Resources Hub » Infographics » Do’s and Don’ts of Email Marketing for Retail

Article first published October 2016, updated July 2019.

Email is definitely one of the best marketing channels for retailers. Not only does it allow you to promote and sell your products, but it also helps you build lasting relationships with your customers. These relationships foster customer retention, brand loyalty, and create brand ambassadors out of your customers.

In other words, the pillars of a successful and sustainable business.

So, how do you use email to achieve those results?

Email marketing for retailers is not complicated. You just have to know and practice modern retail email marketing best practices. You also have to unlearn and ditch outdated and ineffective email marketing tactics.

Email marketing best practices you need to know

Let’s quickly take a look at the email marketing best practices you should be following as a retail email marketer.

Automate your email campaigns.

No matter the size of your email list, automating your email campaigns is a must. Automation increases your efficiency, streamlines your processes, and above all, improves your open rates.

Always segment your email list.

Segmentation is the process of grouping customers according to criteria determined by you. This can include certain interests, gender, or the type of content subscribers interact with in your emails or website. By segmenting your list, you make it easier to manage your email list, create relevant information, and promote the right products.

Embrace the mobile-first generation.

While email was predominantly consumed on desktop devices a couple of years ago, the tables have turned. Mobile devices are now dominating when it comes to important email marketing metrics, particularly open rates. Therefore, if you want to see an increase in your open rates, make sure your emails are mobile-friendly.

Data is your best weapon.

No, you’re not going to war, but in the battle for attention, you need a weapon to get you noticed. When it comes to email marketing for retailers, that weapon is data. Harvest as much data as you can about your customer and use it to tailor hyper-targeted campaigns.

Personalization is everything.

The age of generic emails is long gone. Today’s customers are savvy, have unlimited options, and want brands to respect them. That’s where personalization comes into play. By sending personalized email campaigns, you ensure that your brand, products, and content remain relevant to your customers.

At the end of the day, this will help generate more sales for you as consumers only open emails they find relevant.

Now that you have the basics, let’s dig a little deeper using the infographic below.

Campaign Monitor makes it easy for mid-size businesses to crush it in the retail space, but there are a few simple rules to remember if you really want to hear that register ring.

Check out the bite-sized tips and tricks below.


5 Dos and don’ts of email marketing for retail


Marketing automation helps retailers connect with their customers on a more personal level. Customer journeys help you deliver the right message at the right time to the right person.

Automated emails generate 320% more revenue.


Use automated emails to deliver more timely messages to your customers and help them go from consideration to check out.


Manually create and send every email campaign. You’ll waste valuable time.


Segmentation is a way to group customers by gender, location, purchase history, browsing activity, and other behaviors.

74% – Customers who get frustrated when an email isn’t relevant.


Send different messages, product recommendations, announcements to different groups based on these kinds of segments.


Send a one size fits all message.


This one is simple: You need to make sure your emails are mobile friendly.

Emails opened by device:

53% on mobile, 47% on desktop (Average Day)

75% on mobile, 25% on desktop (Holiday Season)


Use a mobile-friendly email template so your email looks great on tablets and smartphones.


Assume your email will be mobile friendly. Preview before you send—there’s a good chance it will be on a mobile device.


Better information gets better results. Get the scoop on your customers including their interests, purchase history, birthdays, etc. Send emails leveraging that data.

69% – Online shopping carts filled, only to be abandoned.


Use data from third-party apps and integrations like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce to fuel your automated emails.


Use purchased data or “dirty” data. If your data is wrong, you may send the wrong recommendations to a good customer.


Marketers who use personalization to make their emails more relevant get higher click-through rates and generate more sales from their campaigns.

Personalized emails create:

2.5x click-throughs

6x sales


Personalize in ways that surprise and delight your subscribers—think fun subject lines, calls to action, offers, headlines, and body copy.


Be flat and boring. Writing like a robot is the best way to get deleted. Show personality.

Wrap up

Email marketing for retailers isn’t complicated once you understand the dos and don’ts. For more in-depth tips and strategies, make sure to check out our guide, “Nine Best Practices to Supercharge Your Retail Campaign”.

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