The 10 types of email you need to be sending to boost your ecommerce businesses.

Most e-commerce websites invest in email marketing because of its potential ROI. If you’re part of that club, you have likely built a list, sent a few of your best messages out, and worked to engage visitors that come back to your site.

Although sending an email creates a personal touch that can start the relationship-building process, it’s not always the correct message at an appropriate time. Marketing must include sequencing to ensure each prospect receives the information needed for their journey with you.

Here are the best email types to send when you’re trying to boost your e-commerce businesses this year.

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What Are the Best Email Types to Send to Prospects?

Email marketing for an e-commerce website is more than a note that says, “Hey! I’ve got something on sale that you want! Come buy it!”

It is a relationship-driven process that establishes your concern for each customer while delivering evidence of your value and expertise.

When you meet a stranger on the street, do you become best friends instantly? It takes time to get to know that person, discover what you have in common, and develop emotional attachments. The same process applies to email marketing.

That’s why the email type and its sequencing can positively or negatively impact your marketing investment. When you know how to write an email campaign with these options, your efforts can make a greater impact.

Email Type #1: The Welcome Email

Welcome emails are opened more than almost any other that prospects receive. That’s because it gets sent to them right after they decide to sign up for your list.

Think about that fact for a moment. When people are excited about something, they’re more likely to keep following through with an activity.

That’s why this email type is the best chance to create a positive first impression. If your introduction doesn’t make a sound, memorable experience, the rest of your messages might get deleted without a second thought.

Welcome emails can drive more revenues and transactions than other promotional mailing options.

These three ideas can help the welcome email stand out, even if your prospect gets dozens of emails from other brands each day.

  • Be original. If you want your message to stand out, it must be authentic. That means your prospects need to see something unexpected. The goal should be to speak their language while delivering an item of value, whether that’s an instructional video or a blog post that solves a problem.
  • Provide a discount. By offering an immediate discount for joining your email list, you’re enables a transaction to occur. Let your products or services speak for themselves so that their value encourages a customer to return.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t try to overcomplicate the welcome message. Try to remove any barriers that would stop someone from clicking through to a landing page.

Email Type #2: The Curation Message

Shopping is one part of an individual experience, one part of a group experience, and one part of a corporate experience.

Think about it. When you feel hungry and have no food, you go to a restaurant or a grocery store to satisfy that need. Once you get there, you’ll see where people congregate or what they order because you want the best.

You also chose the in-person location to visit based on what you expected at the destination. People even select specific brands and products because they understand the value of those things in relation to their needs.

People want the best. This email type shares it with each prospect.

An added benefit of this message is that it allows for customer segmentation. If you offer multiple categories and tag subscribers, you can score each one based on their behavior.

Email Type #3: The Discount Message

Discount emails provide a targeted or retargeting savings opportunity that encourages people to return to your e-commerce business. When prospects know that they’ll get what they want without a big hit to their bank account, they’re more likely to follow through with that initial urge to get what you have.

Over half of shoppers are more likely to complete an abandoned transaction when it’s offered to them with a discount.

The trap with this message is that you can end up pushing revenues only when discounts are offered. When that issue occurs, you’ll see fewer profits. If you’re never offering a sale, people might check out what a competitor offers.

By delivering this email type, you can connect with people who engage with your brand without sacrificing your income.

Email Type #4: The Engagement Message

Emails are an updated form of direct response marketing. The only way someone pays attention to your message is to grab that person’s attention. In the past, that meant attaching coupons to brochures, sending a dollar bill with a letter, or offering something else of value that “paid” someone to see your pitch.

With people receiving over 100 emails per day, inviting people to engage with your brand is essential. Otherwise, your messages might not even make their way to the inbox.

Although attaching an NFT or cryptocurrency isn’t financially viable for the average e-commerce business, could you provide free shipping?

Once you have an idea of what to offer, make the prospect earn the discount. People value what they work to achieve, whether that’s free shipping or putting together furniture from Ikea. [[3]]

Email Type #5: The Cart Abandonment Message

About 70% of all shopping carts are abandoned by website visitors. The primary reason why people leave an anticipated transaction is the cost of shopping.

Outside of taxes, fees, and shipping costs being too high, here are the other common reasons people abandon shopping carts on e-commerce sites.

  • 37% leave because the website wants the shopping to create an account.
  • 28% abandoned carts because the checkout process was too cumbersome.
  • 23% stopped a transaction because they couldn’t calculate or see the total order cost.
  • 20% had the e-commerce site crash or have errors.

Additional reasons for cart abandonment include an unsatisfactory return policy, slow delivery, and not trusting a website with credit card information.

When you send this email type to your website visitors, it allows your business to address prospects’ objections when shopping.

The lifetime value a customer offers is enough to incentivize cart completion. If you can’t offer free shipping or a product completion, ask for feedback about that person’s experience. You won’t always get a response, but the information that does come along can help refine the checkout process for future customers.

Email Type #6: The Upsell Message

Upselling is the process of inviting a customer to purchase more of the same item or a more expensive product to boost the transaction’s value.

That’s different from a cross-sell message, which recommends complementary products.

If you wanted to upsell someone buying peanut brittle, you might ask them if they’d like a three-pound box instead of the one-pound container they’re currently purchasing. When you cross-sell, the message might be, “Would you also want a one-pound box of chocolate with your order?

Repeat customers spend nearly 70% more about three years down the road from their initial purchases. That’s why upselling makes sense, especially if someone has been on your email marketing list for quite some time.

Email Type #7: The Referral Message

Happy customers become brand ambassadors. When you encourage them to make referrals to their family and friends, you’re building a fantastic resource that can generate additional leads.

One of the most significant influences on a purchasing decision involves word-of-mouth marketing. Depending on the study, it is the top reason for a specific choice in 70% to 85% of eventual transactions.

Setting up a referral program ensures that your e-commerce business can take advantage of those potential opportunities. If you’re already asking for this activity on your checkout pages, you’ve got a good start.

The best referral emails provide three elements for the recipient to consider.

  • There should be clear instructions for people to follow so that they can join the referral program or take advantage of the discounts provided.
  • Go beyond the next order with your value. Consider offering the referent a free product (within reason) to encourage this activity.
  • Thank people for being a customer of your e-commerce business.

You can use referral emails to encourage positive reviews for your company and brand. This information is often treated similarly to word-of-mouth marketing, creating more sales opportunities to consider.

Email Type #8: The Order Confirmation Message

This email type for your e-commerce business provides a practical purpose. It confirms the expectations a customer has when completing a transaction. It helps to think of this message like a receipt you’d give someone after checking them out at the register.

You can have this message provide more information than the details from a person’s order. It could be a way to set delivery expectations, discuss your return policy, or remind the customer why they made a great choice shopping with you instead of a competitor.

When it’s done right, the order confirmation email contributes an average of $0.25 of extra revenue per transaction. Although that figure doesn’t sound like much, it adds up quickly. For every 1,000 customers, you’re generating an additional $250 in revenue to use with virtually no effort on your part.

Email Type #9: The Win-Back Message

Every e-commerce email marketing list experiences a measure of unsubscribe activity. You can’t please everyone all the time. The goal should be to stop people from disengaging from your brand entirely because that can be a costly venture.

Even if you can re-engage only a few people who want to leave, the potential revenue boost is worth the effort.

One of the most common ways to use the win-back email is to offer a discount, extra credits, or something else of monetary value. It’s the same process you get from a customer service department when canceling a subscription. “Would you be willing to stay if we deliver a 25% discount for the next three months?”

This message can take other forms. You could use it to get feedback about why someone left, reinforce the expertise you offer, or remind a customer of their history with your e-commerce site.

Breaking up with a brand can be as stressful on some consumers as a divorce. If you give people a reason to stay within the scope of your email marketing efforts, there’s an excellent chance that you’ll win them back.

Email Type #10: The Thank You Message

One of the biggest complaints about society after the coronavirus pandemic is that people seem to have lost their manners.

You don’t want customers thinking that about your e-commerce businesses!

The truth is that most brands don’t express their thanks enough to their customers. Even when it is remembered, the experience rarely feels authentic or meaningful.

Today’s businesses need to go beyond a standard thank you note for a transaction or subscribing to an email marketing list. People want the recognition they deserve for keeping your company in business.

Instead of using this email message type as a reactive note, try to be proactive with it. Send your lists a thank you note without any other reason behind it except for your gratefulness.

You could always add a link to content that speaks positively about your e-commerce business or shows off an award, but don’t ignore the simple value of a thank you note. A little recognition goes a long way toward another sale.

Email Marketing for an E-Commerce Website Starts with a Valuable Message

Most people don’t open every email they receive. People are busy today, messages are forgotten, or the subject line doesn’t hold enough relevance to click that time.

Knowing how to write an email campaign starts with understanding what message a prospect or customer needs to see. When you include these options as part of your outreach effort, you’ll create a targeted, individualized approach that leads to more potential revenue-earning opportunities. Once you have each segment receiving an appropriate message type, you’ll likely see your engagement rates start growing.

By Jon Goldberg

Jon is a writer for He likes hiking, sport cars and playing chess when he's not with his family.

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