Practical Ecommerce

4 Catchy Emails from Ecommerce Companies

Not every email message you send to your subscribers generates immediate sales. In fact, most do not. Running a successful email program requires fresh content and ideas, to keep your subscribers interested and, importantly, to avoid opt-outs.

In this post, I’ll review innovative email examples from ecommerce companies.

Emphasize Content, not Product Offers

Subscribers quickly get bored with the same old offers and heavy sales pushes. Those tactics can drive sales, but mixing compelling content and offering ideas to use your products will keep subscribers opening your emails.

In the example below, LOFT, a retailer of women’s clothing and accessories, offers five humorous ways to use its t-shirts.

LOFT t-shirt ideas.

LOFT t-shirt ideas.

King Arthur Flour uses recipes and craft ideas in its email program. This starts with the welcome email, shown below, to new subscribers, which also creates expectations that subsequent emails will include helpful recipe ideas and other tips and tricks.

King Arthur Flour includes recipe ideas in its welcome email.

King Arthur Flour includes recipe ideas in its welcome email.

When you sell one basic product that almost everyone uses, creating a content-focused email strategy can resonate with consumers and separate your company from competitors.

Use Animated Email Graphics

Lately, I’ve seen more ecommerce emails that feature animation in the body. The animations render beautifully on a smartphone. They also grab my attention, and frequently they demonstrate how to use a product or service, which is helpful.

For example, the email image below from Bed Bath & Beyond shows a blender animation, with the actual blender rotating the fruit, and the fruit moving behind the blender. This is a close equivalent of using video in an email, and a helpful way to demonstrate a product.

This email from Bed Bath and Beyond includes animated gifs.  (Click on image to see actual animation.)

This email from Bed Bath and Beyond includes an animated GIF. (Click on image to see actual animation.)

The example below from LOFT features an animated GIF that flashes different colors. The email promotes a 50 percent discount that is effective for only one night.

An email from LOFT for a one-day flash sale features animated colors. (Click on image for actual animation.)

An email from LOFT for a one-day flash sale features animated colors. (Click on image for actual animation.)

Creating an animated GIF is relatively easy, using Photoshop.

Use Bold Subject Lines

Subject lines are key to getting subscribers to open emails. Try to address your subscribers in creative, unusual ways. For example, recently an internal email at my company had the subject line, “Did you take the can opener?” It was from a co-worker trying to locate the can opener in the office kitchen. Although it was addressed to the entire office, it felt as though she was addressing everyone personally. People opened it. Many remarked on what an effective subject line it would be for marketing emails.

Innovative content strategies can help create fun subject lines that are different from what your subscribers expect. For example, with LOFT’s t-shirt email (above), the subject line was, “Five useful tricks for a t-shirt.” Even recipients who are not looking to purchase a t-shirt may be compelled to open the email. And when they do, they may find the offer and t-shirt tricks useful enough to make a purchase.

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Carolyn Nye
Carolyn Nye
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Comments ( 3 )

  1. Rupesh June 18, 2014 Reply

    Hi Carolyn. This article have me some great title ideas for my blog and autoresponder emails.
    Thanks.

  2. Kanti June 19, 2014 Reply

    Very nice! I especially liked the first LOFT email in which the “Tips and Tricks” are actually up selling – subtly giving the reader reasons to buy more of their products [bachelorette party].

    But the animation in the second LOFT email is a bit too flashy for my taste, bordering on annoying.

    Subject line that addresses each reader personally is great idea, too.

  3. Elizabeth Ball June 20, 2014 Reply

    Terrific ideas. The second Loft email would be great for a lighting, homewares or Christmas decorations business selling illuminations

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