essential email marketing tips for ecommerce businesses

6 Essential Email Marketing Tips For Ecommerce Businesses

Have you ever wondered if there’s anything you can do to easily improve the effectiveness of your email marketing strategy? You’re not alone. There are many key elements to having a successful email campaign which can contribute to increased sales and higher engagement metrics.

Here are some of the key elements you just have to get right in order to have a powerful email marketing strategy that will drive more sales and increase your engagement metrics.

1. Use Responsive Email Design

It’s a well known fact that your emails should look good on not just one device, but all devices. Whether your visitor is using a laptop at work, or checking their email on a mobile device, the email needs to be well designed and adapt well to any screen size to increase the likelihood of the user scrolling down past the fold and clicking on that one call-to-action that makes all the difference.

When you set out to have a powerful and consistent design for your various email templates, you will ensure ongoing success every time your email is delivered. This is why it is so important to spend that extra time reviewing every part of your email design before you send that first campaign.

Consider testing your email template across multiple devices, such as specific desktop browsers, mobile browsers like Safari on iOS and Chrome on Android, and even on older email clients like Outlook. To determine the devices you should place priority on when testing your design, consider looking at the existing devices your audience uses on your email platform like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or aWeber.

You may optionally use existing templates found on your email marketing platform or even build your own. However, don’t let this approach ruin your ideal design that best aligns with your brand. Sometimes it may be worth it to expend a little extra in hiring a good designer to first create a winning design and then turn it into a live email template where you just swap the images and copy.

2. Use Strategic Subject Lines

Next to the sender name, the subject of your marketing email is the first thing any receiver is bound to pay attention to. If it has a weak subject line or one that would simply provide little value to the receiver if they were to open the email, your open rate will likely take a hit.

You should experiment with various subject lines and try to keep a similar pattern when you find what may click best with your audience. Consider these two subject lines as an example:

  1. Take 20% Off! Special Savings Just For You!
  2. Special Savings Just For You! Also Take 20% Off!

In the example above, it is essentially the same subject, but there’s a good chance one subject may resonate better with your audience and result in an overall higher open rate. In my case, I prefer the first subject, but your subscribers may just prefer the other one.

Which is why running A/B tests on just your subject lines can be a really good idea to do now and then. Most popular email marketing providers will allow you to A/B test your subject line, you can even try adding emojis to see if it resonates with your audience.

Lastly, be sure to not forget your hidden text or “pre-header text”. Although this is not a major game changer, it can still have an impact on some subscribers so try to be especially creative here and add anything else that might not fit in your subject to encourage a higher open rate.

3. Create Segmented Email Lists

Your subscribers are likely to have different needs and wants. By keeping separate email lists centered around a particular area of interest, you are likely to generate much better engagement metrics if you tailor your email specifically to this audience. 

Let’s look at a quick sample, if you send an email with the subject line “Sitewide Sale! Up to 20% Off!”to your entire list, you might get a decent open and click-through rate. But if you target a particular segment and use a more strategic subject such as “Up to 20% Off iPhone Accessories” and it so happens that this customer list have previously purchased an iPhone or iPhone accessories on your site, it’ll practically skyrocket your metrics as opposed to using a more generic approach which might not “click” with the majority of your entire subscribers list.

The downside to this is, you will need to spend a significantly higher amount of time and need to create a more robust and specialized email marketing calendar. I would suggest that you mix things up, send to your entire list but occasionally use segmented lists as well.

Note however that although your engagement metrics may generate better results when you split your emails into more targeted lists, if it takes you too much time to do this, it could make more sense to simply send an email to your entire list which may still create a higher ROI due to the size of the whole list as opposed to several smaller lists.

4. Use Email Automations

Although this may not need to be part of your ever changing email marketing calendar. You should have automations set up and running, especially if you have an ecommerce business. 

If a customer visits your store and abandons their shopping cart right at the end of the funnel, you’ve just lost a sale. On the other hand, if you have a cart abandonment automation email set up and their email has been captured, you might just be able to recover that sale with a simple email that fired off automatically. Encouraging your customer to come back to the site and finish their checkout.

You may decide on whether you create a single recovery email or an email series that essentially sends multiple emails trying to get the customer to recover their shopping cart if the first attempt fails. Ultimately, the choice is yours as to how much you would like to push a potential customer to complete check out by deciding on how many emails you are willing to send them.

One thing is certain, one email is better than no email.

5. Use an Email Marketing Calendar

Consistency is important and unless you have an email marketing calendar plan, you may be more likely to fail in meeting your weekly or monthly email goals. Whether that’s sending a specific number of emails within a time frame or achieving your monthly revenue goals via this channel.

When you set up an email marketing calendar, you are much more likely to have a successful email marketing strategy. Consider adding things like the type of email or even subject drafts of emails you are considering to send throughout a given time frame.

Try to keep your emails fairly spread out throughout the week, unless you want to send emails everyday. Be mindful that when you send emails everyday, you may bore your audience and as a result will get lower engagement metrics. To compensate for this, you could try segmented emails as we went over in Tip #3.

6. Keep Things Interesting

Finally, consider having content that is unique to your business. If all you ever do is send emails about sales to your audience, they might get bored of them and simply ignore you and even unsubscribe from your endless chain of sales emails. 

You may look into things such as creating highly engaging blog articles that are likely to click with your audience and potentially send them on a weekly basis on a given day. This way you will have people clicking on your email that may be willing to engage with you beyond a simple sale. They may also learn a thing or two, making you more authoritative in your niche.

Chances are, some of them will buy a thing or two anyway.

Bonus Tip

Keep your email list clean. This will increase your engagement metrics and result in higher inbox rates – that is, your emails may be less likely to hit the Spam folder. You will also save more money by having a smaller, more engaged list of subscribers on your email marketing platform.


Taking the time to optimize your email marketing strategy can really pay off in the long run. So don’t shy away from making the most of it by putting these tips into practice. It won’t be long until you start seeing better results.