10 Ecommerce Email Marketing Examples to Inspire Your Next Newsletter

March 1, 2022

Rachel Go

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With rising acquisition costs in ecommerce, it’s more important than ever to own your customer nurturing channels.

Despite the prevalence of newer options, email marketing is considered the most effective marketing channel, according to 29% of marketers.

Ecommerce email marketing isn’t simply sending a message every time you close a sale.

Each communication must be thoughtfully crafted to garner interest and engagement from your subscribers. Plus, they need great subject lines to entice leads to open their missives.

In this article, we’ll cover:

Before we get into examples from brands that really nailed their email marketing strategy, let’s talk about the benefits of ecommerce email marketing.

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Why email marketing is vital to ecommerce brands

Email marketing is a tried-and-tested communication and marketing channel across multiple industries—because it works.

Not only does capturing emails give you a direct line to your customers, email marketing can build relationships and nurture leads for negligible costs.

Own your customer relationships

Email newsletters are a nurture channel that gives you a direct line to your shoppers.

Whatever your acquisition strategy, you should prioritize owning the relationship between you and the consumer to protect your reach.

If you sell on a marketplace, for example, you don’t own your customer relationship.

Your account could be suspended, or the customer may never return to your product listing and you would have no way to contact them again.

Conversely, emails can be customized to your brand to make you memorable.

Capturing contact info ensures you can maintain constant communication with your customers. This allows you to build and strengthen your relationships continuously through personalized messaging.

You can also send this owned traffic to your own DTC store by creating landing pages especially for your email newsletter. 

For example, if you have a newsletter-exclusive sale event, you can create a specific landing page and only share the link with your subscribers.

Nurture your leads efficiently

Don’t discard leads just because they aren’t ready to convert.

You may end up losing not only a sale down the line but also a loyal reviewer, an engaged follower, and an enthusiastic referrer.

Ecommerce email marketing lets brands stay in touch with shoppers who aren’t ready (yet) to make a purchase. 

This provides more opportunities to convert them later while also building a relationship and establishing trust.

Low-risk, high reward

Email is a low-cost, low-risk channel that stands to generate massive returns.

In 2019, Campaign Monitor found email marketing ROI was $42 for every $1 spent, giving it a 4,200% return.

Aside from the time and tools necessary to craft an engaging and relevant email, the cost of sending one and having it reach your target audience is $0.

Compare this to paid ads, which cost money for every click.

Email marketing is an excellent earned media channel to stay in touch with and nurture your leads.

10 examples of amazing ecommerce email marketing in action

Now that we’ve gotten into the why, let’s talk about how to put together compelling emails using a few examples.

I’ll go through some amazing communications from ecommerce brands below and break down what they do right.

Unless otherwise stated, all of the following examples were taken from Really Good Emails, a database of excellent email newsletters.

Welcome to the party: Your first email interaction

The first email you send after someone signs up for your newsletter sets the tone for the relationship.

It should share more information about the newsletter, set expectations, and provide additional resources—all in your brand voice and personality.

Check out how the mattress company Casper welcomes new subscribers.

casper mattress welcome email

What they do well:

  • Social proof in the subheading broadcasting more than a million other subscribers (signaling you’re in good company).
  • Plenty of benefits sprinkled throughout the email, from the perks of subscribing to their top sleep tip.
  • Immediate upsell CTA by offering bundles to make their acquisition spend go further.

Best links to include in this email:

Nurture emails: Fighting inaction

The majority of your emails aim to fight inaction.

They’re often called nurture emails since their job is to nurture the relationship until a consumer is ready to buy or repurchase.

See how perfume company Atelier Cologne inspires further product exploration with their newsletter.

This email is packed with compelling offers and plenty of avenues to learn more.

atelier cologne nurture email

What they do well:

  • The subject line,“A tropical getaway in a bottle!” sets the tone for exploration and discovery, followed by their fun, colorful newsletter content. There are notes of discovery throughout the email, from the CTA “Discover” to the heading “Explore Pacific Lime Universe” and even a prompt to “Try them all!” to get a voucher.
  • Present further value, such as free shipping, gift wrapping, and samples with every order.
  • Give the option to find a local boutique for those who prefer to shop in-store instead of online.

Best links to include in this email:

Product recommendations: Being helpful and relevant

Everyone loves a good recommendation.

When unsure of what to buy or which service to use, many of us seek the advice of friends, family, and colleagues who are familiar with the subject.

The same goes for consumers your brand is trying to reach.

By including recommendations in your newsletter, you can turn your emails into trusted product endorsements.

Check out how bookseller Barnes & Noble shares their latest book recommendations with subscribers.

barnes noble product recommendation email

What they do well:

  • Provide recommendations for multiple categories, such as bestsellers, teens, and kids. You never know who the readers in a subscriber’s life are, if their birthdays are coming up, etc.
  • Feature rich visuals and compelling book covers, with titles underneath for clarity and ease of reading. This helps pull in visual shoppers.
  • Options to click directly on a book, browse a category, or find a store nearby to continue shopping.

Best links to include in this email:

  • Product landing page
  • Product collection page

New product announcements: Generating excitement

Releasing a new item is exciting for every brand, and it can be for customers, too.

Product release announcements are a great way to deliver on any promises that subscribers will “be the first to know” about exciting new deals and releases.

At the same time, they help generate sales using an acquisition channel you own.

See how dog food company Scratch announced their new formula of grain-free kangaroo dog kibble.

scratch dog food product announcement email

What they do well:

  • Lead with a clear announcement that readers will understand at a glance. This helps their subscribers figure out right away whether they want to read on or stop there.
  • Highlight their key benefits, including freshness (“Made last week. Shipping fresh…”) and healthy, nutritious dog food (“Everything your mate needs — nothing they don’t” and “fresher, real, ethical, locally-sourced”). These are also put into graphics near the bottom of the email to drive the point home.
  • Include a few FAQs to answer questions right off the bat, with an option to read more in a secondary CTA.

Best links to include in this email:

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Sweetening the deal: How to use incentives to get conversions

A tried-and-true method to convince someone to open and click on your emails is to provide a discount or free gift.

Although an old technique, it’s part of almost every brand’s playbook.

Look at how shoe company Keds uses their newsletter to promote a clearance sale and generate some additional purchases.

keds shoes clearance sale email

What they do well:

  • Advertise free shipping at the top to assuage any fears or unease about buying multiple items online.
  • The star of the show is the 20% clearance discount. They place it up top with a colorful background to draw attention to it, with a compelling CTA, “Get access” (to the deals). They also encourage subscribers to shop online with their “Online exclusives” category below the product shots.
  • Provide examples of products accompanied by photos, prices, and discounts. This sneak peek into the sale gives subscribers greater incentive to shop and see more.

Best links to include in this email:

Know your audience: Take personalization to the next level

Personalized emails ensure you only deliver the deals, products, and information that subscribers are actually interested in.

You can customize emails based on a shopper’s purchase history, items they’ve abandoned in their carts, or categories they checked off as having an interest in.

See how clothing brand Forever 21 delivers personalized discounts in their newsletter.

forever 21 personalization email

What they do well:

  • Lead with a value incentive, namely, a discount on the items below it.
  • The “What you love” section indicates the items featured in the email are related to the subscribers’ shopping behavior or patterns.
  • Include free shipping and payment plans at the end of their email to remove any blockers or concerns.

Best links to include in this email:

  • Personalized collection page
  • Logged-in account profile

Referral programs: Incentivizing social proof

Referral programs are an excellent acquisition strategy to make your past investments work for you.

Find happy customers who are willing to share your product with friends, and leverage their networks to extend your reach and generate trust in your brand.

Check out how the underwear brand MeUndies promotes their referral program in their newsletter.

meundies referral program email

What they do well:

  • Emphasize the benefit, displaying in huge letters that friends get 20% off and the referrer gets $20.
  • Put the reader front and center as the “hero” of the story. Instead of saying, “Your friends could get 20% off,” the email highlights, “Give Your Friends 20%” to imply you’ll be doing your friends a favor.
  • End with a single CTA, followed by reassuring endnotes to remove any lingering objections: social proof (happy customers), a social prompt (if you aren’t ready to refer yet), and a link to their help center (for any other questions).

Best links to include in this email:

Delivery confirmation: Generating more forward momentum

Delivery confirmation emails are important to close the loop on a purchase cycle.

It’s a smart way to inform your customers their items have been delivered, as well as solicit feedback and ask for further action such as leaving a review.

Toilet paper company Who Gives A Crap masters their order confirmation in this email breakdown by DTC.

who gives a crap delivery tracking email offer
Image: Direct to Consumer

What they do well:

  • The opener is in keeping with the brand’s playful personality, with a large “Weeeeeeee!” right up top.
  • Notify the buyer to look out for their package, helping ensure they get their items and stay in the loop. It’s also a great way to end the purchase journey.
  • Propel further action, such as referring a friend (with incentive) and tagging them in social shares for more user-generated content.

Best links to include in this email:

  • Product collection page
  • Track your product page

Recovering churned or inactive customers: Reengaging shoppers

Reengagement emails remind customers why they subscribed in the first place.

They help you avoid losing contact with your leads, but need to be delivered well to add value instead of being sent to spam.

Here’s how beauty brand Aillea taps leads on the shoulder.

aillea reengagement email

What they do well:

  • The email has a purpose beyond, “Hey, come back and buy”; it announces a new collection that shoppers may be interested in.
  • Lead with their tagline. Many unengaged leads may forget what your brand is or does, even if they signed up. Aillea opens with their logo and tagline to prompt brand recall.
  • Deliver custom content based on audience needs. The brand may not know exactly what a lead wants (after all, it’s been a while), but they can still help them find it by using smart filters and categories, such as adding a step to a beauty routine or going green with an alternative product.

Best links to include in this email:

  • Product collection page
  • Special offer page

Bridge the gap between retail and ecommerce

Your email marketing doesn’t need to stop at your ecommerce operations (nor should it).

Many successful brands also have retail stores and outlets. A report from Shopify revealed 55% of shoppers prefer to browse online and purchase in retail stores.

Your email newsletter can help bridge the gap between online and in-person shopping.

Check out how coffee conglomerate Starbucks uses their newsletter to drive subscribers to nearby retail locations.

starbucks find nearest store email

What they do well:

  • Timely content to help coffee lovers find an open store near them (during a time when there was so much uncertainty over which shops would be open and operational).
  • Incentive to purchase, promising double the stars (rewards points for their loyalty club).
  • New, unique product recommendations for those who aren’t sure what they want.
  • CTA to order online with free delivery.

Best links to include in this email:

Ace your landing: Don’t forget about your landing pages

Lastly, don’t forget your email marketing doesn’t end at open or click rates. These leads need to see relevant, compelling landing pages to convert.

Great landing pages are key to successful email marketing campaigns in two ways:

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1) They help you build your email lists

You can build lead capture for your email list by setting up landing pages designed to get visitors to sign up for your newsletter.

For example, you could send top-of-funnel leads from social media or paid ads to your newsletter subscription page.

This traffic likely isn’t ready to make a purchase, but you can convince them to sign up and then slowly share more about your brand and products from there.

2) They help you convert your email marketing leads

Once someone signs up for your newsletter, you can then create dedicated landing pages to drive subscribers toward a purchase.

As your newsletter subscribers get to know your brand and products, you can begin to nudge them toward conversion.

Once someone takes action and follows the CTA on your newsletter, you must have a relevant, recognizable landing page set up so they know they’re in the right place and feel compelled to purchase.

Start sending amazing ecommerce marketing emails

Email marketing is a powerful tool for brands and merchants.

It helps build direct relationships with consumers, engage and nurture leads, and, ultimately, get subscribers to purchase.

Great ecommerce newsletters have mastered enticing copy, relevant offers, and compelling landing pages to bring it all home.


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Rachel Go

Rachel is a remote marketing manager with a background in building scalable content engines. She creates content that wins customers for B2B eCommerce companies like MyFBAPrep, Shogun, and more. In the past, she has scaled organic acquisition efforts for companies like Deliverr and Skubana.

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