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Without a doubt, email is one of the most powerful marketing channels when it comes to driving ecommerce sales. 

In fact, email has an ROI of around 4,300%, according to the Direct Marketing Association.

That's because your customer's email inbox is their most personal online environment and getting permission to have a sales conversion there provides you with a level of distraction-free attention for your message that you just can't get on social media.

But even with a healthy list of email subscribers, sometimes it can be challenging to think of creative and conversion focused email campaigns to send to your list.

To help you come up with some ideas, we've assembled seven high-impact ecommerce email examples that have landed in our inboxes recently, that you can take inspiration from and put to use in your business today.  

Petflow's Social Proof Email

Petflow is an online pet retailer that did $30 million in sales in 2012. They have over one million fans on Facebook which has become a huge source of revenue for them.

The folks at Petflow regularly borrow content from their Facebook page and put it to work in their email blasts. The campaign below is a great example.

Adding social proof elements to your emails can be an effective way to boost trust and demonstrate that people are buying (and liking) your products. In fact, word-of-mouth is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchases, while 63 percent of online customers say they're more likely to buy on sites with positive reviews. 

Harry's Order Arrival / Product Education Email

We recently profiled Harry's as an online retailer who is doing a lot of things right, and their emails are no exception.

Harry's is particularly good at making the most of their transactional emails and using them as opportunities to strengthen customer loyalty and increase customer lifetime value.

The email below is what you get when your order arrives. Instead of simply sending a robotic order notification, they take the opportunity to build education into the email and set their customers up for success with their products – which ends up being a win-win for everybody.

Take a look at your own transaction emails and see where there are opportunities to make them more valuable - even if it's something as simple as asking people to like you on Facebook.

STORQ's Content Curation Email

STORQ is a San Francisco based ecommerce startup that sells fashionable clothing to expecting mothers. They send a great monthly newsletter email full of curated content that's related to pregnancy, motherhood and parenting.

STORQ only carries a handful of products so this is a smart way for them to stay in front of their customers without sending repetitive product promotion emails. If you're looking for an easy way to get started with email marketing, try using a tool like Pocket to save the best links and resources related to your industry, and then send your list a curated content roundup each month. 

Huckberry's Scarcity Email

Scarcity is one of the most powerful psychological sales triggers marketers can use to get people to take action. Humans are just hardwired to have a fear of missing out.

Huckberry, a popular men's fashion retailer, puts this tactic to use in this example.

Offer limited time discounts, and incentives like time sensitive free shipping can be a great way to move people off the fence and over to your checkout page.

Banana Republic's Exclusivity Email

Everybody wants to feel special and everybody loves a good deal. Banana Republic clearly gets this as demonstrated by the email below.

In addition to offering an exclusive deal, they also pack on the value by offering free shipping and free returns. 

The lesson here is that making your subscribers feel special by offering them "subscriber only" deals can help you not only build customer loyalty, but also make sales.

Petflow's Surprise Store Credit Email

The folks at Petflow are pretty clever (and some would say aggressive) when it comes to their email marketing strategy. Just look at this list of subject lines they sent in a month's time:

One of the more crafty emails they sent is this store credit email.

Instead simply offering "15% off" they offer a very specific amount of money for their customers to spend on their site. The theory being that it's harder for people to "waste money" than pass up a percentage discount. 

Next time you want to send a promotional email with a discount, consider testing this store credit approach. 

Whipping Post's "Just Checking in..." Email

I love this email from Ryan Barr, owner of Whipping Post. It's friendly, helpful and promotional all at the same time.

The email is framed mainly as a thank you message that offers support but it also slips in calls to action for his website, his social profiles and even a request for user generated product photos. I wouldn't be surprised if people reply to this email with product testimonials as well. 

Your Turn

We aren't suggesting you copy these emails exactly but rather take each strategy and adapt it to your business. Email is one of the best ways to generate sales and coming up with effective and creative campaigns to send your customers is an important task every ecommerce entrepreneur should focus on.  


About the Author: Mark Macdonald is the Content Manager at Shopify. Get more from Mark on Twitter and Google+.