A Comprehensive Guide to E-commerce Email Marketing

Sesili Beridze

October 14, 2022

Obtaining a customer’s email address means one thing – they expressed some level of interest in your online store. Now, it’s your task to cultivate this attention into a conversion by keeping your business on top of the customer’s mind.

Just as you would with friends and family, you should check in with your customers and show them some love. Sending emails is a fast and cost-effective way to do that. It helps you stay in contact with your audience and nurture long-lasting relationships.

Yet, conventional emails are not a magic ‘success’ pill – they’re far from it.

What Defines A Successful Email Marketing Strategy?

Many e-commerce businesses expect their generic emails to break through the buyer’s inbox, when in fact, they receive little to no response after pushing the ‘send’ button. Well, why is that?

The answer is simple – relevance. Your emails should speak to the customer in real-time, otherwise they will derail a purchase. They should offer what your customer needs to see at the right point and time in the sales funnel.

An efficient email marketing campaign customizes emails for different members of the audience and equips them with helpful information.

Email automation, also known as email flows, meticulously tailor messages to the buyer without overwhelming them. It segments and targets the audience, meeting their unique needs.

The winning feature of email automation is responding to the buyer’s specific actions. Whether it’s subscribing to your email list or making a purchase, email flows send timely, personalized messages based on the triggers. This makes the customer feel heard and valued.

With this in mind, here are 3 email sequences that will nurture your subscribers into dedicated fans:

Email automation fortis media

Welcome Email Flow

First impressions matter, so greet your newbie customers with the first taste of your online store. Welcome emails are the first key step to long-term success with email marketing, as they introduce your business, reduce opt-outs, and generate sales upfront.

People always expect the welcome email when they sign up to your newsletter. In fact, nearly ¾ of your first-time subscribers on average wait for it after signing up.

According to MailChip, the open rate for welcome emails in the e-commerce industry is around 15%, which means they’re more likely to be seen.

So, greet your new subscribers right away, as they just discovered your e-commerce business and are excited to learn more about it. An appreciative welcome email is sure to spark their desire to stay loyal to your brand.

Abandoned Cart Flow

Did you know that 70% of shoppers leave their purchases incomplete?

Whether they’re saving items for later or comparing gift options, buyers browse online stores with many concerns in mind. Yet, the most common reason behind checkout abandonments are mindlessly “browsing” and not being “ready to buy.”

When customers abandon the cart, they often forget about the products and refuse to revisit your website. An excellent way to combat that is launching an abandoned cart flow, which convinces the window shoppers to complete their purchase. It serves as a reminder that wins the potential customers back.

To create an unforgettable abandoned cart email flow, you should personalize it using customer-first data. Obtaining the buyer’s name, company, or demographics, you can craft personalized subject lines and messages that will catch the eye.

Here are some tips for creating an abandoned cart flow:

  • Think of questions like “Still thinking about our products, Lilly?” or “Hey James, where’d you go?” They can grab the customer’s attention, as they read like an email from a close friend.
  • Conduct A/B testing to determine what subject lines, layouts, or designs generate a higher open rate
  • Employ social proof to boost trust in your brand – simply showcase user-generated content (USG) and customer reviews, which are proven to increase conversions by 270%.

Post-purchase flow

To keep a customer lingering, a “thank you for your order” message won’t suffice. You need to re-engage the customer to keep them coming back for more.

This is where post-purchase emails come into play, as they transform your one-time buyers into loyal fans. Offering discounted offers, purchase incentives, and special deals, they express gratitude for your customer.

According to Klaviyo, post-purchase emails feature a 17% higher open rate, as compared to traditional email automation. This makes it a critical customer retention strategy.

You can activate the post-purchase flow once the customer clicks on the ‘checkout’ button, during delivery, or weeks after the purchase.

Given that, here are some of the winning strategies for effective post-purchase campaigns:

  • To help customer navigate through the order, feature details like order number, shipping information, customer support information, or order receipts
  • Introduce How-to tutorials, explaining to the customer how to use the product they’ve purchased
  • Offer exclusive perks with personalized messages to grant your one-time customers exclusive access to your brand
  • Feature frequently asked questions and answer them in the email

While the opportunities are endless, selecting the right post-purchase flow depends on your niche. Think of the gaps in your customer’s knowledge and fill them with helpful information – this way, you will help the buyer make the most out of your products.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Marketing

For e-commerce businesses, email marketing can harness the power of automation and nurture subscribers down the sales funnel. It can equip them with helpful content and guide them through your business.

The key is identifying the right flow for each step of the buyer’s journey and later automating it – all without coming off as spammy.

Before you integrate our 3 key e-commerce marketing flows, consider the following points:

(Do) tailor your emails to the buyer persona

Email inboxes are full of clutter and distractions. To stand out from your competitors, you have to show your subscribers how much they mean to you.

Dynamic content is a great way to tailor your messages to the buyer persona. It allows you to curate texts, images, and calls to action specifically toward your target audience.

Through personalization, dynamic content can transform your emails into responsive signals, which resonates with the buyer’s demographics, age, and interests.

With the help of dynamic emails, you can make sure your subscribers receive exactly the information they need. This way, you messages will become more relevant and user-friendly, enhancing the customer experience.

(Do) personalize your emails

Research shows that personalized emails generate 6x higher conversions. They demonstrate that you understand their wants and needs, curating authentic customer relationships.

(Don’t) bombard your customers with ‘salesy’ emails

The main objective of your email marketing strategy lies in authenticity. Coming off as too promotional will deteriorate your marketing efforts and might ruin the legitimacy of your online store.

Share social proof, prove your value, and focus on product benefits without spamming the customer. Only send emails to those who have opted in for new updates and remember to always get permission to do so.

(Don’t) add too many links

While it’s optimal to refer the customer to your website through links, adding too many could be too overwhelming. Superfluous links can confuse the customer and blur the main purpose of the email.

To improve click-through rates, feature specific links in highlighted places and insert a clear call-to-action button.

Final Thoughts

A strong email marketing strategy helps your online store reach wider audiences and personalize messages to the buyer. It is cost-effective, easy to measure, and an optimal way to increase audience engagement.

As more and more customers prefer to use email to communicate with brands, make sure to use our suggested email flows to stand out from competition.

At Fortis Media, we build effective email marketing campaigns for e-commerce businesses that drive sales, bolster brand recognition, and build long-lasting customer relationships. Click here to propel the growth of your online store today.