Ecommerce Email Marketing: Understanding the Strategy

Marketing 19 minute read 4th August 2023

Ecommerce email marketing is one of the most effective strategies in the sales industry. This strategy uses promotional emails to drive more sales. You can target customers on email lists to prompt purchases, or reward return customers with loyalty programs.

Ecommerce uses many types of emails—including transaction emails and confirmation emails. However, promotional emails drive the most sales. Using email marketing for ecommerce is fantastic. It is sales-focused and has clear benchmarks for goals and success. Emails get sent out; sales come in.

In this guide, we have all the vital bits of information that you need to understand this email marketing niche. While you may already be familiar with email marketing - even at beginner levels - it’s essential to learn about ecommerce specifically. You can use email marketing for everything from hotels to restaurants; the industry shapes how you strategize this marketing technique.

So, this is how to understand ecommerce email marketing. We’ll cover everything from finding an agency to exactly why you should even bother in the first place. Here’s an ultimate introduction to the world of email marketing for ecommerce.

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What Is Ecommerce Email Marketing?

The most crucial part of understanding this strategy is understanding what ecommerce email marketing actually is. It is also important to differentiate what sets ecommerce marketing aside from other marketing - like hotels and restaurants.

As a simple definition, email marketing for ecommerce is just sending emails to a list of recipients to boost engagement. This engagement typically increases purchase behavior (e.g., sales). However, it can be anything from loyalty program sign-ups to social media followers. The world truly is your oyster. If you run an ecommerce store, email marketing is a brilliant way to drive sales and funnel traffic.

The email types can be any of the following:

  • Email newsletters

Chatty, short, and snappy email newsletters build a bond between customers and businesses. You update customers on your business news and strengthen your brand image.

  • Transaction emails

You send transactional emails to customers to confirm different types of customer actions. For instance, these emails notify customers of abandoning a cart without paying. Or you can send a confirmation email that their purchase has been made.

  • Promotional emails

These are your sales emails. You inform recipients about all the latest goods in your ecommerce store and any too-good-to-miss deals.

  • Retention emails

These emails are all about retaining customers. This could be sending out deals to customers who have been inactive for a few months to entice them back. Or you can send out ‘last chance’ deals before people cancel subscriptions.

With ecommerce marketing, these emails will lean towards specific products and sales. A hotel or restaurant might encourage people to book or visit in person. With an online store, you only need to direct people to a web page. This has way fewer strings and massively capitalizes on impulse.

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Why Email Marketing is Important for Ecommerce

Now that you know precisely what ecommerce email marketing is, what about its benefits? What about why email marketing is important for ecommerce? Let’s break things down into the top five benefits.

  1. Fosters direct communication with customers. Emails are wonderful to connect quickly and directly with customers. Once you build an email list, you have contacts that you can communicate with directly. Unlike paid ads, you know precisely who you are targeting with email marketing.

  2. Builds a professional image to create trust and loyalty. Email marketing builds trust and loyalty—essential qualities for ecommerce. By establishing contact with customers via email, you curate authority. Emails are a professional means of communication. This is a huge benefit of email marketing over SMS marketing. If a business is professional, you are likelier to engage with it and show customer loyalty.

  3. Sends emails in bulk. Sending emails in bulk is a massive benefit of email marketing for ecommerce. If you send emails in bulk, it takes less time to execute each marketing campaign. You save money and maximize your time to create better results. Simply download email marketing software to bulk and organize emails. You can find all sorts of specialist email software - including email marketing software for restaurants. So take your time to shop around for ecommerce-friendly software.

  4. Increases sales. Investing in email marketing for your ecommerce store increases sales. And who doesn’t want that? Email marketing is great because there’s such a high correlation between emails and sales.

  5. Many email-type options. The final reason why it is so important to use email marketing in ecommerce is that email marketing is flexible. There are so many email types and templates. And having that flexibility is great for targeting different customers and creating a multi-strategy campaign.

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How to Find an Ecommerce Email Marketing Agency

Ecommerce email marketing is definitely something you can do yourself. In our next section, we’ll cover how to run your email marketing strategy for ecommerce. But what if you just don’t have the headspace or capacity? Just get help.

You aren’t embarking on a wild goose chase, don’t worry. These are the simple steps you can take to find the right marketing agency for you:

  1. Get clear on what your goals and ideal strategy. You first need to know exactly what your goals are. This will help you clearly communicate to agencies what you would like to gain from their service. And it will help you screen different agencies at a later date. If you have the perfect strategy idea (e.g., three emails a week), it is helpful to jot this down too. This stage is all about creating expectations.

  2. Nail down a budget. Like it or not, budget matters; calculate your budget before contacting agencies. This will stop you from wasting anybody’s time - yours or the agency’s.

  3. Conduct research on available agencies. This is the exciting part. Get researching and note down any agencies that take your eye. A quick Google will bring up many agencies, but use word of mouth. Check reviews thoroughly.

  4. Reach out with queries, have trials, and use demos. Make contact and make the most of any trials and demos. This is an elimination stage, so get to know the agencies as well as possible.

  5. Make your final decision and set a review date. Decision time! Choose an agency and set a review date (one to three months is a good rule of thumb). You don’t need to communicate this date with the agency, but it’s an excellent way to track progress yourself.

3 Top Ecommerce Email Marketing Agencies

Sometimes it can be most helpful when people just point you in the direction of solutions. So here goes; the best email marketing solutions for ecommerce businesses. These are the ultimate three ecommerce marketing agencies that specialize in email marketing.

  • Gravytrain

A specialist ecommerce email marketing agency, Gravytrain works especially well with Shopify users. Expect email marketing assistance but also general marketing insights.

  • KY Mail

KY Mail specializes in email marketing and only email marketing for ecommerce. That said, they’re so thorough you can see why. They handle everything from template design to scheduling.

  • Push

Push is a much more rounded agency. It tackles everything from emails to SEO but has worked with some huge names. This is your best bet if you are on the fence about email marketing and want a more holistic approach.

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How to Start Ecommerce Email Marketing Yourself

Feeling brave? Congratulations on being independent thinking and ready to get your hands dirty. Debating whether you should do your own marketing or hire a professional is a tough call. But if you have the time, it is an excellent opportunity to upskill yourself.

These are the four simple steps to starting ecommerce email marketing yourself.

  1. Learn the email marketing essentials. The first step is the hardest - classic, right? This is the stage where you need to grill the basics of email marketing in general. You need to really understand the concept. So read articles online (like this one you’re reading right now) and join some courses if you have time. There are lots of online courses that you can complete in just a couple of days. As important as this stage is, don’t let yourself get stuck in this part. Give yourself a week at an absolute maximum. Then push forward. You’ll learn as you go from trial and error anyway.

  2. Collect email addresses. You won’t be able to use classic techniques like captive portal WiFi without a physical store. So you’ll need to get creative. Collecting emails by offering email order updates is a good idea. But there are many ways to creatively collect email addresses from your ecommerce store - including competitions and giveaways.

  3. Create a plan and gather email templates. Make a plan - be it three emails a week or where and when your ‘marketing hours’ will be. Then gather email templates so you have inspiration for the low days. Take three hours maximum at this stage.

  4. Send out your first emails using a software. Voila! Send the emails out. You can use software to send emails to your subscriber list in bulk. Don’t overthink it, and embrace the learning curves.

Resources For Starting Your Own Email Marketing Campaign

You didn’t think we’d leave out ecommerce email marketing resources, did you? These top resources will make going it alone easier.

  • Sprout Social

Sprout Social has a blog dedicated to helping people on their marketing journey. You can check out a whole archive of marketing information for free.

  • Grammarly

Grammarly is an absolute lifesaver. This tool is an editor - offering suggestions about how your writing can read better. The free package corrects basic grammar errors, while the advanced package corrects style. Grammarly is great for helping your emails read professionally and achieve the proper customer reaction.

  • Canva

Canva is a brilliant tool when embarking on email marketing alone. It helps you design digital art and aesthetic documents - logos or posts. It has a free option as well.

  • MailChimp

MailChimp offers brilliant analytical insights into your email marketing campaign. When you are running a campaign yourself, this is super useful so you can get feedback. MailChimp is a little expensive but definitely worth it. And it lets you bulk-send emails.

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Is Investing in Email Marketing for Ecommerce Worthwhile for Your Business?

Investing in ecommerce email marketing is 100% worthwhile for your business. If you run an ecommerce business, you’ll know how vital it is to develop digital foot traffic. Unlike a regular store that relies on more physical marketing, ecommerce needs you to advertise it more proactively.

Nobody will stumble across an ecommerce business lacking SEO and zero marketing strategies. It just doesn’t happen. You’ll get lost in Google, where nobody walks digital streets to stumble across it.

Email marketing for ecommerce is a brilliant solution. It is low-cost and works in bulk, meaning you only need to set aside an hour or so a week. If you send three emails per week, allow 15 minutes to write an email and 5 minutes to send.

You can easily squeeze this into your morning routine a few days a week. And if you want extra help, you can reach out to many agencies. Getting results is an all-important part of the business. So this is an avenue worth investing in.

Do you want some extra help with investing in ecommerce email marketing? At Beambox, we’d love to help you market your ecommerce business. As marketing and business improvement experts, we can help you in your journey to ecommerce success.

Beambox offers the best all-in-one WiFi marketing platform. We utilize a dynamic approach to attract new customers while keeping loyal customers happy. Start your Beambox free trial today, and let us help you maximize your new ecommerce email knowledge.

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