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Mar 14, 2023


eCommerce Expert Workshop


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Complete Guide: Best Practices for eCommerce Email Marketing

Email marketing is an excellent way of keeping active communication with shoppers, this article covers how you can make the most out of your email campaigns.

Complete Guide: Best Practices for eCommerce Email Marketing

Staying relevant means keeping an active marketing campaign. The best and most effective method to keeping constant contact has to be email marketing which is featured by the most productive and competitive brands. These email marketing campaigns stay consistently productive because of the quality of the content they use in their templates. One of the most prominent benefits of email marketing has to be automation, which allows for highly engaging active campaigns. Nowadays businesses use email marketing platforms to build their target audience. This article will dwell into the details, showing you what it takes to build the best email campaigns for lead generation.

We can agree that the internet is constantly evolving and keeping ahead of the trends means we are using the best available marketing channels. Every conversion source has its unique characteristics. For this article, we will be going into digital marketing strategies concerned with email marketing. We know that automated marketing with emails, has the best ROI and that they are an important part of any marketing campaign.

Email marketing has always been an a great option but has made a resurgence in 2023 as some the best practices in digital marketing, supported by data that suggests its massive potential as a reliable long-term solution. The most telling characteristic has to be its exceptional ROI and dedicated target audience. While figures vary source to source, we estimate that return rates could peak as high as 400%. These sorts of returns are unheard of in digital marketing and in order to accomplish these goals we need to do some optimization so that your next campaign goes smoothly.

These figures compare different conversion methods and place email marketing as the highest converting channel at 4.29%, above even social media, organic, and paid ads.

Email Marketing Benefits:

  • Branding: emails platforms offer advanced branding options
  • Personalized: targeted campaigns can help you build a dedicated channel to your ideal customer base
  • Automated: emails templates can be built in advance and processed automatically
  • Low Cost: emails are amongst the least expensive and most successful marketing tools available
  • Improved Experience: emails can support your customer service and build positive impressions
  • Active Contact: email marketing reaches customer only after an "opt in" meaning they are interest parties

4 Essential Email Templates

Similar to using a fast and reliable email API service, setting up automated emails is important in achieving active communication with customers. Here are what we believe to be four important building blocks to an effective, revenue-generating email marketing program.  

1. Welcome Series

welcome series
Example of email template

Source: Omnisend

Welcome emails have shown consistently positive metrics and are vital for a good email campaign. These emails will often be the first interactions you have with customer, so taking the extra steps is always well advised. If implemented well, these emails could be the start of a flourishing long-term relationship.

Keeping in touch cannot be overstated, we have seen conversion rates climb to as high as a stunning 75% over Black Friday! Thats some serious potential.

Here are two powerful tips for achieving welcome series success:  

Personalize: Customer personas improve your conversion rate because you market the right products to the right people. Use your data to identify customer intent and customize your welcome messages accordingly. Even basic information like gender and personal interests could be enough to place the right product in the right inbox.

Considering leveraging customers’ browsing or email click data to provide perfect content and product recommendations. Purchase history is a great place to start building recommendations. For a visitor checking out yoga pants, recommending top-rated yoga-related products like mats and blocks can be the secret weapon to influencing a purchase.

Value and Necessity: Stay focused on what your new subscribers need and think of ways to provide them with value. A typical welcome series is between two and four emails, which is enough to build trust and differentiate from your competition. Think about sincerity, sentiment and about improving how customer use your product. Emails make for a perfect opportunity to cultivate a relationship.

2. Re-Marketing Browsed Products

We need to be watchful of buyers intent, managing viewed products is crucial in a competitive industry. Automated emails take care of the job perfectly, which can be sent to visitors who viewed certain products but never placed their orders—online window shoppers. Understanding what the customer is thinking at critical moments is valuable insight, it allows us to make changes and to facilitate the sale. We are trying to offer alternatives, variations and brand options.

With open rates around 30% and conversion rates over 17%, these highly-relevant messages are at the vanguard of conversion marketing. We know at a minimum that there is some sort of interest in previously viewed items.

Optimizing Cart Abandonment Emails:

  • Recommendations: Personalized product recommendations lead to a 26% increase in conversions. Your re-engagement emails are the perfect opportunity to make recommendations and to cross sell. Work on improving your images and present products that customers were browsing earlier; with some variations and similar products.
  • Keep it Simple: Heavy emails can be a super buzz kill. Keep it light and friendly, people can be quickly turned off by a promotional barrage. Keep your messages short and sweet and let your images do the talking. Considering trialing different time frames; send the first email within  30-60 minutes and the second after 24 hours. This can help you control your output while staying relevant.
  • Optimize for Special Occasions: Holidays are big ticket events, businesses can sometimes be dependent on seasonal events. Conversion rates are known to rise sharply over the holidays and this could be vital for a businesses bottom line. Planning your email campaigns to make the most out of special occasions is necessary. People are generally more tolerant of promotional messages during these times,  and are often looking for the best deals. Keeping your business top of the mind is essential for that key purchase.

3. Cart Abandonment

cart abandonment email
cart abandonment example

Source: Omnisend

Cart Abandonment is a major opportunity, these are shoppers that are right on the edge of a purchase. Automated cart abandonment targets shoppers who have placed items in their shopping carts but failed to complete their order. Because the messages target individuals with a high intention to buy, cart abandonment emails are commonly among the top-performing of all automated workflows.

Cart abandonment regularly reaches conversion rates greater than 30%, recovering even a small percentage of these lost sales makes a huge difference to your bottom line. To achieve these levels of performance with your abandoned cart workflows, you’ll need to do some tinkering:

  • Number of emails and timing: Don’t rely on a single email. Brands commonly rely on continues series of emails— emails are low impact and keep your brand visible. Good timing can improve your chances, you’ll want to send the first message within the first hour. Remember to trail different approaches for your follow-up messages, keeping in mind the customer journey.
  • Make it easy to complete the purchase: Give your CTA a touch up, make it clearly visible and easy to use. This should take the customer straight back to the cart, ready to checkout with all details in place. Attractive visuals in your email can create a positive impression. The checkout process itself should be smooth and obstacle-free. If you run a subscription ecommerce model, an abandoned cart email followed by an optimized checkout process can help to manage your churn rates.
  • Use other channels:: SMS is showing some promising numbers, with conversion rates rising rapidly alongside total sends by retailers. This shows its potential as a trusted marketing channel to complement emails. Use these short, time-sensitive messages to deliver your message to their phone.. Consider swapping out one of your emails with a text message to take advantage of SMS’s high read rate.

4. Post-Purchase

post-purchase email
post purchase example email

Source: Omnisend

We should always be focused on cultivating a relationship with customers, being their trusted option. For this reason we can say that the customer purchase experience doesn’t end once the checkout is complete—it continues. Post-purchase automation goes beyond order and shipping confirmation messages. Many are designed to enhance the customer experience and increase the customer lifetime value (CLTV). And they work!

Here are five ways to improve your post-purchase email marketing:

  • Say thank you: Sending a message simply saying, “thank you” can go a long way to making customers feel appreciated, and thus more likely to come back. Sincerity is a master key to a loyalty customer, deliver this and your success is all but assured.
  • Customer service and product care: Sending a message reinforcing your customer service policies, such as hassle-free returns, or a product care/how-to email is a great way to show you care about their experience with your brand. Nothing is more empowering than transparency.
  • Provide recommendations: Customers are not opposed to recommendations, they encourage new ideas. Again, use your personalized product recommendations to cross-sell. No email workflow is complete without a few recommendations.
  • Loyalty Programs: If you have a loyalty program, use this opportunity to offer an easy way to sign up. Loyalty programs can be a great way of cementing an active relationship. Take the time to inform customers of the benefits of your program, along with their current point balance.
  • Feedback/Reviews: User-generated content serves as valuable social proof. Ask for product reviews or socially-shared photos of the customer using the product. These can help you build trust with potential customers and provide additional marketing materials. This could also lead your inventory decisions and improve your catalog.

Email Automation is the singular most valuable communication tool available for business of all sizes to stay active with customers and to remain relevant. The low cost and high conversion rates are indicators of their effectiveness. They are an important inclusion to any marketing strategy.

7 Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Email marketing is the crown jewel of marketing ROI at an astounding $38 for every $1 spent.  

There is every reason why we should be using email marketing, but we are not assured of anything. The truth is that email marketing is a challenge just like any other undertaking. These common mistakes keep us from achieving our goals and could be the main cause to your problems.

Mistake #1. Not Optimising for Mobile

mobile web traffic statistic

Source: Oberlo

Are you checking how your marketing emails render on mobile before you send them out? Well, you should be, since according to oberlo, 52% of all web traffic nowadays comes from mobile. So, while you may have already spent some time optimizing your store's look for mobile, remember it is as essential to ensure your email marketing messages are also optimized.

Tip: Many of the popular email marketing integrations have a mobile preview built-in for you to check as you create your email. If in doubt, send a test email to yourself first and view it on your smartphone.

Mistake #2. Using Bad Subject Lines

People are constantly bombarded with emails, with the average office worker receiving around 121 per day. How can your marketing message stand out in those bulging inboxes? One way is by having a compelling subject line that creates intrigue.

Which one do you think is more likely to be opened?

email subject line example
email subject line example
  • TLDR is real, subject lines with 4-7 words perform best and anything with more then 8 words sees an instant drop in engagement.
  • Interestingly, the average number of characters in seven-word subject lines was 41 which is also the character limit for apps such as the iPhone email app.
  • Personalization is important for all types of email campaigns whether it is an eCommerce store, a lifestyle blog, or a gaming company. When used in subject lines, it can highly impact the open rates.

Mistake #3. Not Segmenting Your List

customer persona illustration

We often see managers make the mistake of sending irrelevant content to their customers. You will find that people have purchase patterns, and resisting those patterns may cause adverse reactions. Segmenting your email lists into customer groups is a simple way of managing your customers and their expectations. Shoppers are significantly more likely to unsubscribe from your list if they see irrelevant emails. This is exactly where customer personas are key considerations.

  • Do this by looking at previous purchases, abandoned carts, or by simply asking them. Data is your friend when it comes to drawing connections.
  • An engaged subscriber is one that interacts positively with your emails. These customers should be prioritized with extra care. Their attitudes can be measured with open rates, ctr and clicks.
  • If enough subscribers negatively interact with your emails, then you risk the ESPs marking all your future emails as spam.

Mistake #4. Broken Links or Links to Broken Content

If you are doing your email marketing correctly, then you'll use long links embedded with tracking codes. It can be easy to make errors when working with complex links; especially if they have lots of non-standard symbols. By accidentally including an extra space when you copy a link, you can end up having a broken link. So take time and some extra care to check that all the links in your email work before you hit 'go' on the campaign.

404 image by pixabay
broken link example

Source: pixabay.com

Similarly, before you run the campaign, make sure that the target page for your links is working as it should. Sending visitors to a webpage with broken images or missing content damages your reputation too.

Mistake #5. No Clear Intention

Your target audience signed up for emails with a clear idea of what they were getting. Changing the intention of your emails can lead to confusion and dissatisfaction. If you send them emails that don't align with that purpose, they will almost certainly unsubscribe from your list, or worse, hit the spam button. Shopify says there are three broad types of messages you should be sending out; transactional, promotional, and lifecycle emails.

Transactional Emails: Sent when a customer buys from your store to confirm an order or announce shipping. Make these work better for you by adding links to related items or a discount code for their next purchase.

Promotional Emails: These are the mainstay of emails that you'll send. Typical emails include; a weekly newsletter, discounts to shift on slow-moving stock, and back-in-stock notifications for popular products.

Lifecycle Emails: These emails are triggered when a subscriber performs an action. It could be a nurture sequence that welcomes new customers or a reminder sent out for cart abandonment. It's still OK to use these kinds of emails for promotional messaging - here's a welcome email example offering a discount for new subscribers:

welcome email example
ecommerce discount example

The critical point to remember is that your customers and prospects are interested in the things you sell, not in you. So, keep your emails aligned with your shop's primary purpose.  

Mistake #6. Too Many CTA's

CTA – Call To Action – is how you convert your prospect once they have opened your email. This is usually clickable link that takes them to any number of place like your website or a discount page.

Some store owners make the mistake of inserting too many CTAs into a marketing email in the hope that something will 'stick'. This shotgun approach risks confusing your readers and could lead to an increase in the number of unsubscribes.

Instead we suggest focusing on the substance of your email and refining your CTA’s to be easily visible and clickable. Below is an excellent example of a sincere message with a personal touch.

personalized email template example
great example of email marketing

Mistake #7. Not Tracking Campaign Performance

There are a slew of metrics you should keep an eye on to measure the effectiveness of your email marketing. Here are the ones you should watch as carefully as your Twitter feed:

  • Open Rate - Tells you how well your subject lines are performing.
  • Click Through Rate - The percentage of those who opened your email and then clicked on your CTA.
  • Conversion Rate - Metric of how many shoppers purchased a product from your email links.
  • Return on Investment - The ultimate measure. The return on the investment you spend setting up the marketing campaign.

Failure to track these and other measures of campaign performance is a hit-and-hope approach. A strategic approach, informed by metrics, allows you to make incremental improvements to a campaign, and increase overall profitability.

6 Tips to Writing Better Emails

E-Commerce is commonly associated with low conversion rates and difficult communication. The reason automated emails are so effective at generating sales is that they are based on data derived from customer actions, like when a shopper abandons a shopping cart. Behavior-based automation makes these messages both timely and relevant for the subscriber. This explains why they convert 359% better than standard promotional messages.

Cart abandonment is both a great opportunity and a serious issue. Your customers often abandon their carts without your knowledge. In fact, studies tell us that 69% of online shoppers abandon their carts without entering any payment information into the site. With that being said, knowing how to identify and deal with cart abandonment can have a strong upside. Email marketing for e-commerce remains the most common cart abandonment tool.

There are several things you can do to improve the performance of your cart abandonment emails, you will find 5 tips to maximizing your re-engagement plans.

1. Clear and Open Policy

One of the biggest threats to any email campaign is transparency. Trust is like a major inflection point that can drive customers away at an instance. Customers feel it’s important that pricing and other policies like returns be clearly represented. Hidden fees are known to create strong negative sentiments about your business that could be difficult to change in the future. Leading with honesty is the golden standard and rightfully so. Proactive emails are by far the best way to start this new open policy.

2. Relevant and Active

Another great piece of advice we can offer has to do with refining your recommendations to match the customer’s personal preferences. Lazy emails do not meet the bar anymore, and that’s just plain and simple. The real goal is understanding your customer base both individually and in clusters. The right product at the right time can be the magic solution you’ve been looking for. This process involves building personas for your customer types based on their history of views, purchases, and other interactions. You want to be confident enough to predict the customers’ actions. Email recommendations increased click-through rates by as much as 7.2%.

3. Include Product Reviews

It’s perfectly clear how shopping online can feel detached since we can’t really see the product in person to inspect it. All the potential concerns we have only worsen, if we aren’t familiar with a brand. Brands that have a broader internet base benefit from social proof, a form of advocacy that is driven by followers. Reviews are a substantial part of eCommerce and it’s been that way for a while now. They are a direct solution to a very common problem of anonymity. Reviews can be and should be used in your email campaigns to motivate trust in your brand. Checking multiple sources for some form of verification is a common practice and we should be leading with reviews of our own.

4. Offer Discounts and Loyalty Programs

If hidden prices are bad for our bottom line, then discounts should be the opposite, right? The majority of your shoppers will abandon their carts because the final price is higher than they expected. When customers consider how much they'll spend, they frequently sum up the cost of each item in their shopping basket. They don't always consider taxes or shipping, and when they do, they tend to underestimate the costs.

Pricing is one of the top four reasons consumers abandon their shopping carts. Along with transparent pricing, shoppers love a discount or a special deal. Loyalty Programs often have a few ways customers can earn a discount, and can also be a great way of establishing a relationship. Ultimately we want a shopper that keeps coming back and loyalty programs are perfect for the assignment.

5. Leverage Urgency

FOMO is real and most of us have felt it before. It may be unclear how we might use it to our advantage, being that it’s such a powerful motivator. We generally create urgency whenever we have something that is limited in stock or a discount that is timing down. We also see a sense of urgency during holiday events or when a product is exclusive. We have seen a sense of urgency with status upgrades like loyalty tiers, where customers have been praised for their loyalty.

  • Deadline: Remind customers of discounts and flash sales.
  • Pre-Orders: People love exclusivity, sometimes that means being the first person to have something.
  • Loyalty Tiers: Nothing screams “want it” more than special status and recognition.
  • Special Stock: Exclusive items, holiday items, and special editions all spur interest.

6. Personality and Charm

Personality, Humor and Sincerity. We are all human and these traits play a big role in determining our behavior. These characteristics can make your emails more engaging while also helping you build rapport with your customers. The truth is that basic email templates can grow old very quickly, most people won’t even bother reading through something that feels robotic and impersonal. Personality could look like a heartfelt thank you, a charming joke or just showing them the courtesy of feeling special. This is a timeless approach to all things; email marketing included.


Emails are an everyday affair for most people and cost pennies in comparison to paid ads. Most people use email as a way to stay connected to the best offers and to register to their favorite stores. We also know that email marketing has one of the highest conversion rates in all of eCommerce. There just seems to be a lot of good things about email marketing right now. We hope that we’ve done enough to both convince you of the benefits and show how you can capitalize on their merits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are email notifications customizable?

You have full autonomy over your email notifications. This includes control over the design, content, layout, and branding. You can set up and automate your emails from your Growave Admin Panel.

Where do I access the email notifications?

Email notifications are an important part of any marketing campaign. They are highly effective and compliment all of Growave's other apps. Email notifcations can be set up, customized and branded from the admin panel.

Can you create custom review forms and email requests?

If the templates do not fit your criteria, you can create your own review forms and incorporate them into your email notifications.

Can you automate email notifications?

Growave has several email templates and the option of building your own unique templates. All email notifications can be automated and timed according to the customers journey. You can personalize your emails according to your needs.

Can you display reviews and review requests in emails?

Reviews and review request can both be featured in emails, along with a few other customization options. It is highly encouraged to combine them with reward points to increase the rate of their collection and personalize your emails so that the right people are seeing the right messages.


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Jonathan Lee

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