7 tips to Write eCommerce Emails That Sell

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7 tips to Write eCommerce Emails That Sell

Email marketing is a vital tool that helps eCommerce businesses build, nurture and engage with their customer base.

The ultimate goal for any eCommerce email campaign is to elicit an action that converts.

Anyone wants their customers to click→ open→ read→ and click on their call to action (CTA)  when they receive an email in their inbox. However, the fact is, not all of your customers click to read your email.

As an eCommerce business, it is important to know who your customers are. Having good knowledge of this and the latest email marketing trends helps you craft good eCommerce email campaigns.

But, how do you write a compelling eCommerce email that sells?

The answer to this question is to write stimulating emails that your customers won’t be able to resist reading.

In this post, we’ll tell you how to write a compelling eCommerce email that sells, without sounding promotional.

So, let’s get right on it.

Steps to follow when writing an eCommerce email

Companies complain that their emails don’t get opened, and one of the many reasons this happens is that hundreds of emails reach the email target daily. 

According to reports by SaaS Scout, Google is the most used email service provider, with over 1.8 billion Gmail users. And with the promotion email feature tab, it is getting harder for marketers to promote on such email platforms. 

Source: Google; Android Police

Many emails get dumped in the promotion tab, and people are becoming pickier and pickier about which emails to open, ignore or delete. The promotion tab makes it much easier for customers to just hit delete.

From 2015 to 2018, the average open rate for email was steady at 24% globally. From an eCommerce business perspective, this is a rather low percentage.

Let’s see what can be done to convince more customers to open eCommerce emails and increase that number. Below are the steps to follow to write an eCommerce email that sells:

1. Focus on a single goal

Readers get bombarded with hundreds of emails daily that don’t get opened, and the ones they do open don’t convert as desired.

So, how do you ensure, as an eCommerce business, that your customers get to read your emails once they click on them?

The answer is to focus on a single goal.

You have to craft each email campaign to focus on one goal only. Trying to get customers to convert on more than one call to action (CTA) in an email confuses them, and invariably, you end up having lower conversions on such campaigns.

When it comes to email marketing, simplicity is key. Your goal here should be to get customers to consume the content you send as quickly as possible along your sales cycle.

When sending out an email campaign, your aim could be to:

  • Welcome new shoppers
  • Offer a shopping guide
  • Offer a discount
  • Invite to check out your newest products
  • Share your latest blog posts
  • Showcase user-generated content and customer reviews
  • Summon them to a virtual event etc.

 Whatever the goal is with your campaign, make sure it’s one goal per email copy.

2. Create a compelling subject line

Did you know that most email recipients usually decide to open an email based on its subject line? That’s because the subject line is the first thing they see when receiving an email. 

Just as it happens with professional emails, this is a good reason for eCommerce platforms to use compelling subject lines in their email marketing campaigns. 

So, how do you create a compelling eCommerce email subject line that will persuade customers to open your email? Keep it short, use an imperative verb to invite the customer to take action, be honest, avoid mystery, avoid misleading phrases, and don’t use sales language. Many people are also turned off by grammatical errors, so use a grammar checker to help iron out any mistakes.

Here is a great example of the eCommerce email subject line which is short and straight to the point:

Make generating compelling headlines a vital part of your email marketing strategy and stand out among the tons of emails that get blasted into the inbox of customers and email targets.

3. Segment your audience & personalize your message

In 2010, Digital Marketing Association reported that ROI was 40$ for every 1$ spent on email marketing. In 2019, the ROI had increased to 42$ for every 1$ spent.

What could have been the reason for this higher return? Segmentation and personalization are the answer.

Segmentation is the process of dividing your email list into categories using specific criteria. It’s the foundation for personalizing the emails you send to subscribers.

Personalized emails allow subscribers to consider you as a friend. Messages like “Hey Joseph, we saved these for you!” have a higher open rate, conversion ratio, and lower un-subscription ratio because there is a human feel to the message.

Before segmenting your email list, you need to know who your subscribers are, and you gain this knowledge by asking questions and conducting surveys to understand how they ended up on your list.

The better you know your customers, the more efficient your segmentation will be.

There are four main segmentation categories, as shown below:

  • Demographic segmentation
  • Psychographic segmentation
  • Behavioral segmentation
  • Geographic segmentation

Segmentation helps you decide what email to send to each customer at their various stages. You should categorize types of customers according to their stage in the sales cycle.

If they recently subscribed to your list, you should send them welcome emails and messages to introduce your brand.

When they’ve made a recent purchase, you should send them a follow-up message to keep them engaged. If they are loyal customers, offer them a discount or introduce products that are similar to their most recent purchase.

Failing to engage with customers at key stages in your sales cycle may cause you to lose them altogether.

4. Tell stories

Nothing sells better than a story well told. Your email marketing campaigns are opportunities for your eCommerce platform to engage customers with stories that sell.

When the information being shared is told in a story format, it elicits the “Oh…I see” response and gets us to take action.

So make your email more personal and engaging through the art of storytelling.

Here is a great example of how Havenly, an online interior design, and decorating service, tell the story of its company and values to email subscribers:

5. Use FOMO

The fear of missing out, “FOMO,” is a great strategy to get your subscribers to take the action you want them to take today when they can as well do it tomorrow.

To get them to act on time, you should create a sense of urgency that sets up your customers into panic mode, causing them to make a quick decision to buy from you.

However, it is important not to use false urgency tactics because this could cause you to lose subscribers’ trust in your eCommerce platform.

For example, you cannot send an email saying that a discount is back on Monday after you had said that it ended on Saturday just because you didn’t meet your eCommerce sales goal.

The fear of missing out is a longtime strategy that has always produced results. Here are some tips on how to apply this strategy effectively in your emails to drive traffic and boost sales:

  • Hold Black Friday sales for a limited time;
  • Create a special discount code;
  • Remind Subscribers About their wish list.

6. End with a clear CTA

Using more generic CTAs such as “read more, learn more and shop more” could hurt your email conversion ratio because they sound like promotions.

How do you ensure that you end with a clear CTA?

As an eCommerce business, the first thing you need to do is understand your customers’ pain points and provide a solution to ease this pain. Then incorporate this pain point and solution clearly into your email CTA copies.

For example, Gregory Ciotti, a persistent content marketer, dramatically increased his click-through rates and overall engagement for Sophistefunk newsletter by 59% by being clear with his CTA.

See the result of his email newsletter:

So, rather than use generic CTAs that are vague to your subscribers, you should make use of clear action-oriented words and descriptive copies to give your email subscribers a sneak peek of what they should expect.

So instead of using vague CTAs such as “get a discount,” try “get 50% off”, instead of “click here,” try “see our products,” instead of “learn more,” try “learn about our services.”

Try out these tips and see how you can transform your CTA copy and command a higher CTR.

7. Proofread with Grammarly (or its alternative)

You can’t afford to be sloppy when you do your email copies! 

Having one or two typos might send the wrong message about your eCommerce company, and you don’t want to be seen as an unprofessional company that does not pay attention to details.

Tools like Grammarly can help you proofread and ensure that the email copies you send out are typo-free.

Final thoughts

As an eCommerce business, if you’ve not been paying good attention to your email marketing strategies, it’s time to reevaluate your overall sales strategy.

Email marketing delivers huge returns for marketers and learning how to do it right doesn’t have to be too complex.

First, recognize that you’re a guest in the inboxes of your subscribers, and when you do send out email campaigns, ensure that you make use of compelling subject lines, focus on only one goal, personalize and end with a clear CTA.

Would you like to learn how to boost your eCommerce revenue? 

Here are 8 ways cart abandonment can boost your e-commerce revenue.


Irina Maltseva

Head of Marketing at Hunter and Founder at ONSAAS, Irina works on product marketing strategies and growing SaaS companies with inbound marketing.

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