How to Use Digital Ads to Grow Your Sales and Revenues

Social media campaigns can seem expensive. But gone are the days of getting lots of traffic from social for free. The good news? You don’t necessarily need a big budget to get noticed on Facebook or LinkedIn.
In this whitepaper, see how paying for more traffic can help grow your sales and revenue. Step by step, we’ll show you the best ways to use Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Twitter.

Let’s be honest. When we all started playing around with social media the general consensus was that it was going to drive a bunch of free traffic to our websites. Sure enough, social media can drive traffic to our websites, but it’s getting harder and harder all the time. For one thing, there’s more competition for people’s attention. On top of that, platforms like Facebook only serve your posts to about 6% of the people following your Facebook page.

What steps can you take to use social media to drive more prospects to your website?

The answer, of course, is to hunker down and to start using paid media in order to attract more visitors. That’s right – you should run paid ads in order to generate awareness and drive engagement for your business.

Before you decide that paid media isn’t within your budget, here’s an insider secret – it’s not all that expensive.

That’s right, paying for additional traffic to your website can be quite cost-effective. In fact, if you play your cards right and know how to measure the value of a prospect or customer, then driving more traffic to your site should pay for itself.

So, what tools should you use for a paid ad campaign? The primary tools are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. And even though running a campaign might seem a little complex at first, once you get the hang of it, you’ll see that it’s not all that difficult.

With that in mind, let’s dive in and get started.

Facebook: Build a Fan Base Of Future Customers
As mentioned, in the old days you could post something on your Facebook page and potentially reach everyone who was following you. Sadly, those days are gone. In fact, if you post something on your Facebook page today, only 6% of your potential audience will see it in their feed. (Your personal Facebook Profile still gets a lot of reach, but your business Facebook page only gets about 6%.)

Since reaching people who follow your Facebook page is ineffective, your only choice is to start using paid ads to increase your reach. The good news is that Facebook has made it pretty darn easy for you to do just that.

One of the best things about a Facebook ad campaign is that they’ve greatly improved the ability to target people over the past several years. You can target people based on age, gender, or location. You can target people based on an interest like sports, cars, or cooking. You can even target people who are in your prospect database and who are already familiar with you or your business.

Here are the steps you can take to use Facebook advertising to drive more prospects to your business.

Step 1 – Set your budget: Most people like to pay for Facebook ads on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. This means you only pay for an ad if someone clicks on it. A click costs anywhere from 15¢ to $1.50 or more per click, so figure out how many clicks you want and adjust your budget based on that.

Step 2 – Run a test: You’ll want to run an A/B split test on your ads to be sure you’re running the most effective one. With that in mind, create several versions of your ad and run them congruently. Facebook makes it easy to track your results. After that, use the best performing ad as your control and then test new variations against the control to see if you can beat those results.

Step 3 – Rinse and repeat: There is no such thing as a final Facebook campaign. In other words, all Facebook campaigns are in a constant state of evolution, so keep tweaking and improving your campaigns as you move forward. That’s the only way you’ll be sure to generate the results you’re looking for.

Pro tip: When running an A/B split test on Facebook, it’s a good idea to test only one variable at a time. If you change more than one variable (e.g. the call to action, the visual, the headline, etc.), then you won’t know which change improved the ad. A best practice is to test one thing at a time to get a clearer picture on what works and what doesn’t work.<

If you’d like to learn more about advertising on Facebook, be sure to check out their in-depth guides by clicking here.

Case study: Learn how InfoShare Academy, a provider of programming courses for IT beginners, gained 1200 new contacts using Facebook Lead Ads and a carefully crafted ebook.

Instagram: Build Awareness, Encourage App Downloads, or Drive More Traffic
If you’re running a campaign on Facebook, then it’s super easy to run a campaign on Instagram, too. Instagram is part of the Facebook family, so they make it super easy to use both at the same time. But even if you’re not running a Facebook campaign, you’ll want to consider using Instagram, especially if your product or service is visual in nature. There are four primary formats that Instagram provides to advertisers.

Here they are:

Photo ads: These can be uploaded in a square or landscape format. They’re the simplest to execute and are a great starting point if you’re new to Instagram ads.
Video ads: Ready to move up to the next level? Next up are video ads. They add sound and motion to the mix and provide a great way to stand out from the crowd.
Carousel ads: Let’s say you’re selling widgets and you have them in green, blue, and yellow. Carousel ads allow prospects to see and scroll through all your different colored widgets before clicking through on a specific one.
Stories ads: Over 250 million people use Instagram Stories every day. Wouldn’t you like to connect with them? If so, then Stories Ads are just what you’re looking for. They drop right into your feed with ads that can resonate with your prospects and customers.
Ready to explore Instagram a little more? Here are the steps you can take to use the platform to drive more prospects to your business.

Step 1 – Define your goals: Before doing anything, you’ll want to identify your goals and objectives. Do you want more clicks to a landing page? More mobile app installs? Or do you simply want to build awareness for your brand? Identify what you’re trying to achieve before moving on to step #2.

Step 2 – Match your landing page to your ad: Studies show that the more your landing page matches the message on your ad, the more likely you are to convert prospects into customers.

Step 3 – Relax and have fun: Instagram is more casual than other platforms like LinkedIn or even Facebook. With that in mind, try to have some fun – studies show that the more emotionally engaged people are with your ad, the more effective it will be.

Pro tip: You don’t have to be at your desktop to buy, run, and track ads on Instagram. You can do it within the app, Ads Manager, Power Editor, or Instagram Partners. Instagram has done everything possible to make it easy to run a campaign on their platform.

Interested in learning more about using Instagram for advertising? Check out their website for more details.

Linkedin: Reach B2B Prospects
In most cases, the CPC on LinkedIn is higher than Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform. But if you have a mid- to high-priced product or service, it can be a good fit.

There are three ad formats you can use on LinkedIn. The first, and probably the most commonly used, is called Sponsored Content. It’s similar to a Facebook ad in the sense that you can promote your product or service from within the LinkedIn feed.

The second is called Sponsored InMail. With Sponsored InMail you can reach prospects and customers right in the LinkedIn inbox. It’s as if you were already connected via LinkedIn. The only difference is that you’re not, which is why some people use Sponsored InMail to reach people they might otherwise struggle to connect with.

The third, and most cost-effective, approach is to use Text Ads. These are the small ads on the right hand column that have a headline, a description, and a 50×50 image. They’re super easy to set up so you can dive right in and be running a campaign in a matter of minutes.

If LinkedIn seems like a good fit for your business, these steps will help to get you started.

Step 1 – Choose your format: If you want to make a big splash, Sponsored Content ads might be just what you’re looking for. If you’re in it for the long haul, you can use Text Ads, which aren’t as flashy, but have proven to be more cost effective. And finally, if you want to give your ads a one-on-one feel, then you can opt for a Sponsored InMail campaign.

Step 2 – Set your targeting: One of the advantages of LinkedIn targeting is that people update their professional information on LinkedIn more frequently than they do on, say, Facebook or Twitter. This makes targeting your audience based on job title, company, industry, or seniority much more effective than on some other platforms.

Step 3 – Consider using matched audiences: Want to target LinkedIn members who visited your website? How about people who are in your contact database? Or would you like to target decision makers at specific companies? All three of those options are available to you when you use the Matched Audiences feature on LinkedIn. It’s an advanced feature, but worth checking out.

Pro tip: It’s one thing to track whether or not someone clicked your LinkedIn ad and landed on your website, but that’s only half the battle. The second half is to see if that click converted into a customer. When you use LinkedIn’s conversion tracking feature, you can record website conversions that are tied to your campaigns. Conversion tracking is a great way to improve your campaign effectiveness.

Want to learn more about running ad campaigns on LinkedIn? Just visit this page on their website and you can take a deep dive into their offerings.

Twitter: Extend Your Campaigns
Twitter has more than 340 million active users and has reasonably good targeting capabilities. It’s a good platform for businesses that want to extend their campaigns past Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Twitter ads can be tailored for a variety of business goals, from driving website traffic to increasing brand awareness. If you want to drive website visits, make sure your ad has a compelling reason to click through on the link. Alternatively, you might simply want to grow your Twitter following. If that’s the case, then you can run a Follower campaign that’s specifically designed to increase the number of followers. Or, you might want to get people talking about your business with an engagement campaign. You can do this by running ads designed to start conversations or stir things up a little.

If Twitter seems like a good fit for you, here are some tips on getting started.

Step 1 – Start with the end in mind: The best way to succeed in just about anything is to start with a clear vision of what you want your outcome to be. Will it be to gain new followers? Build brand awareness? Drive clicks to your website? Figure that out and then move on to Step 2.

Step 2 – Analyze your results: Once you’ve launched your campaign, you’ll want to watch the data and derive insights from what you see. Look for patterns that would indicate success, and be sure to remove the ads that perform worst from your campaigns while continuing to optimize the winners.

Step 3 – Rinse and repeat: Over time, you’ll start to see results that make an impact on your bottom line. Optimize your campaign over the course of 30 days to see if you can make it work.

If you can’t seem to make Twitter ads work, then maybe they’re not a good match for your business.

Pro tip: Tweets that are under 100 characters get an 18% higher click through rates, so keep your promoted tweets short and sweet. Also, tweets with graphics in them usually perform better than tweets without graphics, but you won’t know for sure until you test your own campaigns.

Want to learn more about advertising on Twitter? If so, then click through to their website.

Wrapping It All Up
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just do a bunch of social media posts and drive massive amounts of traffic to your website? It sure would. Unfortunately, those days are over. Today, you need to enhance your organic social media campaigns with paid social media campaigns.

By using that one-two punch (organic and paid), you’ll be able to supercharge your campaigns and drive more prospects to your website. And once you drive more prospects to your website, it’s only a matter of time before they become customers.

About the Author

Jamie Turner is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and CNN contributor who has been profiled in one of the world’s best selling marketing textbooks. He is the CEO of and runs a marketing consultancy and advisory group called SIXTY.

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Essential Guide to Ecommerce Email Marketing for 2022

Essential Guide to Ecommerce Email Marketing for 2022


Want to grow your ecommerce business without spending a fortune on marketing channels you hardly control?

In this article, I’ll show how you can increase your ecommerce sales using a channel that, unlike many others, isn’t pay to play.

We’ll talk about email marketing for ecommerce for online retailers.

Specifically, we’ll cover:

  • What is ecommerce email marketing
  • Types of ecommerce email marketing campaigns
  • Benefits of using email marketing for ecommerce businesses
  • 11 ecommerce email marketing best practices
  • How to track revenue from your ecommerce emails
  • 10 step ecommerce email marketing strategy from basics to advanced
  • 10 amazing ecommerce email template examples

Let’s dive right in.


Want to grow your ecommerce store more easily? Try GetResponse ecommerce email marketing software. It packs all the right tools an ambitious ecommerce business needs to grow – email templates, email automation, transactional emails, web push notifications, paid ads, and live chat. Plus it integrates with all major ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, PrestaShop, WooCommerce, and more.

What is ecommerce email marketing?

Ecommerce email marketing is the strategy of using emails to generate sales for your online store. It can be simple, like sending a message presenting your latest offer to your whole mailing list. Or complex, like sending highly targeted emails triggered by your customers’ actions on your ecommerce site.

Online retailers use ecommerce email marketing as their standard practice to grow their business and build a loyal customer base. As you’ll read more in a few moments, this often involves coming up with different strategies aimed at attracting new buyers, turning first-time buyers into repeat customers, and fostering relationships with loyal customers.

Some of the best examples of using email marketing campaigns to boost ecommerce sales include:

  • sending emails announcing new product lines and offers,
  • sending coupon codes to email subscribers on special occasions,
  • sending emails when shoppers abandon their shopping carts,
  • cross selling and recommending complementary products in newsletters,
  • sending transactional emails such as shipping and order confirmations.

To help you better understand the type of marketing communications we’re talking about, check out this great example of a cart abandonment email sent by an ecommerce company, MCM.

Example of a cart abandonment email containing information about the products a user left behind plus some additional recommended items.
Cart abandonment email from an ecommerce brand, MCM. Source: ReallyGoodEmails

Notice that this email not only reminds a user about the products they left behind in their online shopping cart but also contains a list of recommended products they may be interested in, too.

We’ll discuss why you may want to consider sending abandoned cart emails and other ecommerce messages to your own audience a bit later in this guide. Plus, we’ll show you how you can do with the right email service provider, like GetResponse.

If you’d like to go over the foundations first, consider reading our beginners guide on how to do email marketing.

Types of ecommerce email marketing campaigns

Every ecommerce email marketing strategy is different, but they all have something in common – they utilize these three types of marketing emails:

Promotional emails

This is when you use email to inform your subscribers about deals in your store, new product lines, new collections, etc. These include:

Tip: Promotional emails are usually sent by hand, as a newsletter or broadcast.

Transactional emails 

These are functional emails sent to the customer with key information about a specific transaction in your store, like:

Tip: Transactional emails can be sent directly from your ecommerce platform or via an email automation platform, like GetResponse. The latter often gives you more design capabilities but may often require a technical setup using API or SMTP. Luckily, in GetResponse we’ve added a new feature called Quick Transactional Emails that lets you set up essential transactional emails with no coding at all!

Lifecycle emails

Lifecycle emails are automated emails triggered by your shopper’s action and depending on where they are in their customer lifecycle such as:

Naturally, you don’t need to use all these types of messages in your marketing strategy. However, as you keep growing your online store, you’ll want to make sure your communication is versatile and tailored to users at different stages of your funnel. If you keep sending only promotional messages your shoppers will quickly get tired, they’ll stop opening to your messages, and your conversion rate will drop, so it’s important to sequence your emails thoughtfully.

Tip: You can send lifecycle emails using marketing automation. If you’ve never done that before, you can start by using pre-build automation workflows that’ll get you setup in moments.

Speaking of conversion rate, let’s look at the different benefits your company can take advantage of if it follows a solid email marketing strategy.

Is your store built with Shopify? Check out how GetResponse can help you run Shopify email marketing campaigns more effectively today.

Ecommerce email campaigns benefits

While the benefits of using emails for ecommerce are endless, here are the six most important ones for you to consider:

  • Email supports the transactions in your ecommerce store as the main channel of communication with your customers – their inbox is the first place they go to check if the purchase was successful.
  • You can gather important feedback after each transaction, sending surveys so that customers can rate their experience and provide social proof that’ll help you convert future shoppers.
  • You can build lasting relationships with your customer base throughout their lifecycle: by welcoming subscribers to your store, guiding them through transactions, sending them thank-you notes, and even birthday emails. Invite the customers back if they abandoned a cart or reactivate customers who haven’t visited your online store for a while.
  • You can also reward the most loyal customers with exclusive deals and loyalty programs, sent through automated emails.
  • You can grow your mailing list by encouraging word of mouth marketing and offering exclusive deals to subscribers who’ll recommend your store to their peers. This practice can increase your brand awareness among your core audience and keep your loyal shoppers engaged.
  • But, the most important benefit of ecommerce email campaigns is: they increase your conversions in ways no other medium can – and at a fraction of the cost.

11 ecommerce email marketing best practices

So what can online retailers do to make sure their campaigns move the needle? Here’s a list of 11 tips that’ll improve your ecommerce email marketing strategy.

While we’re focusing here on online stores, don’t forget to follow these general email marketing practices, too.

1. Send your emails at the right moment.

One of the easiest ways to keep your email list engaged is to send your subscribers relevant information at the right time via proper email sequencing.

You can either do this with behavior-triggered campaigns in your email marketing automation workflows or with send-time optimization algorithms that are available in email marketing services like GetResponse.

While the first method requires that the user performs an action (e.g. a visitor leaves a site without completing the purchase), the second one just requires that your platform notes down your recipient’s geolocation (e.g. using their IP address) or looks at when they’ve previous engaged with your messages.

Both methods are great, and to no surprise – they deliver remarkable results. Here are the average email opens and clicks for various types of messages, including triggered campaigns. Notice how they outperform regular newsletters? That’s because they’re timely and relevant.

Average results generated by different types of email marketing messages - data from the Email Marketing Benchmarks report.
How the email engagement rates compare for triggered emails and other message types. Data from the Email Marketing Benchmarks report.

And if you’re wondering if using send-time optimization is difficult – you’ll be relieved it only takes one click to switch it on. The rest’s taken care of by your email marketing platform.

GetResponse Perfect Timing feature that optimizes your email send time automatically.
GetResponse Perfect Timing feature automatically adjusts the send-time of your emails for best results.

2. Personalize your email campaigns.

Don’t just rely on generic emails that aren’t aimed at anyone specific (a.k.a. email blasts). Make sure the content, arguments, and incentives you use in the communication are relevant to the target audience you’re trying to convert.

Personalized email announcing a price drop on the product a user added to their wish list.
Personalized email announcing a price drop on the product a user added to their wish list. Source: ReallyGoodEmails

Not sure what kind of data you could use to tailor your email’s content? Here are five ideas that’d work for any ecommerce business:

  • Person’s name
  • Person’s location
  • The product your visitor looked at and/or added to their cart
  • The product or product category your customer bought from you recently
  • The product your visitor added to their wish list and is currently back in stock

And if you’ve never used personalization before, here’s how you’d add it to your email subject line:

Using subscriber's name and geolocation to personalize the subject line inside GetResponse
Using subscriber’s name and geolocation to personalize the subject line inside GetResponse

3. Keep your transactional emails on brand

Transactional emails are perhaps the only type of email communication that gets even more attention than your welcome message. So, why not take this opportunity and use transactional emails to strengthen your brand and build customer loyalty?

To achieve that, you’ll need to ensure that your transactional emails are on brand – including your logo, using the same color scheme and fonts you’re using throughout your other communication.

The challenging part is that most ecommerce platforms like Shopify offer basic email design capabilities or require you to code your emails from scratch. But the good news is that in GetResponse, you can build essential transactional emails using our intuitive drag and drop editor.

Editing the order confirmation email template inside the GetResponse Email Creator.
Editing the order confirmation email template inside the GetResponse Email Creator

This feature is called Quick Transactional Emails and lets you set up cart abandonment emails and order confirmations. You can also use our API-based transactional email service for more advanced communications.

4. Make your content engaging.

If you want your brand to shine then you need to understand what type of content resonates best with your audience. Are these emails with user-generated content like testimonials and reviews? Maybe these are your latest blog posts? Or perhaps videos explaining how to use your products? Analyze your results and use the data to engage your subscribers better.

Engaging email content from an online retailer, Patagonia.
Engaging email content from Patagonia

Dig into your email marketing service’s reporting dashboard and integrate it with your analytical tool, like Google Analytics. By powering the two together, you’ll understand your audience better so that you’ll be able to provide them with a better customer experience.

GetResponse New Analytics dashboard providing you with all the insights about your campaign's performance
GetResponse New Analytics dashboard providing you with all the insights about your campaign’s performance
GetResponse New Analytics dashboard - detailed view on bounces.
GetResponse New Analytics dashboard – detailed view on bounces.

5. Always be optimizing.

Your gut feeling’s important, but we’re often biased and choose things we’re more familiar with rather than what’s best for us. The same goes for your mailings – use data to formulate A/B tests and optimize your campaigns and win in the long game.

The best thing about A/B tests is that they’re easy to set up, yet they can have an enormous impact on your sales results. Think about it: if one of your email subject lines performed better by 5% and that resulted in 5% more click-throughs, how much more revenue that could mean for your businesses? And now multiply that for every marketing campaign you launch – the numbers keep adding up.

Here’s what the subject line A/B test configuration looks like in GetResponse:

Email subject line A/B test setup.
Email subject line A/B test setup

6. Ask customers for their help.

When optimizing your email communication don’t forget the key element behind all of what you’re doing – your customers.

Ask your customers for their feedback to learn more about what it is they’re looking for. Use survey emails or send them a direct live chat link to get to know them better, to improve their customer experience, and improve your marketing campaigns.

Example of a survey email from Timberland.
Example of a survey email from Timberland

And don’t put roadblocks preventing your subscribers from sharing their voice. Change that no-reply email address to something more human. Don’t make it a marketing stunt.

Start caring more about your customers’ opinions and whenever possible, fix things where others have found problems. This will help you improve your brand image, drive more visitors to your site and bring you more sales in the long run, too.

7. Use social proof to improve your conversion rate.

Once you’ve gone with the previous best practice, don’t stop – turn your customers into brand advocates. Customer reviews and opinions are the best pieces of marketing you’ll ever have. And when it finally happens, make sure the customers who shared their opinions are appreciated and that others know about it.

Ecommerce email template example using social proof.
Mahabis featuring quotes from happy customers in their email campaigns

People generally seek others’ opinions before making a purchase online. So by encouraging your shoppers to provide their feedback, you’ll have a higher chance of converting your future store visitors.

Learn how Selsey, an online furniture store, doubled their conversion rates from cart abandonment emails using customer reviews.

8. Segment your audience

Not all customers are the same, we all know that. But only a few marketers change how they communicate in their emails based on who they’re targeting. Those that do, however, tend to see impressive results.

Take Submission Technology, for example. This GetResponse customer actively segments their audience and continues to see average click-throughs far beyond the industry benchmarks – often as high as 6-7%.

And what about those that don’t segment their audience? They often do OK, but nothing close to the above-mentioned results.

So if you want your company to thrive then take the time to analyze your audience. Try to identify individual segments that you can use to tailor your messaging and drive more sales from your emails.

Here are five customer segments most ecommerce businesses would find useful:

  • High spenders (people with high average order value or high lifetime value)
  • Loyal customers (people who’ve bought from you more than X times)
  • Trendsetters (people who’ve bought products from your newest lines without a discount)
  • One-time buyers (people who’ve only purchased once and would need a bit of convincing to buy again)
  • Recent buyers (people who’ve bought from you less than X days ago)

Should you be treating them the same way as people who’ve only subscribed to your newsletter and never bought anything? Absolutely not!

So think about it before you’re going to launch your next email program. I’m sure that among your own subscribers there are people at different funnel stages that’d be more convinced to make a purchase if you tailored your communication.

Below’s a great example of an email marketing campaign that started with segmentation. Huel looked at their current customers and identified those who haven’t tried their latest product yet. By knowing these customers already trust their brand, they used a simple piece of information (no purchase history of this particular item) to create an effective and personalized email campaign.

Personalized email campaign targeting existing customers who haven't bought a particular product.
Personalized email campaign targeting existing customers who haven’t bought a particular product.

Also, if you’re wondering whether setting up segments is difficult – it’s not. Here’s how you’d set up a segment of people who’ve purchased a specific product in your store:

Image showing how you can segment your audience inside GetResponse using information about a specific product a user has bought.
Using ecommerce data to segment your audience based on the specific product they bought.

9. Improve your email templates with compelling copy

Ecommerce emails often focus on beautiful images and flashy design. But that’s not all there is to successful email programs. Email copy is just as important. So pay attention to it.

First, start with your subject line. Over half of all email recipients base their decision whether to open the email on that one single factor.

Then go with the preheader, header, and call to action buttons.

They all should reinforce your message and help you drive more sales for your ecommerce store.

Example of an email using compelling copy from the Magic Spoon.
Magic Spoon using compelling copy throughout its message

For copywriting guidance, consider reading this guide by Joanna Wiebe on how to write newsletters that get read, opened, and clicked. It’s packed with email marketing tips that’ll help you write more compelling copy throughout all your message elements.

10. Aim for all devices

It’s been said too many times already, but I’ll say it one more time.

When designing your email templates, landing pages, and ad campaigns – focus on all the devices your customers might be using to access them. If a single element in this equation’s not working, you might be wasting your marketing budget and your customers’ interest.

Pay attention to the images, size, and placement of your call-to-action buttons, the product page, check-out process, and everything else your customers might encounter on the way. You’ll want the experience to be as smooth and frictionless as possible.

This email from Kiva checks all the right boxes.

  • The logo doesn’t take up a lot of space, so the subscribers immediately see the email content.
  • The headline is highly visible, short, and to the point. You know what the offer is about in a matter of seconds.
  • The call to action button is right on the first screen and is surrounded by a reasonable amount of negative space. Because of that, clicking the button with your thumb won’t be a problem. And the CTA copy clearly describes what the button does, too.
  • The supporting text that follows the CTA further explains the offer and clears any doubts you may have before hitting that button.
Mobile-responsive email that looks great on a mobile device from Kiva.
Mobile-responsive email that looks great on a mobile device from Kiva.

11. Pay attention to your mailing frequency

Every once in a while, we all get tempted to send just one more message. We do it thinking that there’s little harm in it and the outcome can only be good for the business.

While in many cases that might be true, the data from our study seems to be telling a different story.

Before you decide to increase your mailing frequency make sure to analyze the data carefully and take note of when you’re making the changes.

The number one reason why subscribers opt-out from receiving emails is that they receive too many of them in general.

At the same time, the total revenue you’ll make from the campaign may outweigh the costs of attracting new customers to replace the ones who unsubscribe.

Whatever you decide, make sure your long-term goals aren’t sacrificed by your short-term plans.

How email engagement rates change with higher email frequency. Data from Email Marketing Benchmarks report.
How email engagement rates change with higher email frequency. Data from Email Marketing Benchmarks report.

Now that you’re familiar with these 10 ecommerce email marketing best practices, it’s time to explore how you can track revenue from their ecommerce mailings.

How to track revenue from your ecommerce email marketing campaigns

The easiest way to measure the revenue you’re making from email marketing is by adding UTM parameters to your messages, setting up goals in your analytics tool (e.g. Google Analytics), and looking at the conversion rates and generated revenue over there.

Although it’s the simplest way to measure your email marketing ROI, it’s not the most accurate one. That’s because when setting up goals you have to assign the value of the goal conversion yourself.

If you only sell several products and they have different URLs, then it’s not a big problem. You can set up several goals and assign them a specific value.

The problem appears only if someone decides to buy several items of the same product within one session. That’s because Google Analytics would count that as a single goal conversion. This way your email marketing programs might not be getting enough credit. Your sales revenue from this channel would only be an approximate one. At the same time, measuring this way is better than not measuring your sales revenue at all.

The second slightly more advanced way to track revenue from your emails in Google Analytics is to use the Enhanced Ecommerce Analytics plugin. This plugin lets you track user interactions with products on your ecommerce website.

If they view a product, click on it, check product details, add it to their shopping cart, start the checkout process, complete the transaction, or abandon it – you’ll have all that information in your Google Analytics dashboard.

Google Analytics report showing the transactional information from Google's demo store. Note: Here they've not configured email as a separate channel so the transactions are counted along with the "Direct" channel.
Google Analytics report showing the transactional information from Google’s demo store. Note: Here they’ve not configured email as a separate channel so the transactions are counted along with the “Direct” channel.

More importantly, you’ll get accurate information on how much your customers spend with their transactions because the value of each individual transaction will get automatically sent to GA.

And if you connect your ecommerce store to GetResponse, you’ll be able to use that information to create customer segments and send targeted emails.

Be it abandoned cart emails, product upselling emails, or product recommendations.

Now let’s go over this 10-step strategy that’ll drive more visitors to your store and will help you convince them to purchase from your more often.

Ecommerce email marketing strategy – from basics to advanced

Step 1. Start building an email list

Most ecommerce brands start with little or no email list. What they do have, however, are website visitors, social media followers, and of course – existing customers.

To start growing your email list, consider doing the following:

  • Add a pop-up form that’ll appear after your visitors entered your website (ideally on all pages or just those that get the most website traffic)
  • Add an embedded signup form (e.g. in the footer), so that users can join your list even if they’ve closed the pop-up or for some reason, didn’t trigger it
  • Promote your newsletter on social media highlighting the benefits and exclusive perks your subscribers get
  • Run a giveaway or contest that’ll encourage your audience to opt into your list
  • Run a paid advertising campaign advertising your exclusive offers (make sure the pop-up form appears on the pages you’re promoting)
  • Run a referral marketing campaign where existing customers or subscribers can recommend others to join your list in exchange for a reward

Pro tip: Offering a discount or free shipping is probably the easiest way to convince folks to opt into your email list. And if you don’t want to offer deals right away, you can always make the offer available only on their second purchase.

Here’s an example of a popup form created inside GetResponse you could use on your site:

Example of a scroll popup created in GetResponse.
GetResponse Signup Form Builder.

And here’s an example of a giveaway contest run by one of GetResponse customers, Sabaton, where one of the key actions the contestants had to take was to sign up for the newsletter.

Sabaton's giveaway contest where one of the action's you can make is to opt in to their email list
Sabaton’s giveaway contest where one of the action’s you can make is to opt in to their email list

Step 2. Welcome new subscribers, automatically

Now that you’ve started collecting new email subscribers, it’s important to onboard them with a welcome email.

A welcome email is the single most engaging email you can send – it gets an average open rate of over 80% and a click-through above 20% according to our Email Marketing Benchmarks study.

A great welcome email can serve several purposes. It can help you:

  • Set the tone for the relationship you’re starting to build with the subscriber
  • Express the appreciation for entrusting you with their email address
  • Bring visitors back to your website
  • Motivate new subscribers to make their first purchase (e.g. through a discount code)
  • Present your different product categories and other key information, e.g. about the delivery costs, refund policy, or ways to reach you

There’s also another key benefit welcome emails can help you achieve – great email deliverability. That’s because, unlike email blasts that are sent to the whole of your email audience, welcome emails are delivered to individual subscribers by your email automation platform.

This steady flow of highly engaging emails shows to the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Gmail or Yahoo that you’re a solid email marketer and that your emails should be filtered into the mailbox, skipping the spam folder.

Here’s an example of a simple marketing automation workflow that’d send the welcome email for you, automatically.

Welcome email workflow built with GetResponse Marketing Automation.
Welcome email workflow built with GetResponse Marketing Automation.

Bear in mind that you could build out this workflow even further and turn your welcome message into a whole series. This is especially useful if you’re offering a wide variety of product categories and you don’t send promotional/sales emails all that often.

This is the approach one of GetResponse’s customers, Landcafe, took when they developed a whole educational series for their new subscribers. Their six-email series not only helps to tell the brand’s story and guide their customers through a variety of different coffees they sell but also helps them generate revenue. In fact, 54% of their sales come from their onboarding sequence.

The visual below portrays what their educational email series looks like:

Landcafe welcome email sequence.
Landcafe welcome email sequence.

Step 3. Start sending promotional emails, regularly

With the first two steps out of the way, it’s time to get into the habit of sending promotional emails to your audience.

Although you don’t want to overwhelm your subscribers with too many messages, you do need to make sure they remember about your business and visit your website. The best practice is to send at least one email per month, but ideally, you’d be looking at a weekly or biweekly schedule – depending on how versatile and engaging your content is.

Most email marketing services come with ready-made email templates you can fill in with your own copy, images, and colors to match your branding. Building your marketing messages this way won’t take too much of your time and will help you drive more sales from your ecommerce shop.

Here’s an example of an email template you can find inside GetResponse that’s been designed with ecommerce businesses in mind.

Example of an email template you can find inside GetResponse that's been designed with ecommerce businesses in mind.
Email template available in GetResponse.

And here’s a walkthrough video that shows you how you can build an email from scratch using our new Email Maker.

Step 4. Send reminders to those who did not convert

Once you’ve started sending your emails more regularly, you’ll probably notice that not all of your recipients will open all of your messages. And that’s natural – our inboxes get cluttered or our schedule becomes too busy.

Given that newsletters get an average open rate of just over 22%, it means that roughly 80% of your email list won’t open your message. This is still a great result compared to other marketing channels, but sometimes you may want to present your offer to those who didn’t open the first time, once again.

To do that, all you need to do is pick a different email subject line and leave your message content as it were. After all, they haven’t seen it yet 🙂 Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to send the message to those who’ve not opened your first email.

Now, depending on the email marketing service you use, there may be several ways to launch such a message.

In GetResponse, you can do this in three ways:

1) By selecting those who didn’t open the message directly in your email analytics report.

Image showing how you can find those who didn't open your specific email inside GetResponse New Statistics dashboard.

2) By looking up those who received your email and didn’t open it, and then saving them as a segment in Search Contacts.

Like this:

Image showing how you can find those who didn't open your specific email inside GetResponse Search Contacts.

3) By setting up a marketing automation workflow that’ll automatically send your reminder message after, e.g. 48 hours from your initial message.

Like this:

Resending the email automatically to those who didn't open the first one through marketing automation workflow.

Keep in mind this tactic shouldn’t be used too often as you may end up resending your messages to recipients who are genuinely no longer interested in your brand. And if you do find such contacts among your segments, you’ll want to try and reactivate them with a win-back campaign.

Step 5. Segment your audience and tailor your communication

As your email marketing list grows, you’ll want to ensure you keep your audience engaged. The best way to do that is by segmenting your recipients and tailoring the content to these individual groups’ needs.

With the right approach, you can help your customers move along your marketing funnel more effectively, which will of course lead to more repeat customers and sales.

A moment ago, I’ve presented five customer segments you’ll probably want to set up in your email marketing service. These are high spenders, loyal customers, trendsetters, one-time buyers, and recent buyers.

On top of that, here several more segmentation criteria that are particularly helpful for ecommerce brands:

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Preferred brand or category (e.g. based on their clicks or buying behavior)
  • Product size
  • Price sensitivity (e.g. buys only when there’s a sale)
  • Date of last purchase (e.g. within last 30 days, 30-90 days)
  • Lack of purchase (newsletter subscriber only)

Here’s an example of how Submission Technology tailors their email content to target males and females, individually.

Personalized ecommerce message based on recipient's gender.

Once again, starting with email segmentation’s super easy. Here’s an example of how you’d set up a segment comprising of people who’ve not bought anything in your store and signed up within the last 30 days.

Identifying those who didn't buy anything from you and signed up within the last 30 days.

Step 6. Retrieve lost sales with abandoned cart emails

Finally, it’s time to optimize your conversion rates. Given that you’ve already invested so much into getting visitors onto your site, it’s natural you’ll want to maximize the chances of them finishing their order.

A simple email reminding users about the product they’ve left in their shopping cart can help you achieve that. To set it up, you’ll need to integrate your ecommerce platform with your email automation tool and build a workflow like this one:

Marketing automation workflow that helps retrieve abandoned carts.

All the workflow does is wait for the signal from ShopifyMagentoPrestaShop, or any other platform you’re using that a user has left the website without finishing the transaction. When we get that signal, we launch whatever message or sequence of messages you’ve added into your workflow and help you win back the customer.

In GetResponse, there’s also another way to set up your cart abandonment emails, that’s currently reserved for Shopify. It uses the previously mentioned feature called Quick Transactional Emails. It requires only that you integrate your Shopify store with GetResponse, customize the layout of your email template using our Email Creator, and hit ‘activate’.

Related: The best marketing automation software for Shopify

Once again, you can use an email template to build your message and launch it to your audience in no time.

Ecommerce email template available in GetResponse.
Ecommerce email template available in GetResponse.

Step 7. Reactivate subscribers with win-back campaigns

Over time, some of your subscribers may become unengaged and reluctant to open your messages. Even though this is expected, it’s not something you’ll want to leave unattended.

Unengaged subscribers not only cost you money (they use up space in your database) but also affect your email deliverability. Their lack of activity shows to the ISPs that your content is unattractive and that you don’t keep your list hygienic. These signals then are used to filter your messages and placing them in the other subscribers’ mailboxes.

That’s where win-back programs come into play. Their purpose is to not only try to win back those who may still be interested in your brand but also to keep the “lost-cases” away. Recipients whom you’ve failed to reactivate on multiple occasions should ideally be moved away to a different segment that you won’t communicate with regularly or be removed altogether.

While parting ways with your inactive subscribers may seem scary at first, it’s a process that can have a tremendous impact on your deliverability and revenue.

Once again, the process of setting up a win-back campaign is simple.

Here’s what your segment could look like if you used the GetResponse Engagement Score feature to identify people who signed up for your newsletter more than 60 days ago and have the engagement score of 1 indicating that they’re “unengaged”.

Segment identifying email subscribers who were added to your database over 60 days ago and have engagement score of 1.

And here’s the workflow that would first wait for 90 days, then check if the recipient’s present in the inactive segment, and then would send them an automated reminder. Should the recipient ignore the reminder message, they’ll be assigned a tag “lapsed-customer”.

Win-back automation workflow aimed to reactivate lapsed customers.

Step 8. Ask buyers for their feedback

I’ve already mentioned why social proof is important and how you can use it in your email marketing program. Now it’s time to encourage your buyers to provide their feedback so that you can use it throughout your marketing communication.

The process is simple, all you need to do is to build a workflow that’d send an automated message sometime after someone’s made a purchase. This could be a week, two, or maybe a month – depending on how long it takes to both deliver your product and get a good feel for it.

Here’s a workflow that you could use to ask your buyers for feedback about your products:

Post-purchase email workflow asking buyers for their feedback.

Step 9. Send recommendations based on shoppers’ behavior

I’m a big fan of Netflix and how they use recommendations to offer me the best movies and shows based on what others like me enjoyed. If you’re like me, you’ll be happy to know that you can the same approach in your email marketing program.

Once you’ve connected your store with your email marketing service, all you need to do is set up a workflow and prepare a message that would contain your product recommendations.

This quick walkthrough shows how you can set this up in the GetResponse Email Creator:

And here’s the workflow that’d deliver the product recommendation email to your recipients two weeks after they bought from you:

Post-purchase email workflow recommending other products.

Step 10. Take advantage of transactional emails to build customer loyalty

Last but not least, you’ll want to take advantage of transactional emails in your email marketing program.

In GetResponse, there are two ways to set them up:

The latter solution gives you more flexibility, while the first one is quick, easy, and requires no coding whatsoever. Whichever method you choose, transactional emails are worth sending.

Transactional emails not only provide the reassurance that the transaction was processed correctly, but they also give you an opportunity to strengthen your customer relationships.

Take this example from MeUndies, an online retailer selling underwear. Doesn’t this email look fun and enjoyable? Even though it’s just a transactional email, it shows the brand’s personality and sets the tone for the long relationship they’re trying to build with their audience.

Fun transactional email notifying the recipient that the product has been shipped.
Fun transactional email notifying the recipient that the product has been shipped. Source: ReallyGoodEmails

Finally, let’s look at some noteworthy ecommerce email template examples you may want to get inspired by.

10 amazing ecommerce email template examples

We’ve just discussed how email marketing can be used by ecommerce brands to facilitate their customers’ journey.

Now let’s take a look at the best ecommerce email examples – those that can help you build stronger relationships as well as those that are aimed to sell more products.

1. Welcome email

Here’s an example of a welcome email from Adidas. Notice how it successfully makes you feel like you’re part of a community and gets you back on the site, to shop for your new favorite clothes.

Welcome email containing a discount code – from Adidas.
Welcome email containing a discount code – from Adidas.

2. Onboarding campaign

The goal of an onboarding email series is to familiarize your new recipients with the brand and the full range of products and services you’re offering. Here’s a newsletter that delivers on that premise from Huckberry, an ecommerce brand that backs up its products with inspirational content.

Onboarding email showing the various product categories available in the shop from Huckberry.
Onboarding email showing the various product categories available in the shop from Huckberry.

3. Flash sale campaign

Flash sales are designed to help you deliver on short-term results. They create a sense of urgency, get your customers to act quickly, and generate revenue fast. Here’s an example from Casper that follows this approach and does it very well:

Flash sale message from Casper.
Flash sale message from Casper.

4. Cart abandonment email

Although emails are not sent very frequently, they’re aimed at visitors who are *this close* to buying from you. And since many customers expect to receive cart abandonment emails, they often get average open rates of 40-50% and CTRs above 15%. Here’s an abandoned cart email example from American Giant that’s particularly good.

Cart abandonment email from American Giant offering you an easy way to return to the checkout.
Cart abandonment email from American Giant offering you an easy way to return to the checkout.

Learn how BeautySleep achieves 25% sales rate with 6-email cart abandonment series.

5. Browse abandonment email

The idea is similar to the one above. The only exception is that they’re aimed at people who’ve not added the product to their cart but they’ve shown interest in them (e.g. clicked on it in another email). Here’s how Timberland uses this approach:

Browse abandonment email featuring the product you saw plus recommendations from Timberland.
Browse abandonment email featuring the product you saw plus recommendations from Timberland.

6. Product recommendation email

Product recommendation emails are powerful and you can send them even if you’re targeting new users. All you need to do is pick the best-sellers from your store and present them in an email like this one from MVMT:

Promotional email featuring best selling watches from MVMT.
Promotional email featuring best selling watches from MVMT.

7. Review email

Asking recent buyers for feedback? Here’s an example of how Target asks their audience to write anything positive or negative about their latest purchase:

Survey email asking users to rate their last purchase.
Survey email asking users to rate their last purchase Source: ReallyGoodEmails

8. Transactional email

Here’s a great activation email example that asks the user to confirm they wanted to set up an account with their email address. What’s worth noting is that it carries on the same branding the company uses across all their email marketing campaigns.

Email confirming the setup of a new account in the Huel's shop.
Email confirming the setup of a new account in the Huel’s shop.

9. Email campaign using user-generated content

User reviews, testimonials, and even social media posts can make your email marketing more authentic and impactful. Here’s how MeUndies uses posts from Instagram to drive more engagement with their marketing communication:

MeUndies using Instagram quotes to make their email communication more authentic.
MeUndies using Instagram quotes to make their email communication more authentic.

10. Referral email

Turning those customers into brand advocates? Here’s how Huel does this in their onboarding sequence. Note: the email was originally in Polish, but I’ve translated it to English so that you can get a better feel for its content.

Referral email marketing message from Huel offering you 50 PLN discount for recommending the brand to your friends.
Referral email marketing message from Huel offering you 50 PLN discount for recommending the brand to your friends.

Want to see more ecommerce newsletter examples? Here’s an in-depth guide that explains what email marketing automation is & shows over 30 examples of automated emails that’ll work great for your business.

How will you grow your ecommerce company?

Now that you’ve seen how email can help your ecommerce business grow (even if you’re mostly brick-and-mortar!), it’s time you answer this one simple question:

What’s the first step you’re going to take?

If you’re going to follow the sample strategy I’ve described above, you’ll probably want to use a tool that’ll help you achieve your ambitious goals.

And if you’re shopping for an email marketing service provider, I highly encourage you to give GetResponse a try.

It comes with 30 days free trial and you don’t need to provide your credit card details. And on top of emails, it’s packed with plenty of other tools that’ll help your shop grow.

So go on, connect your online store with GetResponse and launch your first email marketing campaign today.