5 Email Marketing Tactics to Drive Ecommerce Sales on Shopify


We decided to speak to the experts at SmartrMail this week. They have thousands of Shopify stores using their software to send tens-of-thousands of emails every week. 

Implementing email marketing campaigns on your Shopify store is very easy, Aaron says. 

There are many different email marketing apps on the Shopify App Store that let you get started with email marketing very quickly. 

“Obviously, I’d recommend SmartrMail. The app comes with a 15-day free trial without needing to add your credit card” says Aaron from SmartrMail.

But if you’re not looking for a new email marketing app for your Shopify store, there are a lot of ways for you to boost sales using email marketing tactics without having to switch to a different provider.

Here are five email marketing tactics you could start implementing today. 

1. Segment your customers

Firstly, segment your list.  To ensure that you’re sending the right email to the right person at the right time, you need to segment your email list.

There are the obvious ways to segment your list – demographic factors such as age, gender, etc. – but you’ll also want to look at behavioral segmentation. This can be based on factors such as average order value, purchase frequency, and level of engagement with your emails. 

From there you can start to automate emails to send to people when they first enter one of the behavioral segments. 

For example, if you have a segment of customers who are no longer purchasing from your store, you can automate a win-back email to send to them to try to bring them back. 


This win-back email from Sephora helps bring back customers

2. Send personalized emails

Email subscribers expect content that is personalized to their individual wants and needs.

There is nothing worse than receiving emails for men’s clothing when you are a female shopper. All it makes me want to do is click unsubscribe.


An example of a personalized email targeted to men.

Sending personalized emails will increase open and click-through rate on your emails and boost your sales. 

The problem is personalizing every email you send is completely impractical if you’re doing it manually. 

That’s why automating personalized emails to send on a regular basis is hugely beneficial (which I will explain how to do later on in this post).

3. Send abandoned cart emails

According to Aaron, cart abandonment continues to plague ecommerce stores. 

“Globally, the average cart abandonment rate is sitting at around 67%. This means that for every person who ends up purchasing from your store, there are two would-be customers who placed items in their cart, but never checked out.”

This leaves trillions of dollars worth of products in abandoned shopping carts every year.

Thankfully, a significant portion of these otherwise lost sales can be recovered by savvy marketers with abandoned cart emails. These are emails sent to shoppers who have placed items in their cart on your store but are yet to finalize the transaction. 


Here’s an example of how Urban Outfitters send abandoned cart emails

Abandoned cart emails are great because you can nearly just set and forget them. However, we always recommend checking back to see how you can improve them over time.

4. Send better transactional emails

Transactional emails, such as order confirmation emails, may not seem like a great way to boost sales on the surface. However, the reality is that transactional emails are opened far more often than any other type of email out there. With so many people reading them, they make for a great marketing opportunity. 

One of the most powerful ways you can achieve this is through including a simple offer in an order confirmation email to encourage further shopping. 

Just including a ‘10% off your next order’ offer and some personalized product recommendations can do wonders. 


Tradesy promotes their referral program in their shipping confirmation emails.

5. Create an engaging welcome email series

It’s relatively easy to get people to sign up to your email list. Particularly if you’re offering something of value in exchange, such as a free guide or ebook. 

What is more challenging however is getting people to make a purchase. 

Email marketing can help with this as it allows you to nurture the relationship between your brand and your subscriber from the moment they sign up to your list. 


Huckberry uses welcome emails to share their vision

By fostering this relationship, you’re increasing the likelihood that your subscriber will end up purchasing. 

Instead of going for the hard sell straightaway, use your welcome emails to communicate your brand’s message and ethos. Throwing in an offer for the subscriber’s first purchase is also a great idea. 

How to set up your automated email marketing campaigns

The best and most efficient way of implementing email marketing is by setting up automated emails like abandoned cart flows, welcome emails, and personalized product recommendations.

Don’t feel like you have to wait until you have a certain list size or anything like that. It’s never too early to get started. 

“As for the campaigns I’d recommend you set up straight away, definitely an abandoned cart series, welcome series, and a win-back campaign,” says Aaron.

The first one should be a friendly reminder to people of what they left in their shopping cart. Often this is all it takes to get someone to come back and finish checking out. 

That’s because many people simply get distracted and forget about their purchase. 

This is also why we don’t usually recommend giving a discount code away in your first email either. 

“As a decent percentage of people just need to be reminded, you don’t want to give away margin when they would’ve paid the full price anyway. “

If the first email doesn’t do the trick, then it’s in the second follow-up that you’ll need to start offering some kind of discount. 

Here, we typically recommend offering free shipping if you don’t already. 

Many studies have shown that a leading cause of cart abandonment is presenting customers with extra fees and charges during checkout. 

Shipping costs are the main culprit here.

So while it’s already recommended you offer free shipping to all your customers if you can, for those that don’t, a free shipping offer usually drives conversions. 

If the second follow-up email doesn’t get your potential customer to complete the transaction, then it’s time to bring out your best offer in the final third abandoned cart email. 

Even this won’t convert everyone though. 

Some people will just never be able to be won back. But by offering them the best deal that you can do in the third email, you’ve at least done the best job you can do. 

As for the timing of your abandoned cart series, we know that nearly three-quarters of all people who do convert, do so in the first 24 hours. 

Therefore you’ll want to have sent at least your first two emails within this time frame. 

Last thoughts…

Online shopping is all about personalization, and email marketing needs to be personal as well. 

Use customer data to create an effective, personalized message that really gets their attention. 

Trigger-based emails such as welcome, thank you, and cart recovery emails are the best way to nurture your shoppers.

To make sure you nail it straight away, work on your segmentation to find out who your loyal customers are and those who need an extra push or an incentive to purchase.

Implementing email marketing tactics on your Shopify store is easier than ever, regardless of the email platform you’re using. 

And if you’re still not too sure what to write or need some guidance, have a look at our email marketing templates that we put together.

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