Being an email marketing automation software company, you’d think we fall in love with different emails every day. That isn’t exactly the case, however. We’re rather picky when it comes to being head over heels, but when it does happen, it’s for good reason.

Ecommerce requires a lot of back-and-forth communication between brands and their customers. This includes the basic stuff like brand awareness outreach and emails directly related to consumer behavior and sales, such as a cart abandonment email, shipping, tracking receipt, or post-purchase customer survey. And sure, none of that sounds particularly swoon-worthy, but when an eCommerce brand hits it out of the park, we can’t help but be impressed.

Below, we’re covering the basics of successful eCommerce emails, as well as seven brand email examples that are worth swiping right on (or at least clicking through).

What Makes for Great Ecommerce Email Marketing

Ecommerce brands are continually using email marketing to engage with and nurture their leads and customers. And the differences between those that work and those that fall flat come down to more than just how engaging the copy is.

Here are some factors that separate the greats from the not-so-greats:

  • Timing – Engagement (and re-engagement) is a delicate balancing act. Successful eCommerce brands time an email campaign to go out when it’s most likely to garner engagement — or when it’s simply most valuable to the recipient.
  • Behavior – One of the most significant dividing lines between eCommerce email campaigns and general emails is that a particular behavior almost always triggers them. Actions such as viewing a product, leaving a shopping cart abandoned, or placing an order. This makes them more purposeful and more action-driven.
  • Intent – Pushy emails are the pushy salespeople of the 21st century. Consumers want to engage, but emails that are too forward in tone or frequency are almost always a turn-off.

Keeping these factors in mind, let’s look at some eCommerce email marketing strategy examples that get it right.

1. Magnolia

If you’re going to re-engage with email addresses that haven’t had much action, you may as well include an incentive. Magnolia, a retail marketplace of home interior giants Chip and Joanna Gaines, is excellent at that. They send the occasional re-engagement emails that almost always have a little something extra attached to keep subscribers coming back for more.

2. 23andMe

Consumer-focused genetics company 23andMe is in a tricky spot since they specialize primarily in one product and deal with many one-and-done customers. The workaround? eCommerce emails that allow past customers to increase the value of their existing purchase while continuing to engage with the brand, which is a win-win on both ends.

3. Airbnb

A welcome email is an ample opportunity for eCommerce sites since they boast a huge open rate and revenue potential. Airbnb’s welcome email gets right to the point to ensure that new subscribers actually use their accounts. It gets bonus points for serving as a helpful walkthrough for subscribers, who might not know the next steps.

4. Food52

Ah, the cart abandonment email — a chance to remind a user of all the goodness they left behind (and even better, get them to return and close the deal). We like this one because it re-establishes brand identity prior to getting to the abandoned goods, which are below the fold. The takeaway: keep it clean, and don’t come on too strong.

5. BarkBox

We’re all Zooming, so why not pets too? BarkBox really knows its audience (dog lovers who spoil their furry companions), and they do a great job marketing to them. Case in point is this simple but effective promotional email that uses an incentive and a big, bold CTA button to grab the eye of potential new subscribers.

6. Instacart

Aside from being full of information, Instacart’s delivery confirmation emails do a few other big things right — including giving customers a quick and seamless rundown of how their order played out. We also like that they humanize their service with an image of the person who picked out your groceries (we left that out to protect the shopper’s privacy).

7. Brooklinen

This not-quite-abandoned-cart-email from brooklinen hits the personalization note right on the head, promising an exclusive deal that’s unique to the customer. Not only does it pique enough curiosity to at least warrant a click-through, but it also speaks to what we all really want in the end — the item we originally had our eye on, only cheaper.

Final Thoughts

We might get more excited than your average user when we see an impressive eCommerce email campaign. Still, there’s simply no denying that these emails set a high bar for what’s possible with targeted engagement. Take away some cues for your own campaign, or use these emails as benchmarks that you can improve upon. There’s a lot to gain from getting these types of emails right — including our love and adoration, and who wouldn’t want that?