Shopify Marketing

Shopify email marketing: The complete guide (top strategies & apps)

Few key tips to keep in mind and some great tools/apps to help you achieve your Shopify email marketing goals

Shopify email marketing: The complete guide (top strategies & apps)

Do you own a store on Shopify? Then you totally need to know everything about effective Shopify email marketing.

You might be well aware of its efficacy in helping drive engagement and conversions, and winning back lost sales for your online store. Even though there is no secret sauce to getting it right, very few brands really manage to move the needle with their email marketing efforts.

In fact, average email marketing conversion rates stood at 1.63% in 2018, which dropped to 1.43% in 2020, which further dropped to 1.23% in 2021. If these numbers are anything to go by, they clearly indicate that although investment in email marketing is rising each year, eCommerce businesses are not able to reap its benefits in driving tangible results.

email marketing dropping over the last 2 years

In this article, we'll cover prerequisites to running a Shopify email marketing campaign, a few key tips to keep in mind (with some unique examples), and some great tools/apps to help you achieve your Shopify email marketing goals. Let’s dive right into it.

Prerequisites To Running Your Shopify Email Marketing Campaign

I. Make Your Website Bounce Proof

The end goal of your email campaign is to direct the reader to your website - could be your homepage or a specific landing page. To make the most of your email marketing ideas, you need to get those visitors to convert, else all your efforts are futile. For that, the first step would be to ensure your site, especially the product page, is optimized to reduce drop offs.

There are plenty of best practices you can follow to make your site “bounce proof”. To get started, here are a few low hanging fruits:

1. Reduce your page load times

With ever decreasing human attention spans, you cannot expect visitors to wait patiently while your site takes forever to load. Instead, make sure your page load speed is lightning fast so there are no drop offs due to the frustration that comes from waiting.

You might have to optimize your images, minimize HTTP requests, cache web pages, decrease the number of redirects, and much more - but it would all be worth it once your site starts loading sooner.

CC Ebook Banner

2. Streamline the checkout process

Imagine that you’ve just won over a lost customer with an intriguing cart recovery email. You managed to redirect them to their abandoned cart page and they are convinced to complete the purchase. However, once they start the process, they end up stuck in an endless number of forms, have to navigate clumsy checkout pages filled with distractions, and in the end, don’t even find their preferred payment mode at the payment stage. What now? They drop off and you lose that customer again!

The need to optimize your checkout process cannot be overstated. Start by reducing the number of steps in the process, removing distractions, revealing the shipping fee upfront, and increasing the number of payment modes you offer. Only then does it make sense to invest heavily in cart recovery email campaigns.

3. Rethink the design and copy of your landing pages

The design and copy of your landing pages determine whether or not visitors are going to convert once they click the CTA on your emails. Keep your landing page design and copy minimalistic, so you don’t end up overwhelming visitors.

Keep it crisp, to the point, and ensure it gets the customer hooked to your story and excited about discovering more. Don’t shy away from A/B testing various variations of the design and copy to figure out which ones work the best for your target audience. This is critical as you might not hit the jackpot the first time around and might have to experiment a lot to create a page that truly says it all in minimum words and minimalistic design.

4. Redo CTAs to ensure that they are compelling

Those magical little buttons that invite prospects to convert are literally the most important part of your landing page. So, make sure you optimize them for conversions if you want to improve the efficacy of your email marketing efforts.

Experiment with various colors, copy, and placement of your CTA buttons to zero in on ones that stand out, are not boring or irritating and have the maximum click through rates. Ensure they are also mobile optimized as most of your email subscribers would view your email on their phone (more on that in the upcoming section).

II. Revamp Your Product Pages

When it comes to product pages, 82% of eCommerce stores are guilty of serving a “poor” or “mediocre” user experience to their shoppers. The efforts you put into devising a solid email marketing strategy are pointless if you drive visitors to a cluttered, dull, or unclear product page. They are not going to convert.

Therefore, make sure you first optimize your product pages - get rid of all distractions, redo your CTAs, use product videos instead of images, declutter the page, and add comprehensive product descriptions.

Another important aspect is your search. Your search results need to be relevant and none of the commonly used search terms must have zero search volume. Optimize your search algorithm to display products that are most likely to be pertinent to a particular customer, based on their browsing and purchase history. This is important because one shoppers are redirected to your landing page, they are going to want to explore more and that’s where search comes in.

III. Streamline Your Post Sale Service

Your relationship with a customer does not end once they make a purchase from you, instead, it only begins there. Whether or not a customer returns to your Shopify store is determined by the quality of post sale service they receive. Make sure your post sale service leaves customers satisfied, delighted and wanting to come back.

Communicate clearly about all delivery timelines and exchange and return policies, be proactive in answering all their concerns and queries, and make sure all your contact details are timely communicated to customers via email and SMS.

IV. Create Smart Segments In Your Email List

Your mailing list cannot possibly be a huge list containing anyone and everyone’s email addresses. You must create hyper segments in your mailing list to ensure your marketing communication is targeted and relevant to the receiver. The email messaging for a first time buyer would greatly differ from that of a loyal customer, even if they are both part of the same campaign.

Similarly, the messaging you use for a customer from one particular demographic might not necessarily resonate with a customer from another demographic. Therefore, to deliver personalized and customized communication, you need to segment your lists and then craft your campaigns. Start by getting rid of any purchased list and try more inbound methods to growing your email lists. Then, go ahead and segment them based on parameters that are relevant to your business.

Not only does it ensure a high open and click through rate, but also a promising checkout rate.

10 Shopify Email Marketing Tips You Cannot Afford To Miss

1. Timing Is Everything

Carefully timing your emails is important, especially those as critical as Welcome emails. If a shopper has just signed up on your store, make sure you reach out to them within the first hour with a compelling welcome email while they still remember their interaction with your brand. This is the time they are the most curious and excited about signing up for something new and will give you  their full attention.

2. Align Your Copy With Your Brand Tonality

You might be running multiple email and brand campaigns at any given point. Very often, the lack of alignment between these various marketing and branding activities is very clear to a customer. This could happen when your copy tonality or any creative design is not consistent with that of your brand.

Therefore, before finalizing any email campaign, make sure the copy of your email has the same tonality as that of your brand so that customers are immediately able to resonate with it.

Moreover, given the huge number of promotional emails an average customer receives on a daily basis, you surely don’t want yours to get lost in the sea. To stand out, it needs to reflect your unique tone of voice so the customer can instantly relate.

Casper is an excellent example of a brand that has a consistent tone of voice (witty and slightly humorous) across all its marketing emails. Here’s a look:

Aligning copy with brand tone - casper example

3. Offer Incentives Differently

Use email marketing as an opportunity to smartly offer exclusive and personalized incentives to your customers. Apart from significantly improving your click through rates and conversion rates, it would make consumers feel like you care about them.

Depending on the nature of your email campaign, the incentive could be a customized referral coupon that customers can share with their friends and family to win free credits, an exclusive coupon code for a discount, or even a freebie for tagging your brand on an Instagram story.  Also, don’t shy away from mentioning the incentive in your subject lines as it has been proven to improve open rates.

Here’s a great example of the same by Birchbox:

birchbox incentive example


4. Play The Social Proof Card

Social proof can do wonders for your email marketing campaigns. And we are not just talking product reviews - those can be shared on product pages as well. There are many more ways you can leverage social proof to improve your email engagement:

  • Share the number of times the product has been purchased in the last week
  • How many shoppers have repurchased the product
  • The average number of shoppers who have the product in their carts at that point, and so much more.

Don’t shy away from getting as creative as you can. In fact, use social proof in your emails to create FOMO and a sense of urgency so you can drive action, faster.

Especially in your cart recovery campaigns, make sure you highlight the popularity of the product abandoned so you can get shoppers to reconsider their decision.

Here’s how Beauty Bay uses a celebrity endorsement in their email:

Social proof example - beauty bay

5. Highlight Your Value Proposition

Very often, offers, discounts, and deals don’t work for all customer segments. Therefore, if you have identified a segment that doesn’t really get lured simply by a bargain, make sure you target them separately by emphasizing the value your brand or the product can offer.

These customers are often on the lookout for the most premium product they can purchase and therefore judge their options based on the value proposition each one has to offer. Make sure to highlight what you, as a brand, are known for, how the specific product can really solve a huge problem in their life, and what makes it the most credible one in the market.

Value proposition based marketing is especially useful in the case of big ticket items where compromising on quality isn’t really an option.

6. Don’t Shy Away From Adding A Human Touch

The only way you can get your key email marketing metrics to improve is by crafting emails that stand out. And, the sure shot way to do that is by adding a human touch to them or ensuring they have a personality. Avoid sending emails that come across as robotic or automated. Instead, add a human touch to them - this could be through humor, wit, quirkiness, friendliness, or whatever aligns with your brand tonality.

Here’s an excellent example from Adidas:

adding a human touch in email adidas


7. Never Miss An Opportunity To Sell More

Shoppers will thank you if you customize recommendations for them, present them in their inbox, and they find something they always wanted. For you, it’s a great opportunity to increase your revenue from a particular customer by upselling and cross-selling. Such recommendations can be shared over order confirmation, update, or even post-delivery emails, and are sure to capture the interest of your customers if they are relevant.

So, make sure you share only relevant product recommendations based on shoppers’ previous browsing and purchase history, trending and popular products, fast selling items, and so on. You can even share a couple of top customer reviews with each of the items to improve their credibility.

8. Always, Always, Always Ask For Feedback

Asking for feedback doesn’t just show your customers that you care about their opinion, but also gives you an opportunity to enhance your delivery and overall shopping experience based on what customers want. Be sure to not just rely on quantitative feedback, but also ask for qualitative feedback that highlights what you can make better.

By implementing feedback strategically, you can prove that you are truly a customer-centric business and that you constantly endeavor to delight your shoppers. You can thus ensure more resales and return customers once they see that their feedback is valued and incorporated. You can also win back lost and unhappy customers by implementing their feedback, which shows you deserve a second chance.

Netflix does it brilliantly. Here’s how:

feedback emails netflix

9. Nudge High Value Customers To Join Loyalty Programs

Identify your high value customers based on their NPS rating and purchase history and use your emails to nudge them to join your loyalty program. Since these customers already have trust in your brand and regularly shop at your store, asking them to be a part of your loyalty program is a low hanging fruit you cannot afford to miss.

69% of consumers say that their decision of whether to purchase from a store is influenced by if they have a loyalty program or not. Therefore, by creating a compelling loyalty program and marketing it well across your email campaigns, you can increase your repeat purchase by a huge margin. Also, email is a great channel to regularly remind customers of what they are missing out on by not signing up for your loyalty program.

Here’s an example to take inspiration from:


10. Ensure Your Emails Are Optimized For Mobile

Today, more than 50% of your email subscribers access your marketing emails over their phones. Therefore, if your emails are not optimized for mobile, you are potentially losing out on 50% of your CTRs upfront. So, whether it is the length of the content, the size of your images, or the design, make sure to optimize each element for mobile to not lose conversions from your on the go, mobile shoppers.

You can start by using a responsive template, reducing the overall copy of your email, ensuring all CTAs are featured upfront, reducing the CTA text, and using fewer images. Once you have implemented these low hanging fruits, be sure to preview your emails for mobile as well before you send them out. That way, you can check how they would appear in your receivers’ phones.  

Our Picks For The Best 5 Shopify Email Marketing Apps

To be able to put the above mentioned best practices into action, you need a powerful email marketing tool in your arsenal that helps you create and send emails that convert. Here are a few of our recommendations that won’t disappoint you:

1. Shopify Email

Shopify Email comes with a considerably robust set of features to enable Shopify stores to begin email marketing. It lets you send branded emails with a set of ready-made designs that can be edited to add your logo, product images, descriptions, URLs and more. The app also offers segmentation to help you personalize your campaigns. You can even track the results to see open and click-through rates, add to carts and purchases from emails.

With the above set of features and 2,500 free emails per month, the app is a great choice for those who’re just starting out.

Although, if you have an established email list and your store is growing by the day, you’re going to require higher levels of customization and automation. The app offers lesser flexibility on that front. Also, there is no support for non-Shopify domains yet.

CC Ebook Banner

2. Engage By ConvertCart

Engage by ConvertCart offers email automation, personalization, smart behavioral segmentation, while ensuring that all email workflows are proactively monitored and optimized by human eCommerce marketing experts. They bring human judgement to email marketing automation to ensure your campaigns remain relevant at all times, driving higher conversions. That being the very differentiator of this email marketing tool!

Engage is great for eCommerce businesses that are scaling their email marketing efforts as their store grows. It is also a great choice for those who aren’t seeing as many results from basic automated campaigns and require assistance from experts to help them drive conversions. The email marketing tool can work for those who are medium-sized or have reached an enterprise-level, due to its ability to scale easily.

There are no majors cons to using Engage. It is great tool that, in many ways, puts your email marketing on autopilot. But the tool does come with a team of experts and you would need to work closely with them to get things started.

Don't forget to read: eCommerce marketing automation: 9 underrated ideas

3. Omnisend

Omnisend is an omnichannel marketing automation tool that allows you to automate your email as well as SMS marketing campaigns. The marketing tool also offers in-depth insights to help you analyse the performance across all your campaigns, on one dashboard. It comes with a few advanced features such as A/B testing, subscriber management, event-triggered action management, mobile optimization and more.

The tool is a great choice for those who are well versed with different channels of marketing and automation (advanced eCommerce marketers). It is also apt for those wanting to run campaigns on multiple channels to keep things streamlined.

Apart from a higher cost than the other options here, the tool also requires a fair bit of onboarding to be put to use.

4. Klaviyo

Klaviyo is one of the older names in the email marketing industry. It enables online stores to set up and tailor their email drip sequences as per highly specific attributes such as customer lifetime value, stage in the purchase lifecycle, degree of brand loyalty, and much more. This enables a high level of personalization of email campaigns across the consumer’s journey with the brand.

Due to its data-driven nature, Klaviyo is best suited for mature teams or eCommerce businesses. If you have plenty of subscriber and customer data, this is the tool you can use for better customization of campaigns.

Klaviyo, like Omnisend, requires you to learn about all its features much in detail to be able to leverage them. Since it comes with an advanced set of features, it takes beginners a while to get started on it.

5. Sendinblue

Sendinblue is an intuitive, inexpensive, and easy to configure and use email marketing platform that allows you to automate and personalize your email communication. It offers all valuable functionalities that you would expect from your email marketing platform including smart segmentation, extensive choice from a set of pre designed templates, intelligent reporting, and analytics.

The email marketing tool was built for ease of email marketing, and hence is best suited for small and medium-sized businesses. If you’re just starting out or have a relatively newer business, this tool offers a great pricing and a feature set than Shopify Email.

But if your store is scaling fast, you’re going to require an email marketing tool with a great set of features and assistance from experts. This is where choosing tools like ConvertCart is a good idea.

Do you really need to do so much to run email marketing campaigns?

Despite the increasing number of platforms businesses have to engage with their audience, emails still remain a top choice to build that 1-on-1 connection.

So when you’re reaching out to your subscribers and customers, wanting them to convert, you need to ensure your email campaigns stand out.

Considering that emails generate $38 for every $1 spent, giving you a 3,800% ROI, we believe they’re worth the effort! This guide will surely get you to that metric if implemented properly.

Try out these tips and tools and let us know what you think worked the best for your Shopify store.

Conversion rate optimization
Free Guide 👉 👉

60 Conversion Rate Hacks—for Shopify Stores