Email marketing online shop

Email Marketing for Online Shops - Advantages, Examples and Ideas

You wish to optimize the conversion of your WooCommerce online shop or other providers? Then you shouldn't just rely on only one marketing channel, or even expect your sales figures to skyrocket, without additional advertising. Emails are an effective and easy way to increase sales.

Most people, including the customers of your online shop, check their inbox every day. With targeted, personalized and appealing mailings, you can have a significant influence on the buying decisions of those who are interested in your shop.

This article will tell you more about the advantages of e-commerce newsletters, which types of emails are particularly important for online shops, and how exactly you can get started with email marketing.

Why you should begin with email marketing

For online retailers, emails are the perfect channel (in addition to their own shop website) to market products and increase sales. Almost every professional e-commerce company uses transactional emails and other email campaigns to strengthen customer loyalty and keep customers informed about their order throughout their entire customer journey.

With a clever email marketing strategy, you can build a loyal community and improve the reputation of your online shop. You can personalize your marketing activities and collect social proof from satisfied customers.

With e-commerce mailings, you can be sure that you are addressing a target group that is really interested in your online shop. This is because those who receive the emails have to register for a newsletter on their own and agree via an opt-in procedure so that you can contact them. This in turn means that you are building a high-quality group of addressees.

Consider the legal basis

If you send emails about your online shop, you need to know and follow all the legal basics to avoid legal issues. See our posts Reasons for warnings in online shops and WooCommerce to make it legally secure. Have your email campaigns, your legal texts and your shop checked by a suitable law firm specializing in online law.

In addition, you can prevent your customers from forgetting about you with a win-back newsletter campaign. Thereby, with just one (or more) emails, you keep them from forgetting about your online shop and encourage them to buy again.

As a marketing tool, the email channel is cheaper than many other channels. The costs incurred are limited to the software used for email marketing. The same applies to the time needed to set up the campaigns. Newsletters often achieve the highest ROI (return on investment) of all online marketing channels.

Email Marketing Welcome Email
Example of a welcome email

You want to make your newsletter campaigns easier? E-commerce mailings can be automated for the most part. Email marketing automation with a focus on e-commerce is part of every good tool on the market. Usually, all you have to do is select the target group for your campaign, choose a template for the email content, customize it and decide when to send the email or what to trigger it.

What are transactional emails?

You'll hear the term "transactional emails" more often in the context of email marketing for e-commerce. In short, transactional emails are messages that require a transaction from a customer.

This transaction acts as a trigger for sending these emails. Examples of transactional emails are:

  • Registration confirmations
  • Order and shipping confirmations
  • Welcome emails
  • Autoresponder
  • Order status updates
  • Feedback emails

Transactional emails guide your customers through every step of the order journey and lay the foundation for a healthy communication between merchant and customer in e-commerce. At the same time, they are the basis for customer satisfaction.

Important emails for your online shop

But what types of e-commerce emails should every online shop send out? Here are some examples and tips for your shop's newsletter strategy that your customers might expect.

Welcome email

After your customers have registered for your email contact list, you should greet them. Just send them a short email with a few kind words and a confirmation that their subscription to the newsletter was successful.

Many online shops additionally offer their contacts a welcome discount to encourage the receiving person to make a purchase as soon as possible.

Order and dispatch confirmation

In order for your customers to feel secure and have no doubts about the seriousness of your shop, you should always inform them about the status of their purchase. This means that the following follow-up emails should be part of your email strategy:

  • Order confirmations
  • Invoice emails and possibly a confirmation of receipt of payment
  • Shipping confirmation with tracking number and information about the selected shipping service provider
  • Emails if the order is delayed or something went wrong

Updates on the successful completion of an order in your online shop should be a matter of course and can be easily automated on email marketing platforms. This way, you have little work with this type of email.

Discount codes and special promotions

Discounts, vouchers, sales promotions and special offers are probably some of the most proven online marketing methods for e-commerce businesses to drive your sales figures to record levels.

You'll be even more successful with these campaigns if you advertise them to your customers via direct marketing emails. This way, your customers will become aware of your special offers and will consider browsing through your shop even more. After all, who doesn't like getting something for free?

Include a few images of your current reduced products in the mail - preferably of products that prospects have already viewed or saved before, to give a taste of what's on offer in your shop.

Seasonal email campaigns

Christmas, Easter and other holidays are the perfect opportunity to prepare special, thematically relevant mailings to your customer group. On the one hand, the customers of your online shop are willing to spend more money on holidays. On the other hand, the aforementioned discount and special promotions are particularly present on public holidays.

Come up with something special for the Easter or Christmas design of your emails to get your customers in the mood for the festive season. Offer them a special coupon code for the festive period and you'll watch your sales increase.

Birthday email

A birthday email is also one of the easiest e-commerce emails you can send to your customers. If your customers have entered their date of birth in the newsletter registration form or in their account, you can use this information as a trigger date for a congratulatory email.

Email Marketing Birthday Mails
This is what a birthday email could look like

Again, discounts and vouchers for the respective day or week are a nice idea to convert contacts into buyers. Be aware, however, that the conversion rate of your newsletter sign-up can drop significantly if you ask for too much information.

Also, seek advice from an online law firm on what customer data you are allowed to ask for and under what conditions. And note that some target groups deactivate the newsletter should they receive too many emails in too short a time.

Assortment update

You have increased your product range or published a new product line? Then inform your customers about it by e-mail. Include a so-called "sneak peek" of the new products and also a call-to-action button (CTA) that leads them directly to the advertised products.

Product recommendation

With time (and the right software) you will get to know your customers better and get a feeling for what they like and their interests. A good newsletter software collects this information for you.

Based on previous orders and favorite products, you can recommend similar products to specific customer segments. It is likely that they will also like your recommendations and order again.

"Your product is available again"

Should interested persons have already decided on a product but the order has to be canceled due to limited availability, inform them when the respective version, size or color of the product is available again.

The best online shops let customers specifically choose whether they want to be informed about renewed availability. In this case, you already have the prospective buyer close to the end of the e-commerce funnel. They usually only need this one impulse to complete the order.

Win Back Emails

As already mentioned, you can also use email marketing to win back order cancellations or inactive customers. Note, however, that this sometimes requires special legal conditions and a "watertight" opt-in for this to be permitted - you should also seek good advice here.

You can programme how many days must pass after the last completed order for a reactivation email to be sent. Think about what your customers need to order from you again:

  • Is it a discount?
  • Free shipping?
  • Or a free gift?

One of the most popular emails to win back customers are messages to shopping cart abandoners. These remind those who have already filled their basket but have not completed the check-out what they are missing.

"Were you satisfied?"

As in any other online marketing business, it is highly important in e-commerce to find out what works in your marketing strategy and what does not go down well. You should send feedback emails to customers who have already placed an order in your online shop or who have contacted your customer service.

Feedback email marketing
Obtain feedback via e-mail

Ask for a rating, feedback or even a review that you can later use as social proof or a testimonial to attract new customers. The more positive reviews you get, the more people will become aware of you. You can even learn from the more critical reviews and improve your shop.

Email marketing step by step

But where should you start if you want to establish an email marketing strategy for your online shop? Here are a few simple steps you can follow:

  • Research which email marketing software you want to use. There are many plugins and software that can be linked to providers such as WooCommerce
  • Collect contacts. You can do this via a registration form or a pop-up on your shopsite. You decide what information you need from your customers. Important are email address, name and possibly date of birth
  • Obtain consent to send emails. By opt-in procedure, in which your contacts have to confirm the registration manually, e.g. by agreeing to the terms and conditions for form registration, you ensure that you are operating legal email marketing
  • Enable transactional emails like order confirmations in your e-commerce or email marketing platform. With many online shops, such as those from WooCommerce or Shopify, you can activate the function in the shop settings. Of course, you can also use your newsletter tool to have all emails in one place
  • Design your first email. Start with the welcome emails. Use a template from your email marketing programme or design your own email from scratch. Include a logo. The colors should reflect your brand and the text should be appealing and stimulating. Don't forget the call-to-action with a link to your shop and visual elements such as images, gifs or videos
  • Set metrics and targets for your newsletters that you can use to measure the success of your email campaigns. This way you can create inspiring reports and learn from them for future campaigns

When you realize the significant potential that e-commerce emails offer your business, you will see your conversion rate improve quickly. Newsletters and transactional emails can be the key to the kind of customer loyalty you've always wanted for your shop.

If you are new to newsletter marketing or your online shop, there are many resources and solutions to help you plan and execute your email marketing campaigns. Just try them out - and see for yourself the benefits of direct customer communication via email.

Your questions about email marketing

What questions do you have about email marketing for online shops and WooCommerce ? Feel free to use the comment function. You want to be informed about new posts on the topic of online shops? Then follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or via our newsletter.

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