The Ultimate Guide to Ecommerce Email Domination: Series Intro (Part 1)

As a marketing channel, email has been through more cycles than most. It’s gone from thriving to being claimed “dead” and then brought back to life again. The truth is, email is not dead and it’s not going anywhere until there is a proper replacement. And no, that replacement is not Facebook Messenger or text message.
Email is personal, allowing for long-form or short-form communication at both the leisure of the sender and the receiver. It allows the user to process large and small amounts of information and also control who they talk to. Most importantly, email is not owned or dependent on any one platform. It’s truly an asset that your company owns, which means it’s a channel you can count on for the long term. For these reasons, email is very much alive, thriving, and literally the best ROI marketing channel for an ecommerce brand.

How we use email to drive massive success

Here at Metacake, we help some of the world’s most influential ecommerce brands build, manage, and grow massive email lists, monetize them, and build relationships with that audience at scale. In this exclusive guide, we are gathering our top advice in this area to show you how to create an email program for your ecommerce business that thrives and returns its value many times over.

The truth is most businesses and agencies don’t…

  1. Completely understand the value of email
  2. Understand how to build relationships (instead of burning them out) that return direct revenue, at scale.

We do exactly this for our clients and it’s how we’ve used email to drive over 8 figures in growth for brands like Groove Life in under 3 yrs.

First, this takes being aware of the power in your list. Secondly, you’ll need the proper strategy and tactics to grow your list into a brand fan-producing machine.

In this 6-part in-depth series we’re going to:

  • Explain how to think about email in your ecommerce marketing plan
  • Talk about the tools and platforms to use
  • Talk specifically about how to measure success
  • Teach you the 3 areas of focus when designing an ecommerce email program that drives revenue
  • Give you some inspiration so you can go do this for your organization

We send millions of emails per month on behalf of our clients and this is our playbook for how we drive massive success. Don’t miss out!

Let’s dive in.

What is a healthy ecommerce email program?

What does a healthy ecommerce email program look like?
The most important factor is building a truly high-quality list. Resist the temptation to buy lists or to trick people with sweepstakes or scams in order to acquire names. The secret? Quality far outweighs quantity. Use a legitimate value proposition on your site in order to win site visitors’ names. For example, message the valuable content that newsletter subscribers will receive or offer a discount on their first purchase in exchange for their email. If existing customers’ info sits in another platform like Amazon, pull them to your ecommerce store’s email list by offering warranty signups, exclusive insider deals, or expert content for those on the list.

Once you have a list of names, don’t forget to perform routine maintenance checks on it. Keep it valuable by removing or excluding the unengaged users on a regular basis. Remember that uninterested people unsubscribing is actually a good thing. Then, with your core, engaged audience, work on growing relationships. This means not just using email to sell. Instead, stay in touch by sending useful and relevant content as well as interacting with customers as necessary. These tactics will help achieve the ultimate goal of a great email program: to create brand fans and segment them even further to find the super fans.

How do I know if I have an unhealthy ecommerce email program?
Are you split testing creative and subject lines to see what works versus what doesn’t? Are you only using emails to push sales, instead of engaging with your customers? If these are true, you may be burning out your list with too many emails or simply ineffective emails. Sticking with the theme of “email health”, the dangers of poor email strategy are quite similar to those of a diet. One poor habit that goes unchecked may not be noticed right away, but you’ll see the effects down the road. Whether that’s gaining unnecessary weight or degrading your email list over time, this is obviously something you want to avoid!

Email’s Undisputed Value

The most obvious value email provides for ecommerce brands is revenue from every send, and you’re not paying per send or click. Unlike ad platforms like Google and Facebook where you essentially pay for users to engage or purchase, email marketing is a reliable, consistent source of revenue and strong return. But, aside from revenue, you’ll want to focus on these other valuable metrics listed below. Since industry benchmarks vary depending on what business you’re in, you’ll want to do some quick research to determine what to shoot for when it comes to:

  • High open rates
  • Strong click-through rates (CTR)
  • Low unsubscribe rates
  • Noticeable engagement (through email sharing, replies and conversation)

On a deeper level, it’s important to understand that your email channel is a valuable asset that you actually own, much like your ecommerce store or product IP. It’s an asset that you can build over time to provide extreme ROI. This is very different than your social channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn), Google, social media followers or groups, and even your influencers. These are all temporary resources that could change at any time. That doesn’t mean they aren’t effective in this day and age (there are great social media ad strategies that yield amazing results) but you need to be aware of the timeless distinction email carries.

Think your Facebook group will be there forever? Think again, we’ve been around long enough to see Facebook take away audiences that brands once thought were theirs. Remember Myspace? Remember the Google slap? Platforms come and go, and policy changes are daily.

The key here is to treat your email channel like an asset, or it won’t provide ROI. Just as you would for your business or your ecommerce store, build your email channel, curate it, keep it healthy, and treat it well. Unfortunately, many brands do not take the time to do this. But for the ones who build a healthy, thriving list of customers (and even non-customers), they reap the rewards in mountains!

How to Get Started

At this point, you’re probably wondering what exactly is required to execute an intentional email strategy. There are a few essentials to do this well:

  • Mindset: You must properly understand what the email channel is and what it can do for your business. As we’ve been discussing, treat it like an asset.
  • Knowledge: Of course, you need to know how to create an ecommerce email program that unlocks results. That’s why we’ve created this series, so stick with us to learn the secrets.
  • Tools: Use an email platform that integrates with your ecommerce store and makes it simple to talk to customers in a personalized way at scale. Klaviyo is our number one recommendation again and again. It’s how we create millions in revenue per month for our clients.
  • Dedicated team: Make it someone’s job to manage and grow your email channel, whether that’s an internal team member or an external experienced partner like Metacake. This is not the job for the junior marketing intern.

With that in mind, we’re ready to dive into the KNOWLEDGE portion— equipping you with the resources you need to dominate your email strategy. We have established four basic elements to a strong email program, which we will dive deep into with this series:

  • Measurement & Metrics
  • Promotional Campaigns
  • Automated Sequences
  • Audience Segmentation

Ready to get started? Before you learn anything else, you need to understand how to measure your email success, which will be next in our series. Sign up for our Growth Academy Newsletter to be notified when it drops!


Want our experienced email growth team to apply these principles to your ecommerce business?

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