10 Winning Ecommerce Email Examples

On July 30, 2021
9min read
Meg Bouton Content Writer @MailerLite

Let’s face it: creating emails that resonate can be a battle. On average, your customers are bombarded by 121 (yes, 121!) emails every day. With the right approach, your eCommerce emails can still break through the clutter and hit the mark. 

The key is to create memorable newsletters that resonate in your subscribers’ minds long after they hit ‘open’. But this isn’t as overwhelming as it might sound—lots of eCommerce brands are delivering genuine marketing messages that people love. 

We’re going to look at 10 email marketing examples from these businesses to see what makes them so special, and how you can do the same. But first…

What are eCommerce emails?

An eCommerce email is a type of email that promotes the products or services of an online store to new and existing customers. 

Ecommerce emails can take on many forms, from an introductory welcome email when people sign up to an abandoned cart email that reminds them to complete a purchase. While there are many types of emails, they all have the same goal: getting people to purchase from your eCommerce store. 

When done right, eCommerce emails can even encourage people to spend 138% more

How ecommerce email marketing can help grow revenue 

If you aren’t already sending eCommerce emails, here are five reasons why you should (spoiler alert—your business will thank you for it)!

  1. Increased sales: Emails can help you get more sales email accounts for 19.8% of all online transactions (beaten only by paid search and organic traffic).
  2. Improved subscriber relationship: Email is a direct communication channel with your customers, helping you build trust and nurture relationships.
  3. Boosted visibility: When people receive regular updates from you, your business will become top of mind when a customer is ready to shop.
  4. Easier targeting: Using tools such as personalization, subscriber groups, segmentation, and automation, you can send relevant, timely emails tailored to your customers’ interests. Hello, conversion rates!
  5. Simple setup: Creating email campaigns is straightforward and affordable. You don’t need expert knowledge to get started, and there are lots of email marketing tools that can help, such as MailerLite (and a few others that I don’t work for 😉)!

When done right, emails really can transform your online business. Let’s jump into these 10 examples of companies who have nailed their eCommerce email marketing.

The welcome email

A welcome email is that first introductory newsletter that subscribers and new customers receive when they sign up (aka, your first chance to say hello)! 

First impressions are important in any setting: the welcome email is where you’ll set the tone for your relationship with your email subscribers. If you’re unsure whether to set up a welcome email, we’ll leave you with this thought: they can increase user engagement by up to 500%.

A good welcome email should:

  • Be well designed, using clear fonts, coherent color schemes, and relevant imagery (check out these 7 email design mistakes to avoid).
  • All images should be compressed and converted, for this, you can use various free tools
  • Use “welcoming” language to set the tone and get people excited that they signed up.
  • Include a clear call to action (CTA), showing the next steps they should take now that they’ve subscribed.

Check out this eCommerce welcome email by Joybird below.  

Source: Joybird

They welcome their new subscribers to ‘the Joybird family’, which instantly creates a sense of community and togetherness. Along with this, there’s a photo of a family enjoying the furniture and decor, which adds an element of social proof to the newsletter. While you might want to add an offer to drive sales, Joybird takes a long-term strategy by nurturing new customers before pushing them towards making their first purchase. 

The discount email

A discount email holds a coupon code for a reduced price or free delivery, for example. This is a great incentive for people to purchase from your online store. Seven out of ten people have used an email discount code within the past week. 

If you want more engagement with your online business, then these promotional emails are a surefire way to heat things up. But like all good things in life, too much is not always positive. If you send discounts too often, customers will either get annoyed or worse – they will see you as a low-value discount brand, and possibly even hit unsubscribe.

Take a look at this discount email below from Peloton for $150 off.

Source: Peloton Interactive, Inc

The CTA is highlighted in red, so the reader can directly see how to take action. The marketers at Peloton have timed this promotion to coincide with Mother’s Day, which is also a helpful way to boost sales, as people will be looking for gift inspirations. 

Remember to keep a calendar of significant events each year (e.g., Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc.) so that you can time your promotions accordingly.

The giveaway email

A giveaway email is where you offer a special prize in return for people taking a certain action. Everyone loves a competition, and the chance of winning something is just irresistible! And in turn, your online business gets more visibility and engagement. 

For example, you might ask people to share a photo and tag a friend on social media, which will build hype around your online brand—and lead to more sales later on!

When running an eCommerce giveaway, just remember to:

  • Define what actions the entrants should take (e.g., follow on Instagram, or sign up for your newsletter)
  • Offer a prize that’s linked with your niche to attract a like-minded audience (they’ll show more engagement than people who are just entering to win a free iPhone, for example)
  • Promote the giveaway across multiple platforms, including email, social media, landing pages, and websites (you could even partner with someone else in your field to reach an even wider audience)

Have a read of this giveaway email from Paravel. 

Source: PARAVEL

Paravel partnered with others in their field to promote their giveaway. To enter, people had to share their details in a form and then follow a list of accounts on Instagram. Paravel and their partners got more online engagement, and one lucky winner was able to enjoy a Valentine’s Day gift package. It’s a win-win!

The birthday email

A birthday email is… (surprise, surprise)… an automated email that someone receives on their birthday, with a personalized birthday message, and/or with a free gift or discount. 

Birthday emails are an easy way to make your subscribers feel special and show them that you care. Because they are so personalized, they deliver 179% higher click-through rates and 481% higher transaction rates than promotional emails. 

When setting up an automated birthday email, remember to: 

  • Use a subject line that includes a birthday reference so that people are more likely to open the email.
  • Create personalized emails that call the subscriber by name or adapt the offer based on their location or purchase history.
  • Celebrate other anniversaries too, such as team wins or the date your subscriber signed up.

For inspiration, take a look at this birthday email from RoseSkinCo. 

Source: RoseSkinCo

Remember that the best emails are often the most straightforward ones! This birthday email is quick and clear, and at a glance, the reader knows exactly what the offer is and the action to take. 

The transactional email

Transactional emails are triggered when someone takes a certain action. Your inbox is probably full of them: password reset emails, account verification emails, order confirmation emails, customer feedback emails… you get the idea! 

These emails are also integral to ecommerce email marketing. Imagine if you placed an order, and you didn’t receive a confirmation email. Chances are, you might feel a bit panicky! Transactional emails will be delivered straight away to confirm a transaction or complete an action, unlike marketing emails, where people need to give consent to receive promotional emails.

To make sure you’re ticking all the boxes, take a look at this article on how to deliver the best transactional email experience. 

But transactional emails are also an opportunity to promote your online business. For example, take a look at this post-purchase email from Deliveroo.

Source: Deliveroo France SAS

Notice how this email includes all the relevant details: the shipping confirmation, with the restaurant address and delivery address. But then, Deliveroo takes it a step further, introducing their referral system for friends. 

When setting up your transactional emails, remember that they don’t have to be boring! You can use it as an opportunity to promote your online business, such as by offering an upsell (an upgraded version of your product), sharing other product recommendations, offering a discount on the next purchase, or a referral rewards system, just like the example above.

The win-back email

Have your subscribers stopped opening your emails? Or perhaps they’ve ended a subscription or not bought anything for a while. Whatever the reason, you can try a re-engagement email campaign to get them back on board. 

Take a look at this eCommerce email from Masterclass. 

Source: MasterClass

It shares a personalized offer for the customer to renew their subscription, with a reminder of the value that they’re offering (new instructors being added every month). 

The exclusivity email

To make your online business even more desirable, you can create a members-only space where only certain people can access your promotions. For example, this could be based on behavior: for example, people who have earned a certain number of rewards points. This creates a sense of exclusivity for your eCommerce brand, which will make it all the more enticing.

Let’s take a look at this email example from SkinCeuticals.

Source: SkinCeuticals L’Oréal USA 

Notice how they have created special privileges and perks for a select part of their audience, making them instantly feel like VIPs—and much more likely to convert.

For your own eCommerce email marketing strategy, you could create a VIP program for your online business to reward your loyal customers and send exclusive offers just for them.

The countdown email 

3… 2… 1… Time’s up! There’s nothing like a countdown timer to get the adrenaline pumping and the heart racing. You can embed countdown timers in emails, and these will tick away in real-time, showing the subscribers how much time is left before the offer expires. 

Using a countdown in your eCommerce email will add a strong sense of urgency and encourage your subscribers to take action RIGHT. NOW.

When adding your countdown timer, remember to accompany it with:

  • Time-sensitive language: This emphasizes the deadline and encourages people to act straight away
  • A clear CTA: This should be instantly recognizable and direct your subscribers to the next steps

To get an idea of what these eCommerce emails look like, have a read of this email from Casper below.

Source: Casper Sleep Inc.

That ticking time clock will go a long way in pushing people to take action! But it is also complemented with persuasive copy and eye-catching visuals that guide you towards the CTA at the end.  

The humorous email

Some eCommerce emails tactfully use humor to capture their brand voice. It depends on your target audience, but humor can add character to your email and boost open rates. It makes you sound more human and authentic, and it can be a way to build a genuine connection with your subscribers.

Before adding humor to your email marketing strategy, ask yourself:

  • Will this resonate with my target audience?
  • Does this compliment my brand voice and image?
  • Does this fit the context of my newsletter?
  • Could this be offensive to anyone? 

Humor should match your brand and target audience and make your audience smile—without offending. If you aren’t 100% sure, show your email to some trusted colleagues and friends before hitting send.

For an example of humor in an eCommerce business email, take a look at this email from MeUndies, introducing a new product. 

Source: MeUndies Inc.

It introduces a meme-like joke about their new sloth print, which is bound to have people smiling. It’s a great way to present a new product without being overbearing or annoying, and no doubt plenty of subscribers added it to their shopping cart as a result!

The cart abandonment email

An abandoned cart email is an email that reminds people to proceed to checkout if they have added items to their basket and then left the page. Did you know that over 75% of shoppers will leave a site before completing their purchase? But a cart abandonment email will nudge people to head back and seal the deal. Plus, these emails have a conversion rate of at least 10%!

Take a look at this abandoned cart email from Headspace, reminding someone to come back and complete their subscription.

Source: ReallyGoodEmails

The copy matches the company’s brand voice: gentle and reassuring while also motivating the subscriber to take the next steps. There’s even a touch of humor in there (squirrel)! 

Bonus example: The empathetic email 

Remember, it’s not always about getting your subscribers to convert—from time to time, you also want to check in and make sure that they’re happy and comfortable with the messages you’re sending.

Everyone on your email list will have different preferences, and it’s worth checking that you’re hitting the right notes. You can send the best email marketing campaigns in the world, but if they don’t match your subscribers’ interests or situation, then they won’t resonate the way you want them to. 

For example, promotional events like Father’s Day might be a tough time for some. Instead of directly bombarding everyone with promotional emails around this time, Paperchase checked in and gave subscribers the chance to opt out of Father’s Day emails, if they wanted to.

Source: Paperchase

This showed a lot of sensitivity to their audience’s needs, and it means that their eCommerce business emails will resonate all the more because of it. Using emotional intelligence in your marketing is essential. The goal of eCommerce emails is not just to sell but also to show your human side.

Remember to group and segment your subscribers so that every message can be tailored to them, and let them opt in or out for the things they want to hear about.  

Over to you!

Yes, the inbox competition is fierce. But these examples show that with the right tactics, you can create email marketing campaigns that connect with your subscribers. 

Whether it’s by adding a touch of humor, or by running a win-back email campaign, you can use eCommerce emails to guide your audience to the checkout page and boost sales for your online business. Happy sending!

Article by Meg Bouton Content Writer @MailerLite

Meg Bouton is a content writer based in Paris, France. She’s part of the content team at The Remote Company, a network of remote-first tech companies, including MailerLite and MailerSend. When she isn’t writing, you can find her sailing, skiing, or trawling through Parisian bookshops.