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How to Run an E-Mail Marketing Campaign for Your Store

5 minute read
E-mail Marketing Guide Featured Image

“E-mail marketing will experience a second coming of age during 2016.” – Chad Litmus

Checking e-mail #1 activity on smartphone

Reading e-mails has long been the #1 activity of people with smartphones. It is the main strategy for digital marketers and e-commerce companies have been using it to gather crucial analytical data. With new features like Gmail’s promotions tab, e-mail marketing is being re-introduced into popular culture.

That is why we’re want to help you make the most of it! Here, we break down how to gather e-mails, segment them into lists, choose the right type of campaign, craft the right e-mail and analyze your results.

Capturing E-mail addresses

Before you run an email campaign, you need emails! In the beginning, your list may be of family and friends. However as you grow, you should be constantly adding to your list.

You could be looking to capture the interest of people who are new/haven’t signed up to your store yet. If this is the case, you can collect e-mails on pages before your active users log in. This could be your homepage, your blog, an FAQ page or wherever else you provide users with content that they might be interested in learning more about in the future. You can also provide them with an incentive like a discount code, a small amount of store credit or unique content in the form of a whitepage or an ebook download. Some cool ways to collect the e-mails would be through a variety of different forms. If you’re incentivizing the user, lightbox forms might be useful. If not, you can add inline forms which are work better if you think your users might find a popup intrusive. You can use tools like MailChimp to create custom forms like this. Test a few of these methods out and see which one of them captures the most e-mails! This always varies from store to store.

Modalyst Lightbox vs Inline e-mail form
Lightbox (Left) vs Inline (Right) form

Segment your List

E-mail Segmentation advantages


Segmentation of your e-mail lists is an important and effective way to make sure your e-mail campaign reaches the right audience and provides good results. The image above shows how segmentation can help you get ahead of the game. Programs like MailChimp allow for easy segmentation based on store metrics that can help you target users.

For example, users that provided their e-mail before signing up such as your website’s homepage or blog should be the ones receiving an e-mail campaign that helps build awareness about your store. They are interested in your content, so if you plan to promote that in an e-mail campaign, this list should be the priority.

If particular users are consistently signing up but not making purchases they may have a problem with your pricing. In this case you should segment them and consider including them in a campaign where you feature products that are on sale, or promotional discounts you may be offering.

If users are consistently purchasing from your site, an e-mail campaign rewarding their loyalty may help you retain these customers for even longer and increase your sales.

You can also segment users that only made a few purchases and never returned to your website and send them a promotional e-mail campaign with new products you’ve added or promo codes to get them to return. You can also get great insights from these users by giving them a discount for providing feedback about why they stopped using your store.

Decide the campaign you want to run

There are a range of different campaigns you could run depending on what your store needs. This will help you understand what type of campaign you should be running.

Need more engagement

If you feel as though not enough people are signing up to your store, or don’t know enough about your brand you could start a brand awareness campaign. For this type of campaign, you could use the e-mail list from the segment of users that provided their information before they signed up. You could send these users updates on your brand, new products you’ve added to your storefront, an update on your latest blog posts and many more. By providing these users with more content from your website, you can generate more brand awareness and hopefully new signups.

Help! My customers are not returning!

If you feel as though your customer retention level is low, you could start an e-mail campaign from the segmented list of your current customer base that revolves around reminding them of your brand through newsletters and discount codes. Another technique would be to onboard your new users better with an e-mail campaign for their first month, with e-mails spaced out evenly throughout the month (Drip Campaign). This could be engaging with them personally, finding out the reason for their interest in your products and teaching them how to navigate your store better to consistently find these products for a long period of time.

E-mail drip campaign

You could then curate your list by targeting the users that seem the most interested based on the metrics you track and continue to send e-mails to only those users. The key is to find a balance with which you’re not being intrusive/annoying but still regular enough to keep them interested in the long run.

Nobody is buying my stuff!

If you find that your sales are low for some particular reason like prices, you could run an e-mail marketing campaign to amend for this by offering users that haven’t made purchases yet discounts/consistent updates on products that are currently on sale. You could also target your loyal users by starting an e-mail campaign that rewards them for their continued support of your store, which could drive sales further.

Need more customers!

If you’re just trying to expand your customer base you can target customers that no longer login and incentivize them to rejoin. The users that provided their e-mails to you before signing up can also be targeted with a campaign incentivizing them to join, just be careful not to e-mail users that have already signed up!

Final steps before starting your campaign

Before you begin your campaign, there are a few things you should do to make sure it’s perfect.

  1. Avoid sending spammy clickbait e-mails. You don’t want to end up on gmail/other mail providers’ blacklists. Make sure it’s easy for the recipient to opt out of the campaign and moderate the frequency of e-mails to get your message to reach your target’s inbox
  2. Make sure your e-mail’s are compatible with different platforms/browsers. The key platform is to make sure your e-mail’s are optimized for mobile use. Mobile optimization e-mail stats
  3. Make sure the content within the e-mail is good. This generally requires a shorter but catchier subject line with well optimized information within the e-mail. The body should contain meaningful, well designed content that is relevant to the person it is being sent to. HTML e-mails with good imagery and formatting are generally well received
  4. Test your e-mail on several different platforms before sending it out
  5. Make sure you have the tools to calculate the metrics once the campaign begins. If you are using a program like MailChimp, you are well equipped to analyze most necessary metrics

What to do after the campaign begins

E-mail marketing metrics

  1. Check out your campaign metrics – list size, delivered, unique opens, unique clicks, unsubscriptions, spam rate, complaints etc – and choose which ones are meaningful for your campaign based on your results. If you’re getting many unique opens and clicks, that means you’re doing something right with your campaign. If people are complaining, your spam rates are high and you’re getting lots of unsubscriptions, then you may not be sending your e-mails to the right list or your content might not be up to the mark
  2. Once you observe metrics, you can retarget and resize your list based on who reacted positively/negatively to your campaign and create a new campaign for your new list of interested people
  3. Identify which goals the campaign has helped you meet and whether it was effective or not. If you were attempting to increase brand awareness you should look at whether you have more signups since the campaign which could be a sign of a successful campaign. However, if you started a brand awareness campaign and noticed a decrease in sales, it is most probably not correlated
  4. Decide which aspects worked for your campaign and which didn’t and use this information for new campaigns

A few tips and warnings


  1. You might be tempted to buy an e-mail list. Many experienced marketers, including me would highly recommend you don’t. They almost always have very bad open/response rates and would inaccurately reflect how accurate your campaign could have been. It also increases your chances of getting blacklisted as a spammer. Users that opt-in to your content are the ones you should be reaching out to anyhow
  2. Make sure you add a Call to Action in your e-mail. If it’s a promo code, create a link that leads your user to the add promo code page. If it’s a blog post, make sure you add a link to it.
  3. Use a spam filter to avoid bots and spammers from inputting their e-mails into your sign up form. Most of these will be automatically filtered out, but you may run into a few which would skew your metrics
  4. Make sure you’re consistent with your campaign. If you’ve started a campaign, specially a newsletter, the worst thing you could do is stop out of the blue if it’s working. It is okay to adjust your campaign based on initial results but being inconsistent can make your campaign very ineffective.


We hope this post helps you better understand the power of e-mail marketing and how you should be using to to promote your store. With the growing popularity of e-mail advertising, and the ever increasing ability to target individuals, e-mail marketing can take your store’s success to new heights!


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