The 8 Best Types of Email Marketing Campaigns for Retail and eCommerce Success

The 8 Best Types of Email Marketing Campaigns for Retail and eCommerce Success

Email marketing campaigns are the bread and butter of retail and ecommerce marketing efforts that work to keep your audience engaged. With so many types of email marketing campaigns, brands have to figure out which to prioritize to keep interactions high without subjecting customers to email overload.

If you want examples of each, we’ve linked to our guide below, which details how marketers can automate email creation via ChatGPT.

RELATED: Guide: 32 Industry-Specific Email Marketing Templates from ChatGPT

1. Purchase confirmation

An essential part of ecommerce, an automated purchase confirmation message validates a customer’s purchase details. With consistently high open rates for an automated campaign type, it’s wise to make this a standard part of the customer journey. 

After an order is placed, send a standard order confirmation email with a few related product options at the end of the email to advertise other items.

2. Email preferences updates

Removing unengaged contacts from your database protects your deliverability, but maybe it doesn’t need to happen in the first place. Of marketers who follow this best practice, 44.4% will first send re-permission emails to at-risk contacts before removal.

Take this opportunity to build rapport with your customers while also cleaning up your data. If your communication plan is changing, share with your subscribers what those changes will affect frequency and content. Letting people know you plan to email them more while giving them the option to set their own pace creates a natural re-engagement opportunity and gives you a more accurate subscriber count, ensuring your other types of email marketing campaigns remain effective.

3. Out-of-stock alert

Provide an option for customers to leave their email to receive an alert when a desired item is back on the digital shelves. Now you have a highly targeted list of customers that have already expressed interest in your product. All that’s left to do is send a standalone notification email with a call to action to the restock and watch the sales come in.

4. Customer journey recap

McKinsey recently found the types of email marketing campaigns that target regular shoppers yield three times the ROI compared to mass promotions. Build highly personalized relationships with these most-engaged customers by sharing the journey each has experienced with your brand.

Including details like date of first purchase, favorite items, and suggestions for future purchases makes your customers feel connected to you in more than just a transactional way.

That same report found two-thirds of retailers do not have the correct tools in place to execute personalization at scale. Easily create tailored campaigns with the no-code segmentation platform for Marketing Cloud. Learn more about DESelect Segment.

5. Abandoned cart email

One of the most effective types of email marketing campaigns, abandoned cart reminders have one of the highest open rates and often boost order rates. Across the retail industry, abandoned cart emails average a sales uplift of 4.43 percent.

This gentle nudge gets customers back into buying mode, and with subject lines like “Your cart is lonely” or “Don’t leave us behind,” your call to action should be playful but direct.

6. Product update/release announcement

This type of email marketing campaign is perfect for new releases or critical updates. In other existing campaigns, announce your new product coming soon and create a call to action for readers to sign up for an alert when the new item is dropped. Not only do you create buzz, but you’ve just created a super targeted customer segment to further personalize.

7. Post-purchase educational email

If customers can benefit from a quick tutorial on your product, post-purchase education emails encourage adoption and possible future purchases. Even if your product doesn’t require a how-to, you can share more information about your humble beginnings, brand mission, how other customers use this product, or goals to give back to the community. Focus on building a community to see your brand recognition and loyalty skyrocket.

8. Cross-sell emails

Cross-selling is an incredibly effective way to expose existing customers to products they haven’t previously considered. Recommend items that are frequently purchased together or that other customers with similar purchasing habits have enjoyed. By referencing previous purchases, audiences know these picks are targeted for them specifically.

Resources: See these types of email marketing templates in action

Really Good Emails

3 strategies for customer segmentation in the retail industry using Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Journey Builder Best Practices

Trailhead: Create Compelling Content with Content Builder


There’s no “right way” to do email marketing, but there are some tried and true foundational blocks to build from. Keep things personal, A/B test your messaging, and don’t be afraid to combine strategies to find what works best for your brand.

But writing email sends is only part of the campaign equation. You need to create the right audience for each campaign, then optimize send frequency at the individual level. These three elements combined maximize the customer lifetime value of each subscriber.

Learn why retailers trust DESelect to optimize multi-channel communications and drive purchase decisions.

Stay Connected

Stay Connected

Reach the most targeted<br/> audiences in half the time

Reach the most targeted
audiences in half the time

Deselect icon
Subscribe to the Newsletter
Receive Salesforce Marketing Cloud tips,
tricks, and DESelect updates

By clicking the “Subscribe now” button, you agree to the DESelect Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.