Boost Your eCommerce Email Conversions In 5 Easy Steps

You’ve probably heard that email marketing can be a powerful digital marketing strategy for your eCommerce business.

(And if you haven’t, try this on for size: For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $38).


But maybe for your own business, the emails you’ve sent out haven’t gotten much of a response…if any. 

So maybe you’re planning to launch a new campaign, and can’t decide if you should prioritize email marketing to drive leads.

Can sending an email out here and there really make much of a difference? 

The truth is, when done correctly, having an effective email marketing strategy can increase your conversion rate by 254%.

In a time where there are an estimated 3 million Internet companies, it’s important that you stay in touch with customers and potential leads by creating a more personal relationship with them. 

While it may seem that social media is a good route to stay connected, 72% of people would rather receive emails than contact via social media, making it 40x more effective than Facebook or Twitter. 

Not only does email marketing make you a familiar name on a personal platform that most of us use every day, but it allows you to seek out your customers instead of waiting for them to find you in a Google search, which gets increasingly difficult as time goes on. 

So how can you start making your eCommerce emails work for your business? Follow the 5 steps below to reap the benefits that an effective eCommerce email campaign has to offer.

1. Use the Buyer Journey

The first step to developing effective eCommerce email marketing is to identify the buyer journey for each of your marketing personas

There are 3 main stages of the buyer journey: awareness, consideration, and decision. Email can play a role in each phase, helping to guide users down the funnel. 

Awareness is when a potential buyer is experiencing a problem or need, and is actively researching a solution.

This is where email caches like Facebook ads and SEO friendly content marketing come into play. 

At the awareness stage, the buyer is looking to be educated. That’s why you should avoid any direct sales propositions in any emails aimed at users in this phase.

Instead, pose yourself as an influencer in your field by linking to landing pages that offer informational material that can help them identify and solve the issues they’re facing. 

Consideration is when a user has identified their need for your product or service, and is beginning to weigh their options for a solution.

In this stage, you can target potential customers by providing more in-depth information about the benefits of your brand. Now’s the time to offer a bit more education on how your product can address their pain points, but still without a direct sales proposition.

To help determine how to target buyers in this stage, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What are their pain points?
  2. How can your products help?
  3. How does your product stand out from others that claim to address the same issues?

This is also a good time to share giveaway entries or a webinar series to give them more information on how to solve their issue. 

Decision is when a potential customer is ready to make a purchase decision — they’re just deciding on which product or service will be the best fit. 

This is where you offer the final “nudge of reassurance.

That means strategically placing email opt-ins in their shopping cart page, and anywhere on your site where they’ll browse your products. 

Include discount offers, free trials, or free shipping in exchange for an email address. 

2. Plan Your Content

Now that you’ve nailed down when to send specific email campaigns to leads, it’s time to plan out your content.

Try to set a goal for each campaign, whether it be to close a sale on a new product or simply better your relationship with your customers and add a personal appeal to your company.

Next, brainstorm a list of topics that are relevant to your targeted persona’s needs, and where they are on the buyer journey. 

For example, if you’re a vitamin supplement company and your persona is in the awareness phase, consider including an educational blog about a relevant topic that they enjoy (that’s still relevant to your brand). 

If your persona loves tennis, provide a blog about top tennis injuries and how to avoid them — with a final call-to-action about the importance of using vitamins to help prevent common injuries. 

If you decide to send a newsletter, narrow down your information to the things about you that would resound with this person. Are they a parent? Share a story about how your children helped inspire you to start a business. 

In addition to news and readable content, include something for them to look forward to, like research results, exclusive offers, updates, and giveaways. 

3. Create and Stick to a Schedule

When it comes to making sure your eCommerce emails are effective, consistency is key.

Being consistent proves that your brand is reliable and helps establish a comfortable relationship with your consumers. Other perks of staying consistent with your email cadence include:

  • Creating brand familiarity so people are more likely to regularly reference you 
  • Building a sense of trust and satisfaction with your subscribers after recurring pleasant experiences 
  • Shortening the sales cycle to convert leads faster 

So how often should you email your list? 

According to a Mailchimp survey, around 61% of users prefer deals at least once a month, as long as they’re well targeted. 

Recurrence rate varies by company, so tailor your schedule to meet the specific needs of your audience by considering:

  • How often your competitors are emailing 
  • The type of emails — if your forte is fall clothing, you’ll want to send more when people are shopping for warmer clothes
  • Your unsubscribe rate — if you notice people unsubscribing, you could be sending emails too frequently 

4. Stand Out with Subject Lines

47% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone. That means you can’t afford your eCommerce emails to have junky subject lines that get your emails thrown straight in the trash.

Make sure your subject lines and preview texts are informative, concise, and enticing

Some of the subject lines with the highest conversion rates evoke specific emotions that lead to an email click. These include

Fear of missing out: No one likes the feeling of missing out on a deal or event that’s right up their alley. Indicate urgency in your subject lines by saying things such as “Only 2 days left to get free shipping!”

Humor: Humorous subject lines make people feel like they can relate to your company and that the content will be entertaining. 

Sparked curiosity: No one likes an unsolved mystery. Give a subtle hint at what’s contained in the email and how intriguing it is. 

Personal touch: Include emails with deals specific to the buyer, like birthday discounts that make them feel special. 

Vanity: We all like to look and feel good. Let them know your email resources can help them do just that. 

5. Use Mobile-First Design

Around 66% of users access emails via mobile devices. And according to a Litmus study, 77% of people immediately exit an email if it isn’t mobile compatible. 

Avoid a great email from being ignored by making sure you format it to be easy to navigate and read on various screen sizes — especially mobile.

Email services such as Mailchimp offer easy-to-use formatting options to ensure your emails practically look made for the mobile screen.

By following these 5 steps, you may be surprised at how a few detailed adjustments can make all the difference in your eCommerce email marketing conversion rates.

Pro tip: according to our case studies, integrating Shopify with Mailchimp can increase your email sales by 2,882%. Success in email marketing is in the details. 

If all of this seems appealing but you just don’t have the time, we understand. That’s why we have a team of top-notch email marketers ready to do it for you »

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