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Our Expert Strategies For Engineering Multi-Million Dollar eCommerce Email Marketing

Amber Rhodes
Last Updated March 17, 2023


In this post:

Why Email Marketing (Still) Matters

There’s an old saying that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. If we updated this saying for the 21st century, it would include marketing emails.

Can you think of a time when you’ve checked your inbox and didn’t have at least one marketing email waiting for you? Our inboxes have been saturated with marketing emails for years. That’s because they work

You shouldn’t ever feel discouraged from establishing an email marketing strategy. Set your email marketing up for success with these multi-million dollar strategies from our resident email expert, Daniela Carolina Roger.

How To Plan Winning Email Marketing Strategies

The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) found that when asked their preference for receiving information, customers picked email as their top channel. That means that folks actually prefer receiving appointments/reminders, customer service interactions, new product notifications, and tutorials via emails. Despite flooded inboxes, consumers are still a fan of valuable emails. With this in mind, let’s dig into what it takes to create winning email marketing strategies. 

Segment your master list & use automations. 

You don’t want to send every email campaign to your entire master list—this can lead to low open rates, high unsubscribe rates and email fatigue for your list. Instead, you should home in on specialized content for different groups. 

Before ever sending an email, you should look at your master list and audience segments. How is your master list segmented? You might want to send targeted emails to your frequent buyers, or re-engagement emails that bring shoppers back to your site after 60 or 90 days. Figure out your sharpest audience segments and create specialized content for these specific groups. 

Complement your segmented lists with email automations that provide your buyer with a positive shopping experience and keep them delighted.

You should have these automated emails in your email marketing arsenal:

  • Welcome/thank you emails
  • Abandoned cart notifications
  • Post-purchase notification
  • Review request email

You can learn a lot from experimenting with your email list. You can start asking questions like “what will bring back customers who haven’t returned to your store in two months?” and testing a variety of offers and messages to optimize your efforts. Once you’ve launched your specific and specialized campaigns to different segments of your master list, you should analyze subscriber insights to iterate on successes. 

Take your time to create winning email marketing concepts.

Did you know that 53% of brands need two weeks to produce a single email?

Now, we’re not saying you have to take two weeks to send your next email, but we do want to point out that you should be intentional with your emails every step of the way. In truth, you’ll spend much more time planning your emails than actually building them.

With email, as with most other aspects of your business, you’ll be in a perpetual state of creation, launching, waiting for results, and then, breaking down what did and didn’t work. On top of that, you’ll be consistently A/B testing and experimenting until you eventually find your sweet spots.

It’s a lot of work that will be made easier with an established set of processes.

Consider using these tools for improving your email strategy:

  • A comprehensive content calendar to keep track of published and pending content. 
  • A brand bible to keep communications on brand. 
  • Examples of successful copy, subject lines, and visuals from your archives. 
  • An ultimate email checklist that helps you ensure every email is of high quality. 

Have fun with the email creation process.

Email is your branding playground! You should be able to use email to see what lands with particular segments of your audience. What messaging speaks with the most impact? What graphics draw people in? Which subject lines get your audience to open the emails? What CTAs get them to engage? Have fun with it and try new things. 

Don’t reinvent the wheel. 

You don’t want to start from scratch every time you send an email. Use templates and brand guidelines to create consistency from email to email. 

Some other tips for keeping your emails up to a high standard:

  • Make sure you’re updating your templates at least once a year. 
  • Use brand guidelines to keep your team aligned around color coders, fonts, voice, and UVP. 
  • Update your branding and messaging guides frequently to reflect your evolving brand and incorporate new content. 

Set up a system for QAing your email marketing campaigns.

There are so many details that go into an email, and so many different devices the email will be viewed on. You should be checking the quality of your emails before hitting send! You’ll want to get feedback from your team to catch little details and avoid big (and little) mistakes that could negatively impact your performance. 

Use this checklist as part of your QA process:

  • Can your email be viewed in dark mode and light mode?
  • Check that the email looks good on Android phones and iPhones.
  • Does the email work on smartphones, tablets, and PCs?
  • Will your email pass through spam filters in your audience’s inboxes?
  • Send out multiple tests to your team before sending an email to your audience. 

How to Make Data-Informed Decisions About Your Email Marketing Strategy

You shouldn’t just be sending emails, you should be running experiments, too. Remember, a key factor of growth marketing is being a scientist. You’re digging into questions about your audience, making hypotheses, running tests, and analyzing the results. 

How to analyze your email performance for growth

Once you’ve sent your campaigns it’s time to analyze subscriber insights. Set up a schedule for regularly analyzing email performance. Use this information to inform your future email strategy—best practices are great, but nothing compares to the real and relevant data you can gather from smart testing!

Decide which metrics are most important for your tracking. There are so many things to be learned from open rates and click rates, but these metrics are just a piece of the puzzle. You're going to want to define the most important key metrics for your business and track them consistently. For most eCommerce stores, your key metric will be conversion rate. However, you might be interested in other metrics, like customer lifetime value, to paint a fuller picture of your strategy. 

Use these questions to guide your email performance analysis:

  • What are your industry benchmarks? Email service providers, like Klaviyo, have industry benchmarks and a smaller sample size of peers in your industry that’s updated month-to-month.
  • Subject lines are an incredibly important piece of email strategy. Are your subject lines getting good open rates or are they missing the mark?
  • Can you get a sense of how your customers generally feel about email? What do customers want from email most? 
  • Which emails get the most engagement? Can you figure out why?
  • Are your emails mobile-first optimized? 47% of people use a mobile app to open and read their emails and that number is predicted to keep trending up. 

Even something as simple as A/B testing can uncover huge profits! Just make sure you’re asking informed questions, tracking the right metrics, and optimizing what works. Forget what you think will work or what industry leaders say should work. What you’re looking for with your email marketing strategy is what works for your business, and just your business. 

What tests are working for your business? Are you reaching your full potential? If you’re ready to boost email performance and increase sales the smart way, we’d love to chat with you

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