eCommerce Email Marketing Strategies

When social media seriously hit the big time a few years ago, many people thought that would be the end of email marketing – but not so. Email marketing continues to be in the forefront of marketers minds. A recent study by MarketingSherpa found that 67% of organisations increased their budgets for email marketing last year, and a fifth of businesses are increasing their email marketing budget by more than 30%. It is definitely not a dying art.

There are three main ways that eCommerce marketers can use email to increase engagement and boost sales:

1. eCommerce Lead Nurturing

A popular eCommerce email marketing strategy is lead nurturing. It involves sending a consumer a series of emails at set intervals from the time they completed a specific action.

For example, if a consumer signs up to your newsletter, how can you make them buy something? Send an email 24 hours after sign up, 3 days later introducing a product they may have looked at on your site, and then another 7 days later, offering a discount on said product. The idea is to drip feed the prospect with information relating to your brand, until they buy something.

A variation on the typical lead nurturing, is a ‘reverse’ lead nurturing campaign. Usually a customer has visited your site, and you’re contacting them afterwards. Try contacting them before an event, with a countdown to a certain date and become more aggressive as the date approaches.

2. One off emails

There are many reasons that an eCommerce marketing team may want to send one email. A newsletter is the most common tactic, as emails are sent out on a specific day of the week or month. This type of email isn’t tied to any kind of consumer behaviour, so is the least effective. Consumers often become reliant on the arrival of these emails, so don’t have much impact.

A one off email can be sent in a more effective way. Send emails to consumers when they least expect it. Over stocked item blowouts, newly released products and special offers are great for a one-off email.

3. Behaviour triggered emails

One of the most effective ways to make the most of eCommerce email marketing is by sending behaviour triggered campaigns. The most common way that companies use these emails is through abandoned cart emails. If a consumer puts products in their shopping cart, and then exits the page before purchase, this can be detected by software which sends an email to the consumers within an hour of them departing the page. The email may offer a discount on a product, or may just notify the consumer that you’re there to help.

The idea is to reengage the consumer based on their previous behaviour. Ecommerce marketing professionals can use these types of emails in different ways:

-  Abandoned cart reengagement as explained above.

-  Send behaviour based emails when a customer is deciding between two products and send them a comparison guide.

-  Send behaviour based emails to keep your database warm based on whether or not a user has visited your site recently.


eCommerce email marketing is becoming increasingly more important, as retailers learn how to manage their online and offline sales process. Retailers historically sent emails out to a database with specials and offers, in the hope that someone would respond. Now there are much more time and cost effective tools available for retailers to reach their audience.

Top Ten Tips for Lead Generation & Customer Retention
Top 15 Up-sell Opportunities at Christmas
July: Top 20 Professional Email Templates