Email marketing can be a powerful tool for online retailers, allowing you to reach customers directly and drive sales. But with so many retailers out there sending emails, it can be hard to stand out.
In this article, we provide 15 proven email marketing tips tailored specifically for online retailers looking to significantly grow their business. Whether you’re just getting started with emails or want to take your program to the next level, these tips will help you create more relevant, engaging emails that convert.
With the right strategy (and the right email marketing tool), you can 10x the impact of your email marketing and dramatically increase profits.
Benefits of Email Marketing for Online Retailers
Email marketing delivers unparalleled returns for online retailers. Studies show that for every $1 spent on emails, retailers earn an average of $44 back. When done right, email converts at 3-4 times higher rates than social media.
Beyond sheer revenue gains, email marketing provides additional benefits. Email allows you to build direct relationships with customers and remain top-of-mind between purchases. You can easily segment contacts for personalized messages and promote new arrivals, sales, or special offers.
The email further enables you to drive repeat purchases and loyalty, collect subscriber data and feedback, and optimize through high measurability.
With email delivering such a high ROI while furthering other marketing objectives, it is more than worth dedicating resources to retailers. Once the initial setup is complete, email pays for itself over and over again.
The key is implementing e-commerce email strategies tailored for the right audience, which we detail tips for next.
1. Offer Popup Signup Forms for Email Capture
Getting website visitors to join your email list needs to be a top priority. The most proven way to convert site traffic is by using popup signup forms. These attention-grabbing popups appear when someone lands on your site, inviting them to sign up for emails.
Here’s an example from Campaign Monitor showing a simple, yet very effective popup form:
Effective popups communicate the value proposition of your list. For example, you can offer a compelling lead magnet like a coupon or exclusive discounts in exchange for their email. The key is conveying the immediate benefit they receive.
You can further optimize conversions by targeting popups to certain pages like product or cart views. The boosted relevancy results in higher opt-in rates.
If designed well, popups can capture 2-5 times more email subscribers than standard signup forms. Just be careful not to make them too annoying in frequency or style. Perform A/B testing to find the optimal popup style and placement for your brand. The payoff of growing your list is well worth the small site interruption.
2. Send Browse Abandonment Reminder Emails
One of the most effective email campaigns for online retailers targets shoppers who recently browsed your site. These “browse abandonment” emails get sent when someone leaves your store without making a purchase.
The email reminds them about the items they viewed and provides a direct link back to those product pages. Sometimes gentle incentives like free shipping or 10% off close the sale with abandoned visitors. Just make sure to limit the discount so you still turn a profit.
According to stats, browse abandonment emails generate about 40% more revenue compared to standard promotional campaigns. The timing plays a major factor in their success. You need to send the reminders soon after exit while their buying intent remains hot.
Follow-up again in 7-15 days to capture late conversions. Just avoid spamming people every day as that quickly erodes open rates.
3. Welcome New Subscribers with Discount Code
Making strong first impressions with new subscribers pays dividends over the long term. One way to do this is by sending welcome emails to people who just joined your list. These messages aim to excite them about the value to come.
An impactful welcome series starts by introducing your brand story and products. Give them a taste of your email style and frequency expectations. Most importantly, include an incentive like a subscriber-exclusive discount code. This coupon makes them feel special for signing up while urging them to purchase right away.
According to email marketing firm Mailchimp, welcome campaigns have higher open and click-through rates compared to regular broadcasts. Over time, proper onboarding and incentives breed loyalty in your audience. They pay more attention to future messages and stick around longer because you treated them well initially.
Dedicating resources towards perfecting your welcome flow results in lower subscriber churn and higher lifetime value. The value of launching relationships on the right foot cannot be overstated.
4. Reward Loyalty Program Members Via Email
Loyalty and rewards programs are popular with online retailers for good reason – they work! However, stores often struggle with ongoing engagement after the initial sign-up. This is where email marketing comes in handy.
You can leverage your email subscriber list to frequently promote loyalty program benefits and new ways to earn points. Send members-only sales or early access to products. The email further enables you to showcase user testimonials and program success stories.
The most powerful loyalty emails deliver personalized incentives to segmented member groups.
For example, if someone hasn’t purchased in 60+ days, you could email them double points as a reactivation perk.
Strategically timed, personalized emails keep your program top of mind and continuously encourage purchases. This results in happier, more loyal customers that buy again and again.
Allocating a marketing budget to promote your loyalty program via email provides unmatched returns. The regular touchpoints pay dividends for member activity and long-term value.
5. Promote Sales, Deals, and Special Offers
Email marketing and sales promotions go hand-in-hand. Recipients eagerly await and engage most with emails highlighting deals, discounts, and other special offers for products they want.
Promotional emails come in all shapes and sizes. You could promote sitewide sales, category-specific offers, and product bundle discounts…the options are endless! Get creative with promotional mechanics – coupons, tiered pricing, gifts, flash deals, etc. The goal is to craft compelling incentives that demand attention and action.
According to email insights firm Litmus, promotional or transactional campaigns typically generate 2X more revenue per email sent compared to regular product announcements. Despite the success, avoid blasting sales emails too frequently or risk burning out subscribers.
Find the optimal cadence for your audience through testing. Judiciously highlight your very best deals that provide irresistible value. The most alluring offers will rise above the noise in crowded inboxes and translate to more sales.
6. Create Triggered Cart Abandonment Workflows
Shopping cart abandonment remains an immense struggle for online retailers, with roughly 70% of carts left unfinished. Recovering these sales presents a significant revenue opportunity. Email marketing provides the perfect medium for targeted cart abandonment workflows.
When someone adds items to their cart but doesn’t checkout, immediately trigger a personalized email reminder. Give them a direct link back to their cart and incentivize completion with a compelling coupon like 10% off or free shipping. Further automation can be built off cart inactivity, sending follow-up reminder emails every few days.
According to the marketing platform Klaviyo, their customers using triggered cart abandonment emails report 49% higher conversion rates. The incremental revenue gains add up from recovering even a small percentage more of your abandoned carts.
On top of the direct sales bump, properly handling cart drop-offs also improves long-term loyalty. Shoppers remember positive checkout experiences and remain engaged customers.
Allocating resources to cart workflows results in tremendous ROI through recouped revenue and preserved subscriber value.
7. Send Email Receipts After Every Purchase
Order confirmation emails represent a major missed opportunity for most online retailers. These purely transactional receipts confirm purchase details but fail to build customer relationships. You should utilize order confirmation emails to delight shoppers after checkout.
Compelling post-purchase messages to thank the customer, provide order status and shipping updates, survey for feedback, and offer return/exchange policies. Most importantly, send additional promotional information like related products or incentives to buy again. This furthers the buyer journey by nurturing future sales.
According to email marketing analytics firm Mailchimp, order confirmation messages have above-average open and click rates compared to other campaigns. Recipients eagerly await updates on their purchases. This mindset makes them highly receptive to cross-sells soon after a transaction.
Sending automated, engaging confirmation emails with every order provides outsized returns through repeat business and subscriber retention. Make sure to craft thoughtful, branded messages instead of bland receipts. Confirmation emails represent a pivotal moment to build loyalty.
8. Gather Product Reviews with Email Requests
Product reviews and testimonials act as social proof that builds trust with potential customers. However, asking happy buyers to leave reviews often gets overlooked by retailers. Email marketing presents the perfect solution for proactively requesting reviews from customers post-purchase.
Highly targeted review-ask campaigns result in significantly more user-generated content. These emails get sent a few weeks after confirmed delivery when the customer has time to properly try the products.
Gently ask for an honest review on your site or third-party platform like Trustpilot. You can even include a special offer like 20% off their next order as an added incentive.
According to retention marketing company Moosend, review-gathering emails have over 50% higher open rates due to their perceived value and relevance after ordering. Not only will you collect honest feedback to display as social proof, but the review process itself boosts brand affinity.
Customers feel valued knowing their voice gets heard. Allocating a portion of resources toward review generation provides compounding returns.
9. Recommend Complementary Products in Emails
Product recommendations represent one of the best ways to increase order value and spur repeat purchases from existing customers. Email’s direct line to previous buyers makes it the perfect channel for showcasing complementary products.
Post-purchase recommendation emails get sent a few weeks after confirmed delivery. This timing allows customers to fully experience the items they ordered before suggesting new ones. Highly targeted emails work best, identifying related or complementary products based on original order details. It’s also a good idea to include a discount to entice customers to make a purchase.
Recommendation emails lift revenues substantially when executed properly. The marketing platform Primer found that their top-performing retailer customers generate over 11% of revenue from recommendation messages.
The key is presenting only your most relevant products – stay away from overly broad suggestions. Getting personalization right results in higher clicks and conversions. Dedicating resources towards a timely, targeted recommendation strategy sustains the buyer journey through continuous cross-selling.
10. Leverage Email Retargeting Ads
Retargeting ads help grab the attention of website visitors after they leave your online store. These branded ads are displayed around the internet, reminding people about products they previously viewed. Email marketing enables effective retargeting as well.
Email retargeting campaigns activate when someone abandons your site without buying. The messages promote the exact items they showed interest in through on-site browsing. Featuring the products they almost purchased makes for highly relevant offers.
According to results from the email platform MailerLite, retargeting emails generate 620% more revenue compared to typical bulk campaigns. Precision targeting and timing play major factors in the soaring performance.
Follow-up retargeting brand exposure right after initial interest converts at much higher rates. Dethe dictating marketing budget towards email retargeting provides outstanding ROI. You regain significant revenue from website visitors that would have otherwise been lost forever.
11. Send Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Understanding the customer experience and gathering feedback is crucial for retailers. Email marketing provides a scalable way to survey for satisfaction through targeted survey campaigns.
These simple email surveys get sent a few weeks post-delivery to sample recent customers. They feature just a handful of critical questions about the buying journey, product quality, areas for improvement, and overall happiness. Offer an incentive for completed responses such as a discount code or sweepstakes entry.
According to the marketing analysis firm Wyng, emails are 40 times more effective than other channels when soliciting customer feedback. People enjoy sharing opinions to improve a brand they have purchased from before. Not only do retailers get actional insights to refine operations, but customers feel valued knowing their voice gets heard.
Allocating resources towards continuous satisfaction surveying pays dividends through process refinement and lasting brand affinity. Just be careful not to over survey or response rates will drop over time.
12. Announce New Product Arrivals
Email subscribers represent a retailer’s most eager customers. They actively signed up to hear about relevant products and offers. New product announcement emails cater directly to these highly interested individuals.
Well-designed product launch emails build anticipation and excitement around your latest item arrivals. Share product imagery, key features, benefits, available variations, plus any promotional launch offers. Time-limited discounts or free shipping on new arrivals encourage early orders and reviews.
According to results published in Harvard Business Review, new product announcement emails lift revenues by over 8% on average. Subscribers eagerly consume and engage with the first look at fresh inventory tailored to their preferences.
These eager customers order quickly once notified through email, letting retailers rapidly validate and scale winning products. Dedicating creative resources to showcase new arrivals in subscriber inboxes generates tremendous early-stage revenue critical for product success benchmarks.
13. Segment Customers for Targeted Campaigns
One of the most powerful email marketing capabilities is subscriber segmentation for highly targeted campaigns. Group contacts by various attributes like past purchase history or engagement metrics to cater to messaging.
For example, infrequent shoppers would receive different promotional offers compared to repeat customers. Or subscribers interested in footwear get different product recommendations than apparel buyers do. Segmentation allows endless possibilities to tailor email content.
According to Statista, segmented campaigns demonstrate over 75% higher open rates due to their relevance. Furthermore, tailored messaging breeds stronger connections and long-term value with subscriber groups that feel special.
Allocating resources to gather data on subscribers and deploy targeted campaigns provides unmatched marketing ROI. The hours of personalizing emails through segmentation pay back exponentially through sustained engagement and conversions over time.
14. Test Subject Lines for Higher Open Rates
Email open rates represent one of the most important metrics for online retailers. If recipients don’t open your messages, they certainly will not click through to purchase. Crafting compelling subject lines dramatically impacts open-rate performance.
It takes testing various subject line phrasings to determine what resonates most with your audience. For example, emotional triggers like “Last Chance” perform well during sales. Or leaning into the exclusivity of your offers with “VIP Savings” grabs attention.
Retail email marketing firm Klaviyo analyzed over 500 million subject lines, determining that emails with personalized subject lines demonstrate over 20% higher open rates. The incremental lift is worth dedicating testing resources toward optimizing this critical component. The extra open you gain leads directly to higher click-throughs and revenue.
15. Track Conversions and Optimize Campaigns
The final piece of learning how to build an email list so you can execute effective email marketing is analytics and optimization.
Proper tracking ensures every campaign provides incremental value and meets revenue goals. If certain messages do not perform, they require further refinement or retirement from circulation entirely.
Closely monitor key email metrics like open rate, click-through rate, contact growth rates, unsubscribes, and most importantly, conversions. Know exactly how much revenue each send generates down to the individual product level. Use historical performance data to set clear goals and benchmarks for optimization.
According to research by Statista, the top email marketers spend over 20% of their budget resources solely focused on analytics and optimization. Continuously tweaking components like send times, subject lines, and content style allows you to maximize the impact of every campaign.
Immediately cut any consistently underperforming emails showing negative ROI. Doubledown on your absolute best-converting templates through increased budget allocation and circulation. Email marketing presents boundless potential for online retailers, but requires dedication towards analytics to fully unlock higher profits.
Email marketing delivers unmatched results for e-commerce businesses. Dedicating resources towards list building, lifecycle campaigns, promotions, and optimization provides incredible ROI. For online retailers, thoughtfully designed email strategies lead directly to more sales and revenue.
Follow the tips covered to take your program to the next level. With the right foundation and execution, email marketing can realistically 10x the growth of an online retail business. Begin implementing these best practices and watch your profits soar.