Ecommerce email marketing – 13 ways to personalise


Ecommerce email marketing

Marketing personalisation is not news to anyone today. In fact, consumers themselves see the benefits of personalisation: 91% of people in an Accenture survey prefer shopping from brands that personalise offers to answer their needs. 84% of respondents in a Salesforce survey said they like being treated as the person they are rather than a number on a company’s balance sheet. Overall, personalised emails drive 6 times more transactions than non-personalised ones. 

So how to personalise your ecommerce email marketing most effectively? The key is using up-to-date customer data as the basis for personalisation. 

An ecommerce CRM that tracks individual behavior and makes it usable in customer profiles will help you filter your customers and create segments to engage better. When you have the data, there are endless ways to personalise your ecommerce email marketing. Let’s explore some of the best ones.

By shopping behavior

How people shop says a lot about them. Their shopping habits and behavior on site show their price sensitivity, their preferences and interests, their concerns. These are the perfect foundations for email personalisation. An easy segmentation enables you to reach customers taking into account their needs and wants. 

By category browsed

What people look at on your site clearly shows what products they’re interested in. So your emails should build on that, offering products from the same category. There’s no point in pushing things people never showed any interest in. Even more so, if you don’t use this data, you risk sending irrelevant emails – like offering plus-size clothing to petite customers, for example. 

Buying at discount only

If someone always buys when you drop your prices, they are really price sensitive and the only way to keep them as customers is to keep giving them discounts. That’s bad for your margins and brand image so it’s smart to limit your discounts as much as possible. That’s why personalised emails work very well here – drop the price only for those who wouldn’t buy otherwise.

Using coupons

Some customers pay more attention to coupons available, while others checkout without looking around. Sending more coupons to the first group is an easy way to personalise your email marketing and drive sales without running a blanket sale. 

Buying a few but expensive items

This is an interesting sub-segment of VIP customers: they obviously don’t mind spending a lot in your store, but don’t shop often. Email to them should be very carefully crafted in order to keep them coming back. You can offer them perks like priority free shipping, consultation, or maintenance. You can also try offering bundles and sets in the category they shopped before. 

Frequent shoppers

They deserve special attention from you and emails to them can strengthen that relationship. If they shop often, they want to know what’s new in your store and what’s back in stock. Regular updates plus a touch of VIP treatment (always free shipping, refer a friend bonus) are great personalisation for this group.

Consuming content

Reading your blog or using the interactive tools on site show high engagement and interest in the brand. Those people want to learn more about the company and make an informed purchase decision. To take things further, nurture with more content via email. 

Cancelling or returning many orders

This type of behavior is negative but can be turned around thanks to email personalization. Contact those customers directly and ask for feedback – maybe you can fix the problem and save the orders. If they have to return orders often because of wrong size, for example, send them your size chart and help them find the best fit once and for all.

Re-engage holiday shoppers

Holiday shoppers need a differentiated approach and here’s where personalized emails come in handy. Those clients likely don’t shop for themselves, but for gifts for others. So other holidays and occasions might be a good reason to reconnect with them and drive sales. Reach out with themed offers ahead of time and highlight the gifting potential. Offer more products from the same category – Mother-in-law gifts or Gifts under $50. If they trusted your store once, chances are they will again. 

By their reviews of your products

It’s worth acting on customer reviews because you can treat satisfied and dissatisfied customers equally. After getting a review, split your follow up emails into two categories: happy and unhappy buyers. 

Happy buyers

Try to take their positive experience forward with a coupon for the next order. Stimulate them to spread the good word about your brand with a personal referrer code. Also, ask them how to improve your products even more – loyal customers are your best ally and can give you lots of great ideas. This is how deodorant brand Native grew exponentially – they did not stop improving their product until customers absolutely loved the 24th (!) version.

Unhappy buyers

A personal follow up is needed here to clear up and possibly solve the issue with each customer individually. Ask for more details why they’re unhappy with the purchase – you might be able to save it by helping them use the product better. Also, offer and exchange or a refund.

By location

Where people live influences almost every aspect of their lives so personalising emails by geolocation is necessary in order to be more relevant.


Even within Australia the weather can be very different among states and territories, as we know – let alone from country to country if you sell globally. Your Christmas campaigns have to look differently in the Northern Hemisphere and you can’t run one universal summer vacation campaign in January. You have to tailor your marketing to fit people’s seasonal needs and various weather conditions.


The social aspect is also important. What’s relevant or appropriate for one country is completely irrelevant in another. Not every country celebrates Father’s Day on the same date (or at all) – and school does not start at the same time everywhere. Just cross-check if the campaign you’re planning will click with all your geographies and tweak if needed.

Local events

Offline events like fairs, openings, pop-ups, etc. are local in nature. To make sure you promote them to the right audience who can actually visit, you can segment your email list by location. People will get more excited because something’s happening close to them and your event is likely to get a good turnout.

To sum up

Customer behavior, feedback, and location are all valuable to use as the basis for ecommerce email marketing personalisation. Thus, you ensure your campaigns are timely, relevant and highly effective. 


About the author

Murry Ivanoff is the founder and CEO of Metrilo, an ecommerce analytics, CRM and email marketing platform that helps online brands grow.