There is no doubt that the big players in eCommerce have limitless possibilities to build near perfect email marketing strategies. They have big teams of specialists in which everyone has his/her field of expertise. Meanwhile, small or medium sized online store owners in most cases stand alone. This article discusses the various types of eCommerce emails and key things in email marketing that every online store owner should know.

There is a wide palette of eCommerce emails that are sent to the customer. By “wide” I mean 15 or 20 different kinds! According to their role they can be divided into two groups: transactional – those that are sent automatically from your online store after the certain customer’s actions; and promotional emails with the aim to sell and promote your brand.

Transactional emails

Let’s start with the emails that are strongly recommended to send to your customer: the invoice email, order confirmation, new registration, password reminder, shipping or refund information, etc.

These emails are usually automatically sent by your eCommerce platform. They are informative and polite, containing standard and plain text, with default copy for all online stores on the platform. No matter what emails you send, keep in mind that they represent your store and should keep your store at the front of your customer’s mind. So make sure they have one!


How can you improve your transactional emails?

  • Put a logo inside. A new customer registration, an order confirmation – these are important emails that build a bridge between the customer and your brand. The logo of your brand is crucial.
  • Slightly change the copy inside. Make it sound natural and maybe even a little bit specific for your brand.
  • It is not obligatory, but you may also use your brand colors in the email. It will look more branded and high-end.
How to customize the EMAIL TEMPLATES ON BIGCOMMERCE platform you can find out here.


Promotional emails

A promotional email creates added value for the customer and generates sales. These include welcome emails, promotional newsletters and cart recovery emails.

For further eCommerce email marketing, you will need a cost-effective email service provider that allows you to stick to the strict anti-spam laws as well as effectively monitor the results of your email campaigns including opens, most clicked buttons, sales from each campaign, etc.

Welcome email for new subscribers

Why do I call it promotional? Because it gets the new person onboard, promotes the brand, and is the best ice breaker for a first purchase.

This welcome email differs from the transactional welcome email. The transactional email is sent to the customer after his/her successful registration to your store. It informs them about the newly created account. This welcome email can be sent when a visitor is just looking around in your store and is not even thinking about creating an account or buying something. A recent survey showed that 74.4 % of customers expect a welcome email when they subscribe. So it’s worth sending one.


Email marketing tools usually have a welcome email or welcome email series feature. The latter is even more effective. The series contains three emails that are send in a row. Retailers use them creatively to introduce the brand, onboard, offer a discount for the first purchase, free shipping, etc.

Analyzing the results of our clients, we see that welcome series conversion is 2-3 times higher than any promotional newsletter.

Read more about welcome emails:


Promotional newsletters

An eCommerce email marketing strategy cannot be effective without a promotional newsletter. So let’s look at them a little bit closer.

What is a point of sending promotional newsletters?

  • You sell more.
  • You communicate with your customers and make sure that they do not forget about you.
  • You convert subscribers into
  • You sell more.

What should I say in the newsletter?

Subscribers will open and read your newsletters if you they have value. This value should be varied from time to time to retain subscriber interest. So what should you write about?

  • Send sales and discount offers. This retailer’s calendar will help you plan your season campaigns.
  • Insert a column with articles from your blog or other blogs that your subscribers might find interesting.
  • Send updates of your store and new arrivals.
  • Dedicate some newsletters to collect followers on social media.
You also might be interested in topics:


Cart recovery Series

eCommerce email marketing is all about finding the best email campaign to maximize sales. For this purpose, you may also like to try abandoned cart emails (one email or a series of three emails).

The goal of the cart recovery series is to encourage the customer to complete the order. Once he/she leaves a cart containing products and does not complete a purchase, the email service provider sends a series of email reminders. The last one usually offers a discount.

These emails are effective because of the high engagement with the customer. He/she has already picked something nice in your store and might be still thinking about it. We do not know the reason why he/she has left the store. So try to send an abandoned cart email and see what happens. For a successful email you may need:

  • Challenging/seductive copy
  • Images of the abandoned products in the cart
  • A big and clear call-to-action button
  • To send the email the same day and then of the following day.
More about sales from cart recovery read here:


How should I find subscribers for the eCommerce email marketing?

For a successful and dignified email marketing campaign I wouldn’t suggest purchasing any email lists. Why? Because of two main reasons:

  • People tend to change their email addresses and email lists therefore get stale in about six months. If you use a stale email list your bounce rate will be huge and you will spoil your sender’s reputation which is not good.
  • Subscribers who have never subscribed to your list will not be engaged in your emails and will ignore them. So your campaigns will be ineffective.

You’d better play it fair and follow these tips:

  1. Include the best performing signup box and pop-ups in your online store inviting visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. These forms have double value – they gather email addresses for your email campaign as well as cookies for cart recovery emails. That is why setting up the subscription form is crucial. You may also consider adding a discount code incentive to the pop-up – it will encourage customers to go through with their first purchase.
  2. Create a signup page designed especially for collecting emails. Share it on social media. Update the copy as often as you need to capture fresh emails.
Find more tips and how-to’s for building an email list here:
How to get your first 1000 email subscribers for e-commerce


So there you have it – an overview of eCommerce email marketing that every small business owner can implement. Email marketing is like the human body: all emails have their own special role but belong to the same brand/ person. So they should look and act as one for the same purpose. I hope you’ve found something worth trying for your eCommerce body!


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Karolina Jasvinaitė Petraškienė

is a digital communicator, content marketer and email enthusiast at Soundest. Follow on Twitter.