Everything You Need to Know About Email Marketing For Your eCommerce Site

If you want to run a successful eCommerce business then you must build a remarkable, email marketing strategy. It’s a no-brainer.

You may feel tempted to spend the majority of your marketing time developing a record-breaking Instagram following, or perfecting your Pinterest boards. But, listen; If you don’t send emails to your existing and potential customers, you will waste time and money in great excess.

Outstanding email marketing will attract people to your website, bring about sales and nurture potential customers into long-standing evangelists. Seriously, it’s that good.

In this blog post, I am going to reveal everything you need to know about creating an email marketing strategy for your eCommerce site, in 4 simple steps. If you don’t have an email marketing strategy, my aim is to give you one. Why? Because I strongly believe that email marketing doesn’t get the high-value attention that it needs.

The truth is, you’d be crazy not to create a sound, email marketing strategy for your business. Developing a well-planned email marketing strategy for your eCommerce business is vital to your success.

Get email marketing wrong and you could be pushing your customers away. Worse still, if you don’t use email marketing at all, you may be at the constant mercy of social media platforms, such as Facebook and Pinterest. Think about it; how would you connect with your customers if one of these platforms disappeared?

Hey, listen: do not underestimate the importance of having an email marketing strategy for your ecommerce site. These 4 steps will save time and money in excess.

Step Zero: Know Your Target Audience

Before you send out a single email on behalf of your eCommerce site, you must know your audience. Ask yourself 3 questions:

  • Who?

    Who do you expect will open this email?

  • What?

    What specific problem do they hope to overcome, in relation to your brand?

  • How?

    How can you help them overcome this problem?

Change the way you do marketing: put your customer first and you won’t be disappointed, when it comes to email response rates. If you skip this step, you could lose potential customers in the first line of your email. Heck! You’ll mess up your email marketing strategy before it has even began.

Step 1: Send Weekly Eblasts

OK, let’s be honest: do you know the difference between an eblast and an email sequence? Simply put, an eblast is one email sent to a huge chunk of recipients.

As an eCommerce consultant I have met CEO’s that do not understand the importance of emailing their database, or even collecting a database. But if you want running your eCommerce company to be a fun and fruitful labour, you need to email your entire database weekly. You can do this in chunks or segments, but make sure you are directly connecting with your email list in its entirety, on a weekly basis. That’s the bottom line. You want to train your list to open your emails on a regular basis, so that they will begin to anticipate your messages.

You can send eblasts using Mailchimp, Hubspot or Drip, amongst other cheap and free email marketing platforms. Try it! Pick a weekday, write one email and send on mass to a chunk of your database. Repeat weekly.

Of course, make sure your emails are snappy and full of value. Give offers, free blog content and expert advice. If you think your email is boring to read, nobody is going to open it.

Step 2: Refine and Test Your Eblasts

Pick the Right Time

This will vary very much between companies and will depend entirely on your target market/audience. It is likely that only a process of trial and error will enable you to work this out. Less than half of marketers (49%) are actively testing e-mail sending time and day, so if your business was to carry out some simple testing it could radically improve your ROI.

Personalise Your Emails

Research has shown that personalised e-mails improve click through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%. E-mails with personalised subject lines have 26% higher unique open rates than non-personalised e-mails. People generally want to feel known and connected, although starting an e-mail with their name may feel like a small thing, it may be the difference between them reading your e-mail or not. One other thing to say here is that it is very important to spell the customer's name right – it is one thing that is likely to really annoy and frustrate your potential audience.


23.8% of all email opens occur during the 1st hour after delivery. After 24 hours, an e-mail’s chance of being opened drops below 1%. So it’s important to get your potential customers attention quickly. This is usually achieved using a short attention grabbing title in the subject line.

Use Images

When creating your e-mail marketing campaign it is important to think carefully about how you are using images. The general rule when sending out e-shots is that there should be a balance between the textual and visual; at least 60% text and 40% images. However, there are obviously times when more or less of each will be required or appropriate.

Step 3: Create Your Key Email Sequences

An email sequence is a series of multiple emails sent, one at a time, to one, individual customer. You can automate email sequences to trigger when a web visitor completes a particular action. For example, a web visitor might opt-in to join your mailing list. This opt in may then trigger 3 emails:

  • Day One

    Thank you for signing up to our newsletter

  • Day Two

    Here’s your free e-guide for signing up

  • Day Three

    This blog post answers all of your questions

You can send up to maybe five or seven emails in a sequence.

What is the purpose of an email sequence?

The goal of an email sequence is to set recipients up to buy from you. By leading your email subscribers on a journey through email sequences you can onboard them, develop and nurture them, THEN they’re ready to buy.

Step 4: Build Up Your Email Sequence Collection

Here’s a list of email sequences that you should set up, if you want your eCommerce company to gain customers and retain up a loyal following:

  • Welcome email sequence

    This is a series of emails designed to welcome those that sign up to your email list. By the end of this sequence, you want to give your customer all the information they need to be willing to buy from your eCommerce store.

  • Post purchase email sequence

    This email sequence will be sent the first time a new customer purchases from you. It is a series of emails that will encourage your new customer to buy again from you. Think about it: if you bought a product and felt supported and encouraged in your decision to spend money, you’d spend again, right?

  • Second time buyer email sequence

    Often, eCommerce stores forget to celebrate returning customers. This is a huge mistake. In fact, celebrating customers that buy from your eCommerce store more than once, is a genius marketing idea. Customers feel loyal and loved - plus, you can ask them to review and spread the word about your company at this stage.

  • Abandoned cart email sequence

    If a customer browses your store and adds products to their basket without paying, it is a good idea to send a series of emails reminding them of the products that they have left in their basket. This encourages them to buy. Make sure you address their concerns and reasons for holding back in their purchase.

  • Win-back email sequence

    If a customer hasn’t purchased from you, or opened your emails in a significant amount of time, it is worthwhile to email them. Send a series of emails asking for a response. Chances are, you will persuade the customer to return to your eCommerce store, lovely and loyal again!

One Final Email Marketing tip....

Don’t forget to check how your emails view on mobile platforms before you hit ‘send’.

The majority of your emails are going to be opened on a mobile device so make sure that when you send them people can see it, read it and understand. I've seen a lot of emails come through on my phone that have not been designed correctly. Check and double check everything you send on a mobile device before you send it out!