Shopify Email Marketing: Everything You Need to Know

November 16, 2019
Boris Mustapic

Shopify Email Marketing: Everything You Need to Know

November 16, 2019
Boris Mustapic
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Interested in Shopify email marketing?

Keep on reading to learn why you should use email marketing for your Shopify store and how you can get started.

We’ll also cover the most popular types of ecommerce email marketing campaigns you should use as well as mention some email marketing best practices you need to keep in mind.

Why your Shopify store needs email marketing

Email marketing is crucial for growing your Shopify store. It enables you to:

  • Generate more traffic and sales - Email marketing is a very cost-effective method of generating traffic and sales for ecommerce businesses. On average, it generates $44 for every dollar spent.
  • Improve brand awareness - Email marketing allows you to stay in touch with your customer base and keep your brand top-of-mind
  • Build trust - Consumers buy from brands they know and trust. Email marketing helps you build trust more easily and allows you to develop meaningful relationships with your customers.
  • Reach your customers on any device - With email marketing, you’re able to reach your customers regardless of what device they use since emails can be read on desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

How to get started with Shopify email marketing

Follow these steps to start using email marketing to generate more traffic and sales for your Shopify store:

Choose the right email marketing service

Email marketing is a highly scalable method of generating traffic and sales. However, to be able to scale your email marketing efforts, you’ll need to choose the right email marketing service.

When trying to decide on the email marketing solution you’re going to use, start by considering your needs.

Think about what you want to accomplish with email marketing and note down any features that you consider to be absolutely necessary.

At a minimum, the email marketing service you choose should enable you to:

  • Manage multiple email lists
  • Create segmented lists
  • Craft branded emails with the help of pre-designed templates
  • Create email sequences and workflows

We’re going to list some of the most popular Shopify email marketing apps and email marketing services below.



Klaviyo is an email marketing service that is designed for ecommerce. It allows ecommerce businesses to use a variety of segmentation tools to create highly-targeted email lists, as well as take advantage of advanced automation workflows.

The service also offers a built-in CRM as well as pre-built workflows for the most popular types of ecommerce email marketing campaigns, including welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, post-purchase emails, and re-engagement emails.

Integrating Klaviyo with Shopify is fairly easy since the service has an official Shopify app.

Klaviyo is free if you have less than 250 subscribers and send less than 500 emails per month. Paid plans start at $20/month.



Another ecommerce-focused email marketing solution, Omnisend makes it very easy for ecommerce businesses to build email sequences and implement automated workflows for their online store.

Apart from sending emails, the service also allows you to reach your customers through push notifications, SMS, Facebook messages, and WhatsApp messages.

Omnisend has an app that makes it very easy to integrate with Shopify.

The free version of Omnisend allows you to send 5,000 emails per month. Paid plans start at $16/month.



ActiveCampaign is a very popular email marketing solution among advanced email marketers. It offers a range of powerful features such as segmenting, tagging, and conditional email content.

The service also integrates with a wide variety of other platforms, including Zapier, ClickFunnels, Pipedrive, and of course, Shopify.

Its built-in CRM gives you insight into your contacts’ purchases, abandoned carts, and lifetime spending totals and makes it very easy to segment contacts into targeted lists.

ActiveCampaign is best suited for large ecommerce businesses that need complex Shopify email automation and advanced segmenting features.

Pricing starts at $9/month, with the basic package allowing you to send an unlimited number of emails per month.



GetResponse is a popular email marketing solution that offers a variety of advanced features, including Deep Data integration, synced customer data, and advanced segmentation.

The service includes plenty of ecommerce-focused email templates that you can use to create your email marketing campaigns. Its visual workflow builder enables you to create email workflows quickly and easily.

Ecommerce-focused automation workflow templates are also available on the platform, which means that you’ll never have to build a workflow from scratch.

GetResponse’s pricing starts at $15/month.

Grow your email list

Once you’ve decided on an email marketing solution, it’s time to get your first subscribers.

In this section, we’re going to give you some tips on how to get more contacts and grow your email list.

Get permission to email your contacts

Before we get into specific strategies of growing your email list, it’s crucial that we make one thing clear: you need subscribers to give you explicit permission to send them marketing messages.

Otherwise, you’re most likely going to get yourself into legal trouble.

How do you get permission? It’s simple, use an opt-in form such as this one:

Opt-in form

Apart from ensuring that you’re not breaking any laws, getting permission from subscribers will ensure that you don’t damage your brand’s reputation by sending unsolicited messages to prospects and customers.

Make signing up to your email list seem like a great deal

People get promotional emails all the time. In fact, 61% of consumers state that they enjoy receiving promotional emails from brands.

However, that doesn’t mean that they’re ready to sign up for yet another newsletter. You need to give these people a good reason to entrust you with their email address.

Discounts, exclusive offers, and insider news are all great examples of incentives you can offer to your subscribers.

Sign up email list

Moreover, signing up to your email list needs to be quick and easy. Don’t ask customers to enter too much information just to get access to your newsletter. Only ask for the essentials: their name and email address.

It’s also important that you set expectations for your email communication by letting people know what kind of content you’re going to be emailing them (and how often) once they sign up to your list.

When it comes to actually creating the form that your visitors will use to sign up, a page builder tool like Shogun certainly comes in handy. With Shogun, you can easily set up and customize forms (font, text color, background color, and background image can all be adjusted). Shogun allows you to quickly create other elements, such as countdown timers and customer review sections, as well.

Let subscribers choose what kind of emails they’d like to receive

People might be wary of signing up to your newsletter because they fear that you’ll email them content that’s not relevant to them. You can alleviate this fear by letting subscribers choose what kind of content they’d like to receive (e.g., discount offers, educational content, etc.)

Create multiple segments based on this information and then send each segment highly-targeted, relevant content. This will ensure that you have the highest chance of engaging your audience once you start sending emails.

Promote your email list

If you want to grow your email list, it’s crucial that you take an active effort to do so. Add newsletter signup forms to multiple places on your website, such as the top bar, sidebar, main menu, and the About Us page.

You might also want to consider using a pop-up combined with a discount offer to get people to subscribe to your newsletter.

Promote email list

Apart from your website, you can also promote your email list on your social media channels. Create a dedicated landing page where your social media followers can sign up to your email list, and then post a link to it on your social media pages.

Let your followers know about all the exclusive benefits that come with signing up to your newsletter so that you can get as many signups as possible.

Set up email marketing campaigns

If you’ve followed the tips from the previous section, you should have built a decent-sized email list.

Now, it’s time to set up email marketing campaigns that will help you extract as much value as possible from your prospects and customers.

The six types of ecommerce email campaigns we’ll be covering in this section include welcome emails, order confirmation emails, post-purchase emails, abandoned cart emails, re-engagement emails, and upsell emails.

Welcome email

The first email you send to your subscribers should introduce them to your brand and products. This is known as the welcome email.

According to research, the welcome email is the most profitable type of ecommerce email campaign, generating three times more revenue than other types of campaigns.

Bonobos email

You can use the welcome email to link to your social media pages so that subscribers can stay in touch with you on social media. This email is also a great opportunity to entice subscribers to make a purchase by offering them a discount.

Order confirmation email

After customers make a purchase on your website, you should send them an email confirming their order. This serves to reassure shoppers that their transaction went through and that you’ll be processing their order soon.

You should also include an estimated delivery date in this email to reduce the number of customer support requests you get from customers that want to know when their package is going to arrive.

Confirmation email

These types of emails have an average open rate of 70%, making them the perfect place to display other products that might interest your customers.

Post-purchase email

Shoppers read an average of seven reviews before making a purchase. This makes it crucial that you work hard to get as many reviews for your products as possible.

The post-purchase email is a great opportunity to ask customers to review their order.

Post-purchase email

Set your post-purchase email campaign to trigger 15, 30, or 60 days after delivering the customer’s package so that they have enough time to use your product and form an opinion.

Make sure to simplify the reviewing process so that you can get as many reviews as possible.

Abandoned cart email

An abandoned cart email is an email sent to shoppers after they leave products in their online cart without making a purchase on your website.

With 69.57% of all online shopping carts being abandoned before or during checkout, abandoned cart email campaigns are crucial for recovering ecommerce revenue.

abandoned cart email

These types of emails have shown to be very effective at engaging customers. They have an average open rate of 45%, and boast a 10.7% conversion rate.

Abandoned cart email campaigns consisting of multiple follow-ups work especially well, with businesses that send three or more abandoned cart emails to customers recovering 69% more orders compared to businesses that only send a single email.

Re-engagement email

Customers that haven’t visited your website or made a purchase in a while can be reactivated by sending them a re-engagement email campaign.

You can use the re-engagement email to ask customers what might be keeping them from buying from you again. If customers report an issue, try to remedy it as soon as possible if it’s related to something that’s under your control.

Re-engagement email

Additionally, you can include a discount in the re-engagement email to try and win back inactive customers with an enticing offer.

Upsell & cross-sell email

Focusing on selling to your existing customers is crucial if you want to grow your Shopify store’s revenue.

Why? Well, it’s been shown that it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.

Upsell and cross-sell emails enable you to sell more to your existing customers. These types of emails also help increase customer retention and customer lifetime value.

Upsell email

Since upsell and cross-sell campaigns focus on existing customers, they usually produce excellent results. Customers who’ve already purchased from you are clearly interested in your products, as well as familiar with your brand.

You can use upsell and cross-sell emails to promote your best-selling products, as well as products that are in some way related to a customer’s previous purchase.

Track email marketing performance

The final step in implementing Shopify email marketing involves tracking email marketing performance.

Measuring how your email campaigns perform will allow you to optimize your strategy and achieve better results.

Which metrics you’re going to track will depend on what you want to accomplish with each particular campaign. In general, you’ll want to keep an eye on the following metrics:

  • Open rate - Shows how many subscribers are opening your emails. A low open rate usually means that your subject lines aren’t very good.
  • Click-through rate (CTR) - Denotes the percentage of subscribers that click on a link contained within your email.
  • Conversion rate - The percentage of subscribers that made a purchase after clicking on a link in your email.
  • List growth rate - The rate at which your list is growing. Keeping an eye on this metric will allow you to understand how well you’re promoting your list to gain new subscribers, as well as how good you are at retaining existing subscribers.
  • Unsubscribe rate - As the name implies, the unsubscribe rate shows the rate at which you’re losing subscribers. A high unsubscribe rate is obviously bad. You can usually fix it by lowering your sending frequency, improving your email copy, or creating highly-targeted segments.
  • Bounce rate - The percentage of times your emails aren’t delivered to the intended recipient. Emails usually bounce due to a DNS failure or because you’re attempting to reach an email address that doesn’t exist.

Best practices for Shopify email marketing

We’ve gone through the basics of setting up and running email campaigns for Shopify. Now we’re going to look at a few best practices you should keep in mind when engaging in email marketing.

Create hyper-targeted segments

Successful email marketing campaigns rely on hyper-targeted segments to send exactly the right content, at the right time, to the right subscribers. This ensures maximum engagement rates and helps to generate as much revenue as possible from every email sent.

You can segment your list based on a variety of different criteria, including demographics, behavior, and customer’s journey stage.

Craft an amazing subject line

In most cases, your email’s subject line is what will determine whether subscribers open your email or not. This makes it important that you take the time to write an amazing subject line that will grab subscribers’ attention and get them to open your email with excitement.

You’ll need to do some testing to find out the best subject line for each specific campaign. In general, you’ll want to keep the subject line fairly short (between 61 and 70 characters).

For best results, you should also try to personalize the subject line by using data you have available on each specific customer.

Make your emails easy to read

No one likes to read long emails so try to keep your emails less than five sentences long.

Avoid using complicated language and technical jargon. Instead, write your email in such a way that every one of your subscribers will be able to read and understand it without issues.

Don’t bother using elaborate designs since simple, text-only emails often perform the best.

Personalize your emails

Personalized emails generate six times more revenue compared to non-personalized ones. You can use a wide variety of different data you have on your customers to personalize your emails, including their name, location, and previous purchases.

Start using email marketing for your Shopify store

Email marketing is the most effective form of marketing by far. It can help you generate more traffic and sales, improve brand awareness, build trust, and reach your customers on any device.

To get started with email marketing, you’ll need to find the right email marketing solution for your needs and work on growing your list. Once you have a decent-sized list, create email marketing workflows for new customers, inactive customers, completed transactions, and abandoned carts.

Remember to track and analyze the performance of your email marketing campaigns so that you can optimize them to achieve better results.

Use your email marketing solution’s segmentation features to create hyper-targeted segments. Take the time to write an amazing subject line and work on simplifying your email so that it’s very easy to read.

Finally, remember to personalize your emails to ensure maximum engagement rate.

Boris Mustapic

Boris Mustapic is a writer and content marketing specialist with a decade of experience in the digital marketing industry. Having built his own successful ecommerce business, he likes to share his knowledge with ecommerce enthusiasts. Apart from writing about marketing and ecommerce, Boris also enjoys a good book and a glass of red wine.