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7 Proven E-Commerce Newsletter Ideas to Reduce List Churn

  • Email Marketing

Does this sound familiar? It’s time to send a new email to your list. You want to create the most amazing newsletter to date, one that will convert all prospects into customers (who doesn’t?).

But when it comes to having an idea…

Nothing.

Coming up with new ideas for your email campaigns is HARD, but necessary if you want to stand out in your prospects’ inbox.

But luckily for you, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

All you have to do is read this blog post packed with newsletter ideas for your next campaign.

Even better, I’ll tell you exactly how and when to use the different ideas so you’ll only be sending relevant newsletters to your list (read: more conversions).

What’s not to like? Let’s get started.

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Want More Email Marketing Inspiration?

We’ve put together a swipe file of 41 good e-commerce email examples, 115 proven subject lines and more, to help you drive more opens, click-throughs, and conversions for your marketing campaigns today (organized by category).

Use These 7 Email Newsletter Ideas to Skyrocket Your Conversions

With the number of newsletters the average consumer receives per day, it’s becoming increasingly hard for e-commerce businesses to create high-converting newsletter campaigns.

In fact, IBM found that promotional emails have an average open rate of 18.3% and an average click-through rate of 1.6%.

There’s definitely room for improvement on this front, and that’s what I’ll help you with today.

I’ve found 7 inspirational newsletter ideas for your next campaign that will help you stand out, and increase your email engagement—and sales.

Each idea is followed up with examples and concrete tips on how you use this type of email.

Let’s dive right in.

1. Product Updates and News

“We have a big announcement today!”

“It’s finally here!”

“The thing we’ve all been waiting for!”

You’re feeling pretty excited now, right?

Sorry to let you down, but I don’t have a big announcement. I’m just trying to prove a point.

When done right, product updates build anticipation and with anticipation comes excitement, and with excitement comes purchasing (at least, that’s our goal).

It’s all about building up to the new product and making sure your prospects are kept right at the edge of their seat wanting more.

A good product update doesn’t just consist of one email letting your readers know you have a new item in store.

It should be a sequence of emails aimed at building this anticipation and excitement, so that when the product goes live, they’ll jump at the chance to get their hands on it first.

Ban.do created an email sequence of four emails when they were about to launch their new planners.

Here’s the first email they sent:

It’s simple, fun and has just the right amount of information to keep you wanting more.

And even better, they include a call-to-action to pre-order the product before everyone else.

The second email is a video teaser:

Video is a great medium for product updates because you can use them to give prospects a sneak peek of the new product.

(Just think about when you go to the movies. The first 20 minutes consists of trailers for new films to make you want to see those as well).

And once again, Ban.do include a pre-order call-to-action to encourage purchases.

On the day of the launch, they send an email letting everyone know that the planner is live:

The call-to-action here is clear: Shop now.

To give prospects an extra nudge, Ban.do informs prospects that a purchase will contribute to charity. This is especially effective when marketing to millennials who consider this a key deciding factor when making a purchase.

Action Item: Create an email sequence for your next product launch. No matter how small a product it is, you can build anticipation by adding a cliff-hanger to each of the emails, making them wait in anticipation for your next email.

2. Limited Editions

If you’ve read my article on scarcity marketing, you know that consumers hate missing out.

Nor do they want something until they’re faced with the possibility of not being able to ever get that something.

In fact, 68% of millennial consumers say they would buy something after experiencing a fear of missing out (FOMO), most often within 24 hours.

That’s why limited editions sell so well.

Creating limited edition items isn’t an easy strategy, but promoting your limited edition items is.

Just take Birchbox as an example. Birchbox is an online beauty store, and they partnered with Vogue to create a limited edition box packed with make-up and skin care products.

This is the promotion email they sent:

The email contains a lot of great elements for this type of promotion.

First, it illustrates the product with stunning visuals. Second, it includes Vogue’s stamp of approval (read: great quality). Third, it has scarcity because it’s a limited edition. And finally there’s a strong and clear call-to-action: Get the Box.

You can also use limited editions as incentives to purchase your other products.

Here’s an example from Death Wish Coffee:

This email is packed with scarcity and incentives to get prospects to take immediate action.

Action Item: Next time you’re promoting a limited edition item, make sure to include how limited it is and what value it has. How many have been made? When do you expect them to sell out? What’s special about this limited edition item?

3. Holidays

Holidays and special occasions are perfect opportunities to reach out to your audience with relevant messages.

There are so many to choose from that you’ll never have to wait long before a new opportunity comes up (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays, etc.).

When you send holiday specific email campaigns, you need to consider how you phrase your offer.

Don’t just offer a discount like everyone else and hope for the best. Create an email that stands out and makes prospects want to click through to your offer.

This is an email I got from Misfit just before Mother’s Day:

It includes a discount, but that’s not what caught my attention when I first opened it.

Instead it was: SHE IS SUPERMOM! And then the call-to-action that said “Say Thank You.”

I clicked this before noticing that they had included a discount in the email.

My point is it’s not always the discount that makes the sale. It’s how you position your offer with your audience.

It’s simple psychology.

Clicking a button that says “Buy Now” is a much larger commitment than getting people to click a button that says “Say Thank You”.

The call-to-action is technically the same, but it’s how you phrase it and show value that matters to prospects.

And, as always, make sure that the email copy supports your call-to-action.

Action Item: Next time you write email copy for a holiday campaign (or any campaign for that matter), brainstorm 10 different calls-to-action. Then pass them around your office and ask which of the 10 they would click (not knowing what the actual offer is). The one with the most votes win.

4. Invitations

Remember when you got invited to your first party?

It was a big deal, and you felt pretty important, right?

Getting invitations to exclusive events makes us feel special—no matter who the sender is.

But if the sender happens to be your favorite e-commerce brand? SCORE!

Sending invitations to prospects via email is a great way to encourage engagement with a different type of message.

The invitation could be for a V.I.P. night at one of your stores, a fundraiser for a relevant charity, or a grand opening like in this example from Chubbies:

If you’re hosting an event in a physical location, you can segment your newsletter to only include prospects who live in the area.

That way, your email becomes more relevant and you don’t disappoint prospects who wanted to come but can’t because of the location.

When you send invitations, it’s important you include all the details of the event in a short and clear manner. Also, make sure your prospects know what’s in it for them if they decide to come. Will there be freebies? Will someone famous show up? Will there be special offers? And so on.

Action Item: Consider this if you’re thinking about hosting an event: What will the main objective of the event be? And how is it relevant to your brand and product?

5. Resources

No matter what kind of product you sell, you should focus on educating prospects and customers.

Now, I’m not talking about sending them back to school.

Provide prospects with valuable resources that help them overcome a problem or obstacle.

When you develop resources for your target audience, you need to keep your product in mind. Ultimately, your resource should convince prospects to make a purchase.

Beardbrand sells men’s grooming products with a special focus on facial hair.

They rely on how-to guides in their email marketing to establish themselves as an authority in their market, and thus increase the perceived quality and value of their products.

I’ve had to steal the following emails from Sam’s inbox (don’t tell him), as I (for obvious reasons) don’t get these emails myself.

The first example includes a how-to guide in the form of a blog post:

Notice this part:

If you’ve ever read any of Beardbrand’s emails, you’ll have noticed that they never “sell” to their readers.

There’s never a “Buy” button or special discounts. They discreetly sneak in their products in the email while keeping focus on the value of the resource.

Here’s second example to illustrate:

The focus and main call-to-action in the email is the how-to video, but they’ve added two products to the email and linked to the page where you can buy them (which you’ll want to do after seeing the video).

Action Item: Ask yourself, “What value can you offer your prospects to help them become aware of the problem you can help them solve with your product?” If you create a highly valuable resource, your product will sell itself.

6. Digest

One of the most effective motivators is progress.

No matter what you’re doing, if you see progress, you keep doing it.

My point is if you show customers their progress with your product, they’re more likely to become loyal and lifelong customers.

Enter: The digest email.

Digest emails present an overview of a consumer’s interaction with a brand or product.

Here’s an example from Lyft:

This email is only sent once a year, and it gives customers a great overview of how much they’ve used Lyft and what they’ve gained from it.

If you have a loyalty program, these emails are perfect for letting members know how many points they’ve earned, what benefits they’ve gained, and so on.

Depending on the frequency people buy or use your products, you can send this type of newsletter weekly, monthly, or just at the end of the year, like Lyft does.

Action Item:  Create a list of the actions or benefits that users get by purchasing your product or interacting with your brand or product, and convey these in a digest email.

7. Best Of

Showing your prospects the most popular items can really boost your sales.

It’s what we call social proof and it works because we tend to follow the crowd and rely on other people’s opinions when making decisions.

To quote Emil from a previous blog post:

If the overall group agrees that behavior A is correct and acceptable, then that’s usually the behavior we’ll mimic.

But if the group agrees that behavior B is incorrect and not acceptable, then we tend to avoid that behavior.

This phenomenon taps into our primal and tribal roots where failure to comply with group behavior would often result in exclusion and even exile.

This is where the “Best of” email comes into play.

Below is an example from HomeAway who have compiled a list of the week’s most popular destinations:

By sending this type of email to prospects, HomeAway proves the quality of their service and encourage users to go check out the popular destinations.

It works because it makes consumers wonder what’s great about these destinations, giving them a reason to click through and learn more.

You can also promote your most sold items, in a “best of” email. The choice is yours.

Action Item: Think of your “best of” email as you would with recommended products. They have to be relevant to the person you’re sending it to (e.g. based on previous purchases and interests). If you combine this with great social proof, you’ll have an awesome “best of” email.

Free Downloadable Bonus

Want More Email Marketing Inspiration?

We’ve put together a swipe file of 41 good e-commerce email examples, 115 proven subject lines and more, to help you drive more opens, click-throughs, and conversions for your marketing campaigns today (organized by category).

Which Will You Use?

Coming up with good email newsletter ideas is hard.

I hope this article gave you some inspiration to get you started or help you come up with even more ideas yourself.

Remember: The more unique and relevant your newsletter is, the higher chances are you’ll catch your audience’s attention and sell more products.

Have you tried any of the ideas on the list? And what were your results? Leave a comment below.

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