Need to build an email marketing strategy for an ecommerce store?
Email marketing is a powerful asset for many different types of businesses, ecommerce stores included — resulting in as much as $40 revenue for every $1 invested.
But what campaigns do you need to create?
Here are 21 email marketing campaigns that every ecommerce store needs — with how-to advice and examples.
Triggered emails refer to automated campaigns that trigger when a subscriber takes a specific action — browses your website, abandons their cart, buys a product, or something else.
1. Welcome Email (With Discount)
The average open rate on welcome emails is 50% and the average click-through rate is 25%, which makes them approximately 86% more engaging than other emails you’ll send to your list.
The welcome email is a great opportunity to…
- Introduce your ecommerce brand.
- Introduce your products.
- Offer a compelling time-sensitive discount.
Since engagement is so high in the welcome email, this is your best opportunity to turn new subscribers into customers — so don’t be afraid to offer your most compelling discount in this email.
Here’s an example from Judy, an ecommerce brand that sells survival kits.
This email doesn’t need to be complicated.
Just thank them for signing up, introduce your brand and products (i.e. your elevator pitch), and offer a time-sensitive discount.
You can also send a follow-up email right before the welcome email offer ends to capture even more sales.
2. Abandoned Cart Sequence
On average, 70% of people abandon their online shopping cart before finishing their purchase.
But there’s good news.
Abandoned cart email sequences are remarkably effective at recapturing that lost revenue…
- 45% of abandoned cart emails get opened.
- 21% get clicked.
- And 50% of those who click end up finishing their purchase.
That’s why this triggered sequence is absolutely critical.
The abandoned cart email is simply an email that triggers when someone… well, abandons their cart.
In YETI’s case — an ecommerce brand that sells outdoor gear — the first cart abandonment email is sent immediately after abandonment…
This email is simple and quickly reminds people about the products that they’ve added to their shopping cart.
But YETI doesn’t stop there.
The day after someone abandons their cart, if they still haven’t purchased it, they’ll receive this email…
The first email was a simple reminder about the products that were left in the person’s cart, but this email tries to create a little bit of urgency by saying, “Items in your cart are in high demand. Don’t let these items fly by.”
3 days later, YETI sends yet another email…
Again, this email is simple and works to create a sense of urgency.
But to be honest, nothing super unique is going on with these cart abandonment emails.
The first is sent immediately, the second comes a day later, and the final one comes 3 days after abandonment.
Each is relatively simple and even the way that YETI works to create a sense of urgency isn’t that mind-blowing or profound.
The lesson here is that setting up abandoned cart emails is the most important part — they might be simple and basic… but it’s the reminder that makes the biggest difference.
3. Browse Abandonment Email
We just talked about cart abandonment emails — sending an email to people who abandon their online cart before finishing their purchase.
But what about browse abandonment?
Browse abandonment is when someone visits a product page of your ecommerce store and then leaves without adding it to their cart or purchasing.
It’s a bit earlier in the sales funnel but it’s still a good indication of interest.
In fact, 43.8% of sessions end with a product page view whereas only 14.5% end with an item added to the person’s cart. That’s a big gap.
And that’s where your browse abandonment email comes in to address possible objections, suggest other relevant products, or simply remind people about what they were looking at.
Here’s an example…
According to SaleCycle, browse abandonment emails have an 80% higher open rate and a 50% higher click-through rate than traditional emails… so they’re definitely worth using.
4. Post-Purchase Education Emails
When a new customer receives one of your products for the first time, they are not going to know as much about it as you do.
This is why the best ecommerce brands send educational emails about their products after new customers receive them — these emails might teach the customers how to get more out of their shiny new toy, or they might simply teach them about the benefits of using the product.
Here’s an example from ILIA…
Create a triggered email (or email series) that teaches your new customers more about the product they just received…
- What makes it special?
- How can they get more usefulness out of it?
- Any care-taking tips?
- Safety information?
What else should they know?
Send that info in an email the day after the product is delivered!
5. Recommended Products Email
You’ve most certainly seen these emails before if you’ve bought anything online — these are triggered emails that recommend relevant products based on your purchase history.
It’s a form of personalization.
And it’s no secret that personalization has an impact on the effectiveness of email marketing. Look at these stats (from Campaign Monitor)…
- 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement.
- 94% of customer insights and marketing professionals across multiple industries said personalization is “important,” “very important,” or “extremely important” for meeting their current email marketing objectives.
- Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue.
Here’s an awesome example from Sephora…
The key is to make these products feel like they’re actually personal recommendations — you can use an algorithm to make it feel that way.
The more relevant the recommended products are, the more likely people will be to buy them.
AND the more authentic the experience will appear.
You can send product recommendations…
- After someone browse abandons.
- After someone abandons their cart.
- After someone receives their purchase.
- During holidays or special promotions.
6. Back-in-Stock Email
When you’re out of stock of a popular product, that’s a wonderful opportunity to get new subscribers and also build a waitlist for when your stock is replenished.
Here’s a peek at how Dyson does it. On their product page, the CTA says “Keep me updated.” Click on that and you’ll receive a prompt to enter your email address.
If you do, then you’ll be notified via email the moment that Dyson has replenished their stock.
Here’s an example of what this looks like…
This is an important email to include in your ecommerce marketing plan.
It keeps demand for your products flowing and ensures that you don’t lose any interest — people are right where you want them the moment that your products are back in stock.
7. Replenishment Email
If your ecommerce brand sells products that need replenishment (such as supplements or toiletries), then you’re in a special position where you can systematically remind your customers to replenish their stock.
Take advantage of that!
Make these emails personalized to the specific products that the customer has purchased as well as how long it typically takes for someone to run out of that product.
In other words, this should be highly automated and algorithmic.
The easiest way to do this is to create an automated sequence for every product based on how long your customers typically take to run out of that product.
Send replenishment emails to your customers on a schedule… and allow them to adjust the timing of their reminders based on how quickly or slowly they use your products!
8. Date-Based Emails
When we say date-based emails, we’re specifically talking about two triggered campaigns…
- Birthday emails
- Anniversary emails
These emails get triggered based on the subscriber’s specific birthday or anniversary — by anniversary, we mean the anniversary for when they first became a subscriber.
These are highly personalized emails that can drive revenue and encourage conversions.
You can send special offers or discounts on each of your subscribers’ birthdays or anniversaries! Here’s an example…
And here’s an example of an anniversary email…
One-Off Emails (Broadcasts)
One-off email campaigns refer to emails that you’ll send out to your audience manually at a single point in time (they’re not triggered automatically by a specific subscriber behavior). This includes sending out a newsletter, emails during the holidays, and periodic promotions throughout the year.
9. Promotional Emails
Promotional emails are a huge part of email marketing for ecommerce stores.
These are the emails you send to…
- Celebrate the holidays
- Offer discounts
Here’s an example of a 3-part promotion from Casper, the massive ecommerce store that sells bedding.
Here’s the first email…
Here’s the second email…
And here’s the third…
You can send the same sort of emails to promote holiday offers or even just to run periodic promotions and boost sales.
10. New Product Launch Email
What about when you want to launch and promote a new product?
That’s what this email is for — send a campaign that’s meant to inform people of a new product you’re launching and drive them to the sales page.
Here’s an example…
11. Testimonial/Case Study Email
What’s more powerful than the trust of your customers?
It’s a good form to periodically send out testimonials or case study content to your subscribers to A) celebrate the win and B) show the positive impact that your products are having.
Here’s an example…
12. Re-Engagement Email Campaign
Over time, some subscribers will get a little too used to seeing your emails in your inbox…
They’ll stop opening, reading, or clicking.
But there’s good news.
With a re-engagement email sequence, you can recapture the attention of your disengaged subscribers. According to one recent survey, 45% of people will engage with future emails after they receive a re-engagement email.
In other words, sometimes all people need is a reminder.
The re-engagement email doesn’t need to be anything spectacular — just offer a simple discount if the person engages with your brand. Here’s an example…
Or simply ask if you’re sending emails to the right place…
There are different ways to do this depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.
Are you trying to get people who haven’t bought for a while to buy something? Or are you simply trying to see if people want to keep receiving your emails?
We recommend sending a few re-engagement campaigns every six months to the following segments…
- People who haven’t purchased in the last 6 months.
- People who haven’t opened an email in the last 6 months.
- People who haven’t clicked on an email in the last 6 months.
But… How do you get people to re-engage?
Here are some tips…
- Offer a compelling discount.
- Create curiosity with your subject line.
- Keep it short.
13. Newsletter Emails
Want to keep your subscribers updated on what’s going on inside your business?
Want to offer them some helpful advice?
Want to let them know about industry changes?
Ultimately… want to become your subscriber’s go-to authority on what’s going on with the things they care about?
That’s what a newsletter is for.
Check out some of these stats (courtesy of HubSpot)…
- 31% of B2B marketers say email newsletters are the best way to nurture leads.
- 81% of B2B marketers say their most used form of content marketing is email newsletters.
For example, virtually every email that the ecommerce store, Huckberry, sends is in the style of a newsletter.
They’ve got updates on their new gear…
It’s no surprise that they’re one of the fastest-growing ecommerce brands around.
You can send newsletter emails once a week, biweekly, or once a month. And these emails can be quite long since they’re intended to be engaging.
The goal of newsletters is to improve brand authority with your subscribers.
So get in a rhythm of sending these emails periodically and include information that is genuinely valuable to your subscribers.
14. Loyal Customer Emails
It’s no great secret that existing customers are more profitable — and easier to sell to — than new customers.
Check out some of these stats (courtesy of SmallBizTrends)…
- The average repeat customer spends 67 percent more in months 31-36 of their relationship with a business than they do in months 0-6.
- A five percent increase in customer retention can lead to an increase in profits of between 25 and 95 percent.
- Repeat customers spend 33 percent more than new customers.
They’re easier to sell to, they spend more money, and they already trust you and your business.
So why not capitalize on that every once in a while with some exclusive offers only for your most loyal customers?
When you want to get a boost in revenue, pull a list of your most loyal customers — based on recent purchases, LTV, or some other stat — and send them an exclusive discount code.
Something like this…
15. Content Roundup Emails
I recently read a post on LinkedIn from Jacob McMillen about the importance of building trust with your audience and providing value before you try to sell.
Here’s what it said…
And he’s right.
In today’s world, marketing means building meaningful and authentic relationships with your subscribers.
How do you do that?
Well, it’s all about providing value — and the easiest way to do that is to create or share valuable and insightful content with your audience.
Content roundup emails are a great campaign to sprinkle into your email marketing strategy.
Here’s an example of what this looks like…
And yes… you can send content like this even if you’re an ecommerce brand.
In fact, you should.
It’s a great way to take a break from heavy sales-focused emails and simply provide some free value (and build some free trust) for your subscribers.
Find some great content that they’ll be interested in.
And send it to them.
16. Cross Sell Emails
Want to boost sales?
One way to do that is by sending relevant product recommendations to people who’ve purchased from you before.
And here, we’re not talking about automated emails that send relevant offers.
We’re talking about sending one-off emails to a list segment (people who purchased a specific product, for instance) that recommend a relevant product.
Try it out to periodically boost sales.
Examine your data, create a segment, and recommend a product to people who would likely be interested because they purchased something similar recently.
They get a relevant recommendation.
And you make more sales.
Transactional email campaigns refer to emails that focus on enhancing the customer’s experience by providing a receipt for their purchase as well as shipping tracking and other pertinent information.
It also refers to emails that are triggered immediately after a person buys a product from your ecommerce store.
17. Thank You Email (With Upsell)
HubSpot calls “Thank You” emails — what are typically just simple thank you notes for purchasing — the “Untapped Gold Mine of Email Marketing”.
Well, they also point out that thank you emails are about twice as engaging as other campaigns.
Because of that, the thank you email is a great opportunity for engaging with your audience and even offering them some new products.
YETI sends this receipt email when you purchase a product, which is very simple.
But the day after you purchase, they follow-up with an email that recommends other relevant products based on your original purchase.
Remember: it’s far easier to sell to existing customers than it is to new customers.
Once someone buys from you, send an email thanking them for their purchase… and then send some relevant product recommendations a few days later.
18. Shipping Emails
When someone orders something from your ecommerce store, do you keep them updated on delivery and shipping information?
Do you make it easy for them to track their order?
It might not be 100% necessary. But it’s a nice touch.
More importantly, it creates a high-quality experience for the customers and shows them that you care about them receiving their order in a timely fashion.
Casper sends great delivery updates.
Here’s the first email.
This is a great email — simple, on-brand, and to the point. They also include a “Refer friends, earn rewards” offer at the bottom of the email, which is perfect for enticing new customers to introduce their friends to the brand.
Here’s the second email.
Do something similar.
Your new customers will appreciate it.
19. Account Creation Email
One triggered and transactional email that you’ll probably need is an account creation email.
This is an automatic email that gets triggered when someone buys a product on your website — the email prompts them to create an account.
And it might offer them a special discount for doing so.
Here’s what the email might look like after someone creates an account, for example…
This is simple.
But it’s an important step for getting people to create an account on your website so that it’s easier for them to purchase in the future.
20. Referral Email
Finding new customers is one of the most difficult parts of building an ecommerce business.
But what if your current customers just recommended your products to their friends… and then their friends purchased?
That’s the dream.
And it’s at least partly possible if you add referral emails to your arsenal. Check out these stats from Extole…
- When referred by a friend, people are 4x more likely to make a purchase.
- Referred customers’ LTV is 16% higher when compared to non-referred customers.
- Customers acquired through referrals have a 37% higher retention rate and 81% of consumers are more likely to engage with brands that have reward programs.
- Referred customers have an 18% lower churn than customers acquired by other means.
- You can expect at least 16% more in profits from referred customers.
Here’s an example of a referral email from Bombas, an ecommerce brand that sells socks…
We recommend sending an email like this one week after the customer’s first purchase. That will give them time to try out your product for themselves before recommending it to friends.
And don’t forget to offer them rewards in return for their referrals — that’s what’ll motivate them!
21. Review Emails
When people are buying products online — especially if they’re buying from a brand for the first time — they’re going to check out online reviews.
Just look at some of these stats…
- 89% of consumers worldwide make the effort to read reviews before buying products.
- 62% of consumers say they will not buy from brands that censor online reviews.
- 54.7% of consumers read at least four reviews before buying a product.
In other words, getting positive product reviews is super important for growing your ecommerce business.
And the easiest way to do that is to create a triggered email that asks new customers for reviews.
That’s what Casper does.
Here’s the email they send a few weeks after you buy one of their pillows.
We recommend doing something similar.
The more that you ask for reviews, the more reviews you’ll get — and who better to ask for reviews than your happy customers?
That’s your baseline!
Those are the 21 most important and fundamental campaigns that your ecommerce store needs to be successful — welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, promotional emails, thank you emails, referral emails, shipping emails, review emails, and more.
You might find other email campaigns to create along your journey.
But this is a great starting place — now it’s off to the races!