Retail email marketing has shown itself to be a strong contender in customer acquisition, engagement, and retention.

But don’t just take our word for it- here are some impressive stats!

  • For every $1 spent, email marketing generates an average of $38 in return on investment (ROI). 
  • Email is 40% more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. 
  • A message is five times more likely to be spotted in email than on Facebook
  • About 72% prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media

We show you just how this relatively “old school” method can be customizable, dynamic and versatile.

Retail Email Marketing- Current Trends

The highly visual and interactive nature of email makes it an incredible marketing asset for retailers. You get to showcase their product or catalog right from the beginning in beautifully crafted welcome or activation emails. Personalization is another common tactic and segmenting emails by audience preference also helps.

The email has none of the word limitations of Twitter, or the one-photo-one-caption requirement of Instagram. The same pithy message can be expanded to include more pictures, promotions, offers, timelines, store locations and so on. 

The days of relying on a software engineering team to design and deliver your emails are over. Companies such as Campaign Monitor and MailChimp offer dynamic content, transactional email services, and A/B testing.

Given the highly engaged audience who make up a good email list, you can use retail email marketing mainly for:

  • Improving buyer trust and boosting conversion through continuous engagement
  • Informing existing customers about new products
  • Transactional, post-transaction messaging and engagement such as cart abandonment emails, purchase confirmations and even informing customers when the product is shipped.

Retail Email Marketing Best Practices

Naturally, when you have access to someone’s email address which is a fairly personal form of communication, you need to keep a few things in mind.

      1. Use automated emails wisely

        For example, you can create a funnel of five emails that persuade a customer to buy a product, and take the customer out of the loop once they make a purchase through the given link.

        However, if you are selling multiple products, it is better to follow a weekly schedule and host fun sales like the Sunday Sale, and so on. You can then automate all emails pertaining to this sale.

      2. Use Segmentation

        While it certainly saves a lot of time when you send the same email to all prospects, it just won’t give you the returns you deserve.

        Consider this- each of your customers is at a different buying phase. Some are just discovering the product while others are waiting for a nudge to go ahead and make the purchase. Segmentation helps you send the right, targeted email to each group so they take the next logical action. Sending an email full of information to someone ready to buy only puts them back into consideration. However, a discount code may just convert them instantly.

      3. Make Your Emails Mobile-Friendly

        One key aspect of good retail email marketing is designing mobile-friendly emails. While this may seem like a no-brainer, always check to see how your emails open on a variety of different devices, mobiles and tablets included. Verbose emails that take too many scrolls to read are just going to put people off.

      4. Make Your Emails Worth Opening

        In the eternal challenge between sending an email on time vs. sending a good email, the former usually wins. However, having a strong retail email marketing strategy can help you design fun, engaging emails that are easy to read and win hearts.

        There’s enough email noise out there today and your job is not to add to the pile. Instead, you want to use catchy subject lines, good images, and engaging content to help people feel like they’re making an informed decision.

      5. Never Spam

        One of the surest ways to lose customer trust is to send out spam. Spamming includes sending too many emails, sending irrelevant emails and worst of all, sharing email data with other service providers without the express consent of the customer.

        GDPR rules also specify that signing up for newsletters needs to be an ‘opt-in’ process, so no pre-checked boxes which customers then need to uncheck.

    Ways To Use Retail Email Marketing To Encourage Conversions

    These are a few ways in which you can leverage transactional emails:

      • Design a cool welcome email in response to registration on your site or app to make the newbie feel like a part of your brand
      • Give them their login credentials and urge them to bookmark this email. They can easily re-access this email in case they forget
      • Optimize email look and feel across devices (PC, mobile, tablet)
      • Add new product recommendations to purchase confirmed email
      • The all-important shopping cart abandonment email: Time it right to within a few minutes of the last item added
      • Remind customers of discounts or free shipping offers
      • Send birthday or anniversary wishes plus special offers to show people that you do care about them as individuals
      • Send review or feedback requests to demonstrate that you want to build better products that will benefit your customers

    Beyond eCommerce: Email marketing for brick-and-mortar retail

    Email marketing can also be leveraged in creative ways to promote brick-and-mortar store shopping. One way is to run parallel campaigns that give the customer an option to purchase online or at a convenient physical location. Customers may get a coupon in the mail to be redeemed at a checkout counter, plus a code they can input on the eCommerce website.

    Customers can save the offer email to an e-Wallet to be accessed easily later. Likewise, exclusive invitations to store launch parties or in-store events can also be sent to local customers.

    The try-before-you-buy approach can also be promoted through emails. The dealer is notified of the appointment made through the email tool and given relevant customer info. The customer gets a confirmation and an opportunity to check out the merchandise with a knowledgeable dealer.

    Customers’ email data can be collected at a Point Of Sale by asking them if they would like email updates and offers.

    A combination of all these email marketing tools and strategies can take your customer outreach efforts to the next level. A well-thought-out retail email marketing program can help you achieve higher conversion levels than any other outbound marketing efforts.

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Armed with a degree and a pen, loves to tell stories. When not telling stories, she also works. Hard to decide which one she likes more.