3 types of email campaigns to boost your eCommerce success

Emails and e-commerce go together like lockdown and pajamas – they just work. We’re big believers in the power of email marketing but success is a lot like comedy – it all comes down to timing. Emailing the wrong people at the wrong time can quickly sour things and make you look spammy.

To help you get it right, let’s look at the three categories of campaigns to help you grow your brand and boost your online sales.

Transactional emails

These are your ‘expected’ emails that centre around a transaction someone has made on your e-commerce site. Think orders, deliveries, returns, etc. These types of mails are not only expected in this day and age, they are anticipated. Unsurprisingly, they have super high open rates (nearly double that of non-transactional emails) because your customers want to know everything is on track. Here are some examples and how to make the most of them:

Order confirmation

Purely functional, this email indicates that an order and/or payment has been received. Tip: Offer a discount code on a future purchase or try upselling similar products. Every email should also invite customers to join your community – e.g. your social media channels – to make them feel valued and encourage them to return.

Shipping confirmation

The clue is in the name, this email notifies a customer that their item has been shipped. Always make it easy to track an order and give clear estimated delivery dates.
Tip: There is much excitement when a product is on its way, so invite your customer to share the email with a friend. This is also a good time to suggest similar products for the future (if you like X, you’ll love Z).

Follow-up email

Once a product has arrived, make the most of (hopefully positive!) feedback by sending them a quick check-in email. Also have a plan ready if the feedback isn’t great!
Tip: Offer a small incentive for leaving a review or rating on your website or send them a quick survey to help you improve your product or service.

Promotional Emails

These emails are designed to highlight a sale (e.g. Black Friday), seasonal event (e.g. Valentine’s Day) or any other offer or product launch. These could also be your monthly newsletters, sharing content (e.g. new e-book download) or seasonal deals (e.g. winter / school holidays). The most important thing: make sure you have something newsworthy to share!


The good old email newsletter still does a great job of keeping customers in the loop of what’s new in your business.
Tip: Don’t get stuck on just being sell, sell, sell or discounts all the time. Testimonials and case studies are great ways to build credibility. Perhaps you have a story to share from a staff member, or an impressive before/after from a customer. Tell stories that people will find interesting and relevant.

New products and services

Customers won’t know about new releases if you don’t tell them – a monthly reminder works wonders for this.
Tip: If you’ve built up a large database already, it’s a good idea to start segmenting it into types of customers. E.g. loyal or first-time customers, by type of products or person (e.g. moms, seniors).

Subscriber exclusives

People love getting the special treatment so it’s a good idea to make your subscribers feel as if they’re members of a special club.
Tip: Offer subs-only free delivery or discount codes in your emails to build loyalty.

Seasonal promotions

Make the most of seasonal spirit with offers teamed around big calendar dates. These are easy to plan ahead, and you could actually be the business that reminds people not to miss these important dates (Mother’s Day, wink, wink!)
Tip: Make a note when someone buys for a special event (e.g. anniversary or Mother’s Day) in order to remember that the following year.

Time-sensitive deals

Create a time-sensitive promotion that relates to customers’ interests. Offer a discount on the same category of items they bought in the week before.

New content on your website

Email – along with social media – is the perfect way to alert customers of new content, whether it’s an infographic, interview, demo video or a new product catalogue. It’s worth investing in quality copywriting for engaging product descriptions and must-read blogs.
Tip: With RSS, new content can be sent automatically to subscribers of your blog.

Lifecycle emails

Think about a customer’s journey with your brand as a life cycle – investigating, first-time buyer, repeat buyer, haven’t-bought-in-a-while buyer, etc. Lifecycle emails are triggered responses designed to spur someone into action, increase their satisfaction and, of course, for retention.

A series of welcome emails

When someone creates an account or subscribes to your newsletter it’s the ideal opportunity to keep them warm with a series of welcome emails.
Tip: Offer an incentive (discount code) and be very transparent about how often you’ll contact them (and that they can cancel at any time).

Abandoned cart emails

Let’s face it – life is busy and attention spans are short! People often get interrupted while they are shopping so it’s good to give them a little nudge with an abandon-cart email. Make it even more attractive with an incentive – e.g. throw in free shipping.
Tip: Show the product(s) they were browsing clearly and put your offer in the subject line or prominently on the email.

Upsell on a second order

When it comes to a second order, you should start getting smart with your product bundling. Look at your top selling products and try to associate complementary products. Then use what they call ‘discount ladders’ to entice them to buy. Starting with 5%, then 10%, the 15% until they hopefully bite!

Win-back series

When customers go a little MIA, you can remind and entice clients back with win-back emails around certain time periods (e.g. 30/45/90 days).
Tip: Play around with different discount offers to see what the best conversion is without costing you too much.

We hope we’ve inspired you to use the power of email marketing to grow your online store. If you want these emails in place, click below to find out more about our email marketing service and how we can help!

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