Email Marketing Guide: How to Boost E-commerce Sales Through Email Campaigns

One of the biggest challenge of an e-commerce store is interacting with customers. How can you expect customers to visit your store (let alone convert) if they do not know about it? While search engine optimization and social media marketing solve this problem to a certain extent, what really makes a dent in the interaction block is Email marketing.

You’d be surprised to know that Email marketing is responsible for as many as 23% of e-commerce sales. The thing about Email marketing is, if you do it right, there’s no looking back. So, we are going to share some insiders on how to increase your e-commerce store’s conversion through this channel.

1. Build an Email List

First things first, you need to have an effective Email list to get your Email marketing campaign going. There are numerous ways to capture customer Emails. The easiest way is through sign-ups. If your store is getting sales, then you already have a list of customers. If not, then you can use the oldest trick in the book – a give and take. You can add a pop-up to your site that provides a free giveaway in exchange of the Email address of the visitor.

Sign up pop-ups offering discount

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Another effective way is to run advertisements. These ads could be for selling a product or a service that your store provides. With these kinds of Email gathering strategies, not everyone is going to engage with your Emails later on. You may want to experiment nonetheless and keep filtering the list as you go.

2. Segment Your Email List

Now that you have a list of Email IDs you can connect with, it’s time to target your Emails well. Otherwise, with bulk Emails, you will only be wasting time and destroying your reputation along the way. You don’t want your Emails to be flagged as spam.

The first and foremost way to target your Emails is through getting to know your audience. But how?

Spend time on the customer data that you have. Take a note of the details like age, gender, and location. Now look for their preferences by going through their purchasing habits, the actions that they have taken on your site, the posts that they engage with on your social media accounts etc. Use this information to create buyer personas. This will help you segment your Email list.

Email list segmentation

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3. Create an Email Strategy

Now that you have segmented the Email IDs, you need to group them according to the following parameters:

  • New subscribers
  • Window shoppers
  • Loyal customers
  • Almost quitters

You need to design a few Email templates for each of these groups. The templates should be specific to the audience personas you have created based on the segmentation as discussed in the previous point.

Now let’s take up each group at a time.

  • New subscribers

Every new subscriber should be greeted with a Welcome mail. You can add a small gift voucher/discount coupon etc. to the Email.

Welcome Email to newcomers

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  • Window shoppers

A lot of online shoppers tend to browse, add their picks to the cart and then just leave without checking out the items. Cart abandonment is a major problem for e-commerce entrepreneurs. This is where cart abandonment Emails come to the rescue.

Cart abandonment Email

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  • Loyal customers

Loyal customers are always entitled to rewards. They deserve an appreciation Email. While an exclusive discount voucher does the trick, you can also go the extra mile and let them know when the stock of a certain item they had been looking for has been replenished. Also, create an Email template for upselling products related to the items they have purchased.

Customer appreciation Email

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  • Almost quitters

If a customer hasn’t been active on your site for long, it could be a sign that they are planning to leave. Don’t let that happen. Send them a retention Email to re-start conversation and re-engage them on your site. Entice them with an offer so that they don’t quit.

Almost quitter Emails

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John Lincoln has put together an excellent guide on different kinds of Email markeing templates and how to use them. Read his blog here.

4. Focus on Email Content

Your Email’s tone should depend on the buyer group you send your Emails to. Keep the buyer persona in mind while sending promotional Emails. The products you promote should depend on this. For example, hiking boots would not be relevant for 60+-year-old buyers.

It makes more sense if your tone is conversational. Personalization and conversational make an excellent duo when it comes to Email marketing. Avoid being too funny or clever. People can see through that.

The subject line and preview text make a lot of difference. It can determine whether your Email gets opened or trashed because everyone has to deal with a ton of Emails every day and adding just another generic Email to the pile will only make it worse. A good subject line should be enticing and not sound like a click bait. It should convey what your Email is about and also sound genuine. Here’s an excellent guide on how to write the perfect e-commerce subject line.

Focus on the design and branding of your Email. It should reflect your brand’s identity. This provides a seamless experience for your users and establishes credibility and trust. Keep in mind that most people check their Emails on mobile devices. So, your Emails need to be mobile-friendly to increase open rates.

5. Time Your Email Perfectly

With e-commerce companies being more engaged now than ever in capturing leads, timing your marketing Emails is everything.

While customers between the age of 18 and 34 tend to check their Emails throughout the day, the same cannot be said for age groups above 35. However, it has been found that people engage with Emails more on weekdays than on weekends. Tuesdays and Wednesdays have the highest open rates.

The best times would be between 6-8 a.m. since people tend to check their phones for messages right after they wake up. The second slot is between 8 p.m. and midnight. However, we advise you to send them an hour early since ideal Email times are when your customers are going to be bombarded by promotional Emails from other companies anyway. This time should be left to experimentation as well since it doesn’t work the same way for all customers.

Also, don’t forget to send Emails on special occasions. Did you know that sales on holidays make up for up to a quarter of total yearly sales?

Bonus Tip: Disguise Promotion in the Transaction Emails

The transaction Email is a great place to achieve your promotional objectives. Why? Because they get opened every time.

Use these Emails to cross-sell products relevant to the purchase in addition to the usual “Thank you for your order”. While you are at it, ensure to keep the template design identical to your brand.

Cross-selling in Transactional Emails

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It’s important to keep track of the performance of your strategies to understand what’s working and what’s not. You can keep tweaking the campaign accordingly.

How Codaemon Nails Email Marketing

Okay, hold your horses. This is going to be way more interesting than the latest Snapchat filter.

Our Head of Marketing Department, Matej Harangozo, owns a record label featuring covers, instrumentals, originals of different genres by independent artists, producers, DJs etc. He has been doing Email marketing like a pro to increase conversions of the online music store. Here’s how:

Have you heard the song, ‘Needed Me’ by Rihanna? Once it came out, Matej with his team created an instrumental cover of the song and released it on his YouTube channel. He provided a link to download it as a freebie. This link takes viewers to Matej’s website and shows a pop-up where they can download the cover in exchange of their Email IDs. A ‘Thank You’ Email is sent to them after completion.

InterOptin Email Capture Campaign

You see what he did here? This was an Email capture campaign done through InterOptin. The ‘Thank You’ Email had a 24% open rate and generated 242 subscribers for his channel! Even if the user doesn’t enter his/her Email ID, he ends up on the landing page anyway thus increasing site traffic. It’s a win-win. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. What happened next will blow your mind.

Next, he uploaded an original ‘Needed Her’ inspired by Rihanna’s ‘Needed Me’ and put it up on his online music store. Promoting it was easy since he had a bunch of Email IDs from the previous campaign. This time he sent them Emails greeting them with a ‘Thank You’ for downloading the previous cover and then pushed the link to the original ‘Needed Her’. This link takes users to the respective page in his store where it’s available for purchase. This Email had a 23% click rate and generated a lot of sales.

Email campaign stats

In addition to increasing e-commerce store conversion, this entire campaign accomplished 3 more objectives:

  • Increasing YouTube channel subscribers
  • Increasing site traffic
  • Free promotion

The best part is, the entire campaign was automated and organic.

So, you see we’ve got the best advice when it comes to Email marketing. If you need to increase your store’s conversion rate like never before, we’ve got you covered. Drop an Email and we’ll get the sales rolling in.