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eCommerce Email Marketing: Why Do You Need It?

eCommerce Email Marketing: Why Do You Need It?

Email marketing should be a key part of your eCommerce business strategy. Running email campaigns will help you stay in touch with your loyal customers, update them about any upcoming promotions, and increase more sales - way more sales. 

Believe it or not, email is still one of the most important marketing channels out there. It is an effective marketing funnel that combines both the pre-purchase and post-purchase phases of the customer lifecycle.

Email marketing can be considered an adhesive that holds your business and your customers together. It keeps your customer informed about every little update regarding your business and builds trust among your buyers.

Once implemented for your eCommerce business, email marketing can help you consistently improve your sales over time.

But why should you use email marketing for your eCommerce business

Isn’t it enough to invest money in omnichannel advertising campaigns or to rely on commercial agents?

Well, that is what we’ll try to answer today.

Latest Email Marketing Statistics - 2022

  • There are 3.9 billion email users worldwide
  • Every day, around 300 billion emails are sent
  • More than 80% of businesses use email marketing for customers acquisition and retention
  • Out of all the emails sent, only 59.7% of emails get read
  • Transactional emails have an average CTR of 4.8%
  • Only 1.95% of website visitors subscribe to an email list
  • 86% of business professionals prefer to use email than other eCommerce marketing tools
  • Customers who purchase products via promotional emails spend on average 138% more than those who do not receive offer emails.
  • 77% of people prefer to receive promotional content through emails, compared to other channels (social media, SMS, phone calls), 72.9% of young people, between 18 and 24 years old, use smartphones to check their emails



If you are still not convinced, then perhaps these four reasons will make you change your mind, or at least make you want to learn more about email marketing for eCommerce.

What Is eCommerce Email Marketing?

Ecommerce email marketing is basically an approach to using emails to promote products to existing or new customers. Ecommerce email marketing is known to increase user engagement, build brand loyalty, and also serve as a medium to share useful information about upcoming promotions - this is all results in a significant boost in sales.

Ecommerce email marketing is slightly different from your typical email marketing. By that, we mean that you also have to focus on transactional emails in addition to promotional emails. Information such as order confirmation, delivery ETAs, and purchase invoices all come under transactional emails. 

Don’t let promotional and transactional emails confuse you. We’ll look at both of them in a little while. For now, keep in mind that both email types are important for nurturing sales and meeting customer needs.

What Is The Difference Between Promotional and Transactional Emails?

Promotional emails are basically emailed newsletters. People who have subscribed to your email newsletter will receive email updates about everything related to your brand. 

Promotional email campaigns must include:


  1. A lead form so you can collect email addresses for your email list.
  2. Email marketing content that you’ll send out to your subscribers.

Promotional emails help businesses stay in touch with existing customers. You can use promotional emails to tell existing customers about special discounts, new product launches, and share personal stories about your business to create a strong relationship with your customers.

Transactional emails are those emails that are sent out automatically whenever a customer makes a purchase on your eCommerce website. Transactional emails are important as they contain crucial purchase information. Just like promotional emails, transactional emails are also important for establishing a strong customer relationship. Transactional emails have a much higher open rate compared to promotional emails as they contain important order information.

That is basically it!

That’s all you need to know about promotional and transactional emails.

How To Create a Promotional Email Strategy?

To be able to send out promotional emails and interact with your potential customers, you’ll first need a signup form. Once you have a sizable email list, you’ll be able to shoot those emails out.

Step #1: Build a signup form

To create an email signup form, you’ll need to first signup for an email marketing service provider. There are plenty of options you can with such as Constant Contact, SendinBlue, and Drip. Feel free to use anyone you like.

The reason why you’ll need an email marketing service provider is that it’ll allow you to customize your signup forms. You’ll be able to add your own branding along with any textboxes or images you like on your signup form.

Here’s a signup form from Nike:



Once your signup form is done, position it at a relevant spot on your website. Places like sidebars, product pages, and the footer of your website should do just fine.

Step #2: Create your email templates

You’ll shoot out a ton of emails as part of your email campaign. Considering the number of emails you’ll send, you will not have time to design each email. This is where templates come in handy. 

So, after creating your signup form, it is time to create email templates. Instead of creating emails from scratch, you’ll be able to use pre-built templates. 

Once you customize your email templates with your brand logo and text, you can use them in email campaigns.

Again, most email service providers allow you to customizable email templates with drag and drop convenience.

Best practices to make your promotional email marketing strategy successful

1. Focus on creating a welcome sequence

Creating a welcome sequence will automatically send a welcome email to any new email subscriber that joins your email list. A welcome sequence is basically a series of emails that a new email subscriber receives that first thanks them, introduces them to your business, and then highlights what they can expect to see in your email newsletter. Your welcome email should contain links to your social media to encourage your further engagement.

Here’s a welcome email from Fiverr:


2. Focus on email automation

Email automation will save your eCommerce businesses a lot of time and effort. Based on any specific action, an email will get triggered automatically. Again, for email automation, you will need an email marketing service provider.

Email automation can be super helpful in cases where a customer added items to their cart and left without making any purchase. As soon a customer abandons their cart, it triggers an email with a special offer - convincing them to make the purchase. 

3. Focus on email frequency

When sending out emails, you don’t want to overdo them. Go over a certain number and your emails will be considered spam. You’ll need to find a balance. You’ll want to be out there but not too out there that it becomes annoying.

Here’s what we find works the best:

  • Send out an email once a week.
  • Only send emails when running promotions.
  • Only send emails for a new product launch.

Now, of course, your emails could be about anything. You can always share customer reviews, show teasers of your products, and experiment with different content marketing strategies.

4. Focus on planning ahead 

Before you send out emails, you need a proper plan. You can’t just send promotional emails on the day of your product launch. You’ll need to plan your email sequence ahead of time. 

Doing so will allow you to create different emails ahead of time for product promotions, new launches, or seasonal discounts.

5. Focus on segmenting your email list

Email list segmentation is really important. For example, if your email list is primarily comprised of people interested in cars and you send out emails related to skincare, your email subscribers won’t appreciate that.

This is where you can segment your email list based on interests. You can then send personalized emails that relate to each email segment. Focusing on targeted advertising will get you more recurring customers.

How To Create a Transactional Email Strategy? 

Transactional email strategies take a bit longer to set up than promotional email strategies. But regardless, they’re also quite easy to create. 

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Step #1: Use an email service provider

Just as we discussed in our promotional email strategy, we need an email service provider to run transactional emails for our eCommerce business. 

Using a dedicated email service provider will allow you to track the analytics of your email campaigns to see whether your emails are getting delivered or not. Keeping track of analytics will allow you to make any necessary changes to improve their open rates.

You can also customize your email template with your branding and create a pleasant customer experience.

Step #2: Use email plugins

Once you have an email service provider on your hand, you can pair it with email plugins from a variety of eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento, Wix, and more. This strategy basically allows you to synchronize your eCommerce platform and your email service.

Best practices to make your transactional email marketing strategy successful

1. Add customization to your emails 

Always add a touch of personal branding to your transactional emails. Add your brand logo, taglines, and other personalized tidbits to make you build your brand presence. You need to make sure that your audience remembers you whenever they come across your brand.

2. Not letting upselling and cross-selling opportunities go

Although the primary motive of a transactional email is to tell customers about their order details, you can still hack them for upselling and cross-selling purposes. 

For example, if a customer bought shoes from your eCommerce store, they might also need shoe care products. 

Why not sell them that?

Add a bit of discount and you just sold two products without much effort.

3. Offer incentives to referrals 

If someone purchased a product from your store, that means that they like your brand. And when someone likes your products, they’ll likely share them with their friends and family.

When not offer your loyal customers a referral discount?

This way, whoever they recommend your products to and they end up purchasing, your referrals get 10% off their next purchase.


Best Practices For eCommerce Email Marketing

  • Create appealing and responsive email designs
  • Send Loyalty  discount emails to loyal customers
  • Run A/B testing to find out what emails work best
  • Notify consumers about upcoming sales and promotions
  • Run a referral program through email

4 Reasons To Start Implementing Email Marketing Strategies

Marketing automation

Once you plan and set your email marketing strategy, the marketing automation will take it up from there. What’s this?

Email Automation Process

  1. Ecommerce marketing automation is a technology that allows you to automate some repetitive marketing activities, including sending emails. Convenient.
  2. Target users, depending on gender, location, demographic data, and the percentage of CTR of email marketing.
  3. It has been repeatedly shown that email marketing is the direct marketing channel with the best ROI (Return On Investment). Therefore, compared to the invested capital, it is the strategy that brings more earnings.
  4. Low activation costs

These automated emails are timely, immediate, personalized, and extremely relevant to the recipient.

Benefits of Email Marketing Strategy for eCommerce

Attracting new customers

No business can move forward without an effective eCommerce marketing strategy for attracting new customers, and in the case of eCommerce, this is super important. In fact, as an e-commerce entrepreneur, your goal must always be to find and serve as many customers as possible.

How to attract new customers with email marketing?

One of the most direct ways is to create email marketing campaigns by inviting your website visitors to leave their emails or subscribe to your newsletter for updates, information, or just to stay in touch.

Remember that customers will not always arrive at your online store convinced and ready to purchase immediately.

Obtaining the email address of these visitors will allow you to stay in contact and remind them of the item they were thinking of buying. Alternatively, you could offer them a discount or free shipping on their first purchase.

Whatever type of message you send, if well structured, will increase the chances of turning that visitor into a customer.

Increase the conversion rate

Speaking of turning visitors into customers, another significant advantage of email marketing is the incredible possibility of increasing your online store’s ROI. One way is to advertise promotional campaigns for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, for example.

Build brand loyalty

Attracting new customers and converting visitors into customers are two of the main benefits of email marketing, but don’t underestimate your current customers.

Making sure customers don’t just make one-time purchases should be one of your top priorities. How is that possible? By having a robust customer base.

Under the term email marketing, there are several types of communications, serving one specific purpose - provide your service to an interested user. They can be of two types:

1. Promotional emails:

This type of email is content-oriented and more commercial. Some examples can be: presentation emails, sending a catalog, sending coupons or offers, newsletters, press releases, event registration, and polls.

Advantages of promotional emails:


  • Build customer loyalty
  • Acquire new customers
  • Strengthen the brand

2. Service emails:

These are the emails you generally use in daily activities, which can be a great indirect way of marketing. Some examples: the welcome email, registration confirmation, alerts, follow-up, account information, billing updates.


Example of a service email marketing template for eCommerce

‍Service emails, also known as transactional emails, are a type of widespread communication that is often overlooked.

Although receiving a registration confirmation email can be unopened because they are usually expected, but certainly, they won’t be considered spam or unwanted, right?

Then consider adding a call-to-action, as well as a simple text to highlight a new or a different product you offer.

What Types of Emails You Can Send To Your Customers?

  • Welcome email
  • Onboarding email
  • Email for the abandoned cart
  • Tips for shopping
  • Flash deals
  • Email for a VIP list
  • Newsletters

By now, it should be clear that email marketing allows e-commerce businesses to have a 360-degree view of lead activity, allowing them to reach every potential customer at the right time and with the right content.

If your automated emails aren’t generating at least 25% of your revenue, it’s time to make some changes.

Just like any strategy, an email marketing strategy must have its objective and must be well-placed to transform contacts into potential customers ready to buy your products.

eCommerce Marketing Funnel

It is the path that a customer takes during a purchase process. It contains 3 phases: awareness, interest, and purchase. Email marketing is part of the last two stages.

eCommerce Marketing Funnel

The interest phase

Generally, people who have decided to leave you their email are interested in a specific product, but that doesn’t mean that they are ready to make a purchase. Here is when you need to implement your email marketing strategy and give them a good reason to make their first purchase on your site.

What is the most effective way to do so? Through a series of emails with personalized content based on their interests.

The purchase phase

At this stage, the person who left you his email has already taken the next step and purchased your product, and you are satisfied because you have achieved the goal and can move to the following contact. Well, that’s not the case.

Customers already acquired should not be forgotten or abandoned; your reputation first, and your sales later.

You must continue to replenish your relation with promotions, events, and information content without being too “salesy”. On the contrary, consider offering them valuable content for free so they won’t think twice and will be more than happy to be back in your arms.

So, how to use email marketing for your eCommerce?

  • Use email marketing to attract new customers.
  • Send emails at the right time to increase your conversion rate.
  • Communicate with your customers to create brand loyalty.
  • Send your emails at the right time.
  • Personalize your emails.
  • Optimize your emails for mobile.
  • Leverage email marketing to collect feedback.
  • Do not use a “no-reply” address.

Once you’ve optimized your email marketing strategy, you will have a system that works for you, continuously generates revenue, and expands your contact list. Isn’t it fantastic?


Rayed Chaudhry

Rayed is passionate about marketing and interested in learning new ways to hack (legally) marketing platforms to help businesses achieve growth using unconventional methods. Prior to starting Orion, Rayed has worked in various marketing positions and spent millions of dollars across different ad platforms.