Mail Marketing Strategies for e-Commerce: Types of Mail you should Send

di Shaun De Lucia

Do you run an e-commerce business? Well, you need to know that an effective mail marketing strategy, implemented in stages and diversified according to the customer journey is your best ally to increase purchases and grow your business.


Studying a mail marketing strategy for e-commerce actually means studying different mini-strategies to use on a case by case basis.

For example, in some periods of the year it's good to send promotional e-mails related to a specific event or holiday (especially Christmas), in other moments it's good to contact a customer who hasn't purchased for a while with a promotional e-mail based on his previous purchases.

Let's go into detail and find out what types of mail (welcome, transactional, newsletter, greetings, abandoned cart) we can use for a mail marketing strategy for our e-commerce.

Let's not forget that a mailing list is a fundamental asset for a good marketing strategy, especially if, after collecting the mails, we proceed to a correct segmentation according to preferences, purchasing behaviour and tastes, as well as demographic data.

Thanks to email marketing you can take advantage of the touch points between you and the prospect and create a positive relationship with him.

Welcome email to a new subscriber

A potential customer landed on our e-commerce, he didn't buy but filled in the pop-up to leave his email.

How should we welcome him?
In the meantime, thank him for trusting us, because leaving the email is an act of trust. Then, why not invite him to make a purchase using a coupon or a discount? In this way, the prospect will leave you the email more willingly and you can prove to be the solution to his problems with the first purchase.
The coupon can promote a percentage discount or free shipping, the important thing is that a person, in exchange for the email, has the certainty of earning something, a do ut des beneficial for both.

The coupon can be linked to the subscription to a newsletter: but remember that, in this case, you will have to offer valid content and do lead nurturing.

Transactional emails: reassure your client

Let's assume that the prospect, thanks to the discount coupon offered, has made a purchase. What do we do now? Simply, do not leave him to himself, but send him an email with the confirmation of the purchase, expressing our gratitude for choosing us (and not one of the many competitors, including giants like Amazon and Ebay) and inform him about how and when the shipment will take place, possibly also indicating how to follow the shipment.

When the product has been released for shipment, then, an email to inform the customer is a must. Our goal, in fact, is not the transaction itself, or at least not in the long term: we must aim to create a virtuous relationship with the customer, which leads him to choose us not only once.

Shopping cart abandoned: what now?

It often happens that a person, after adding one or more items to the cart, does not proceed with the purchase. The abandoned cart is an excellent opportunity to retarget, which can increase the conversion rate of the e-commerce.

In fact, inviting the potential customer to complete the purchase, perhaps promoting a discount on the price of the item or shipping costs, can not only lead to the transaction, but convince the customer that our brand really cares about him.

When shall we send the retargeting email for an abandoned cart? There are those who recommend sending it even within an hour, in any case better not to take too long before doing it. The email should be personalized, with a catchy call to action and, why not, even one or two reviews from other customers (but let's not overload the email with too much content).

Newsletter: a great opportunity to do lead nurturing

If a user comes to your e-commerce and decides to subscribe to the newsletter, our goal, from that moment on, becomes only one: lead nurturing. Lead nurturing means offering subscribers useful content, aimed at solving a problem (which can be of a practical or "informative" nature). Guides, advice, news, everything that can help people to become loyal customers.

Segmenting the database is essential to offer the right content to the right people... at the right time.

Mail for greetings and seasonal events

Before Christmas, Easter or particular events like Black Friday, it is advisable to study good mail marketing strategies. Special promotions, discounts, coupons, free shipping ... there are many possibilities, the most important thing is, as usual, to send the right mail to the right customer (that's why we take care of the segmentation).

If you also know the customer's date of birth, you can then think of a promotion for his birthday: a discount or a free product could be winning ideas.

It's not necessary, however, to invite them to make an immediate purchase; you can also choose to send a simple mail of greetings, or do one and the other: a few weeks (or days) before the event you could invite the user to buy something, and then on the day of the anniversary you can just write a gift message: this is a nice way to create a relationship of trust with the customer.

Up-selling and cross-selling emails

We close with up-selling and cross-selling emails, linked to the strategy of pushing the customer to buy higher end products (up-selling) or related items (cross-selling).

The most classic of up-selling and cross-selling mails is the one that involves copies of the type "whoever bought such an article also bought...". To give a concrete example, an e-commerce of clothing can suggest the purchase of accessories or a more prestigious brand.

Used wisely, up-selling and cross-selling emails can be very effective.

This type of email can also accompany a purchase confirmation email.


We have seen the different mail marketing strategies related to the promotion of an e-commerce.
At the base of every mail marketing strategy there must be the idea of relational marketing: apart from one-shot sales, certainly important, our aim must always be to create a lasting relationship with the customer.

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