Shopify Email Marketing: 14 Essential Emails Every Store Needs to Send
To the outside observer, Shopify email marketing might seem easy.
You sit down, empty your thoughts onto the page, make it pretty, and send.
But here’s the thing. Emptying your thoughts onto a pretty template isn’t going to raise your bottom line. Effective email marketing is about writing copy that converts, either immediately or down the line.
We regularly interact with ecommerce merchants and hear that it’s a struggle to keep Shopify email marketing fresh.
So, we’re presenting 14 types of emails — with examples — to keep the communications flowing and your brand on the top of subscribers’ minds.
Shopify Email Marketing: The 3 Main Categories
Email drives significantly more sales than any other channel.
With that in mind, it’s pretty crucial to create content that keeps you at the top of subscriber inboxes.
But before you create that content, it’s important to understand the different types of email marketing first.
Generally, email falls into one of three categories:
- Promotional emails – aimed at securing the sale.
- Engagement emails – focused on brand values and top-of-mind awareness.
- Automated emails – triggered upon a specific subscriber action.
👉Quick Tip: Before finalizing your email campaign, it’s a good idea to brush up on email design best practices first.
Shopify Email Marketing: 6 Promotional Emails You Need to Send
Email promotions come in many forms. But in general, all of them focus on generating sales. Use any of the examples below as a standalone email blast. Or turn them into an automated campaign that run based on customer behavior.
1. Send a discount or unique offer
Running a site-wide sale? Offering 30% on a category of products?
Employ the big, bold promo. This type of email blast is omnipresent, whether tied to a holiday or event or tossed into the rotation for inventory clearance. We like the example below from My Bambino.
It’s not your average Labor Day promotion tethered to the holiday’s true meaning. Instead, the shop plays on the word “labor” to create a message in sync with its products. The gifs are a subtle yet eye-catching touch.
Remember that promotions aren’t limited to discounting. Free shipping is another great persuasion tactic since shipping fees are a common pain point for consumers.
2. Announce a new product or collection
These types of email promotions aim to alert your audience to new products or collections.
If it’s a single item, highlight features to differentiate it from other products. Emphasize the benefits. For example, announce that you’ve improved the fit and added colors to a new t-shirt line.
This Suncoo promo is a great example.
It’s a little tricky to draw out benefits for a collection of items; but it’s not impossible.
One powerful paragraph is all it takes to communicate that Suncoo’s contemporary clothes are infused with a tinge of retro.
Whether promoting an item or group, make the product prominent. Include images of it in use so subscribers can imagine it for themselves.
Fashion is easy to model, but what if you sell home decor? Nestle a piece of artwork into a living room setting. Specialize in beverages? Show a group of friends sipping on brews around a campfire.
3. Promote Your Bestselling Products
They say success breeds success, so keep your best sellers in pocket for when you need a boost.
Use Shopify email marketing to remind subscribers of your top performers and why people love them. Those discovering your brand will especially appreciate the insights.
Curate top picks within a genre of products if you offer a diverse mix. If your shop offers just a few products and is best known for one thing, reintroduce its unique qualities.
The example from Shu Uemura Art of Hair is a beautiful best-seller email.
- Fun play on words (shu-perstars)
- Clever callout of the top three products, coercing a website visit for the entire list
- Crisp product photography with concise product descriptions
Check out the bonus at the bottom, too. A giveaway of top-performing samples perfectly aligns with the theme.
4. Send Seasonal Promotions
Another great tactic is to use season changes as a focal point to promotions. Really, though, it’s appropriate any time.
Use it at your whim by tying content to whatever Mother Nature is stirring up. Add pizzazz with playful graphics or set the scene with lifestyle images that fit the season.
The weather-related email is versatile when you weave your product into the fabric of the season. The brand ~Pourri is proof that seasonal messages aren’t just for apparel.
We like how they picture each bottled-up scent with the accompanying inspiration. And kudos to the snappy copy, too — their signature style.
Caution: be cognizant that a message could fall flat if your subscriber list spans various regions experiencing different weather. This is where email segmentation comes to the rescue.
5. Send Promotions to Celebrate Milestones
One survey states that 90% of ecommerce businesses fail after just four months. In that case, any Shopify store reaching the one-year mark has cause for celebration.
So, go ahead and celebrate if you’re in the minority. Shopify email marketing is a fantastic avenue for commemorating it. You could toast the accomplishment by thanking customers with a sale.
The email from Habitat, is complemented by a nice message and selection of products. There's no sepcial offer in this one, but the products and email design do all the talking required to seduce customers to join in the celebrations.
6. Send Reminders For Special Occasions
Sometimes you need to inject your brand with new energy.
Maybe it’s hosting a pop-up shop at a farmer’s market, within a brick-and-mortar location, or as a virtual event. Or perhaps you’re experimenting with live shopping streamed through a social media platform.
In any case, broadcast your special event through email marketing. Boldly Blonde’s digital invitation — with its bright colors and graphics — gives the vibe that it will be a fun soiree.
You’ll want to notify everyone when hosting an online function. Deliver segmented emails based on subscriber location for in-person happenings.
Shopify Email Marketing: 3 Essential Engagement Emails
What do we mean by “engagement emails?” Isn’t the goal to increase sales?
These messages are designed to stimulate intrigue. High-quality engagement emails stand out because they offer something deeper than the typical promotion.
Yes, they require more time and effort to create. But the payoff is worthwhile. Engagement emails are memorable and build brand recognition. Sprinkle them in to raise anticipation among subscribers.
1. Create & Send a Gift Guide or Style Guide
Sometimes we all need a little guidance, whether it’s finding an outfit for an outdoor wedding or shopping for a 5-year-old niece’s birthday present.
Enter the style and gift guides, where you do the thinking for your subscriber.
This works for any shop that wants to demonstrate:
- How their product can be arranged — say apparel, accessories, home furnishings, etc.
- How to combine products to make a coordinated bundle
Below is a style guide from IndoChino:
Think about how you can style your products in a similar way. Giving shoppers context and inspiration will help drive purchases in a way that adds value and doesn’t feel like you’re just pummeling them with offers.
2. Build Your Brand With Lifestyle & Educational Content
You’re in business to sell a product or service, but you don’t want to be compared to a shady salesman.
Position yourself as a solution provider first and foremost.
Selling your solution plays a big part. But there’s room for sharing expertise, which works to establish greater trust.
If your shop sells culinary products, send subscribers a favorite recipe using your tools or ingredients.
Specialize in workout gear? Record a video of trainer-approved stretches.
Both ideas are great fodder for blog posts. You might consider starting one after seeing how some Shopify stores leverage their knowledge and vantage points. We wrote a post on how eCommerce brands use their blog to drive sales – check it our if you’re interested.
We love how Reflektion Design leads with its newest post in the example below.
Company founder Anitra Terrell uses the “How We Live” blog series to interview people who incorporate their culture into home design.
The primary message is a how-to; the supporting message is “let my products inspire your decor.”
3. Send an Email with a Personal Touch
It’s a nice gesture for the founder of a Shopify store to speak to subscribers. A note that skews on the personal side emphasizes that humans are behind your brand.
This is one more chance to differentiate yourself from the big-box stores and forge better connections with your subscribers.
REALM’s approach below is basic yet effective.
The logo and photo make for a striking image. The title demonstrates the brand’s commitment to customers. The founder’s note and signature reinforce this message is from a person, not a corporation.
We usually advise keeping text brief, but the personal note is a worthy candidate for a larger share of real estate.
Ann King Lagos delivers a winner by assuring subscribers that pricing will remain flat and sliding in the brand’s unique selling proposition.
Shopify Email Marketing: Automated Emails You Need to Send
Automated emails are triggered when a subscriber performs an action. Think of it in terms of cause and effect. A subscriber does or doesn’t do something and receives a corresponding email.
You’re sending the right email to the right person at the right time. And because they’re automated, you make money while you sleep, as email marketers like to say.
Automations can be a single message or a series of emails. All need a strong call to action that leads to the next step you want the subscriber to take.
1. Build a Welcome Flow for New Customers
It’s in your brand’s best interest to kick off the relationship with a new subscriber on the right foot. After all, welcome messages convert 9.4 times better than email newsletters.
That’s why we say every Shopify email marketing program needs a welcome automation.
There are many ways to go about it; check out this guide where we’ve whittled it down to three common messaging angles.
For now we’ll examine how Maisonette greets a new subscriber.
Maisonette uses a number of elements to create a great greeting:
- A title and photo that warm the hearts of anyone with kids in their life
- A short bio of the store
- A discount offer
- Product recommendations
- Child-related tips
- A footer punctuated by key information
2. Recapture Lost Revenue with a Cart Recovery Flow
Did you know that as many as 81% of online carts are abandoned?
That’s a lot of money every Shopify merchant is potentially missing out on! And reason enough to say that abandoned checkout emails are another must-have automation. The goal is to recover abandoned carts by persuading shoppers to complete the purchase.
Just like welcome automations, there are various approaches to crafting an abandoned checkout message. Let’s look at how Rothy’s tackles it.
Rothy’s is direct. “You left this behind. Here’s what it is. Now complete the checkout process.”
The brand also creates some urgency by warning they can’t guarantee your size will be in stock for long.
3. Automatically Thank Customers for Their Business
Someone makes a purchase from your shop, you fulfill the order, and you’re moving onto getting your next sale.
Not so fast. The experience may be over for you, but it’s just beginning for the customer.
Would they benefit from receiving information before the purchase arrives? Are there care tips they need to know? Is there a common customer service question you can address before it’s asked?
You add a bit of love by sending an extra email after the sale. It’s one among other customer retention strategies that plants the seed for a return visit.
A short thank you can also do the trick, as ILIA shows.
Again, a personal touch from the company’s founder can inch you closer to attaining brand loyalty.
4. Build a Flow to Capture Reviews
People work hard for their money and want to know that their purchases are going to be a good investment.
How do they figure it out? If not a personal referral, they’re most likely scouring product reviews to decide. Research shows 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they do recommendations from people they know.
So yes, obtaining customer testimonials and reviews is essential to doing business as a Shopify merchant. The best avenue for acquiring feedback is with a review request automation.
Check out the stellar example from Graza.
For starters, vivid colors and an oversized headline demand attention. The copy is brief. A photo of the purchased product adds an element of personalization. (By the way, personalized experiences can make a difference, as 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer it.)
We appreciate that Graza finds no need to include a promotion. They have one ask and that’s enough.
5. Automatically Re-engage Lapsed Customers
One of our favorite post-purchase automations is the lapsed purchaser email. It sometimes flies under the radar but can be the answer to breaking a shopper’s hiatus.
This is the “Hey, where’ve you been?” message. You might trigger it to be sent 60 or 90 days after the last purchase. This works well for products needing replenishment, such as toothpaste or granola bars.
Or, stretch out the timing if you sell larger-ticket items. Toss in a discount or another incentive if you think it will hold sway.
Pink’s version is a classic take on the lapsed purchaser email. It contains all the standard elements: a “we miss you” message, savings for the next purchase, and recommendations for applying the unique discount code.
3 of the Best Apps for Shopify Email Marketing
With 14 Shopify email marketing strategies up your sleeve, it’s time to implement some of them. To do so, it’s worth checking out a couple of apps to help get the job done. Here we’ve outlined three of the best email marketing-related apps for Shopify. Do your research and choose what’s right for you.
Seguno is the top-rated email marketing solution built exclusively for Shopify. The app is designed with your most valuable asset in mind: time. Manage all of your email marketing from within your Shopify admin or mobile app.
- Design great emails in minutes with 200+ templates and built-in Canva integration
- Commerce-focused features like unique discount codes, abandoned cart emails, conversion tracking, and more
- Library of pre-built automations, including welcome, post-purchase, and review request
- Seamless integration with Shopify
- Free up to 250 contacts
- Paid plans starting from $10/mo (free trial available)
OrderlyEmails is an email design tool to upgrade Shopify’s default email templates. It empowers merchants to customize Shopify’s transactional emails — like the order confirmation email, and abandoned cart and checkout — with professional and effective designs to drive greater revenue and boost post-purchase efforts.
- Easily design professional email templates in three steps
- Designed exclusively for Shopify stores
- Includes ability to upsell and discount
- 30+ email templates
- Free to install
3. Judge.me Product Reviews
Judge.me helps build social proof by collecting and displaying star ratings and reviews about a Shopify store and its products. The app enables buyers to make a review directly in their email. Unlimited orders and request emails are included on all plans as well.
- Use directly in Shopify admin
- Customizable widgets, including review widget, star ratings, review carousel, Q&A and more
- Reply to reviewers publicly on the widget or privately via emails
- Share on social platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr
- Free plan available
- $15/month “awesome” paid plan with extra features
Shopify Email Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be Super Complicated
In case you need another reason to revamp your email marketing, here’s one more statistic.
Consider that 72% of consumers open marketing emails at least a few times per week. Some open them daily; others do so multiple times a day.
If you’ve got subscribers, you’ve got an attentive audience. Reach them with a mix of promotional emails, newsletters aimed at provoking engagement, and messages set on autopilot.
Use these 14 examples to design emails that speak to your audience and leave an impression.
Tracy Puckett is Content Manager at Seguno Software, the top-rated email marketing platform built exclusively for Shopify. Tens of thousands of merchants choose Seguno to save time, send better, and earn more — without leaving Shopify.