Crafting Winning Email Marketing Strategies for Ecommerce

Shutterstock 2307090643 Crafting Winning Email Marketing Strategies for Ecommerce Vizion Interactive Reading Time: 8 minutes

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies for ecommerce stores when done right, with an average ROI of $45 for every $1 spent.

But averages don’t always show the complete picture. Many ecommerce stores don’t know how to run email campaigns that captivate users and encourage them to finish up their purchases or explore more products. 

Luckily, our experts at Vizion work with many ecommerce stores. Here’s our breakdown of 10 proven email marketing strategies for e-commerce that still work today.

10 Ecommerce Email Marketing Strategies That Work in 2024

  1. Welcome New Customers

Welcome emails are a great way to establish a first interaction with your customers. They play a vital role in engaging new customers and boast a 3.7 times higher click-through rate than regular newsletters.

When done correctly, these welcome emails also set the foundation for future communications with your customers. They can eventually help nurture your new customers into engaged subscribers or shoppers. 

You can use welcome emails to: 

  • Thank customers for their purchase
  • Introduce your brand and values
  • Offer a special discount or free shipping on their first or next order

For example, Glossier sent a warm welcome email to its new customers, offering a flat 10% discount on their first purchase. The email had the best product recommendations along with the product catalog, so users could directly purchase products and grab the discount.  

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1. Personalize Your Emails

Personalization is key to creating meaningful customer experiences. Using customer data to craft targeted subject lines and content can significantly increase open and click-through rates. 

Eventually, this leads to better engagement and higher ROI. According to Hubspot, most email marketers heavily rely on personalization tactics for dynamic content and subject lines. According to its Blog Research report, it’s one of the best email marketing strategies. 

You can start by surveying your customers to understand the kind of language they communicate in, the tone they use, the problems they face, and so on. Use those insights when creating content targeted at their audience segment. 

You can use tools like Google Analytics and HotJar to study how your audience is funneled through different stages of the buyer’s journey, and use the insights to craft emails that nudge them towards the next stage. 

Note: The data you collect will not be of any use unless you learn how to group the audience into different segments. This could be by their stage in the buyer journey, income group, age or demographic information, and so on. You can then use personalized emails to accomplish one of these objectives: welcome new customers, recover abandoned carts, provide product recommendations, upsell, etc.

Here are some tips that can help:

  • Use the customer’s name and greeting in the subject line. 26% of readers are likely to open the email with a personalized subject line. 
  • Recommend products based on your customer’s individual browsing and purchase history. When you show them products they are more likely to interact with, your conversions are bound to be more too.
  • Send birthday or anniversary emails to maintain an ongoing relationship with your customers.

2. Include Clear CTAs

    Your email marketing efforts are only as effective as your ability to guide customers to take action — and that’s where clear CTAs come in. 

    While the average CTR for email CTAs is 3-5%, for ecommerce stores, it can be well over 10%. This requires that you understand principles of Copywriting and craft CTAs that naturally encourage more clicks. 

    So, how do you do that? Here are some best practices to follow:

    • Use phrases that create a sense of urgency and motivate the reader to take action. For example: “Shop Now,” “Limited Time Offer,” “Exclusive Gift.” etc.
    • Make your CTA easy to spot and click, even on mobile devices.
    • Make your CTA large and bright. It should stand out from the rest of the text. 
    • Compared to generic text-based CTAs, button-based CTAs increase CTR by 28%. Try including more buttons in your emails.
    • Place your CTA above the fold as that tends to increase clicks. 
    • While it might be tempting to include multiple CTAs in your emails, remember that single CTAs perform best. According to Hubspot, emails with a single CTA can boost sales by 1,617% and clicks by over 371%.

    3. Focus on Automation 

      By setting up automated email campaigns, you can deliver timely, relevant messages to your customers without manually pressing “send” every time.

      It’s no surprise that 65% of marketers utilize automated email campaigns to save their time and resources. More importantly, they can get their customer’s attention when it’s most important with targeted messages. This helps with conversions significantly. 

      An example is Hydro Flask’s Browse Abandoned Cart email. It serves as a good reminder for customers to return to their carts and continue shopping. Because they include the products that the customer was exploring before they bounced off, the chances of converting are much higher here as well.

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      Follow these tips to set up quick and easy automated email campaigns:

      • Use templates

      Email templates are pre-designed layouts that you can customize with your content and branding. Most email tools have multiple options for different types of emails, so your work is quite cut out for you. Just remember to use templates properly to avoid appearing generic or impersonal.

      • Use automation tools

      Most email marketing tools come with in-built automation options:

      Most of these tools have abundant documentation to help you learn how to set up automation. 

      4. Use High-Quality Visuals in Your Emails 

      According to Hubspot, emails with multimedia elements or formats perform at the highest level. A study by Shopify also found that emails with graphics have 27% higher open rates and 4.5% higher CTR than normal text-based emails. 

      The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. This is why visuals are a great way to grab your customers’ attention and get your message across.

      Here are a few ideas and tips for using visuals effectively in your ecommerce emails:

      • Use high-quality, well-lit, and in-focus images. Showcase your products from various angles for the best results.
      • Optimize your images for email by compressing them to reduce file size. This will improve its delivery. 
      • Use illustrations to convey complex information. 
      • Maintain an 80:20 text-to-image ratio.
      • Include alt text with every image to be more inclusive of visually impaired users.
      • Use GIFs in your email if your audience responds to a light tone. 
      • Include relevant product videos wherever possible. 

      Take a look at Dell’s GIF email from 2014 for inspiration. It generated 109% ROI.

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      Pro Tip: Adjust your content area width and length to around 600px for the highest quality emails.

      5. Create a Referral system 

      Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools for gaining new customers and building brand loyalty. 

      Business News Data states that 92% of people are more likely to trust recommendations from friends and family. In fact, 46% of customers consult friends and family before purchasing.

      You can leverage this by incentivizing referrals. Encourage your existing customers to refer your products or services to their network in exchange for a reward, such as a discount or VIP days.  

      Here’s how you can create an effective referral system:

      • You should know what kind of incentive your customers are seeking. Is it a discount? Or would they be much happier being publicly acknowledged for their loyalty to your brand at a company event or award show? Choose incentives accordingly.
      • Provide clear instructions on how to refer friends. Make sure the process is simple to follow.
      • Promote your referral program through emails, social media, your website, etc. 
      • Add a pop-up to sign up for your referral program on your website/app. 

      Tip: Use tools like Viral Loops or Referral Factory to create your referral programs. 

      6. Optimize Emails for Mobile Users

      With 66% of emails being opened on mobile today, you must optimize your emails for smaller screens if you want them to be effective.

      How bad can it be? 42.3% of consumers simply delete emails if they aren’t optimized for mobile. As you can imagine, this can lead to a huge unsubscribe rate, a loss in revenue, and customer loyalty. 

      Here’s how you can craft mobile-friendly emails:

      • Write skimmable emails. Mobile users don’t want to spend a lot of time-consuming huge chunks of text. 
      • Optimize the email loading time. If it doesn’t load fast, they will move on and forget about your email. 
      • Resize and optimize images for mobile. Use a responsive email template to ensure the size of the emails is adjusted based on the users’ devices. 
      • Keep your subject lines short and perky. 
      • Make your CTA easy to click. 
      • Make sure your images don’t pop up horizontally.
      • Avoid adding navigation bars.
      • Opt for a single-column layout.

      7. Offer Exclusive Rewards & Bonuses to Loyal Customers 

        Your customers deserve exclusive rewards and bonuses for being loyal to you. After all, loyal customers cost less to acquire and spend the most in online stores. 

        If they feel valued, your loyal customers are likely to return. And yes, rewards create loyalty.

        One of the best ways to set up and track a loyalty program is to use tools like or LoyaltyLion. But if you don’t want to use these tools, you can create one manually. Follow these tips to come up with one that works for your business: 

        • Give away free items with multiple purchases. Shein does it and has managed to grow into one of the biggest ecommerce stores worldwide. 
        • Offer gift cards with higher values. For instance, they can purchase a gift card for $200 that has an actual redeemable value of $300. 
        • Offer loyal customers exclusive perks, such as free shipping without minimum order value. You can also offer exclusive discounts and coupons. 
        • Turn every purchase into loyalty points that can be redeemed for products or discounts at a later time. This gives them an incentive to shop more. 
        • Offer “Pay later” programs that allow them the option to pay for their purchases with easy monthly installments. This reduces the friction they face when making big purchases, too. 

        You can also take inspiration from loyalty programs other companies offer, such as Walmart’s Walmart+ program.
        Walmart Plus charges a subscription fee for which customers receive benefits such as free delivery, scheduled delivery times, contact-free checkout, and more. According to Walmart data, customers can save $816/year by getting weekly groceries. In turn, they stay loyal to their supermarket chain and don’t go to any other competitors. This is a win-win situation for both Walmart and its customers.

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        8. Use Social Proof

        Social proof refers to the idea that people are more likely to take action if they see others doing the same. When it comes to e-commerce, social proof can be a game-changer in building trust, credibility, and ultimately driving sales.

        Consider this statistic: 95% of customers read reviews online before buying the product. So what if you displayed positive reviews emails to nudge new customers to explore your offerings?

        Here are some ways to leverage social proof in your email marketing campaigns:

        • Use detailed testimonials that show how your product sold a specific problem the customer had.
        • Create user-generated content (UGC) or “Client Spotlight” stories and share them in your newsletter. 
        • Include snippets of your social media proof (followers, likes, comments, etc) to show people trust you. 
        • Collaborate with influencers in your niche, and talk about the collaboration in your email newsletters. You can also get those influencers to offer exclusive discounts on a specific line of product to encourage more purchases. 

        9. Keep Measuring Results + Work on Improvement 

          Effective email marketing is an ongoing process. To succeed in the long run, you need to measure your results and continuously improve your strategies. This involves tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), analyzing data, and making data-driven decisions to optimize your campaigns.

          Do this every quarter or at least once every 6 months. 

          Some important metrics from your email marketing to monitor include:

          • Click-through rate (CTR)
          • Open rate for your emails
          • Unsubscribe rate
          • Conversion rate
          • Bounce rate

          Most email marketing platforms provide analytics dashboards that visualize your data and make it easier to spot trends. For example, if your CTR is low but your open rate is high, it might be because your CTAs aren’t clear or your email content isn’t engaging enough.

          Here are some additional ways to interpret your data: 

          • Set a benchmark and see how your emails perform.
          • Break down the data in terms of demographics, email type, etc. 
          • Test different methods and compare the results
          • Watch out for the trends
          • Identify the areas of improvement

          The insights you gain from your email analytics should aim for continuous improvement. Ensure to constantly monitor your performance and form effective strategies tailored to your target audience and goals.

          We’re Vizion Interactive, an eCommerce Agency with the expertise, experience, and enthusiasm to get results and keep clients happy! If you run an ecommerce site and are due for a redesign or have just launched a redesign, our SEO Audit Services identify problems with your site and lay out a plan of action. Then our experts will be right by your side with our ongoing ecommerce SEO Services to grow organic traffic and take your site to the next level. Get in touch with us to discuss more, we’re looking forward to hearing your story.