The eCommerce industry is fast expanding. Whether you sell customized t-shirts, posters, grocery or even baby products, there are at least a thousand others who are doing the same. While this has resulted in the consumer market loving online shopping, it has also made it a challenge for the eCommerce businesses to acquire new customers.

Online shoppers conduct an online research of their own on the products they are interested in, to ensure they are getting the best deal for it and are purchasing from a business that is credible in the market.

While you can drive these shoppers to your online store from social media, advertisements, SEO, content marketing and other tactics, there is no guarantee that they would make a purchase from you – at least not in the first time.

But people who do land on your website are those who are interested in the products you are offering. They went away simply because they think they can find a better deal from another store – but they haven’t lost interest in the product!

One way of bringing these lost shoppers back is to use retargeting campaigns. Campaigns that would focus on displaying the product they showed interest in across the various digital channels they use. This is a way to ensure they remember your store and the offer you’re making, in case they haven’t already made the purchase!

While retargeting is known to bring in promising results for eCommerce, there is one marketing channel that has been unbeatable at driving sales – email.

With about 91% of consumers checking their emails daily, the communication medium is definitely a place for marketers to promote their online store or popular products ‘directly’ to individual shoppers.

If you think this is a spammy approach, then here’s a fact – 74% of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via email. And 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email from the business.

Yes, 60% marketers of successful businesses in the eCommerce industry believe that email marketing produces a positive ROI, which is much higher than those generated by other digital channels.

Is email marketing better than social media for eCommerce businesses?

While we don’t say you should pick one over the other, the answer is ‘yes’.

The top social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are known to be great platforms to distribute and share your content with a mass audience. But with the volume of posts being made on each of these channels, only about 20% of your following is able to view the updates your business is posting.

Unless you opt for paid advertising or boosting a few posts and tweets to grab their attention!

Now investing in paid advertisements has been a common tactic to drive sales for businesses who have a considerable marketing budget. But those stores that have just started out, can often end up losing their marketing budgets in return for nothing thanks to the competition!

But emails can be used for marketing and scaled as your business grows, without the risk of losing too many resources.

According to a study conducted by Custora, email marketing has been a growing trend in the eCommerce industry. The study states that the customer acquisition via emails has quadrupled over the last 4 years and is all set to grow in future. On the other hand, the results from social channels weren’t all too promising!

customer email marketing 1 customer email marketing 2

In simpler words, you can’t simply rely on a social media marketing strategy and digital advertising to drive sales for your eCommerce business. You need to go beyond that and reach out to your potential customers on a one-to-one basis via personalized emails.

Here’s taking a look at some ways eCommerce businesses can use email marketing for driving sales:

1. Send notifications of ongoing or upcoming sales

When you launch a sale, your potential customers could be anywhere. You need to choose a channel that is guaranteed to be checked for delivering the notification and that’s their inbox. Emails can be used to notify your customers and subscribers of ongoing sales or those that are getting launched in a few days. You can create drip campaigns for the entire sale duration to keep promoting different aspects of what you’re offering via the mail.

jabong email marketing

2. Recommend new range of products based on previous purchases

The secret to successful online stores is strategically planned upselling and cross-selling campaigns. Customers who have made purchases from you are happy with the same, are more likely to convert again on finding something that interests them or adds value to them. You can use emails to recommend new products from your ranges based on the customer’s previous purchase. The more you tailor your email to match the customer’s interest, the more likely he is to make the purchase again. This in turn, boosts your retention rates as well.

amazon recommend email marketing

3. Get customer feedback on purchases made

The one way to ensure you don’t lose your customers in the rising market competition, is to consistently improve their experience. Be it in completing the purchase, delivery, quality of the product or other aspects, your customer needs to be happy. Successful businesses like Amazon make use of emails to gather feedback on the items purchased by a shopper, 3-4 days after it is delivered.

amazon email marketing feedback

4. Remind the customers of the offers you’re running

Since online shoppers are habitual of conducting a research of their own on products and deals, it is a given that they might not purchase from your sale straight away. You can use the emails to remind these shoppers of the sale, how many days are left of it, how many products are already sold and introduce a sense of urgency to drive more purchases.

flipkart email marketing last day

Or remind them of the free shipping you’re offering:

jabong email marketing free shipping

5. Recover abandoned carts

According to Baymard Institute, the average documented cart abandonment rate is about 69% and that’s literally losing more than half your possible sales. You can use emails to recover abandoned carts to touch base with the customers who left the items behind. Remind them of the items they had chosen, the deals you were offering on them and how they would soon be unavailable if not purchased.

topshop email marketing

6. Offer special discounts and coupons to drive customer loyalty

Continuing on the point above, you can use emails to offer special discounts and coupons to customers via email to recover abandoned carts. Since they feel like they are bagging an ‘even better deal’ after the additional discount, they are more likely to complete the purchase. Alternatively, you can use emails to create a customer loyalty program, where a shopper is offered redeemable points for his next purchase on completing defined actions.

email marketing extra off

7. Promote your content

With content marketing becoming a must have for all businesses – yes, even your eCommerce business needs a blog, it is important to promote the pieces as much as possible. The good part of this is, as long as it is contextual, people love such articles! And you could easily incorporate ‘buy now’ call-to-actions in the content pieces – all without looking too salesy. Email and content marketing are the best of friends!

limeroad email marketing

But that’s not all. When you’re using email marketing for eCommerce, you need to make sure that you’re adding value to the subscriber in some way. The greater your level of understanding of his needs and preferences, the better are your click through rates and sales from the email marketing campaigns.

For instance, SmartMail brought together 15 tips from eCommerce marketing experts in an interesting post. The tips don’t just focus on creating a single effective channel of communication, but talk about how you need to personalize a customer’s experience right from the start – the point at which he visits your website to when you send him the first email.

Have you ever used email marketing for your eCommerce business? How did you use it and what were the results like?

Also read: 7 eCommerce email marketing tactics to boost your sales

In case you’re wondering how to get started on building an email list for your eCommerce store? Let us give you a free trial of our technology to grow your email list 10X faster..

ecommerce cta 2


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Vanhishikha Bhargava

Content Marketer at Exit Bee. Most of the times found trying to create compelling copies for blogs and digital campaigns, keeping a watch on what's happening on social media or ranting on Twitter. At all other times, not found.

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  • chandru sharma

    Nice Read! Here you have done great job and well explained about the effectiveness of the email marketing. Hope it will be very useful to Ecommerce Marketers.

    Chandru , Ecbilla – Ecommerce Portal