Does your company use email?
Silly question, right? We should be asking if you even know anybody who DOESN’T use email.
Now, there are those who will try to tell you that email marketing is dead. It isn’t.
Email marketing has a median ROI of 122%. It consistently and overwhelmingly beats out other marketing formats like social media, direct mail, and paid search. To put that in perspective, this is more than four times higher than any of those other marketing formats.
If you’re not using emails to connect with your customers and potential customers you’re leaving money on the table.
So, are you ready to kick your business in high gear with a killer eCommerce email marketing strategy? Good.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how to grow your email list and then dive into some of the best eCommerce emails around to help you increase customer loyalty, get better open rates, and get more sales.
How to Grow Email Subscriptions by 2,000%
Even the best email marketing isn’t going to help you if you don’t have any email addresses in your list.
The bigger your list, the more sales you’re going to generate with these emails.
Take Urban Southern for example. Urban Southern started out without any email marketing strategy to speak of. After using OptinMonster to grow their email list, they were able to increase sales 400%!
What’s really cool about Urban Southern’s success is that any business can do the same with a strong email marketing campaign and some great content.
By improving their blog content Urban Southern was able to increase their site traffic. Then, they took advantage of the increased site traffic to grow their email list by adding a single lightbox optin to their site.
You read that right. Better content and a single lightbox optin lead to a 400% increase in sales.
Let’s take a look at the optin that got this ball rolling.
They follow up with an on-brand success message, delivering the promised coupon code and directing subscribers to confirm their subscription.
Requiring a double optin like this ensures that everyone who registers for your list definitely wants to receive your emails.
In addition to increasing sales 400%, Urban Southern was able to grow their email subscriptions 2150% and add 8600 subscribers to their email list. All by using a single lightbox optin from OptinMonster.
Quick Tip: Here are step-by-step instructions to build your own lightbox optin with OptinMonster!
eCommerce Email Examples
Now that you’ve built your optin, let’s get started sending targeted emails designed to convert.
There are several excellent reasons why you should reach out to clients. eCommerce email marketing communication tends to fall into one of four categories:
- Welcome emails
- Promotional/Offer emails
- Cart abandonment emails
- Transactional emails
Let’s take a closer look at some examples of each type of email.
Welcome emails have the highest open rate of any emails you send to subscribers. The open rate for welcome emails is an astounding 60%.
They’re also typically pretty short: 65% of welcome emails range from 50-150 words in length.
For such a short length, welcome emails pack quite a punch. Emails sent as part of the user onboarding process can help to boost app retention by 71%.
Here are some eCommerce welcome email examples to immediately start building that important relationship with your new subscribers.
Warby Parker Welcome Email
Warby Parker’s welcome email is simple, clean, and easy on the eyes with lots of white space. They’re also super fun and modern.
Subscribers are given a subtle-yet-effective call to action right away with “SHOP NOW” text in a contrasting color.
There’s even an animated graphic.
This type of messaging and use of high energy animations is true to Warby Parker’s branding and their mission to make shopping for glasses simple, easy, and fun.
Key takeaway: White space is a wonderful thing. Increase your padding to create a modern and easy to view email. Also, few things add a bit of fun like a well-placed GIF.
Some email programs, like Outlook, ignore set padding and margins around images. To make sure that you get to keep your lovely white space you can use an image editing program to add a border around your image that’s the same color as your campaign background. Then you can upload the image to your campaign with your white space built in.
Patagonia Welcome Email
Patagonia’s welcome immediately punches you in the gut with a stunning image of a “typical Patagonia customer.” This could be you and Patagonia will support you every step of the way. After all, you’re now “family.”
To generate more sales, Patagonia should add a clear call to action that takes subscribers to their online store.
Key takeaway: Your imagery and wording should be on brand. Also, when using text and images in a side-by-side format make sure that the layout is responsive, so it automatically changes to a single column on mobile devices.
The most commonly used email marketing services, including MailChimp, ConvertKit, Constant Contact, and the like, will have easy-to-use tools to keep your emails responsive. Just be sure to send out test emails so you can make final tweaks before going live.
West Elm Welcome Email
With a coupon code right at the top, gorgeous photography, and a clickable menu, West Elm absolutely nails their welcome email. They know their market and it shows.
The wording of their call to action is warm and familiar and inspires a sense of trust and comfort. If you want to be “cozy” West Elm can get you there.
Key takeaway: Clear navigation, an image that speaks to your market, and a coupon code go a long way to removing barriers to online shopping.
If you’re just starting to build sales you might not be able to offer discounts to everyone, but there’s probably something else that fits with your brand that you can put up as an incentive.
Check out our list of lead magnets to get some ideas.
A great welcome email includes most, if not all, of these 6 components:
- A “thank you” to your new subscriber or customer
- The lead magnet or whatever incentive was promised in exchange for subscribing (coupons are common)
- Information about what the subscriber can expect from your emails
- An introduction to your company
- Instructions for whitelisting you
- Contact information and links to social channels
Next stop, promotional emails.
Offering subscribers something of value is a great way to get and keep their attention, endear them to your brand, and generate sales. And, it really works.
A study by VWO found that 72% of Millennial shoppers respond to retargeting campaigns that offer discounts.
Of course, you need to figure out a balance that works for your business. Offering discounts and promotions all the time may negatively impact your bottom line if you already have thin margins.
If this is the case for you, you can focus most of your promotional emails on prospects or customers who are already engaging with your campaigns.
You can also offer additional value without discounts by including exclusive content like email newsletters, webinars, white papers, templates, etc.
Interested in sending promotional emails that really engage and inspire your subscribers? Here are a couple great examples.
REI Promotional Email
REI loves to let you know about their sales. If you’re an REI member you also get special promotional emails offering greater discounts and coupons.
The image with a simple text overlay is very effective here. The text is unobtrusive, even fading into the background in some places. The call to action itself is muted compared to the star of the show: the coupon code.
REI also sends promotional emails that contain a calendar of events from your local REI. These emails are very simple and let customers know that REI doesn’t just want to sell them stuff, it wants to teach them stuff.
Key takeaway: You don’t have to always include discounts in your promotional emails. Things like events and quality content add value for your subscribers too.
Cart Abandonment Emails
Did you know that an average of 69% of shoppers abandon their carts, costing eCommerce businesses an estimated $260 billion in lost revenue?
The good news is that there are ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment. One of the easiest ways is to remind shoppers that there’s something in their cart with an abandoned cart email.
Abandoned cart emails are effective. According to Salesforce data, 60% of shoppers came back to make a purchase within 24 hours of receiving personalized emails after abandoning their shopping carts.
Not only that, but ¾ of people who abandon their carts usually plan to come back. If you’re not sending abandoned cart emails, you’re leaving money on the table.
Glossier Abandoned Cart Email
Glossier comes right out and tells shoppers that this particular email is automatically sent because they left things in their cart. It’s a funny and refreshingly honest approach that plays well with online shoppers.
We’d suggest that Glossier do some testing to see if they get better results by including an image of the item that’s in the cart. Aside from that, the email is on brand, eye-catching, and to the point.
Birchbox Abandoned Cart Email
We really like this abandoned cart email from Birchbox. They hit on one of the important reasons that a customer abandons items in their cart: the customer just realized they don’t want the item that’s in there.
Birchbox shows the shopper the items in their cart, but also includes a recommendation for a different, related product.
Teefury Abandoned Cart Email
Teefury does an excellent job of using their distinctive brand voice. The CTA “Grab Your Baggins” speaks to many of their shoppers and is just really fun.
At the bottom of the highly entertaining email, Teefury doesn’t mention the abandoned cart again. Instead, they give shoppers the option to “see what else is new.” Like Birchbox, Teefury understands that sometimes folks just change their minds.
Google Store Abandoned Cart Email
There’s a lot going on in this beautifully simple abandoned cart email from Google Store.
For starters, Google Store highlights free shipping on all orders at the top of the email. Free shipping removes a common barrier to online shopping.
Next, they create a sense of urgency with the copy “going, going, (almost) gone.” Including the “heads up” underneath changes the tone of the urgency from a scare tactic to a friend who wants to make sure you don’t miss out on something you want.
After that, they just move on. This is a subtle nod to the urgency that they’ve created.
Key takeaway: Cart abandonment emails are a must. They can be fun and lighthearted or understated and urgent, but you really need to be sending them.
Here’s a step-by-step guide showing how to create a cart abandonment campaign with OptinMonster.
Transactional emails are automatic emails sent in response to a specific trigger. Order and shipping confirmations, account creation, and billing emails are all considered transactional emails.
There are several more types of transactional emails, but let’s focus on a couple of post-purchase email examples.
These emails can serve a few different purposes, like building excitement for the product or inviting shoppers to tell friends about their purchase.
Dollar Shave Club Order Confirmation
Dollar Shave Club’s order confirmation email is tame and no-nonsense compared to their quirky website. They welcome the shopper to the “club” and recap the order.
After that, they off an incentive for sharing Dollar Shave Club with a friend.
They finish off the email with more business information.
This email from Dollar Shave Club checks all the boxes of a great order confirmation email. It’s eye-catching, informative, and reminds customers that you can be both fun and professional.
Zulily Order Confirmation Email
Zulily’s order confirmation is light and bright. Again we see the “invite a friend” incentive. In addition to that, Zulily offers free shipping until midnight the night of the email. This encourages shoppers to visit Zulily and shop again, right from the confirmation from their recent order.
Key takeaway: Don’t ignore transactional emails. They offer up another opportunity to engage with your customers and build brand loyalty.
That’s it! Now you have a good understanding of eCommerce email marketing best practices for creating effective and engaging emails that generate more sales.
If you’re completely new to email marketing, be sure to check out our guide to email marketing.