Do you use email marketing to grow your eCommerce sales?

When I started my first business, I spent hours googling for tips on how to write my marketing emails. I’d heard about eCommerce businesses using email newsletters to increase sales, and that’s still true today.

In 2020, the most successful online stores send email newsletters out on a regular basis – often multiple times weekly!

Now, you might be thinking, “EEK – that’s a lotta emails and I don’t want to annoy my customers!”

And yes, we’re all bombarded by emails and marketing messages every day. But whilst it may be harder today than it was in the past to cut through all that noise and really connect with your customers, the facts still prove that email marketing works.

In fact, email marketing works so well for eCommerce that it typically represents about 30% of your sales-generating website traffic!

So, when you master the art and science of using email to generate sales on your website, you will always be able to make money.

Here are a few quick facts for you:

  • Personalised emails that include the recipient’s name or company information in the subject line have 29% higher open rates,
  • When the content of the email is just as carefully personalised, click rates are 41% higher and email revenue jumps six times higher than emails that aren’t personalised.
  • In 2022, email marketing produces a 3800% ROI!

Read on for tips on how to write the perfect marketing email

Email writing tips to persuade, promote and profit in your online store

How to create the perfect marketing email

In the perfect world, we’d be able to say, ‘here’s my product, here’s why you should buy it’, and all the right people would who needed our product would click purchase.

But the thing is, this doesn’t work, and it doesn’t work for a few reasons:

>> We have to be more persuasive than this in order to capture AND keep people’s attention.

We’re all confronted with so many different marketing messages every day, from the TV to social media to billboards along the side of the road to the radio and so on, that we’ve all learned to automatically tune them out.

>> Secondly, a ‘buy it now’ tactic has zero value with your customers. They don’t care if you sell your widget! They care about what’s in it for them.

There’s plenty of brain science that tells us that almost all, if not all, of our decision-making happens in the emotional side of our brain.

Sure we use the logical side of our brain to rationalise and support the decision we’ve already made. But you can’t appeal to this side first, it just won’t work.

So, how do we appeal to our customers and persuade them to buy with integrity?

We don’t want to be manipulative, because that’ll result in our customers regretting their buying decision later and we definitely don’t want that.

The number one key to writing effective marketing emails is you’ve really got to understand what your audience wants (your ideal customers).

I like to see emails with a bit of personality. Using words, images and offers that appeal to your target market will always perform better (and generate more sales).

Here’s an example I love from Frank Body Coffee Scrub – so much personality! The tongue in cheek humour entices you to open and click through without the need for many words.

Subject line:

Email subject line example 1

Email example:

Email newsletter example by Frank Body

This brand also has a hugely engaged, cult following. Black Milk customers (affectionately called Sharkies) salivate over every new release!

Email marketing product launch

So how do you go about writing your promotional emails?

The #1 most important element of your email is the subject line.

It’s got about 3 seconds to capture your reader’s attention and be enticing enough for them to decide whether to open your email or trash it!

Start by thinking about how you consume emails yourself. Most likely when you open your inbox, you’ll automatically skip or delete a bunch of emails and I bet they’ll be the hard sales-y ones.

I love this example from my client Laura from Snotty Noses:

Email newsletter subject line example

Laura has has experienced explosive sales growth over the last several years, and a good deal of that success has been the result of her marketing emails.

What elements are not in a great email subject line?

Things like all capitals (too shouty), really salesy stuff, click-bait or bait-&-switch.

Words like discount, % off, free, ‘limited time only’ and other similarly promotional words are also likely to also trigger your recipients’ spam filter, so your emails are less likely to hit the inbox where you want them!

Then inside the email, the content has to be consistent with the headline – friendly, not super-advertising-y.

Remember, you’re building relationships. To achieve this, I like to write conversationally, not all corporate speak or like a TV advertisement.

Here’s a few ideas to write emails that don’t come across as manipulative or sales-y:

  1. Tell a (short) story – start with your customer’s pain point, need or desire, and then perhaps use an “imagine if…” scenario. You can do this in words or images, or a mix of both.
  2. Write with personality! Don’t be boring and factual. Instead, find your ‘brand voice’ and inject some personality into your language. (Note– writing the way you chat to a friend is a great place to start!)
  3. Give proof that it’s true – for example, do you have a customer who had the same problem you discussed in point 1 and that you were able to help solve? Social proof (testimonials) sell.
  4. Make your offer – pitch it as the dream solution to their problem. For example, “by the way, if you want to have the same result as the story…” and include a link to your product. Again, this can be achieved in words or images.

This way, every email feels like valuable content, but what the story does is create DESIRE.

The goal is to increase desire but still seem attainable.

Bad, manipulative emails leave people feeling under pressure, and constant discounting is a sure-fire way to alienate your readers and end up in their spam folder.

Good emails, on the other hand, can be extremely passionate in expressing, “I really think this is the right decision for you!” while still showing that you value your customers and have a vested interested in their happiness.

Say it with images

As the saying goes – a picture tells a thousand words.

I also love using animated gifs in emails to capture attention in a more engaging and fun way.

Use images with a catchy headline and ‘shop now’ button overlaid onto the image.

You’ll communicate your content with fewer words, be more fun and engaging, and ‘get the click’ faster.

Don’t forget the PS…

Apparently us humans now have a concentration span shorter than a goldfish… Which is a little alarming!

However – statistics do show that we will usually read the postscript.

So make use of this spot at the end to reiterate your call to action and include another Shop button!

Final thought

When you have a great product and you know your ideal customers really well, you’ll be able to write your marketing emails and newsletters in a way that truly ads value to your customers.

You’ll be able to use your emails to help your customers engage with your brand and become highly loyal, repeat customers.

The key to mastering this skill, as in so many things, is to practice!

Need help to get great results with your marketing?

Do you have big goals to hit but need some expert help to make sure you get the best possible results this year?

This is what I do and love to do every single day. Whether you’re looking for coaching to help you to learn and implement these things, or if you’re looking for a team of experts to outsource to, just click the button below to find out about working with me.


Updated 28th May 2024

Email writing tips to persuade, promote and profit