Top 5 most important things for retail email marketing

Posted March 31, 2015 by   in eCommerce Website, Email Marketing

Email Marketing

Everyone’s doing it. How hard can it be?

Well, if it’s retail email marketing you’re in luck because it’s actually much simpler than other kinds of email marketing. This is because the desired outcome is easier to communicate and easier to track. What do you want your email subscribers to do? BUY! BUY! BUY! How do you track that? SALES. SALES. SALES.

Simple, right? So why is it that some email campaigns are more successful than others? Well it’s probably because there are best practices to follow and important key factors to consider. And if you aren’t considering them, you’re most likely missing out on a lot of opportunity.

Here are the Top 5 most important things to consider when doing email marketing for Retail.


With so many emails coming into a customer’s inbox, you need to design the email to be visually appealing. There’s no excuse not to and people just don’t have much tolerance for anything less.

Design for:

  • Audience: know where you audience is coming from and design for the most used device
  • Touch: be aware of button size, CTA font size, and when in doubt, design for fat fingers on a small phone
  • Legibility: contrast, text size, button size and a one-column design ensure legibility on all devices
  • Reality: provide simple, realistic CTA’s (and conversion paths) that can be achieved in the moment the user reads the email


Since most people check email on their phone* nowadays, it’s imperative to keep it simple, stupid.

*Almost 65% of emails are first opened on a mobile device.

Simplify for:

  • Action: if you want the customer to do something, make it obvious
  • Connection: connect a customer’s need to your product’s solution – do this quickly and efficiently using the least amount of words as possible
  • Conversion: simplicity extends beyond the email open/read/click – consider the path of conversion on the device they are on to ensure simplicity throughout the conversion process


Again, most people check email on their phone, but timing is still important*.

*The “best” days to send emails are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Schedule for:

  • Impulse: if your call-to-action is buy a product now, consider sending when the need for the product will resonate with them at the time you send it (for example, sending an email about “mood lighting” when it’s most assuredly dark outside)
  • Conditions: consider weather, seasonality, and other external factors that could improve or decrease your conversion (for example, sending an email highlighting snow blowers when it’s just snowed 12″)


I cannot stress the importance of considering the device on which your email will be most viewed and it’s affect on the success of conversions.

Program for:

  • Responsive: if an email cannot be coded responsively, default to a mobile state*
  • Touch: again, big fat fingers on a small screen means large buttons or increased padding to ensure clicks

*obviously, only if the numbers show the majority of your customers are opening on this device – which I have an inkling that they probably are


We can understand so much about customers these days, even with a limited database. Use your data to yield better results. Relevant data trumps pretty design. Every. Time.

Use Data for:

  • Relevancy: relevant content (products) will yield a higher click and conversion rate – use data to understand what your customers want to see (if you don’t know, ask!)
  • Timing: understand when your customers are opening, but more importantly when they are buying, and send accordingly
  • Conversion: convert more consistently by using highly targeted / relevant content – the time and effort it takes to understand the data and create a strategy around it will payoff by increased sales and less cost per send

If I’m being honest, there’s actually another thing to consider when doing retail email marketing, but “Top 6″ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

The other thing to remember and practice religiously in your email marketing efforts is to test, try new things, adapt the strategy as you learn more about your customers and their communication preferences. By giving them the information they want, when they want it, how they want it and where, you will be rewarded with increased conversions and sales.

  • Jyoti Chauhan

    some people got great results and some sucks since some follow standard guidelines and some don’t. All 5 points which you have mentioned in your post are very important for email marketing like Time, Simple, Data and etc.

    If someone follow all these five points, he will surely get good results with his email campaign.