Since e-commerce took off it has changed dramatically. Back in the '60s emails were used to place orders and send invoices to the clients. Nowadays, we have the technology and tactics to boost businesses by using great e-commerce email templates and convert the recipients into customers.

In fact, email marketing is one of the most successful acquisition channels for e-commerce businesses.

According to Custora, the customer lifetime value of customers acquired via email is worth about 12% more than average.

customer life value by channel

E-commerce email design best practice

Your e-commerce email template design must be mobile friendly. Use responsive email templates to increase the open rate and the click-through rate.

Minimize the number of colors you use to create a clear, sophisticated email design. Cluttered emails confuse the readers and make it difficult to process the information.

Create clear Call to Actions

Design your CTA first. Make it clear what the user gets, what they need to do and what you want in return.

Use action verbs to activate the recipients, for example: "Shop now", "Go to Webshop", "Get Discount" or "View Cart".

Avoid spammy words in subject lines

The temptation of using the words Free, 50% OFF or Buy is big. But unfortunately, these words trigger the customers' spam folders. Make sure you go through a spam trigger words list before you manage to send the emails to your recipients' spam folders. Here is a step by step guide that shows you how to get your emails delivered to your subscriber's primary inbox in Gmail.

Logical email sequence is the essence of a successful e-commerce email strategy.

Using e-commerce emails is an integral part of your email strategy. By building a logical email sequence you can ensure that you have the right messages for different scenarios depending on the recipients' actions.

consumer lifecycle curve

Source: Rejoiner

This customer lifecycle map helps you understand how you can align your email strategy with the buyer's journey.

Your customers are at different stages of the buyer journey. Some of them are newbies, some are regular customers and a few people have stopped interacting. It's also very common that visitors add a few items to their cart on your website but never check out.

Note that these groups of people mean different segments that you need to handle differently. The success of your e-commerce email strategy depends on whether you target your audience with the relevant message at the right time or not.

Automate your e-commerce emails

You can send your e-commerce either manually or automated. But keeping track of each customer and scenarios is almost impossible and time-consuming.

That's why I recommend you to invest some time in setting up automated emails based on certain rules. Email automation helps you create a great follow-up email sequence and save time by automating repetitive tasks.

How to organize your automated e-commerce emails

As I already said, the success of your e-commerce templates lies in segmentation. Create a lifecycle map for your own customers to see how you can nail your messages.

Combine these types of e-commerce emails in a logical order

Example-of-autmated-E-commerce-email-funnel

1) The double opt-in e-commerce email

Zara subscription confirmation email

Double opt-in emails seem to be the annoying must. This is what it is. They are to protect personal data which is a huge deal since the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was approved.

Zara included the privacy policy and contact information in their confirmation email. It's also shown that the subscriber signed up for the woman section. Just in case.

E-commerce welcome email template examples

No email onboarding flow exist without a great welcome email. At least not the good ones. Your recipients expect an email as soon as they subscribed. They can make sure the subscription was successful and you can also send them some goodies.

This is the first time you connect with your customers. Remember you can make a great first impression only once. This email is a transitional email so don't be pushy and don't try to sell hard.

According to Wordstream, welcome emails generate 320% more revenue on a per email basis than other promotional emails. The outcome of this study proves that welcome emails are worth the effort.

In Chamaileon, we have predesigned welcome email templates in our template collection which you can use for free. You can access them here.

Modify them to match your brand and goals with a free professional email template builder.

Now, let's take a look at some of these welcome email examples below.

2) Welcome to the club

Nike Welcome email

Nike's welcome email is a great e-commerce email design example. It makes the recipients feel that they just joined an exclusive club and it's their turn to make dreams come true. The photos of other exercising fellows also create a sense of belonging.

The email emphasizes that customers can easily track their order and get fantastic membership benefits. You can also use this tactic to communicate free shipping or any other extra you offer.

You can use welcome emails to showcase your products as well. Even if your customers don't buy anything but browsing, you can learn a lot about them by analyzing data.

3) Your inbox smells better already

Lush welcome email

Lush says playfully: "Your inbox smells better already". I love it. I instantly associated this sentence with the smell of the Lush shops.

This welcome email tells the subscribers what they can expect when receiving newsletters. These future emails will include news, product promotions, and invitations.

Lush also used a video which links to their website. They also made sure they communicated the values of the company, such as fighting against animal testing or supporting ethical buying. This kind of approach strengthens customer loyalty.

Make sure you also include social media icons in your email so you can interact with customers by using more channels. Embedding a map in your e-commerce email also helps customers find the nearest shop with one single click.

E-commerce promotional email template examples

The ultimate goal of the promotional e-commerce emails is selling certain products.

You can promote a product by providing a discount coupon or simply offering the newest product line for the early birds.

We have many promotional email templates in Chamaileon which you can modify to match with your goals, but let's take a look at some of the examples below which you can use as an inspiration.

4) Discount coupon in e-commerce email

Hotel.com promotional e-commerce email sample - offering a discount code

Everyone loves coupons. Why not send your customers some coupons every now and then?

Hotels.com chose the vivid red color for their simple e-commerce promotional email design. This color encourages the recipients to take action now. Two CTAs were used: click through the email or redeem the code on the app of Hotels.com

This email shows how to make sure you can track the results. Instead of giving a general code everyone can use, create a unique code for every recipient. You can easily track the performance of your promotional emails. Being data-driven is a must to learn and improve your campaigns.

5) Related products in one email

Asos e-commerce email example

When you decide to promote more products make sure you select the items from the same category or complement one another.

The theme of this Asos newsletter was working out. This email clearly targeted women by promoting women outfit.

The recipients can order the Asos magazine as well for an extra quid. The profit doesn't seem too much but this magazine is a fashion catalog actually. It can generate more money later on.

6) Flash sales

Flash sale e-commerce email - offering 50% off

Source: Pinterest

This minimalist e-commerce email design creates a sense of urgency by saying: "Hurry, ends Tuesday at 10 AM". Customers who follow the latest fashion will love this promotion.

The promotional email design emphasized the 50% OFF and Flash SALE words. You can also use typography for your email design to highlight the most important information.

7) Seasonal offers

J.Crew promotional seasonal email design example offering 30% off

Source: Pinterest

Different seasons or occasions are always a great excuse to ask for attention.

This seasonal promotional email template by J.CREW reminds the recipients that Mother's day is coming so it's time to pick a nice gift.

The image of a little girl and her mom gives an emotional touch to the newsletter. In case, the recipient doesn't know what to buy to say "Thanks, Mom", J.CREW recommended a few items to purchase.

If you blog and wrote a related article you can also add it to your email just as J.CREW did.

8) Countdown email

promotional countdown ecommerce email design

Source: Really Good Emails

Adding countdown timers to your email is the best way to trigger FoMO (Fear of Missing Out) and get your recipients to act.

This email by Harry's is elegant thanks to the beautiful design. The use of black, red and blue colors and the geometrical shapes make a stylish, masculine impression.

E-commerce engagement email examples

People need a constant reminder of your brand otherwise they just slip away. That's why you need to send an email out of the blue for the sake of engaging.

9) Offer points

norwegian cashpoints ecommerce email

You don't necessarily have to offer huge discounts to your customers to get them engaged. There are several other ways to do so.

Having a reward program is a fantastic way to please your loyal customers. The more they spend the more they get back. You might just need to send a little reminder about that.

Norwegian used its loyalty program to reach out to the travelers. Norwegian gave 7 times more CashPoints than normally. What a great deal for the ones collecting them.

10) Yearly wrap-up

engagement e-commerce email

Source: Pinterest

Fitbit's engagement email was divided into different parts to communicate different achievements. Looking back to the previous year in a friendly, supportive way and celebrating with the user is a fantastic idea.

E-commerce referral email examples

Many big fishes like Uber, Airbnb or Transferwise increased their user base by using referral marketing. It provides a huge opportunity to get viral. If your product is good and your incentive is appealing enough you will achieve your goal, I promise you.

What can you offer?

Let's see Uber's referral strategy in a nutshell.

You can invite your friend to use Uber. Once your friend signed up, they get a $10 coupon. After they took their very first ride, you get $5. But there is more. The more people you invite the more chance you have to win Uber's prize: $1000.

This is a win-win situation. Uber's customers win, their friends win and Uber just acquired a new customer.

11) Give and get referral program

Casper - Referral e-commerce email sample

Source: Pinterest

Casper leverages its shipping confirmation to encourage customers to refer friends. They offered $50 which might seem too much at first glance. It's necessary to know how much you can spend on customer acquisition to make a great deal.

E-commerce transactional email examples

Customers interactions trigger the transactional emails. These emails include information about the recipients' needs. Welcome emails, passwords reset, invoices and notifications are all transactional emails.

These transactional e-commerce emails generally have a high open rate. Research conducted by Experian shows that triggered emails could generate six times more revenues than general emails.

You can use these trigger emails if you connect your website with your CRM and email client. Hubspot is a great solution as well. Hotjar and Google Analytics also can help you analyze what happens on your website so you can detect possible malfunctions.

E-commerce Order confirmation / Purchase receipt emails

Send these emails right after the customer checked out.

These emails have the highest open rates among the e-commerce emails. It means that there is a great cross-selling potential here.

If you want to design your order confirmation templates fast, you can use order confirmation templates from Chamaileon. In this email builder, designer, and editor you can easily modify the templates with the flexible drag-n-drop editor and it's ready to send out. Since it's a collaborative platform, you can also work with your team and clients on your designs. You can use the examples below as an inspiration.

12) Thank you for your purchase

Confirmation-upselling email - thank you for your purchase

Source: Really Good Emails

First of all, say thank you for the purchase. Follow the confirmation email best practices: include the basic information in your order confirmation emails such as order number, order date, items, number of items, order total and the shipping details.

Create&Barrel took the opportunity to promote their lamps in their order confirmation email. They also made it easy to navigate back to the recipient's account and other landing pages.

13) Shipping information

Shipped item transitional email example

Source: Pinterest

Customers get frustrated if they don't know when they can expect their order to arrive. Keep them updated and provide the contact details of the courier delivery service.

Just like in the case of order confirmation emails, this emails sums up the most important information. It includes the item photos, quantity, order number, and price as well.

14) Your order has arrived

Shipping follow up e-commerce email - guidance how to use the product

Source: Pinterest

Notify your customer if the order has arrived. Provide a support contact details so people can let you there is a problem.

This shipping email is also a guideline to use the product. Brilliant.

15) E-commerce feedback email template examples

Asking for feedback is a bold move, yet it's really useful. We often fall into the trap of assumption. A problem may exist you don't know about. You definitely need to find out. Designing and drafting survey invitation emails is no easy feat.

feedback email

Source: Pinterest

This survey by Taylor Stitch asks about the product quality and review.

Make the questionnaire as simple and quick as possible. You'll get more response.

You can also ask your customers to review your product generating the Ultimate Moment of Truth (UMOT) moment for other prospects.

E-commerce cart abandonment email examples

People often browse on your website adding items to their carts without actually buying anything.

A study conducted by Statista shows that at least 67.4% of purchases in 2017 never happened.

Cart Abandonment statistics

These numbers might seem intimidating but the good news is a well-thought-out cart abandonment email sequence can save you. According to Bigcommerce, 15% of the abandonment carts can be recovered.

You can encourage purchasing in many ways by using a well-designed abandonment email series. You can use Rejoiner or Mailchimp for instance.

Reminder email

Don't panic if a visitor leaves your website without checking out. No need to send a 50% discount code to save the day. Not yet.

It's enough to send a kind reminder to the customer. Include the image of the forgotten product and link it to the cart. Make the buying process seamless.

16) Don't forget about me...

asos abandoned cart email

Source: Pinterest

Asos used an informal tone of voice in their email by giving personality to the dress and saying: "Don't forget about me..."

Asos aimed to trigger a sense of urgency by declaring the dress might be gone later. They also emphasized free delivery and easy returns to help the customer decide.

17) Heads up!

saturday abandoned cart

Source: Pinterest

Saturday.com used yellow color to grab attention. It works really well.

This email is less informal. The sellers say: "We've saved the item that you recently put in your cart." They also reminded the customer that shipping is free both ways.

Shipping fees are one of the reasons why people abandon their shopping carts. If you offer free shipping, make sure you highlight it.

Ask what's wrong and how you can fix it

Cart abandonment can happen due to technical issues as well. Ask your recipients why they didn't finish the purchasing process.

You might get surprising answers. Several obstacles can sabotage your business.

The most frequent reasons to abandon shopping carts:

  • Extra cost (shipping, tax)
  • Asked to create an account
  • Frustrating process
  • Total amount can't be seen
  • Want to buy later
  • Website errors
  • Refund policy
  • Payment was declined
  • The coupon wasn't accepted

Give them the ultimate deal

You sent the reminder email and tried to fix the problems. Yet the customer still didn't buy the product. The time has arrived to use your secret weapon. Offer that discount now.

A/B test your cart abandonment emails to see if 5%, 10% or 25% off makes the cut? You don't want to leave money on the table.

18) psst...you've left something behind.

e-commerce cart abandonment recovery email design

Source: Pinterest

The complementary colors made this e-commerce template stunning. Use the color wheel to create harmonic email layout to please the eyes.

The pointing finger helps the reader notice the most important information. Kate Spade's email offers 15% off the entire purchase to encourage finishing the buying process.

E-commerce Cross-sell / Up-sell email examples

Cross-selling and up-selling are sales terms. The goal is to sell more to existing customers.

19) Cross-sell

cross-selling email e-commerce email example

Source: Pinterest

Cross-selling is about suggesting products. For example, if a customer buys a camera, you can send them recommendations on lens or accessories.

This email template by Lumoid takes you to the Caribbean islands. Their offer is to celebrate summer and vacations making you want that camera and run away.

20) Up-sell

Grammarly Up-selling email with 40% discount offer

Up-selling is about getting the customers buy the more expensive item. Upgrading to a more expensive package is a great example.

Grammarly sent this time limited offer to get 40% discount and upgrade. This email is very simple but great. The red button always works.

E-commerce lead nurturing emails

50% of the webshop visitors will never buy anything. 47% of the other part is just not ready to purchase. So we have 3% to make a deal with.

It's more expensive to acquire new customers than keeping the existing once. Nurturing relationships can generate 50% more sales-ready prospects.

When people make purchases they evaluate it whether it was a good deal or not. People associate brands with quality, it helps eliminate the anxiety that buying unknown products might cause.

Delight your customers

Love your customers. Showing that you appreciate them builds a strong bond with your customers.

These people are the core of your business. They make regular purchases and become your advocates. You must treat them well.

21) Celebration email

Promotional Birthday offer via email

Source: [Pinterest]( is more expensive)

Send a card and personalized discount for your customer'‚ birthday. They will be impressed.

This email design by Anthropology shows the birthday email doesn't need to be complicated. I nice cake and 15% discount will make it.

E-commerce re-engagement email examples

For some reasons, some people just stop engaging your emails. This is a common anomaly. They subscribed to your newsletter but don't want to read anymore.

You need a re-engagement strategy to win these customers back.

This is Sparta! Use cats and dogs and tell your customers how much you miss them. :´(

22) Meeow, where have you been?

Buzzfeed re-engagement email template sample

This creative re-engagement email template design by BuzzFeed melts every cold heart. The kitty who monitors the newsletter is concerned. Buzzfeed encourages the recipient to click the "I Still Want BuzzFeed" button to receive emails in the future.

Don't be afraid to walk away. If the recipient isn't interested in your newsletters, let them go.

Note: If you still haven't found an example or a template that you want to use in your campaigns, you can take a look at our email template collection with already predesigned e-commerce email templates. You can modify them using this free email template designer, builder, and editor.

The takeaway

A great e-commerce email is well designed and relevant. Yet the most important factor of your e-commerce email strategy is the right follow-up email sequence. Use email automation to react to your customers' interaction otherwise, your business loses money.

Treat your customers well from the day one, when they subscribe and walk them through their customer lifecycle. Send them promotional or birthday emails and don't be afraid to confess if you miss them.

Author
Roland Pokornyik

Roland Pokornyik

CEO / Co-founder @ Chamaileon.io & EDMdesigner.com