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The Complete List of Emails That Every Ecommerce Business Needs to Send

Posted by Ngan Ton on Aug 25, 2017 3:16:50 PM
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The last thing consumers want in their inbox is more spam. Sending the wrong email will nearly guarantee you a seat there, or even an "unsubscribe." Sending the right email on the other hand, can result in more site traffic and more sales. A lot of it depends on creating a good email, but also meeting customer expectations. We'll explain below.

Here's a complete list of emails that every ecommerce needs to send along with best practice guidelines on how you should send them.



Consumers have come to expect welcome emails as soon as they subscribe to a new list or make a first-time purchase. Because your welcome email will typically be the first point of contact between you and a new or potential customer, crafting the right message becomes critical.

Your first welcome message will set the tone and expectation for your subsequent emails, which directly influences the likelihood of a recipient opening your emails (or not). Avoid a hard sell – your welcome email is primarily transactional.


Order Confirmation

Conversio analyzed 100,000 email receipts and discovered that every order confirmation email earns online stores an average of $0.25 of extra revenue – that’s extra money for 0 extra effort.

The order confirmation email is a blank slate for additional promos, but it’s first and foremost a way to set expectations with your customers. Let them know what happens after this and when they can their order or additional confirmations.


Abandoned Cart Reminder

Have you ever left the site of an online store without purchasing the items you’d placed into your shopping cart? Whether you got distracted or just weren’t sure about completing the purchase, most of us can relate. However, the simple act of adding an item to the cart indicates a degree of interest and intent to purchase. The reminder from an abandoned cart email may just be the extra nudge an interested buyer needs.


Post-Purchase Follow Up

Even though the transaction is complete, your obligations to a customer is not. In order to build a trusting relationship, and ideally repeat sales, you need to follow up. This lets your customer know that you appreciate their business and care about their satisfaction beyond the checkout page.

Milestone Events

Important events such as birthdays and anniversaries are ways to reconnect with a customer to build a personal relationship with them. By offering them a personalized discount code, you can also use this opportunity to make a sale.


Feedback Requests

What’s the easiest way to find out what your customers want? Ask.

There are two ways to approach feedback requests. And while both are solid tactics, they also come with unique drawbacks: incentivized and voluntary.

  • Incentivized feedback will increase your survey uptake, but your results may wind up biased toward people who only care about the incentive.
  • Voluntary feedback will draw answers from a genuinely dedicated audience, but that may be a very small number.

A happy medium between these two methods is offering a discount that can only be spent at your store and only upon completion of the survey.

Re-engagement Prompts

Don’t be alarmed if the majority of members on your email lists are inactive or disengaged, meaning they haven’t interacted with your emails and website in several months.

Because this crowd is already familiar with your brand, the re-engagement prompt is less complicated and you won’t have to reintroduce yourself. Rather, offer them a special deal – whether it’s a discount, a chance to win a prize, or a free gift-with-purchase. Remember to include the offer in your subject line.

Alternatively, you can also take a more relationship-focused approach by adding a line like “We Miss You”.


Cross-selling and upselling are essentially two variations of product recommendations.

  • Cross-sells: recommendations for a related or complementary product.
  • Upsells: recommendations for a more expensive item, upgrades, or other add-ons.

These tactics are practically a requirement for today’s e-tailers, and the reason is best explained by the authors of Marketing Metrics, “The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%.

Ultimately, these recommendations help you achieve more revenue, but they also help create more satisfied customers. Keep these tips in mind as you send upsell emails:

  • Tailor upsells to complement products that the customer purchased in the past.
  • Give your customers choice by showing more than one product, but limit the choices so that they don’t become overwhelming.
  • Consider the spending power of your audience. If they previously purchased a mug for $25, avoid showing them a $45 hoodie.



Informative content is geared towards building rapport with your customers, and shows that you’re invested in helping them, not selling them.

That doesn’t have to mean excluding yourself from content that you produce. Instead, center it around your brand by providing new ways to use your products, maintenance tips, or even the history or story behind a design.


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