Today, you’ll learn the best way to write an eCommerce newsletter that gets results.
- How often you should send new emails to subscribers
- What makes for “newsworthy” events even when there aren’t holidays
- Why you should think twice about including discounts
Let’s get started!
How to use an eCommerce newsletter
Emails can be one of the best ways to grow your eCommerce store—after ads and SEO.
But here’s the deal:
You need to start with some basic guidelines to help you. If you just copy random campaigns you find online, it’ll be hard to succeed.
Remember these ideas when creating your newsletter:
1. Share new reasons to buy. Most of your subscribers will already know your brand, and most are probably customers. So your emails should focus on giving readers a new reason to buy from you. Learn and focus on your customers’ buying triggers.
2. Send emails often. The number of emails you send depends on your goals, but once a week is a good starting place. As you get more comfortable with emails and see what works, consider sending more often.
3. Focus on the products. Don’t get lost in random topics that aren’t about what you sell. Keep your newsletter focused on your niche. With the right topic and good copywriting, you can make any product interesting!
4. Don’t rely on discounts. You might have special promotions and discounts. But too many stores only use their newsletters to share coupon codes. The problem is that readers begin to expect it and won’t want to buy at full price. Don’t let your newsletter send the message you’re a discount retailer unless that’s your goal.
5. Value first, promotion second. Most eCommerce stores struggle with offering value in emails and instead promote, promote, promote. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to deliver value while keeping your email focused on a product. Below, I’ll share 17 specific tactics that other eCommerce brands are using.
How to build an eCommerce newsletter campaign that gets results
The first step for emails that get results is to define what results matter to you.
Look at the most important metrics in your business. Where can you improve? Focus your emails on that metric before starting.
Next, I recommend drafting out the ideas for newsletters in advance. As mentioned earlier, you’ll want a continuous stream of content. And if you write a newsletter the day it goes out, it won’t be your best work.
Create a “newsletter calendar” that extends out for a few months. Sketch the basic ideas of what you want to cover each week. For example, “Valentine’s promotion” or “factory tour.”
Then start writing in advance. Dedicate time to creating three to four newsletters you can schedule out. Then keep up the pace of creating a new newsletter each week. That gives you a buffer of a few weeks, so you can make sure you’re sending top-notch emails every time.
What should you include? Let’s cover that next.
17 examples of product-focused eCommerce newsletters that provide value
Below, we’ve collected 17 stellar examples of eCommerce newsletters that provide value—while keeping the spotlight on a product.
Use them as inspiration as you create newsletter content.
(All email screenshots come from Really Good Emails.)
1. Product care
Baggu covers a topic we often forget—product care. Share your tips on how to treat your product right, so it lasts for years to come.
2. Buying guide
Tattly understands how to write a great buying guide. They have lists for all kinds of shoppers, from “art lovers” to “grump.” Note that this one is holiday-themed, but gift guides can cover anything!
3. Creative product use
Casper is known for mattresses. So what are they doing sending a “snoozeletter” about travel? Simple. It’s a checklist that suggests a creative use for their pillow—sleeping better on a plane.
4. New product announcement
Austin Eastciders doesn’t do anything fancy here—and that’s what makes this product announcement work. Talk about putting the spotlight on a product!
5. Behind the scenes
Everlane does an even better job delivering product-focused value than a typical behind-the-scenes email. Not only do we get to meet the designer, but his snippets focus on the products’ biggest selling points.
Tuft & Needle nails clean, on-brand humor in this twist on a typical Father’s Day promo email. Its unexpected take makes the understated call to action even more appealing.
Who Gives a Crap does a great job tying their product in with a clever quiz. And yes, it’s a good example of humor, too—with a brand name like that, what did you expect?
8. Customer quotes
Everlane does a great job (again) with this email on customer quotes. Nothing fancy. Just honest customer reviews—which happen to be the most influential factor in eCommerce purchase behavior. Smart.
9. Company culture
Public Rec features their company culture without relying on photos of the last corporate retreat. Getting real employees to share what they’re wearing puts a face to the brand and focuses on products.
10. Holiday promotion
Good Pair Days makes a smart decision for their Christmas promo email. Instead of listing every winter-themed product, they focus on a single flagship offer.
11. Promote referrals
Equal Parts does the referral email right. Instead of focusing on the rewards (there are many), the email is about community and togetherness.
12. Start with why
Magnolia never fails to impress me with this email. They’ve created such a deep meaning out of … wall art. This is Simon Sinek’s “start with why” principle applied to eCommerce newsletters.
13. Product spotlight
American Giant executes the product spotlight perfectly. This isn’t a new product. It’s not on sale. It’s not a limited edition. It’s just a quality item and an email that’s not afraid to showcase it.
14. How you’re helping the world
Patagonia shares a fascinating product story few brands can offer. But every brand has a story bigger than itself that would make for an interesting email.
15. How you’re different
Ritual uses this email to set the brand apart from the rest of the industry. This side-by-side comparison works well to set your brand apart, especially when it comes to “boring” products like vitamins.
Felix Gray does the thinking for customers in this email—like any good reminder. If you have unused FSA dollars, this unexpected message from the brand is a convincing nudge to at least look at the catalog.
Life Elements does the discount email right by asking “why?” If you’re going to run a promotion, putting a deeper meaning behind the savings is the way to go.
How to succeed with eCommerce newsletters
eCommerce newsletters should probably be a part of your growth engine.
But if you only have newsletters, there’s a missing factor that can multiply your results—boosting the number of subscribers.
You see, a newsletter is only as effective as the number of people who read it.
And one of the best ways to find more readers is through search engines like Google.
A newsletter is great. But combined with SEO, it becomes a massive driver of success. Your growth engine attracts visitors interested in what you offer, then converts them over time with a newsletter.
If you already have a newsletter—or plan on creating one soon—SEO might be the fuel you need to reach the next level. And that’s where my team and I specialize.
Get in touch today to see if we’re a good fit for your needs.