8 Brilliant Email Newsletter Ideas for Ecommerce Stores
Written by Franco Varriano.
When you’re running an online store, it can be tricky to come up with new email content ideas week after week. After all, you’re already focusing on maintaining your website, fulfilling orders, and providing customer support. The pressure to create a fresh newsletter every week is a lot on top of your existing responsibilities.
That’s why we’re here to help. In this post, we’ll share eight newsletter content ideas that will keep your subscribers interested and engaged while letting you spend less time as an editor and more time as a store owner.
Your store has dozens or even hundreds of products that your subscribers would love, but don’t know about. Weekly (or even daily) product roundups are the perfect chance to close this information gap.
An email containing hundreds of product isn’t practical, so you’ll have to pick which products to include. We suggest two primary approaches:
If you just added new products to your store, then you can write an email to inform your subscribers. “New” is a powerful word to use in your email subject lines, as humans are drawn to novelty. Aritzia.com pairs a great subject line, “Say hello to 272 new arrivals”, with pictures and a GIF showing some of their new clothing items
The only thing better than product recommendations is personalized product recommendations. This makes your subscribers feel special: you put together suggestions based on their interests, tastes, and previous purchases. Because of this, these emails will have a higher conversion rate as well.
Putting these together yourself is impractical with even a modest-sized email list. To make it easier, we recommend using email software that can automatically generate custom product recommendations based on previous purchases. It’s a tactic that few eCommerce use effectively, so there is plenty of opportunity her
Blog Content Roundups
A classic email newsletter approach is to write a weekly summary of everything you published on your site’s blog (you do have a blog, don’t you?). Well-written blog posts are a chance to tell the story of your products and show visitors all the ways they can use them.
Don’t let these posts languish on your website: share them in an email. You can include the whole post if you want, or you can just include a teaser with a link to the full post on your site. Check out how EmpireFlippers.com sends a weekly summary of their latest posts, plus a link to their weekly podcast episode:
But what if you don’t have any new blog content to share or are still getting your blog off the ground? No worries, you can still share links with your subscribers. The sky’s the limit for what you can share, but we recommend making them relevant to what your store sells.
Here are some examples of content you can share:
- If you sell food or supplement products, share a news article or scientific study relating to your product’s health benefits.
- If you sell jewelry, link to some Instagram posts showing real customers modeling it (bonus points if the person is an Instagram influencer or celebrity).
- If you sell exercise equipment, link to a video showing some relevant exercises customers can do with your product.
These are just a few ideas—just keep these links as relevant as possible but don’t be afraid to get creative. Take inspiration from these links to create original content featuring your specific products.
Everyone loves to learn something new, especially if it’s in the same realm as a product they’ve liked enough to purchase. Tutorials play on this desire while also offering an unconventional marketing opportunity. You can create a tutorial for any product, not just technical ones.
Here are a few tutorial ideas:
- Do you sell men’s shoes? Write a tutorial on proper shoe care, with pictures, videos, or gifs to accompany it.
- Do you have the best fountain pen in the world? Create a tutorial on how to do old school lettering.
- Run a natural skin care site? Take a creative approach like Annmarie Skin Care and write a tutorial on how to make salad-in-a-jar. Afterall, those interested in natural skin care are very likely interested in eating healthy.
Special Deals and Discounts
One popular tactic for growing your email list is to offer subscriber-exclusive discounts. If you’re not offering them, this is a big lost opportunity for revenue generation.
You can supercharge this technique by combining it with customized product recommendations. A 20% discount on stationery is compelling, sure. But a 20% discount on “stationery chosen just for you” is even better. A common way to offer this discount is in your very first newsletter to your customer: your welcome email. But feel free to send your subscribers special discounts at any time. Zaful.com sends out a 10% discount when you register for their site:
When people think of ecommerce and seasonal promotions, they usually think of Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and maybe a few other public holidays. We totally encourage you to run sales for these holidays, of course.
But you can also get more creative with your seasonal promotions. If you sell it, there’s an obscure holiday that goes along with it. Don’t believe us? Just look at this list of fun, wacky holidays from Time and Date. A quick glance at the list reveals the holidays World Radio Day, Toothache Day, and Tortilla Chip Day.
Sure, these may not be “official” holidays, but what matters is that they can add an element of fun and surprise to your email marketing.
You can be creative like 5crowd.com, a crowdsourced advertising agency, who sent an email on Speak like a Pirate Day:
Running contests is something people generally associate with social media, but it can also work well as a newsletter tactic.
Here are some contest ideas to try:
- Offer a gift card to a random winner who posts a photo of your product on Instagram with a specific hashtag.
- Give free shipping to the first X people to click a link in your email.
- Offer a prize for the best YouTube video showing how people use your products.
The best part of contests is that they are essentially free marketing, with an ROI that can dwarf the cost of the prize you give.
Check out how the clever copy AirTransat.com uses to lure their subscribers into a contest for a free trip:
Behind the Scenes
When people buy from your store, it’s about so much more than the product’s function or price. You can try to differentiate on price, but you’ll be fighting a losing battle. Leave that to Amazon and Walmart.
Instead, use your company newsletter to show subscribers the story behind your product.
Here are some ideas:
- How is your product made? Take some behind-the-scenes photos or make a timelapse video of the full process (this works especially well for boutique or handmade products).
- Where does your product come from? Do you source it from an exotic tropical location? High in remote mountains? In a revitalized part of your city? This is a chance to take some beautiful photos or videos to share.
- Who works at your store? If you have a team, you can write up profiles interviewing them about their favorite products and what drives them to do their work. Sure, it’s not explicitly about your product, but customers love to see the humans behind the store experience.
Everlane.com has created something of a cult following with their notion of “radical transparency”. Not only do they show the “how, where and who” of their products creation story, they also show the price they pay to have them manufactured, and their profit margin. They include all of this information in their welcome email:
We hope that you now feel more confident in creating newsletter content for your ecommerce store. As you can see, all it takes is a bit of creativity and using the information you already have.
Of course, to send an email newsletter you’re going to need the right email software. That’s where Rare can help. Rare helps you make more sales through advanced customer segmentation, smart timing, and key automations. All while leaving you more time to focus on running your store.
And if you’re one of the thousands of merchants who are already using Rare’s Smart Email Marketing software and want to see how our Customer Success Team can work with your brand to grow your revenue – feel free to book a call at your convenience here.
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