Email Marketing: A Guide to Ecommerce Newsletters

Email Marketing: A Guide to Ecommerce Newsletters

A lot of people will tell you that sending newsletters isn't worth the effort. They'll say it's time consuming, expensive, and doesn't provide enough of a return on investment. I disagree.

Newsletters are a versatile and inexpensive way to reach your audience and deliver a targeted message. Here's a guide to help you understand what newsletter marketing can do for your online store, and give you some best practices to follow while you're getting started:

What can a newsletter do for my online store?

  • Capture new leads
  • Communicate with current customers
  • Position yourself as an industry expert
  • Nurture leads until they become customers

What should I say?

Let me first begin by saying that content is king. I can't stress that enough. All it takes is one off-topic / sub-par newsletter and you can find your subscription number drop significantly. You need good content. Also, remember that variety will help you retain customer interest. Mix your content up to include:

  • Sales and discount offers
  • How to tips & tricks
  • Links to articles your customers will find interesting
  • Current trends
  • Company news

Stay away from anything overly self-promotion. It's okay to mention a sale, but that can't be the focus of the correspondence. 

Here's an Example

I'm going to use our November Shopify Newsletter as an example. Not everything here will be applicable to you, but it should at least give you an idea on where to start:

Here's an Example
Here's an Example

Here's an Example


Here's an Example


  • Nobody wants to get an email that starts off with "Dear Valued Customer" or something like that. Take the time and use their name... you know, like a real person would. 
  • Starting things off with a deal or a giveaway is a great way to get the readers attention. In the example above we gave away a $75 Amazon Ad credit to everyone - no strings attached. 
  • Offer advice - it can be tips,  tricks,  help, guides, walkthroughs... whatever!  Above, you'll see that we decided to help merchants promote their store through our social media network. 
  • Give important and interesting news. We list (and link) to the most important feature updates, popular blog articles, and new Shopify Apps and Themes. 

How do I Send a Newsletter?

Once you have your newsletter written, you need to consider your delivery methods. A web based service provider is a cost-effective solution that allows you to adhere to the strict anti-spam laws that govern direct mailing.

The most popular options are MailChimp, Mad Mimi, and Campaign Monitor and all three of which integrate seamlessly with your Shopify store. 

You can manage your database online, which gives you the opportunity to enter in contacts, clean up your account, and create separate streams based on your targets. The advantages of signing up to an automated service (like the three listed above) is that it’s way easier, and far less likely to be considered spam,  and it allows you to track and analyze each newsletter campaigns results. You can see who opened your email, how many of the links bounced, and who ignored it.

How do I get subscribers?

You’re ready to send out your newsletter, but how do you get a list of potential customers email addresses? You might be tempted to purchase a list, but reputable vendors can be expensive. That's also a little sleazy. Play it classy and get your subscribers through the following means:
  1. Include a subscription box on your home page inviting visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. You might want to offer them an incentive by way of a free ebook, downloadable report, or a discount on goods purchased. If you integrate with Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor, it's super easy to cut and paste the liquid code into your theme. 
  2. Promote your newsletter both online and offline such as social networking sites, trade shows, and through multimedia advertising.
  3. Create a landing page designed especially for your newsletter can work well to capture leads. You can also upload social networking buttons onto this page as a sharing tool. Update your message as often as you need to capture fresh leads.

For more information on email marketing check out: