Email copywriting is an essential ingredient for e-commerce success today. Customer acquisition costs for e-commerce brands rose a whopping 222% from 2014 – 2022, which means you need a cost-effective marketing tool now more than ever. With an average ROI of around $36 for every dollar spent, email marketing can give you fantastic profits from a smaller investment compared with paid ads.
In this article, I’ll break down what email copywriting is, why it’s an essential component of e-commerce copywriting, and how you can write great emails to drive open rates, click-through rates, and sales for your brand.
What Is E-Commerce Email Copywriting?
E-commerce email copywriting is the act of writing persuasive and compelling content for email marketing campaigns for your e-commerce brand. The primary goal of email copywriting is to engage, inform, and persuade the recipients of an email to take a specific action.
For example, you might send an email to persuade customers to make a purchase, claim a discount, like your brand on social media, enter a giveaway, complete a review or survey, or click a link to read your latest SEO blog article.
5 Tips To Write Better Emails For Your E-Commerce Store
1. Your subject line is critical
The email subject line is the first thing recipients see, so it should be enticing and relevant to encourage them to open the email. Even a small percentage bump in open rates can lead to drastically more revenue from the same email. It’s why copywriters often provide multiple subject lines. It allows you to split test the subject lines with a small number of contacts from your email list, then use the best-performing one to send the email to your remaining customers. You can get tips to write better email subject lines here.
2. Keep your message simple
Not sure what to say? The good news is e-commerce email copywriting can be fairly straightforward. If you manage to hook a customer and secure the open, you only have a few seconds to deliver your message before they hit the delete button (or worse, unsubscribe or mark it as spam). Keep your message quick and easy to read, as well as clear and simple to understand.
3. Avoid spam words
Email deliverability is a massive and complex topic. I won’t go into too much detail, but this is deliverability in a nutshell: If your emails go to spam, they won’t get opened or clicked. This will ruin the reputation of the email address you’re sending from. Eventually, if your reputation is terrible, your email address can get blacklisted. Then, any email you send will go straight to spam. It can be difficult to build your email reputation back up.
Nearly one in five emails gets caught by spam filters, which scan your emails for spammy words like buy, offer, free, guarantee, get paid, and a long list of others. Using these words in your copy is a sure-fire way to kill your open rates.
4. Tell stories
You don’t need to go into your whole brand story in each email, but even a simple abandoned cart or sale email can be enhanced by creating a story. For example, if you’re running a sale to celebrate a milestone like moving warehouse or anniversary, tell a short story about it. It’s memorable and engaging, it performs better, and it provides another opportunity to entertain and build a relationship with your customers.
5. Personalise emails where possible
Personalisation can make a significant difference in conversion rates. Whether that’s using your customer’s name (or pet’s name for pet brands), recommending products based on their behaviour, creating segments for different types of customers (e.g. repeat buyers vs first-time customers), or sending birthday or milestone messages, personalisation shows your customers you understand their needs and gives them a premium buying experience.
What Should You Write In Your Ecommerce Emails?
A lot of great e-commerce emails follow a similar template, regardless of whether they’re part of your welcome series, an abandon cart email, or part of a campaign such as Black Friday and Christmas sales.
Here is a basic e-commerce email template you can follow.
When you break down the actual copywriting component, a basic email like this might only need a headline and body text. All up this could be fewer than 100-150 words for you to write.
Of course, every word counts. You want to deliver your message clearly and concisely. If you’re clever (or you hire a great email copywriter), you’ll be able to tick a ton of boxes in the short space you have. That means:
- Building your brand’s voice
- Building your customer relationship
- Educating or providing value to your customers
- Establishing trust or social proof
- Making your message personal
- Making your CTA clear
I’ve included some email copywriting examples below to give you an idea of how to achieve this.
5 Great E-Commerce Email Examples
If you want a ton of great e-commerce email copywriting examples, you can check out Really Good Emails – they have a library of 10,000 emails from some of the biggest brands in the world.
I’ve included a few below to highlight examples of compelling email copywriting.
Fi – Dog Collar
What it does well:
- Tells a story. This is especially impactful because it’s personal from the founder and it’s genuine.
- It’s simple. Not too many flashing lights, just a simple story then two other panels with CTAs; one linking to another story and the other one a save $15 offer.
Drizly – Alcohol Delivery
What it does well:
- Builds a theme. The headline, the ‘shop cosmically’ button, and the hero image all introduce the theme of the email, which is about drinks based on your star sign.
- Personalisation. The content is made specially for Libras. You could segment your list and send a different email to each customer depending on their star sign.
- Provides value. It doesn’t try to hard sell, it just gives a fun drink recipe to try to the customer without asking anything in return.
Warby Parker – Glasses And Eye Care
What it does well:
- Simple. Doesn’t get much more clear and simple than this. Any e-commerce brand owner could put this together on their own.
- Direct. There aren’t 1000 CTA buttons all competing for your attention. It gets to the point quickly, so if you need an eye check up you won’t miss the message hidden deep in the email
What it does well:
- Delivers a lead magnet. You might have a pop-up on your e-commerce store for a discount, or a free guide to capture email addresses. The first email you send should always deliver on the promise. In this case, Lego has probably offered free colouring pages in exchange for subscribing, so they’ve made that clear and easy to access in the email.
- Builds trust. By delivering on their promise for the colouring pages they’re building trust with the customer.
Allbirds – Wool Shoes
What it does well:
- Builds the brand. This is a simple ‘thank you for your purchase’ email, but they still seize the opportunity to build their brand, which is all about sustainable, high-quality shoes made from natural materials (especially wool), They use a sheep-related pun for the headline.
- Uses target market language. “Basically, our sheep are living the good life.” They highlight the certification and then sum it up in the same informal way the target market might explain it to their friends.
Don’t want to write the copy for your own emails?
Hopefully these tips will help you write incredible emails for your e-commerce store. However, if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, or you trust a pro to do a better job of it, you can always get us to write your email copy for you. Just send through a message and we can jump on a call for a quick chat.