For most online businesses, eCommerce email marketing will be an important part of their marketing strategy. It’s a highly effective way to reach and engage with their audience.

Email is one of the best and most cost-effective tools to keep businesses connected to their customers. With the ease of email on our mobiles, we’re always looking to stay informed and are regularly checking for updates or offers.

As Dotmailer Certified Partners, we pride ourselves on keeping up to date on the best ways to grow and improve our clients’ email marketing strategies, so we thought we’d share a selection of the top tactics that are proven to work.

If your eCommerce email marketing isn’t performing and you’re looking to improve your strategy, we’ve got lots of advice and tips to do just that. Read on for the best ways to grow your mailing list, to learn strategies for retaining new customers and tactics to drive conversions through email.

Grow Your Mailing List

On average, email contact databases diminish by around 22% a year due to contact email addresses changing or being abandoned, as well as recipients opting out of your email communications.

As a result of this, it’s really important to employ tactics to encourage new email subscribers and aim to consistently grow your mailing list.

Use Popups Strategically on Site

When used strategically, popups can be one of the most effective ways to grow your email contact list. When used well, popups can drive up list growth rates by an average of 50.8%.

Here are a few best practice tips to follow when it comes to using popups on your site:

1. Don’t be too aggressive with your popups

Don’t serve them as soon as a user hits the site, this can be very offputting and increase your bounce rate. Use a time delay or serve a popup after a user has viewed or interacted with a certain number of pages – this way you can gauge their level of interest before asking them to subscribe to your email marketing.

2. Make sure popups are easy to remove from the page

Popups should be easy for a user to remove from the page if they don’t want to opt-in to your email communications. A clear ‘No Thanks’ or exit button is key if you don’t want to lose these potential customers from your site altogether.

3. Incentivise popups

You could offer users a discount on their first order or free shipping when they sign up to receive your emails. This method typically works pretty well – who doesn’t’ want to save a bit of money?

Always make sure to follow through with any incentives offered so you avoid losing trust with your newly acquired leads.

Tip: Try an A/B test with an incentivised popup vs a non-incentivised popup to see if this tactic works for your business.

Dotmailer’s Survey Tool & Form Builder makes it super easy to build responsive custom popups for your site. They’re also simple to manage, meaning you can decide which website pages you want the popover to appear on and when you want it to pop up.

Encourage Sharing & Forwarding of Your Emails

Including “Email to a Friend” and social sharing buttons encourages recipients to share your content with their family or friends, who may be interested in your business too.

Make sure to include a ‘Subscribe’ call-to-action at the bottom of your emails so that people receiving forwarded emails can opt-in easily too.

Create a Blog That Readers Can Subscribe To

If your business doesn’t already have a blog, create one! Write regular and relevant content that your customers will find useful and include a subscription box to deliver your new posts straight to their inbox.

Blog posts are great as they help increase your rankings on search engines as well as allowing you to collect subscribers and grow your mailing list.

Retain Newly Acquired Customers

So, now you’ve got plenty of new subscribers signed up to your emails, how do you retain them and turn them into regular and loyal customers?

Implement A Welcome Series

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so it’s extra important to make your first interaction with new customers count. 

“75% of email subscribers expect a welcome email after joining a mailing list.” – Big Commerce

It’s best practice to implement a welcome email or series of emails to send to new subscribers. Use your welcome series to show appreciation for their interest in your business and to introduce your business or products.

Welcome emails can also be a great opportunity to drive conversions – use them to showcase your new or bestselling products or even include a ‘welcome’ promo code to incentivise purchases.

Average open rates from welcome series emails are around 57%, compared to 14% from general promotional emails making them a great opportunity to market to people whilst they’re engaged.

Tip: If someone subscribes through an incentivised popup, ensure that their welcome email includes and matches the popup incentive.

Although automation may seem a little scary to begin with, Dotmailer’s automation features and program builder mean that getting your welcome series up and running is much simpler than you may think.

Make Use of Post-Purchase Emails

Use post-purchase emails to develop a relationship with new customers. Create a personalised email experience by sending customers curated and relevant content.

No one likes receiving email after email trying to sell them products. Hence by sending, for example, a guide helping them style their new purchase or top recipes to try with their new purchase, you make customers feel valued.

Show customers that you know them and their preferences by giving them recommendations of other products they may not know about but would suit their tastes. You could also make suggestions based on what other customers, similar to them, went on to buy.

Reward Customer Loyalty

Another proven way to retain new customers is to introduce a loyalty scheme. You can use this to reward your best customers with points-based vouchers, exclusive promotions or offers. It makes loyal customers feel valued and encourages customers to return time after time.

Customers love to get discounts just for them. A great way to personalise discount offerings is to offer them as a ‘birthday treat’. Use date-based automation to send a special promo code to your loyal customers in the run-up to their birthday. It’s an easy way to keep customers engaged and thank them for their ongoing support.

Improve Conversion Rate from Email

Make Emails Relevant & Personalised to Users

Now, more than ever before, marketers have the data and tools they need to learn about their customers. Use this data to your advantage to create highly personalised email content that generates higher open rates and click-through rates.

70% of brands don’t use personalisation within their emails. Make sure your business does so that you stand out from the crowd.

Data automation allows us to insert a customer’s name or location into the subject line or email copy. Studies have found that a subject line which includes the recipients first name can increase open rates by 16%.

Integrate eCommerce personalisation tools like Nosto with your emails to send personalised product selections such as items a customer has browsed but not yet purchased or item recommendations that suit their preferences.

Other tools like Bronto can be used to send emails to users at optimum open times. This gives your emails the best chance of engaging your customers.

Cart Recovery Emails Are A Must

With an average of almost 70% of online shopping carts being abandoned before completing checkout, you can’t afford to not be sending cart recovery emails. Plus, there’s more than 40% of people opening cart abandonment emails and 50% of these getting clicks. That makes them one of the most effective ways to bring customers back to your site.

A series of cart recovery emails should be sent for best results; 3-4 depending on the industry, with the first email to be sent within 1 hour of the cart abandonment.

Your cart recovery emails should show customers the products they left behind as a visual reminder and make it easy for them to go back to their basket and checkout.

Test your emails thoroughly to make sure they work. The last thing you want is for customers to decide to purchase only to find their basket empty and have to go and add products to their basket again.

Tip: If you’re noticing lots of people abandoning their basket at the delivery stage, you may want to look into how you can improve your delivery options to provide the shipping solutions people want.

You should also check out our tips on how to reduce cart abandonment.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Remailing

Remailing is often an overlooked email marketing tactic. Yet, re-sending promotional emails to customers who didn’t open it originally can definitely help boost sales and revenue.

The use of different subject lines or copy within the email can resonate with users much better than the original mail. Remailing is also a very easy method to implement and with the results that can be delivered, it’s worthwhile.

Tip: In your remail, try using countdown clocks, item stock counts or number of days/hours left before an offer ends. This will create a sense of urgency and catch attention.


To find out more about the best eCommerce email marketing strategies and how they could work for your business, you can contact us on 01785 876465 or email

You can also talk to our sister digital marketing agency, Kanuka Digital.


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