What does it take to Write Highly Converting eCommerce emails?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are done and dusted and consumers are now planning the grab over Boxing day. 🙂 According to Statista, email marketing has the potential to reach the revenue milestone of $17.9 billion by 2027. Brands not getting results from their email campaigns are probably doing something wrong. 

So what makes an eCommerce email tick, what makes it actionable? We wanted to hear from actual consumers, so we resourcefully went around the team asking which promotional email each had acted on in the last one month. Here’s presenting 5 emails that brought dollars to their campaign managers!

Our #1 is FOMO done right, from Katies

Subject: 2 HRS LEFT! $29* New Season Dresses - Hurry, gone tomorrow!

I personally fell hook, line and sinker for this one. I went on to spend $70 totally unplanned.

A grabbing subject line and preview text!

Here was the email subject line presenting itself among my many unread emails:

  • As soon as I read “2 Hrs left”, it triggered FOMO in me. I am a regular Katies customer and find their products excellent in design and quality. With sweet discounts I’m easily tempted to buy more.
  • “$29 New Season Dresses”. This part of the subject line made me restless. I needed to know their designs for the new season! The combination of a low price of $29 for something that’s new in the market is exciting for me.
  • Finally, the preview text “Hurry, gone tomorrow” nudged my FOMO further. I couldn’t risk it and jumped at opening the email.
An engaging, informative email body 

The email body has three parts. All three got me clicking around and I blame their aptly-worded CTA buttons- ‘shop now’!

Part 1: Product recommendations with great value offerings

I’ve mostly bought dresses and tops from Katies, so I liked it that they did not send me the other stuff they have like trousers or jackets. I was impressed with 2 of the 5 recommendations in the email and ended up buying two items from their website. The 40% off on ‘New Arrivals’ also got me checking out more on their website. 

Part 2: Other product lines, again with great value offerings and CTAs 

Scrolling further, I came across the ‘Katies at Home’ section. I did not know the brand had a Home and Lifestyle product line! This added to the whole excitement and eagerness to check out more.

Part 3: Social Proof 

The final section of the email has Katies' Instagram account, gives us an option of finding the nearest store and then lists all their product categories. Notice ‘SALE’ finds place among their product categories and is in red to stand out? Smart!

Here’s a summary, thanks to Katies, of tips that campaign managers could use in their eCommerce emails: 

  • The subject line can have FOMO elements based on time and/or value
  • The email body must have personalised product/ service recommendations with explicit mention of value offered 
  • There should be benefit-driven CTAs that motivate users to click 
  • More information around similar product categories always helps 
  • Add social proof to every email sent out (this is not just for eCommerce emails)

Our #2 is concise and visual, from Air India 

Subject: Special fares on US-IND & AUS-IND Routes

  • The subject line had “Special fares” mentioned without giving too much away, making the recipient dig in further. Great too that it was timed well in advance of the December holidays.
  • The email body had one image in it, but it hit the right chords with the beautiful sight of the Taj Mahal. 
  • Finally, the image mentioned the routes, the revised prices, and the offer's end date. It was neat and brief. The end result? Thousands of dollars earned on tickets for a family of four!

Our #3 is Intelligent & Personal, from March Tee

Subject: 🎉 You’ve got March Credit!

  • A great example of a personalised promotional email. March Tee makes it clear in the subject line, right in the first fold, that there’s INR 78 worth of value with a personalised voucher code applicable just to this customer. When you receive something that’s unique to you (like a personal gift), it feels so much more valuable than the actual monetary value of it. That’s the best takeaway we have from March Tee’s email.
  • They follow it up with personalised product recommendations. 
  • The final CTA is intelligently crafted. It says, “There’s more,” getting you eager to know what else they have picked out for you!

#4 is non-personalized, non-FOMO, yet effective, from CRED 

Subject: let your wealth get wealthier

  • This is not an eCommerce email but is on our list because a team member acted on it and is a good example of a wide-appealing email that probably did not need much targeting or personalisation. Many times, especially in the retail or personal finance world, we tend to ignore personalised or FOMO-based emails that scream for attention. How many times have you left emails unopened with your name on the subject line? I am sure plenty!
  • While CRED’s email was impersonal, it hit home with a high-impact proposition of 10.5% returns. Sometimes just plain being helpful and to the point with information is a breath of fresh air from the many ‘personalised’ selling emails one receives. 
  • The social proofs are at the bottom of the email so one get’s to check out how credible CRED is!

#5 is a master-stroke in hyper-personalizion, from Grammarly 

Subject: You used more unique words than 89% of your users!

  • This email from Grammarly is all about me and my work. It talks about the number of words I wrote in a week, the suggestions I received, areas of concern, my productivity, and so on. There was a lot of useful information! 
  • The subject line was very personal and enlightening. It said, “You used more unique words than 89% of users!” and triggered healthy competition in my mind. This made me feel good about myself and I naturally wanted to learn more. 
  • The email directs recipients to join a webinar arranged by Grammarly. I signed up for the webinar and overall I am even more convinced of leveraging the tool to improve my writing skills.  

What’s common across?

From all the examples we’ve listed, you’ll see a common theme cutting across the actioned emails- they were all very relevant to the email recipient. The value-based, time limited offer for the eager Katies shopper, the super crisp “special fares” from Air India, the unique-to-you offer from March Tees, the non-personalised yet informational one from CRED and the hyper-personalised one from Grammarly- each one addressed an inherent need in the reader.

We think ‘relevance’ is achievable when one acts on the right demographic and behavioural insights about the customer. 

Knowing on which month your customer usually books her end-of-year travel tickets and if she’s on your website in that month, is just as important as offering her a ‘special fare’. 

For this, the email marketing platform’s segmentation and content generation needs to be ‘driven’ by customer demographic and behavioural insights. This is why we’re building an omnichannel engagement platform with a Customer Data Platform in-built. We are in the final stages of bolting on Email marketing automation into the ready CDP that’s being tested by Early Access customers. We’re very excited about how everything is shaping up and can’t wait for the next set of releases at ZEPIC! As always, reach out to us over hello@zepic.com if you’d like to see a quick demonstration of what’s in store. 


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