E-commerce Tips & Tricks 6 min read
07 Oct 2020

9 Powerful Tips For Successful Email Re-Engagement Campaigns On Your Ecommerce Store

9 Powerful Tips For Successful Email Re-Engagement Campaigns On Your Ecommerce Store

No matter the stage at which a customer is in their journey to purchase, communication is key.

Email Re-engagement campaigns are one of the most cost-effective ways to keep in touch with customers. Not only is it a simple way to get information about your store to the customer, but it can also tell you a lot even before getting a reply. To do email re-engagement campaigns properly, you have to get your site’s automation settings right.

Download the free Debutify theme to set proper responses to customer actions at checkout and other store points.  Check out these tips on how to get the most out of email marketing for your eCommerce store:

Select Effective Tools

Automation is a common part of many eCommerce email marketing campaigns. Come up with an image for your messages. This may vary depending on the subject. For instance, a receipt and additional discount may make use of mostly text. But if you want to entice someone who has been inactive for a long to join a contest, you may need more.

Pictures aside, you might have to include a video. Even with newsletters, the design matters a lot. If the page design is lousy, some people won’t pay that much attention to the message. Other capabilities like scheduling and analytics are also important.

Make sure your software is well-equipped to enable you to pass spam tests. Go through several marketing automation tools and pick the one that has all the desired functionality. You might have to use a combination in some cases. Popular tools include ActiveCampaign, with Brightcove catering to multimedia use cases. Browse this list for some details on the top tools and what to expect from them.

Consider some other CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software to help manage customer information, make notes, etc.

Tune Up Your Settings

 While you may have your first-time sign-up prompts in place, you have to set extra instructions. These may be tied to abandoned carts or customer accounts.

They can also be related to product availability. Figure out every set of data, from wish lists to reward programs, that can be used to trigger an action.

Set the value at which a message is sent out. This can be a length of time after a customer visit.  It can also be an addition of listings to a category of interest to the customer.

So whenever that condition set is fulfilled, an email is sent to the customer. This helps put the customer in a routine. They start to get a sense of when to pay attention.

This also makes you more likely to get a revisit at the right time. With a theme like Debutify, you can easily put these settings in place and integrate them with your other marketing tools.

Download Debutify, the highest-converting free Shopify theme to get more out of your email campaigns.

Clean Your Lists

 Whenever you send out emails, keep track of the sending status. Note all the hard and soft bounces. Set a period of time after which changes have to be made. Find out which subscribers have remained inactive within that set time. Remove these people from the list. Don’t rush every decision. Some people take notice but react at their own pace.

If the person hasn’t unsubscribed to your emails, maybe they find some of the information worth keeping. A frequently trimmed list will help you reduce your workload and focus on people more likely to buy.

It also helps you reduce the chances of your emails ending up on spam lists. With regular cleanups, you know you’re talking more to those who are listening.

Refine Copy And Emphasize CTAs

The way your messages are written is vital. Pick apart the information to get the most important and actionable bits. Write call-to-action (CTAs) effectively and make them clear and attractive. Don’t have an email that goes deep into describing a product you want a subscriber to check out. Use benefits to draw customers in. Give them a reason to be curious.  

Here’s an example; “Hi Angie, winter is around the corner so check out our new stock of fur coats”.

This, along with some beautiful pictures of the coats with one in focus and the others less pronounced may get the customer’s attention. This means that if a customer shuns your main link to the product-buying stage, they may still visit. Or if the main picture used doesn’t win them over, they know that there’s more to look at. Try to sound like you pay attention to their interests. Make the benefit clear. Emphasize the action you want them to take.

Take a read of our guide on "How To Create Powerful Calls To Action (CTAs) That Can Boost Your Ecommerce Conversions" to make CTAs effective, clear, and powerful to boost your conversions.

Make Them A Great Offer

 When you set out to re-engage customers who haven’t been responsive, think about what to give them. If the process benefits you, it should benefit them too. A common approach is to offer the recipient a discount on their next purchase. Another option is offering free gifts. Think about what you want to get in return.

You can place a small condition on the offer. An example is to ask the customer to take a survey and then save a percentage off their next order in exchange. In some cases, the offer is simply a piece of information you know they might be interested in.

For instance, if someone signs up after finding a certain product out of stock, letting them know that it’s available can be valuable to them. If you’re using additional apps to manage discounts and contests, you can benefit from a theme like Debutify.

This free Shopify theme will help you to make the most of these tactics and get more conversions from your automated email campaign. Download Debutify Theme for free here.

Get Your Timing Right

Group your subscribers into at least three different categories. The first is the short-term ones. These are mainly customers who just signed up or made a purchase. You can send them a “thank you” with an offer to save, say 10% off their next purchase. With these new ones, you don’t have to go all out on the offer.

The next category is the mid-term subscribers. These are the ones who just recently stopped responding to emails.

They may have been on the list for about three months or so. This is where your offer has to be more appealing and specific. Remind yourself of what they showed interest in. Bring it up with a discount, or as a prize to be won in a contest. The third category is long-term subscribers. These will have been on the list for roughly a year or more without reacting to messages.

The first thing to do is to study the previous communication with them. Find out the contents of past messages and the sizes of the offers.

Check the timing. It might be that you’ve been sending the messages at the wrong time. You may also find that many belong to a category that experienced poor service. This might range from getting the wrong product and having to return it, to delayed delivery, goods damaged in transit, etc.  Use as many of the tools and data at your disposal to find out why they are no longer active.

Tailor the message particularly to them. Use phrases like “we’ve missed you…” “we’d be glad to see you back just in time for our Christmas sale”.

Make sure you have something to offer that feels new. Create the impression that a lot has changed. Offer them larger discounts if they fit in your budget.

Give Customers More Control

For many of the inactive subscribers, you may not have enough data to know how exactly to re-engage them. Change from the approach of throwing everything at them and hoping they’ll find something they like. If the first 3 out of 5 emails were about something they aren’t interested in, there’s a good chance that the next 2 didn’t even get opened.

Send them an email giving them the option to customize their interests.  

The effect is that when they see an email from you, they remember that they opted in and it’s probably about something they’d like. Additionally, let them choose how often they want to receive emails.

Embrace The Follow-Up Message

When it comes to subscribers to whom you’ve just sent the first message, there’s a chance that they won’t see or act on it. Some shoppers go from site to site leaving abandoned checkouts and wishlists. They are used to a bunch of emails about this. Let them breathe for a short while.

Send them a new email. Make it a little bit different from the previous one. Include a reference or connection to your earlier message.

Assess Your Campaign Results

 After sending out re-engagement emails, it’s important to analyze results. The first step is to recall your goal. It might have been to get 10% of the inactive subscribers buying again. Or you may have even more detailed figures about how much revenue you wanted to make from them. It could also be about boosting sales of particular products or participation in programs.  

There are 2 major metrics you can watch to determine the success of your campaign. One is the open rate and the other is the click-through rate. The open rate is basically how many people are opening your emails.

This will first of all help you determine who to take off the list. It also lets you know how presentable and eye-catching the emails are. The click-through rate will enable you to find out how likely your emails are to lead people to the site. Remember not to keep people who don’t open your emails on the list.

If you continue sending them emails, your reputation as a sender could go down. You’ll also have inaccurate data since you’re looking at everything as a fraction of a group that is much larger than it should be.  

Here Are A Few Other Tips To Keep In Mind:

  • Enhance your email design – The starting point is your subject. It has to be really catchy. Something like “tell us the truth, we can take it”, “can we make up” or “You missed a lot”. This is one of the first lines of text they see so it has to pop.

Use beautiful graphics. Blend as much of the text into your posters or artwork so it doesn’t feel like someone is reading a heavy news article. Where you can, include videos. Try using buttons and hyperlinked text instead of plain links.

  • Use urgency – More so when dealing with currently running promotions, discounts, etc., make the subscriber feel like they might be missing out. “Last chance to get 20% of our new coffee makers”, for example.
  • Utilize the basics – Not every subscriber has to be offered freebies. Sometimes you just have to simply remind them of why they signed up.  
  • Enable subscribers to opt-out – It is only polite to give a clear available option to unsubscribe from emails. Some people are paying customers who just don’t like a clogged inbox.

If a customer who signed up has to manually filter your emails as spam, that might stick with them and tarnish your brand in their mind.

  • Learn more about automation – Differentiate between response-based, behavior-based, and interaction-based emails.

Response-based emails will stop after a response, or the subscriber will be put in another category after a number of ignored ones. Behavior-based emails will be sent when a customer clicks on store elements related to the email message.

Interaction-based emails will enable you to group subscribers based on actions they take like if they select an option to only receive emails on a certain topic. Here is an example of automation features and how you can make them work for you with a proper lifecycle automation plan.

  • Get familiar with legal regulations – From CAN-SPAM to GDPR and CASL, there are a number of rules that could leave you having to pay huge fines if violated.


Make sure you get a hold of the following tips to have successful email re-engagement campaigns. Collect, organize, and study your data. Your email list may need to change often. You will also have to keep track of different customer behavior, use it to group them, and assign them specific messages.

Keep tabs on every new thing happening on your site. Product listings, discounts, contests, etc. Have communication pieces crafted for each of these, with variations tailored to different audiences? Using analytics tools was necessary to find out how your campaign is being received.

Always be on time. You’re not the only one communicating with these customers. If someone else’s offer gets through before yours, you’re more likely to lose. Set a budget for your campaign and spend sparingly.  

Know how much you’re willing to sacrifice for discounts and other offers. Apply them gradually to leave room for adjustment if people don’t bite. With proper execution, traffic from past buyers will increase. While many of them may not be returning to buy straight away, set up your store’s site to receive them properly.

Use a theme with navigation features that quickly get them to other areas of interest. 

Download Debutify, the highest performing free Shopify theme to help you get more conversions from revisiting customers. 

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes is the CEO at Debutify. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies, and mentoring programs.

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