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2023 ecommerce email marketing strategies for Shopify

2023 ecommerce email marketing strategies for Shopify

Every Shopify store needs an ecommerce email marketing strategy. 

I don’t care how long your company has been around, what you sell, and how much of your business stems from social media. Email is a vital marketing lifeline and you reap more rewards when you carve out a plan. 

It’s kind of like planning a Disney vacation. Sure, you can wing your trip and still experience joy. But when you draft a blueprint for navigating the parks and try to adhere to it, you’ll return home feeling like you squeezed out as much as possible.  

We’re sure you want your marketing efforts to spur success, not just support survival. Ready to attract more customers and keep them around? 

Follow our guidebook for developing an effective ecommerce email marketing strategy. We’re covering essential components and advanced techniques before closing with the necessity for continual monitoring and adjusting. 


Understanding the power of email marketing for Shopify stores

We all know that the ecommerce landscape is highly competitive. Anyone who sells products online is fighting to attract attention and emerge as the trusted choice.

Shopify merchants have never had access to so many tools to amplify their brand as they do today. A buffet of marketing channels for engaging consumers awaits, as do avenues for driving sales and fostering brand loyalty. 

So why heed our advice for what’s considered an ancient communication mode in these modern times?

Because it works. 

Why email marketing matters in ecommerce

I said it at the outset of this post, and I’ll write it again. Email marketing is critical to the livelihood of any ecommerce business.

It features some unique advantages you’d be hard-pressed to find among other marketing outlets:

  1. Direct communication. Email addresses equal a direct line for outreach. You’re not at the mercy of social media algorithms.  
  2. Interested recipients. Because email marketing is consent-based, you only have permission to email those who signed up for your subscriber list. And that means they want to hear from you!   
  3. Higher return on investment (ROI). Various studies repeatedly prove that email marketing is the most cost-effective channel. Conduct a web search on email’s ROI, and you’ll find estimates between $32 and $44 earned for every $1 spent

Key benefits of email marketing for Shopify stores

Shopify stores have much to gain by employing email marketing strategies for ecommerce. Here are some of the more noteworthy benefits, in no particular order:  

  1. Increases website traffic. Email marketing reminds subscribers of your existence and gives them a reason to visit your store. Include one or two compelling calls to action (CTAs) with links, and you pave the path back to your brand.  
  2. Improves customer engagement. Email marketing generates first-party data, from interactions with your brand to purchasing behavior. Tapping it can mean connecting more deeply (more about that later). And if you don’t leverage the data, you still have a blank space to create intriguing content.  
  3. Boosts sales. Email marketing is 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. 
Email with the headline "Juneteenth is coming up so soon!" and image of three buttons, each with Juneteenth-related messages and symbols
The Outrage uses email marketing around cultural events like Juneteenth
to promote its activist-centered brand  
Itching to jump in but feeling overwhelmed? Our email marketing planning guide is the starting point for mapping messages.

6 steps to crafting a winning email marketing strategy

A few foundational components are common to all successful ecommerce email marketing strategies. Without them, it’s difficult to make any semblance of an impact. 

Step 1: Choose the right email marketing platform for Shopify

Just as Shopify owners face many marketing channel options, the email marketing software field has a lot of contenders. 

Tackle what could be an overwhelming decision by asking yourself: 

  1. To what degree is my team versed in email marketing and how much time can we dedicate? Do we need something with an intuitive interface and baked-in workflows and templates to make processes easier?
  2. What features do I need? Will I use the extensive array of typically more complex capabilities that are more common among enterprises?
  3. How much do I want to spend? Is a cost-effective solution critical to controlling business expenses?
  4. How do I rate the importance of a seamless integration with Shopify?

(Shameless self-plug: Seguno Email Marketing was built to be the best email marketing platform for Shopify. You never leave Shopify, it often earns the “easy to use” stamp, and streamlined processes save you time.) 

Screenshot showing 'results for best email marketing' and a highlighted box around SEguno Email Marketing
A search for “best email marketing” in the Shopify App Store displays Seguno as a top choice

Step 2: Define your target audience and goals

We hope you’re well-acquainted with your target audience and fleshed out ideal customer profiles (ICPs). They’re crucial to guiding overall marketing efforts and steering the ship so you remain in business. 

Reserve time to review your target market and refine correlating objectives. The more precise you are, the more you can inform your ecommerce email marketing strategy. 

Step 3: Build a high-quality email list

You can have the best email marketing strategy for ecommerce, but it won’t matter without a base of subscribers. You need people to speak to — consumers interested in your brand and how you can help relieve their pain points. 

Never, ever buy a list. None of the contacts expressly consented, so you’re opening the door to unsubscribes, spam complaints, and email deliverability headaches. 

There are various ways to accumulate subscribers legally, but among the best is through your Shopify site. Traditional placements like a signup in the footer or tossed into a banner work. Get more mileage with an email popup or two.    

Email popup from Pretend with the headline 'want 10% off?" with a signup field
Email popup from Pretend Supply Co. 

Step 4: Determine how often you’ll send emails

One of the most frequent questions from Shopify merchants is, “How often should I send emails?” The answer is nuanced. Like a lot of ecommerce topics, it depends on your brand. 

It’s most important to address the question rather than send emails on a whim. Consistency is key, even if you can only muster a newsletter once per month. 

Use our 2023 email marketing calendar to help with plotting.

A sample editable calendar
A snapshot from Seguno’s email marketing planning guide

Step 5: Design engaging and mobile-responsive emails

Intentionality plays a large role in maximizing your ecommerce email marketing strategy. That goes for design, too.

First, ideate relevant messages. Sales-focused newsletters have their place. We recommend primarily using emails to nurture subscribers with diverse content

Second, incorporate these three best practices for constructing a marketing email every time: 

  1. Attractive visuals that draw the reader in
  2. Concise yet compelling copy
  3. CTAs that motivate the reader to take the next step 
Email with the headline "take 25% off all shorts" with a hero image of a young girl
Little Nomad’s email features an eye-catching hero image, succinct copy and a clear CTA  

And third, ensure that your email service provider handles responsive design so that what you make with a laptop will look good when opened on a phone. Statistics show that mobile devices account for about 45 percent of marketing email opens.

Step 6: Set up core email automations

The saying goes that email automations “drive revenue while you sleep.” Busy entrepreneurs love them because, after initial setup, there’s no further work. They’re a gift that continues to give.  

Email automations help you connect with subscribers by triggering relevant messaging at the right time. A subscriber’s specific actions — or inactions — deploy them. 

Two email automations are particularly essential to an ecommerce email marketing strategy: 

  1. The welcome email automation to greet new subscribers
  2. The abandoned checkout email automation to encourage completing a purchase
Email with the headline "Hi, hello," folllowed by sections that address new arrivals, UO exclusives, free delivery & returns, and UO rewards
Urban Outfitters’ welcome email automation

3 advanced email tactics to boost ecommerce sales

Now that we’ve covered the table stakes, what can you do to propel your ecommerce email marketing strategy to another level? 

Tactic 1: Personalization and segmentation techniques

Segmentation is the bread and butter of targeted marketing. Slicing subscribers and customers into sub-groups multiplies the opportunity to make deeper connections and spur revenue.

For example, you might categorize and send segmented emails based on:  

  • Demographics
  • Purchase history
  • Stage in the customer lifecycle 
  • Interests

Segmentation increases your ability to personalize by narrowing in on highly pertinent content. You’ve got the makings to upsell and cross-sell, for instance, or appeal to repeat purchasers with personalized rewards. 

Studies show that segmentation fosters higher open rates, lower unsubscribe rates, and increased revenue.

Tactic 2: Leverage user-generated content in emails

Your customers are a goldmine for influencing newsletter messages.

What they have to say about your brand or products holds power. By nature, people seek the advice of others. Did you know that most consumers (93%) think user-generated content (UGC) is helpful when deciding on purchases?  

Slip UGC into your email marketing, whether it’s a social post from someone singing your brand’s praises or online reviews speaking to a product’s benefits.

Email with the headline "s seen on you spotted on the gram' with a photo of two people sitting in the back of a caravan wearing pajamas
Onepiece leans on user-generated content from Instagram
Be proactive when it comes to customer reviews. Review request emails help build a stockpile.

Tactic 3: Expand your email automations beyond the basics

Shopify merchants can access an array of email automation options for guiding subscribers along the customer journey path. 

When you’re ready to branch out beyond the welcome and abandoned checkout emails, consider adding:

Email with the headline 'the marissa athletic dress restock for the final time' and an image of a woman in a dress
Little Movements drives urgency with a last-call restock

Analyzing and measuring email marketing success

Data can be your best friend. Like any marketing endeavor, analyzing performance is crucial to knowing what works. Otherwise, it’s all guesswork that equates to wasted money and time. 

Let’s explore how to interpret your email newsletter metrics and what to do with the findings.

Key email marketing metrics to track

It’s easy to get lost amid a pile of metrics. At a minimum, pay attention to the following key performance indicators of your newsletters and automations: 

  • Open rates: the number of email recipients who open your emails divided by the number of email recipients 
  • Click rates: the number of subscribers who click on the email divided by the number of email recipients
  • Conversions: the total amount of sales generated from the email
  • Conversion rates: the number of email recipients who made a purchase divided by the number of email recipients

Interpret the data and make data-driven decisions

You could drive yourself crazy attempting to decipher metrics after every email sent. Comparing emails over time is a much better approach that preserves your sanity. 

  • Notice a few newsletters that have higher open rates than others? Try to find their commonalities or unique aspects that may have garnered extra attention. 
  • Scan the insides of the high click-rate performers. Is there anything different about the content that’s resonating? What about the CTAs?
  • What can you glean from the newsletters with high conversion rates? Examine the messaging, any segmentation efforts, and incentives that may have influenced subscribers to purchase. 

Take stock of what you find to advise future newsletters and improve automations. Embrace the feedback loop of ongoing tracking, adjusting, and testing to evolve and elevate your ecommerce email marketing strategy. 

Take your Shopify store to new heights with email marketing

Email marketing is an investment. Formulate a strategy if you want to soar with it.

At the very least, implement our six foundational steps: choose the right email marketing platform for Shopify, define your target audience and goals, build a high-quality email list, determine how often you’ll send emails, design engaging and mobile-responsive emails, and set up core email automations.

Try advanced email tactics once you’re comfortable and ready to up your game. 

Always keep a pulse on your email marketing metrics so you can analyze and iterate. 

When you do these things, you have a robust and highly dependable email marketing strategy. 

Create, manage, and track your email marketing—without leaving Shopify.

Seguno is the top-rated email solution built exclusively for Shopify. Grow your sales with high-performing newsletters, email automation campaigns, and integrations with Facebook, Instagram, banners, pop-ups and more. Build and send engaging emails in our easy-to-use editor and take email creation to the next level with our Canva integration. Automate your email marketing and drive more revenue with welcome campaigns, checkout abandonment, post-purchase automations, tag triggers and more.

Find Seguno on the Shopify App Store
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