Email marketing strategy for ecommerce explained in 3 easy steps in 2021

If you run an ecommerce business, you would’ve observed that people have been buying more stuff online since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out. 

As your customers discover the convenience of buying online, you’ll see a surge in your business. And you’ll want to sustain that growth.

A result-focused strategy for email marketing for ecommerce can make this happen.

To make it actionable, we’ve divided the email marketing strategy in three stages.  Under that, we’ve discussed a total of six tips that will help you drive growth for your ecommerce store, no matter where you stand right now.

At the end of this article you’ll see that while email marketing has a great ROI, it is not all that difficult to work on :)

Let’s begin!

Stage 1: Before you send emails

When you are conducting an email marketing campaign, you’ll be sending various offers and sharing great content.

And to get results, you’ll need a mailing list of interested, relevant subscribers. In other words, you’ll need to build (and keep growing) a targeted email list.

Here are the things you must absolutely do first.

1. Pay attention to email acquisition


You need a high-quality mailing list; the bigger the better. That said, do not compromise quality for the sake of size.

List-building takes time. Yet, you’ll see this tip everywhere, whether it’s a beginner’s guide to email marketing for ecommerce to a list of advanced email marketing strategies for ecommerce.


There are a large number of ways to build a list, which, when combined, will give you great results. Here are four activities to achieve that:

1. Establish authority on Q&A sites: Be present on sites like Reddit and Quora. Build your reputation and invite people to join your mailing list.

2. Churn out great content: Your own blogs, guest posts on third-party sites, YouTube videos… whatever content you produce, end it with a reminder for people to sign up.

3. Leverage emails: In all the emails you send out, add a link at the bottom to sign up for your list. Make it easy for people to share your emails.

4. Offer gated content: If you sell something that’s a little technical or niche, you can consider having gated content - people signing up for your emails can access that content.

2. Go for email verification


Not all the email addresses submitted in your sign up form are valid and deliverable. Sometimes there’s a genuine typo; at other times people submit fake emails intentionally.

Before adding these addresses to your mailing list, you’ll want to go for email verification. That way, your emails will not bounce back and you’ll achieve a great email marketing ROI.


There are two styles of email validation. The first is list cleaning. Under this, you take up your entire email list and run it through an email verification tool. The tool will separate the valid email addresses from the invalid ones.

The second way to validate email addresses is through real-time email verification. Here, when the user signs up, the system will instantly check the email address and notify if the email address is invalid. This helps the user submit the correct email address. As a result, only valid email addresses will enter your mailing list.

There are many tools to help you with email verification.You can carry out a comparison of email verification tools before you zero in on the one you like best.

On to the next stage…


Stage 2: Sending the email

Now that you have a list, you’re ready to send emails to people on your list.

Among the dozens of things you’ve got to do in order to get email marketing right, there are two things you want to pay particular attention to.

1. Work hard on your welcome email


The biggest reason you want to create an awesome welcome email is that welcome emails have a 50% open rate (Source). That’s way more than that of your regular newsletters, so you’ll want to put in extra efforts in the welcome email.

Besides, the welcome mail is kind of your first handshake, so you’ll want to make it warm and engaging.


Start with a real, warm thank you. Next, say a little about what you stand for and a tad excerpt from your brand story.

Importantly, outline the benefits subscribers will get by staying connected over your emails and newsletters. And finally, begin working on building the trust quotient. The more your subscribers trust your ecommerce store, the more they’re likely to buy from you.

2. Work with the right partner


Your email marketing partner is the organization that helps you with sending, storing, receiving and testing the emails you exchange with prospects. Sometimes it’s tempting to build your own email infrastructure to send marketing emails.

But in terms of real benefits, an ESP (Email Service Provider) who specializes in email marketing and marketing automation will bring benefits you are unlikely to match yourself.


There are a large number of ESPs out there, with a wide range of services and pricing options.

Scout around and test as many as services you can.

With your own infrastructure, you’d need some figuring out how to safely send them emails. With an ESP you can take care of this jump by a mere click of buttons and upgrading to a bigger plan.

With an ESP, you know you’ll not miss any of the important email marketing KPIs. Your ESP will also be able to help you with scaling, A/B testing, segmentation, templatization and a lot more.

Stage 3 After the visitors arrive… and leave

You built your own list, verified the email addresses, sent out welcome emails and tracked the right KPIs. Now people start turning up at your ecommerce store and it looks like you’re set for real growth.

Is that all?

Not necessarily.

No matter what, you’ll still be doing the following two activities carefully if you want to grow your ecommerce store.

1. Always send abandoned cart emails


Visitors come to your online store, pick up a few items, add them to the shopping cart and head towards making a purchase. And suddenly they leave, abandoning the shopping cart, without making the purchase.

And that’s when you send them an email - the abandoned cart email. You try to persuade or entice them to return and finish the purchase. An estimate suggests that about 68% of shopping carts are abandoned (Source). That means only 32 out of the 100 people who show an intent to buy ultimately leave without buying.


Reach out to them over email and ask what went wrong. Sometimes you need to create a special offer for them to make sure they buy. Other times, you can simply remind them and share the link from where to return to the shopping cart.

The side benefit is that you’ll get to know why people abandon carts, letting you do the necessary correction.

2. Build a series of post-purchase emails


To those who’ve made a purchase, the story doesn’t end with a simple thank you. Craft a series of post-purchase emails.

The idea behind a series of post-purchase emails is to be sure that your brand remains top of their mind and they keep engaging. That means the next time they think of making a purchase, they should be visiting your store.


You can use their previous purchase history (and carts abandoned, if any) to better understand them. With that understanding, try and personalize your emails to them. To personalize emails, you can use even the simplest of information like their geographic location and the climate there.

The idea behind personalization is to establish a stronger connect with your customers. Better the connect, better your future engagements.


No business is protected from the onslaught of fierce competition today. And the best insurance against this is the relationship you establish with your customers.

A smartly designed and efficiently executed email marketing strategy can turn around the fortunes of your ecommerce store.

Begin by paying attention to how you collect and verify emails. Next, focus on writing quality emails, tracking their KPIs and working with a strong email marketing partner. Also, reach out to customers who loaded their shopping carts but left without making a purchase. And finally, design a series of post-purchase emails for existing customers to make sure they keep coming back to you.

What other strategies have worked for your ecommerce store?

Email marketing for ecommerce

Written by Hiren Patel

Hiren Patel's picture

Hiren Patel is a data scraping professional. Beyond that, he is interested in learning and sharing tips on how email marketing and digital marketing can help small ecommerce store owners grow.