minimal added friction to confirm intentions, you gain sizable returns via engaged subscribers and avoid the destructive assumption of consent. Overall double opt-in augments email ROI thanks to higher quality, genuinely invested contacts.

4. Segment Your Email List Strategically

Rather than using a generalized approach, strategically divide your email subscribers into targeted segments based on key attributes. This allows dramatically more relevant communication catered to each group.

To start, leverage behaviors like past purchases, website browsing patterns, order frequency, and channel preferences to segment contacts appropriately. Additionally utilize explicit properties shared in profiles like location, age, lifespan stage, or interests. 

For instance, you may build segments of recent customers from the past 3 months, subscribers who commonly view seasonal items, lapsed contacts inactive for 6+ months, or those who shared useful dates like birthdays. Continue getting more advanced by combining multiple attributes, such as targeting subscribers from defined cities highly engaged with fitness gear content.

Thoughtful behavioral and demographic segmentation carries immense importance. It empowers sending content and offers precisely matching each group’s unique context and predicted needs at scale. 

Rather than wide-reaching blasts irrelevant to most, aligned segmentation ensures relevancy, personalization, and higher impact. For example, customize subject lines, content focus areas, featured products, promotions, incentives, and beyond per each audience. 

Recent repeat customers will appreciate different recommendations and deals than at-risk or highly general subscribers.

Advanced segmentation is vital to break through beyond generic communication and provide tailored value. Build subscriber groups based on rich attributes, behaviors, and interests for 1:1 alignments. The result is the ability to hyper-personalize messaging and maximize outcomes subscriber-by-subscriber.

5. Personalize Email Content

Audience segmentation sets the foundation for impactful personalization, but customizing individual email content takes it a step further. While segmentation targets groups en masse, one-to-one personalization demonstrates extra care for each subscriber. This builds closer connections and lifts open, click-through, and conversion rates.

Start personalizing by incorporating subscriber specifics like first names, location, order history, or expressed interests within copy and product recommendations. Even small personalized touches make contacts feel valued as more than just a number. You might call out their city, past purchases, or topics they engage with.

Additionally, leverage historical behavioral data to provide even more tailored content. If the contact browses fitness trackers often, promote similar electronics or activewear rather than random items. Use cart abandonment insights to follow up with those specific products. And integrate birthday or loyalty program status when appropriate.

Getting personalization right requires care to avoid missing the mark. Test and iterate to determine optimal data points and copy integrations that feel relevant and add value for each subscriber. The extra time invested pays dividends through subscribers feeling more understood, known, and cared for.

In the end, quality one-to-one personalization strengthens subscriber relationships by demonstrating you respect their time and aim to serve their needs. With emails matching individual interests and preferences, personalization lifts conversions and revenue as well.

6. Promote with Strategic Subject Lines

Email subject lines hold incredible sway as the first impression dictating open rates. Invest time rigorously testing and optimizing subject line phrasing, personalization, and segmentation strategies to maximize response.

Begin by A/B testing at least 3-5 different subject line versions to compare open rate performance. Experiment with formulas like curiosity-triggering questions versus direct value propositions. Blend benefits and scarcity elements as well. Identify what resonates best with each subscriber segment based on testing data.

Additionally, align subject line messaging to audience segments for further personalization. For example, use different phrasing, emojis, tone, and promotional elements based on user personas. Recent customers may appreciate friendly check-ins while cold leads prefer more formal savings teasers. Lifecycle stage, interests, and attributes all can inform strategic subject line tailoring.

Optimized, resonant subject lines entice more opens directly, which then gives your email copy and offers a chance to convert. Ensure copywriting aligns with and delivers on the value promised in subject lines as well. For instance, if the subject line claims tips, the content must include actionable tactics.

With rigorous testing and personalization, earning the attention of each subscriber to bolster email results. Subject line relevancy pays dividends in the long run.

7. Craft Email Body Copy for Conversions

Once a compelling subject line drive opens, value-focused email copy secures conversions. Strategically structure content to speak directly to subscribers’ interests and needs.

Always lead copy with a 1-2 sentence customer value proposition summarizing the primary benefit or offer at the top. For example, “Take 20% off your first surf gear purchase for upcoming adventures”. Prominent positioning gives the main hook maximum visibility.

Followed by structuring scannable sections focused wholly on reader takeaways, not brand updates. Use descriptive headers, short paragraphs of 2-3 sentences each, and bolding strategically so readers can digest content easily. Break up blocks of texts with lists when applicable to improve flow.

Work in specifics like FAQs, buyer advice columns, or summaries that provide tips relevant to customers’ pain points. Outline support or product usage guidance as well. These sections should highlight subscriber challenges you understand and can resolve.

Lastly, incorporate actionable next steps, exclusive savings, promo codes, and strong calls to action to compel engagement. Reduce any friction to browse highlighted products or claim perks through simple links and buttons.

With a benefit-driven copy in an easy-to-consume format, your message will capture attention amidst crowded inboxes. Put reader value first across sections to drive conversions.

8. Creating Urgency with Limited-Time Offers

Driving email engagement often comes down to motivating desired responses, and limited-time promotions delivered by instilling urgent calls to action, as shown in the example below: 


Exclusivity is paired with impending expiration and steers contacts to prioritize your message over the many others competing for attention in crowded inboxes. When executed strategically, scarcity significantly lifts performance.

It’s important to emphasize the exclusive nature of the promotion repeatedly throughout the copy. Specifically, call out how only subscribed contacts gain VIP access to savings and deals not publicly released. This further spotlights the inherent value of being on your newsletter list.

Also crucial is showcasing the tangible yet fleeting deals, account upgrades, or bonuses prominently. Display exceptionally hot-selling items they’ll miss without swift action. Consider adding visible timers or low inventory quantities to underscore real-time scarcity.

Additionally, use clear calls-to-action on how to immediately claim or redeem offers before expiration. Simplify promotion claiming processes with minimal steps so subscribers instantly grasp how to benefit rather than get frustrated.

Overall, urgency triggered through limited-time exclusivity skillfully motivates higher engagement when applied judiciously. Subscribers recognize the constrained appeal of aligned, expiring offers tailored to their interests.

9. Set Up Shopping Cart Abandonment Campaigns

Cart abandonment campaigns recapture sales by re-engaging users who recently left items sitting in online carts before purchase completion. By proactively reminding customers of products waiting and incentivizing return with valuable, limited-time perks, properly constructed sequences lift conversion rates considerably.

Configure a series of automated abandonment emails primed to deploy on a predefined schedule after initial cart assembly, say 1, 3, and 5 days post-activity. Receiving timely and relevant prompts helps bring the needed nudge at a point when desire and consideration often still run high given their initial engagement by adding items. However, keep messaging gently without accusations around their browsing or intent, focusing solely on providing value and savings to guide completion.

Within the copy, include clear links, visuals, and product details tailored to the specific items they previously picked to easily re-spark consideration. Highlight exact offerings or configurations waiting to purchase. Additionally promote special promotional discounts, expedited shipping upgrades, or product bundles only available by purchasing desired cart items within a short window. Temporary extra savings and incentives further boost appeal.

In short, when shoppers have already signaled clear initial purchase interest, an automated gentle reminder, and associated limited-time perks could easily motivate transaction completion. Carefully crafted follow-up messaging gives that helpful nudge.

10. Create Post-Purchase Nurturing Campaigns

The customer relationship doesn’t end after a transaction is completed. The post-purchase period represents a pivotal opportunity to boost loyalty, retention, and repeat sales through value-focused nurturing outreach. Continue engaging purchasers with campaigns centered on supportive upgrades, exceptional assistance, and incentive perks.

Initially, send personalized suggestions for complementary products or service tier upgrades aligned to each customer’s specific purchase history and profile attributes. Use segmentation and personalization to determine optimal recommendations matching demonstrated needs. Perhaps highlight extended warranties, accessories, or faster shipping.

Ongoing, share special loyalty promotional offers exclusive to proven subscribers only, like coupon codes for next purchases, bonus gifts added automatically with certain order sizes, access to new arrival previews, or early admission to seasonal sales. Feature different subscribers weekly. These types of segmented VIP perks incentivize future patronage and transactions.

Additionally, survey recent buyers directly requesting candid product performance feedback or customer experience reviews. Be proactively guided to maximize enjoyment from the latest purchases or offer helpful assistance if any issues surface requiring resolution.

Post-purchase nurturing initiatives cement brands as caring partners invested in mutual success for the long haul, not just initial sales. Keep giving subscribers reasons to feel appreciated across the entire customer lifecycle.

11. Leverage Retargeting Ads in Other Channels

The subscriber relationship shouldn’t conclude once they leave your emails. Follow engaged users through tailored retargeting display ads when they browse unrelated sites around the web instead. Maintaining visibility this way sustains awareness and motivation to eventually return and purchase.

Leverage data like recent site page views or products added to the cart to serve dynamically personalized ads later when serving standard ad inventory on entirely different sites. For example, display an ad with that basketball jersey a user previously checked out while they read sports news pages elsewhere days later. The continuity reminds them of their interests.

Additionally, use UTM link tagging to apply campaign parameters before email deployment. Unique tag series per message allow properly attributing any subsequent ad clicks or site activity to originating email campaign influence. Monitor performance levels contributed by each email in driving retargeting response over time.

Essentially retargeting ads function as helpful follow-up reminders, keeping your brand top of mind after initial email engagement may have slowed. The supplemental visibility improves the chance of eventual conversions by sustained impressions complementing direct outreach. Meet users across channels.

12. Experiment with Transactional Emails

Transactional emails represent a valuable yet underutilized channel for subscriber engagement beyond traditional marketing campaigns. Every customer order, account update, or site interaction triggers real-time, hyper-relevant automated outreach directly within crucial lifecycle moments.

Use order confirmations to share tracking details, estimated delivery timelines, easy return policies, account dashboard access, and other mission-critical post-purchase updates. Treat confirmations as opportunities to set clear expectations while reinforcing positive impressions.

For shipped orders, send shipment status emails highlighting sailing updates, arrival estimates, and carrier contact instructions to continue helpful communication. Get proactive by including unboxing tips, accessory guides, or usage best practices ahead of package receipt as well.

Essentially, pivotal subscriber milestones like new purchases, downloads, or feature unlock offer ideal occasions to guide users through the next steps. Ensure every transactional message serves as a convenient, personalized resource tuned precisely to each situation. When leveraged consistently well, exceptional transactional correspondence builds immense trust and satisfaction across many micro-engagements.

Identify exactly how and where to insert your brand as a supportive partner instead of an interruptive advertiser alone.

13. Continuously Measure Email Performance

Ongoing optimization relies entirely on accurately monitoring performance across every imaginable email engagement metric. Consistently track open rates, click-through rates, conversion percentages, revenue rates, and more to pinpoint areas working well or lacking.

Analyze metrics ranging from macro portfolio-wide metrics like revenue per subscriber or contact acquisition cost down to micro campaign nuances around specific content block response. Compare historical patterns by lifecycle stage, seasonal timing, demographic segments, and creative variations to reveal strategic opportunities.

For example, perhaps new subscriber welcome message open rates trail more established contacts. Or your highest-selling product line sees lower promotion response among young professionals compared to seniors. Leverage persona and behavioral data to iterate messaging for improved results.

Additionally, directly take top-performing sections and expand those into full-length A/B tested variations for further lift. If a coupon code block shows a significantly higher CTR, try expanding the dedicated real estate provided. Scale what already resonates.

Continually fine-tuning and perfecting email content grounded in response analytics directly fuels further gains at scale. Dedicate resources solely to expanding instructions of what already works until they transform into breakthrough copy.

14. Compliance and Deliverability Best Practices

While performance metrics rightly capture attention, properly structured email infrastructure impacts compliance and deliverability behind the scenes as well. Follow best practices in these areas to avoid legal issues or distribution problems long term.

First, ensure stringent adherence to regional anti-spam, data privacy, and marketing email legislation in areas where you contact subscribers. Consult an email legal specialist to tailor compliant permission policies, storage procedures, and instant one-click unsubscribe options. Record detailed consent records to respect user preferences.

Technical factors also greatly influence email deliverability, dictating your sender’s ability to reliably reach subscriber inboxes without external obstruction. Closely monitor factors like hard bounce rates, spam complaint frequency, and engagement over time, adjusting both sending behavior and content if signs emerge jeopardizing IP reputation.

Constructing a truly sustainable email program requires valuing ethics and deliverability as much as performance. Don’t let short-term open or conversion rate gains sabotage long-term subscriber trust or platform health. Commit ample resources to ensure you stay firmly on the right side of compliance and distribution best practices.

15. Optimize Email Rendering Across Devices

With expanding mobile usage, ensure emails display flawlessly across smartphones, tablets, and desktops alike. Failing to optimize for mobility risks lower engagement as formatting issues frustrate subscribers.

According to recent stats, over half of email views come from mobile phones and tablets. 


Fortunately, the majority of email service providers now enable basic responsive templates out of the box for fluid resizing. However, test thoroughly across device testing tools as needed using real user data.

Pay special attention to calls-to-action and key content placement. Avoid awkward overflow text or other rendering snafus hindering usability. Adapt messaging prominence based on typical consumption patterns per device if helpful.

Perfecting rendering provides assurance contacts easily engage with emails similarly convenient regardless of the selected medium. Flawless accessibility also reflects highly on the brand’s commitment to exceeding subscriber expectations however they choose to interface.

As channels proliferate, focusing email optimization across mobile and desktop demonstrates subscriber respect by valuing seamless accessibility. Continue exploring their emerging engagement preferences in the future as well.

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