The Role of Email Marketing in Ecommerce

Jonatan Parski CEO

Do you want to take your content to the next level? Our crew can help! Request a free sample of 5,000 words, or speak with a founder.

The Role of Email Marketing in Ecommerce

The virtual world is getting stronger each year, and with that is the demand for online business solutions. With the rise of e-commerce and online sales, email marketing has gained much popularity. Some businesses are still skeptical about sending out emails as part of their marketing plan.

If you run an e-commerce business and you’re wondering how to attract more sales, here’s everything you need to know about the role of email marketing in ecommerce and how it can impact your business for the better.

Source: Unsplash

The Importance of Email Marketing for eCommerce

Email marketing isn’t just about promotions. The benefits this form of marketing offers are fourfold. Email marketing helps you communicate with your customer base, which is really important if you want to establish a relationship with your customers and have them coming back for more.

Source: Unsplash

It’s also a great way to promote your business, new product launches, discounts, sales, and more, all with one handy tool. The best part about email marketing is that you’ll be sending out emails to people who’ve subscribed to your newsletter, which means they’re already interested in what you have to offer, and that’s half the battle won already.

Sending you these emails not only helps them remember your ecommerce store or business but also slowly but steadily establishes a brand name which is one of the best ways to stay in business today. Email marketing isn’t only about staying in touch with existing customers; it’s also a great tool to generate new leads, target new customers and grow as a business.

Email Marketing Strategies to Boost Sales

If you’re keen on using email marketing to boost your ecommerce business and increase sales, here are some of the most effective strategies marketing tactics you can use to catapult your business.

Source: Unsplash

User Onboarding

User onboarding is a popular email marketing strategy that’s used to welcome new customers when they use your services or purchase products from you for the first time. This email can also be sent out when someone signs up for your newsletter, so you let them know they’re welcome.

It’s one of the most important emails you send out for multiple reasons. Firstly, your customers want to feel appreciated post a purchase.

While it’s common to woo potential customers before purchasing, very few businesses follow through after shopping. You should always send them a thank you and an appreciation email post a purchase, no matter how small the purchase was, to retain them as loyal customers.

When you stay in touch with your customers, it shows them you value them, which keeps them coming back for more.

Onboarding emails should be in batches of 2 or three, starting with a welcome email that thanks them for a purchase, followed by user manuals, instructions, or other important information you may want to pass on to your customers.

It’s also a great time to send them a discount coupon which could be valid for a few months, so you’re giving them a chance to re-purchase from you by offering them a small incentive.

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is an email you send out to generated leads with a view to luring them into becoming customers. These emails are an essential part of your email marketing strategy because this is what helps your whole ecommerce site or business grow.

Source: Unsplash

There’s a lot you can do to nurture a good lead and convert them into a customer, so you must play smart. The first step to try and convert a lead into a customer is to educate them about your business and fill them in on the information that’ll set you apart from your competition.

This needs to be done in a creative, short, and sweet manner so you engage the lead as soon as they open your email.

While some leads might respond to you at your first email, othering might need a bit of wooing to rope them in. The smart way to go about dealing with hard-to-get customers is to always give them a little to hold on to.

Time-based discounts, referral deals, loyalty points, membership, and more are a few ways to attract these leads. You can also try to understand what they’re looking for and customize offers specially for them.

Mailing List Segmentation

Segmenting your email lists is something you need to consider once your email list grows exponentially. The reason this is important is that you’ll be able to have separate groups of emails that have different interests. Instead of sending out emails that may or may not interest the people on your list, it’s better to send out customized emails that’ll engage them with products or services they will like for sure.

Source: Unsplash

There are various tools you can use to sort emails and have separate mailing lists based on user preference. This is an effective way to show your customers and potential customers you care and you want them to get the best experience whenever they shop from you.

While you might not be able to sort out these lists when you just start with email marketing, it’s something you should have on your list because it’ll make users feel special, and that’s what helps differentiate you from the other ecommerce businesses that you’re in competition with.

Re-Engaging Passive Users

As with every aspect of life, businesses too, have their ups and downs, and one of the downs involves a few customers becoming passive over the course of time. While these users could be huge spenders or popular customers at one time, for various reasons, they might no longer be actively interacting with your business, and this means you’ve lost a buyer.

In such scenarios, the best way to bring them back to your online store is emails that’ll help re-engage them. These emails need to be irresistible and ones they simply can’t ignore. They could be a combination of seasonal offers, exclusive deals, and more to reignite the passion these customers once had for your business.

You can also send them emails reminding them that it’s been a while since they’ve shopped from you. They can unsubscribe from your mailing list if they no longer wish to hear from you. While this seems like you’re shortening your email list, it’s effective because you’ll be cleaning up the list and getting rid of email ids that aren’t responsive anymore.

Sometimes in business, you need to let go, and taking these email ids off your list will help make way for new ids and also lower your marketing costs which in turn helps to increase your profits.


If you’ve shopped at Amazon, you’ll have an idea of what cross-selling is all about. The clubbed items you see at the end before you checkout, those items are basically the ones that are usually bought together and aren’t always related to each other. This is what cross-selling is all about.

Source: Unsplash

While the products don’t need to be directly related to each other, it’s a good idea if they share some sort of similarities with each other. This is what will help customers see common ground, and it could get them interested in the products.

This email marketing strategy is so important because it can help you club popular selling products with ones that might not be as popular, and it’ll help you increase sales for those products too. When marketed in a creative manner, cross-selling can help you sell more, even when you send out fewer emails.


Upselling is similar to cross-selling, except it’s like an addition to a customer’s current purchase. An upsell email is an email that can be sent as part of the onboarding email because it’s the best time to target your customer. For example, if a customer has just bought a mobile phone from your website, then sending them an email with the best-selling mobile cases, earphones that’ll be compatible with their device, and even charging options is a great way to upsell to your customer.

Source: Unsplash

Most businesses will have multiple products or services to upsell once the initial sale has gone through. This email marketing strategy is highly effective, and it helps you kill two birds with one stone – sell more products and get an existing customer to shop with your business again. This lays the foundation for a loyal customer who’ll keep coming back for more.

Reasons Why Email Marketing is Important

The email ecommerce marketing strategy is gaining a lot of popularity. If you’re not yet on board with this marketing strategy, here are a few reasons why you need to consider email marketing to grow your business seriously.

1. It’s Extremely Effective

With the right email marketing campaign, you can make a conscious effort to improve your traffic and sales. Using effective marketing methods helps you target the right audience at the right time and using the right content. You need to learn how to use your email campaigns and marketing funnels so that you can target your potential customers at just the right time.

Source: Unsplash

For example, if you create a funnel for customers that visited your site, however, left without checking out, you can send them an email offering an exclusive discount. With the right email marketing tool, you can automate emails to such customers at specific intervals and increase the discount with each email till the customer eventually purchases from you.

2. It’s Within Budget

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote and market your business. You can send out thousands of emails within a few seconds, and with the right tools and servers, it won’t cost you too much, either. If you’re not confident about sending out these emails independently, you can always hire email marketing agencies to help you get the job done. 

These agencies take care of everything from drafting the email, designing it, sending it out, and handling responses. It’s a solution you might want to consider when focusing on business growth.

3. It is Personal and Customizable

Today, there are several email marketing tools that can help you customize your communication with your current and potential customers. You can maintain a database of everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries and send out personal offers on these dates. Customers will love feeling special and will reciprocate positively.

Source: Unsplash

Another example is customizing emails as per your customer’s browsing history. You can see which pages your customer visited in the past and send out emails accordingly.

4. Your Customers Actually Want it

When your emails are created with love and are engaging, your customers will wait for them. There are tons of businesses that rely solely on email marketing campaigns to promote and grow their business. When you know how to engage customers with an email, it’s hands down the best way to engage them because it’s a platform where you don’t need to control how much information you can share, which helps unleash new levels of creativity.

5. You Own Your List

Customer data is one of the most valuable assets to own when you’re running a business, and when you have people subscribe to your website, they’ve given you permission to send them emails which is great.

If you ever plan to expand your business or venture into something new, you already have a large number of people you can share that information with. This means you won’t have to start from scratch, and it’s one of the best ways to boost a new business.

Source: Unsplash

6. It’s Extremely Measurable

With the right email marketing tools, you can now measure how many customers open your email, how many click on the offer link inside, and how many actually checkout and complete a sale. This will give you an idea of what works and what doesn’t. You can also filter the results based on the audience’s age group, the time of the day the email was sent, or even the discount offered. You can customize your future emails with the help of these metrics.

Source: Unsplash

7. It Increases Brand Awareness

With everything online, brand awareness is one of the most important things a business needs to focus on. When you establish a brand, people relate to you, and it’s easy for them to come to you when they need something. You can target customers based on your brand strategy and improve your sales.

Getting Started With Email Marketing

Getting started with email marketing is pretty straightforward. All you need is an understanding of what you’re offering and what your customers expect from you. Getting email marketing right is all about sending out the right emails and creating the right funnels.

Source: Unsplash

Cart Abandonment Emails

These are critical emails that you need to get right in the first couple of instances. These emails are sent to potential customers that left your site when they were on the checkout page. This could happen for a couple of reasons. Your customer may have changed their mind or had a connectivity issue.

You can start by sending an email and offering the customer an exclusive offer by completing the checkout right away. If the customer does not respond, you can send another one a couple of days later. If the customer does not respond by this time, you may have lost them to a competitor. The key to getting these emails right is being aggressive and offering more discounts than what others are offering.

Source: Unsplash

Welcome Emails

Welcome emails are what the name suggests – welcoming a customer to your brand family. These emails are usually informative in nature. You can share your brand history with the customer and thank them for being part of your family. These emails can also be sent out to customers that signed up for your subscription list or participated in a survey.

Win-Back Emails

Such emails are sent to customers that you may have lost to your competitors. Most customers are looking for a better deal. Brand loyalty can be challenged if customers see a bigger offer or better quality product. The key to this email is understanding why your customers left you.

eCommerce Email Marketing Best Practices

The first thing you need to do is set goals. If your eCommerce email marketing is to succeed, you’ll need a strategy in place. It would help if you had goals for each campaign and each email sent out.

Source: Unsplash

Some of the questions you need to ask yourself are:

  • What are your goals for the campaign?
  • What audience are you targeting?
  • How would you define a successful campaign?

Once you have the answers, you can begin planning your campaign. You need the right tool for the campaign. Automation is the key in today’s busy world. It can be a challenge to send out emails to each and every customer manually. You need to set the workflows so that your emails go out as soon as certain conditions are triggered.

You should also have a clean list ready when sending out emails. You can use online tools to help verify if new emails are legitimate and not spam.

Source: Unsplash

You also need to maintain your list once you’ve built a clean and strong one. Make sure your customers are still using the email addresses. A health check can be done with a reactivation campaign. Customers that do not respond can be taken off your list.

You should also improve your email deliverability. This can be done by avoiding sending low-quality emails. It will impact your reputation as a sender and lower your engagement with your audience.

You should also make your emails mobile-friendly. Most email marketing tools will show you how your email will look on different screen sizes. Choose a suitable template and ensure the page loads well on all screens.

Source: Unsplash

Final words

The key to email marketing is knowing how to target the right audience and what kind of emails to send out. Most customers will be responsive to emails if you send them the right content. You should also avoid spamming or sending out irrelevant content. 

Make sure you stick with one strategy that resonates with your brand. If you move away from it, your customers may not be able to recognize you. As mentioned, you should also maintain your email list so that your email reaches its intended recipient. Planning the right strategy and sticking with it is all it takes to make your eCommerce email marketing a success.

Share This Article



Chantelle started her career in IT before eventually finding her way into Marketing. This eventually became her passion, along with Digital Marketing, SEO, and Brand and Web Development. Today, she helps businesses find their voice and grow online.

Get 5,000 Words Free!

Contact our team to find out how we can help you scale your content to reach a global audience!

Get 5,000 Words Free!

We’d love to show you how our team of passionate writers can help boost your ROI and improve your content. Just fill out the form below for a free, no obligation sample!