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How to Run a successful Email Campaign for Your Ecommerce Store

By November 9, 2020September 20th, 2023No Comments
email marketing blog

Email marketing is one of the most utilised marketing channels for ecommerce. Emails are a great way to stay front of mind by providing branded messages direct to their personal inbox. Email marketing continues to provide ROI, with every dollar spent on email marketing bringing in an average of $42 in return according to HubSpot.

However, with 269 billion emails sent each day competition is high when it comes to grabbing your audience’s attention with email.

What is an Email Marketing Campaign?

An email marketing campaign is a set of emails sent from a business to a set of customers or prospects. A successful email campaign gets the prospect to take a desired action, engage with your business or helps you get more sales and leads for your business.

How to Execute a Successful Email Campaign

  • Identify what your objective is for the campaign
  • Think about your target audience
  • Build a set of targeted customer segments/lists
  • Determine the length of the campaign
  • Plan
  • Craft your subject lines
  • Write the copy
  • Focus on the design
  • Test and track

Identify what your objective is for the campaign

This is both the most important and overlooked step when it comes to email marketing campaigns. All good marketing starts with setting goals and objectives. It gives you direction and something to aim and strive for. Some typical marketing objectives for email campaigns are:

  • Welcoming new subscribers
  • Promoting a new product
  • Nurturing existing subscribers
  • Recommending products to existing customers
  • Segmenting Subscribers
  • Abandoned Cart Follow ups and more

Different objectives require different tactics. Once you create your marketing objective the next step is to get your target audience to take the required action so you can hit your objective.

Think about your target audience

After identifying your marketing objectives it time to think about your target audience. You need to strategise how to get your target audience from A to B. Some things you may want to consider include:

  • What value can I give them?
  • Why did they subscribe?
  • What matters to them?

By putting yourself in the shoes of your target audience you give yourself some perspective on what the target audience wants which will allow you to make better informed decisions about your email marketing campaign.

Build a set of targeted customer segments/lists

Building a list of customer segments is important. That way you can target different messages to different subscribers. There are many different customer segments you can be tracking. Anything from cart abandoners to people who filled out a form to existing customers to buyer personas.

The more detailed your target segments are the more likely you are to be able to create a message that will resonate with your customer.

Determine the length of the campaign

Are you running a seasonal campaign? Is your campaign a one off email? Are you planning for Black Friday Cyber Monday? Are you going to prime your customers over a 4 week period to hype them up or are you going to bombard them only over Cyber Weekend?

These are the questions that you have to ask yourself. It is important deliver the right message at the right time and consider the length of your purchase cycle. For example, you don’t want to be sending awareness emails when customers are ready to purchase.


Now that you have done all the pre planning for your campaign, now is the time to plan what email is going out and when. I like to think of my emails as soldiers, tactically placed ready to win a battle. It is important to think tactically because each email has a specific purpose for your campaign. Here are some tips to help you think tactically:

  • Email frequency, how often are you sending emails
  • Type of emails, is it an awareness email, a discount email or a thank you email
  • Content, what content are you sharing and when
  • What action do you want your subscribers to take from your emails

Craft Subject Lines

Subject lines play a crucial role in getting subscribers to open and click your emails. The subject line is the attention grabber. Just like for blog posts and newspaper headlines the subject line of an email is 80% of the brands message. So it is important you do it right.

Here are some tips to help you get your subject headlines to convert:

  • Keep it short, 41 to 50 characters should be your limit
  • Put the most important message at the front
  • Tell your subscribers what is in the email
  • Personalisation is king
  • Start a conversation
  • Promise value

Write the Copy

The next step is to write the copy for your emails. as we said earlier the subject line is the attention grabber for them to open the email. Next thing you need is a hook, right at the start to them to read further on.

For best results, it’s important to keep your email short. Write down a list of messages you want to put in the email and try to place them in the most simplified way possible. From here jazz up your wording and write in short sentences. Longer sentences can be hard to read. Keep it short and sweet.

Another tip would be to avoid pitching your offer too early. Hook them in, make them comfortable then hit them with the offer.

Some other tips for writing copy include:

  • Make it personal, simply addressing subscribers by name can make your email campaign more successful.
  • Make sure you have a call to action, this is super important. For obvious reasons.
  • Make your copy scannable, most people don’t have time to read every little detail about an email so make it easy and fast to read.

In regards, to Call to Actions (CTA) the best CTA’s are short and clear. Confusing CTA’s with multiple steps are rarely ever going to get acted upon.

Focus on Design

Email design matters. If your design looks bad, it will reflect badly on you. Design really does play a crucial role in making your email marketing campaign a success. A good design should assist in getting the message you want across and make your email more attractive to read.

When designing emails it is important that you consider what your email will look like on mobile. It is essential to use a mobile responsive email template that will correctly resize your images no matter what device they are reading your email on.

So what is good design?

Design like all art is subjective, however in saying that there are definitely some principles of design that are universally agreed upon. For emails here are our tips for a good email design:

  • Include more text than images. A lot of people disable images on their email. So keep that in mind. Also don’t put valuable info on images.
  • Use the same fonts through out
  • Break up your email. It makes it look easy the eye.
  • Pick a colour palette for your email, no more than 4 colours. Check out this tool
  • Use brand assets, brand assets are unique to you so use them
  • Organise your design to make it easy for your subscribers to read

What if I suck at design?

There are heaps of places to go to get you started. If you have no design skills. Use Canva. If you  struggle to visualise the concept of your email  or you are in desperate need for some inspiration look no further than Really Good Emails. Really Good Emails is a site dedicated to…well… really good emails. Have a browse and see if you can easily implement some of their designs into your own. After a while you will get the hang of what works and what doesn’t.

Test and Track

So you have made all your emails. Congratulations. But that is only the first step. If you really want to succeed you’ve got to collect data on the metrics that matter to you.

This means testing designs, email layout, text fonts, colours, subject lines and call to actions. Experiment with different segments or create an A/B test of the same segment and see what happens. Also experiment with email send times too that could be the difference between an average campaign and a successful campaign.

Some key metrics to include:

  • Open Rate
  • Clicks on Email
  • Forwards
  • Unsubscribes

Now that you know how to run a successful email marketing campaign. It’s time to put that knowledge into action. There is no better time than the present to get started a build an awesome email campaign that will work for your business.

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