23Dec
By: Justas Markus December 23, 2016

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is a marketing strategy that uses email as a tool to deliver commercial messages and generate sales. Email marketing is the backbone of eCommerce marketing strategy and can be as simple as sending cart abandonment emails or as complex as having numerous email nurturing campaigns designed to build long-term relationships and generate more long-term sales.

Why is email marketing important?

Email marketing is one of the oldest online marketing tactics that continues to claim the top spot in most entrepreneurs’ marketing mix. As people are bombarded with promotional offers and commercial campaigns everywhere they look, inbox remains one last sanctuary of peace and solitude online. If you can get into their inbox, you establish a strong relationship that will most certainly lead to sales in the future. Here’s why most marketers still believe email marketing is the most powerful tool in the box:

  • Email generates the highest ROI. According to VentureBeat, email is the most effective advertising channel that generates $38 in ROI for every $1 spent. McKinsey’s report shows that email is still 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. And according to DMA, when done right, email marketing segmentation can increase sales revenue by 760%.  
  • Email has a huge reach. Radicati predicts that by the end of 2019, the number of active email accounts will hit over 2.9 billion. That’s more active users than both Facebook (1.8 billion) and Twitter (315 million) put together. Everyone who’s active online must have an email address, as it functions almost like a currency of the web. So when it comes to prospecting new customers online, email is the most powerful tool available to online entrepreneurs.
  • Email has high conversion rates. The overall CTR across all display ad formats and placements is 0.17%, which is less than 2 clicks per 1000 impressions. On average, Facebook CTR reaches 0.119%, while Twitter’s ranges from 1 to 3%. Email, on the other hand, has a 3.42% CTR on average, across all sectors and devices. The costs of running email marketing campaigns are much lower compared to other online advertising channels, that’s why it consistently scores as the most cost-effective lead generation tool.
  • Mobile-friendly email marketing is growing rapidly. According to Salesforce, 68% of companies have already integrated mobile marketing into their marketing mix as a result of its growing importance. A staggering 79% of people use smartphones to check their email (that’s a higher percentage than are using smartphones to make calls), so it’s not surprising that email opens on mobile have grown by 180% in the past three years and the average smartphone conversion rates have gone up by 64%. Creating mobile-friendly campaigns is a bare minimum. An even better approach would be to optimize every aspect of your email campaigns to drive more traffic and sales.


Types of eCommerce emails

With 33% of consumers reporting that email has the biggest influence on their online spending, it’s worth exploring the different types of eCommerce emails that are most effective at generating sales.

Welcome email is the first email sent to a new subscriber. Almost 75% of consumers expect to receive a welcome email when they sign up to a new website.  

Abandoned cart emails are automated email reminders sent to customers who exit a website after adding items to their shopping cart but before checking out. Abandoned cart emails average a 4.64% conversion rate and are a highly effective conversion optimization technique.

Transactional emails are sent to users in response to some kind of action. They are typically triggered in real-time and automated. Some of the most popular types of transactional emails include purchase receipts, password resets, cart abandonment, support requests, and many other.

Reward emails are automated emails designed to delight and reward loyal customers with special offers and deals. Reward emails are typically triggered after a certain milestone is achieved (for example, when a customer spends a certain amount of money on the site) and enjoy unusually high open and conversion rates.  

Flash sale email is an email sent to announce a limited time offer and drive traffic to your sale. Flash sale emails run a risk of being flagged as spam by the recipient due to their promotional nature, but they generate a 35% lift in transaction rates.  

For tips how to optimize your email campaigns, check out our email marketing cheatsheet.

Email marketing tools

There are countless of email marketing tools to choose from, but the most notable ones include:


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