The basics of email marketing in 5 minutes blog header image

The Basics of Email Marketing in 5 Minutes

Ecommerce isn’t easy. As any small-business owner will tell you (medium and large ones too), there’s a lot of blood sweat and tears that goes into turning a passion project into a fully-developed business. But in 2018, it has never been easier to get started, and with the right tools, become successful.

Once you have established the fundamentals of your business and got a working store on your preferred eCommerce platform, it’s time to begin building a client base and a reliable stream of customers. Before you know it, you’ve dipped your toes into SEO, socials, and email marketing all because an article told you to. But this article is telling you something different. It’s telling you that one of those channels stands above the rest. Email marketing. Yes, that technology that has been around for 40 years is still crushing it in the digital age. Don’t believe me? Just check the stats. Email marketing is your best friend, and your most reliable marketing channel for eCommerce.

Sending emails for your business isn’t like sending personal emails. You might think that you’ve got a knack for knowing your audience – but what happens when you have to cater to multiple segments? Or send automated product emails to customers with totally different needs. In order to master email marketing, you need to be utilising the services of a company that does the heavy lifting. While we can talk about the benefits of SmartrMail until your ears fall off, its worth understanding the core concepts of email marketing first. The concepts aren’t necessarily difficult, but without proper context, can be overwhelming.


Email Newsletters

Keep customers in the know, and know how to keep customers with email newsletters. The contents of your newsletters will undoubtedly depend on the purpose the message, but newsletters can range from pure eCommerce (automated products and abandoned cart emails) to keep recipients connected with your brand through social media.

Automated Product Emails

Automating the products you include within your emails allows them to have a much more targeted focus. Services such as SmartrMail allow stores to decide between sending best-selling products, tailored products, or a mix of the two. For a complete guide to using automated emails, check out our guide here.

Abandoned Cart Emails

Abandoned Cart Emails are sent a specific period of time after a user abandons a cart with products on your eCommerce store. Because these emails are inherently more targeted, each abandoned cart email returns an average of $8.21 in revenue. For the comprehensive guide on what works with abandoned carts, check out our guide here.

Welcome Emails

Sending an automated email welcoming a user to the mailing list allows businesses to take advantage of considerably higher open rates – 86% higher unique open rate. In addition, it is a great opportunity to seed consumer engagement with the brand as well as prime the recipient for future marketing newsletter.

A/B Testing

Sometimes its only one component holding your email back from success. Being able to run an A/B test means that your business is able to test two different variations of the same email, and send the one that is best-received to the wider audience. SmartrMail offers A/B testing for subject lines, meaning you have an even better chance of recipients opening your email.

Core Concepts

In order to send the best emails and recognise your strengths and weaknesses, it is important to understand some of the core concepts of email marketing.

Open Rate

Pretty self-explanatory. Open Rate represents the percentage of people that open the email you sent. While this metric doesn’t include the number of people that skim your subject line and then ignore the email, it does track the number of people exposed to the core content of your email.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

The percentage of people that click on the email in order to get to one of the links you provided in the email. Calculated as a percentage of the Open Rate (i.e. if half of your mailing list opens an email, and then a quarter of those people click on it, your Open Rate = 50% and your CTR = 25%).

Unique Opens/Clicks

Sometimes a recipient will open or click through on an email more than once, unintentionally skewing your data. In order to account for this, looking at unique opens or clicks means that each user only counts as one interaction, giving you more precise information.


This is the number of people that buy a product after opening and clicking through on your email to the link you provided. Dividing the profit made from conversions against the money spent on email marketing is how you determine how effective your email marketing is.

Mailing List

The total number of people that have opted-in to your newsletter or promotional emails. Normally you have a master list (containing everybody) and then several smaller lists that have been segmented (such as by location, or gender, or age). You can check out our guide on segmentation here.


Whether or not your email gets sent straight to the junk folder depends on your deliverability score, or the score of your Email Service Provider (ESP). Deliverability is essentially a measure of the integrity of the sender as decided by an algorithm, and is the reason that some ESPs have blacklisted certain promotional topics.

What Now?

Now that you’ve got a deeper understanding of email marketing, the next step is to put it into action. SmartrMail offers a free 15-day trial of our software on all the main eCommerce platforms (Shopify, BigCommerce, Neto, WooCommerce), and includes all the features you’ve just read about.

For many small-to-medium sized businesses, SmartrMail represents a more economical option than its counterparts, complete with much better support. So what are you waiting for? Check us out today and boost your business immediately!

SmartrMail Free Email Marketing for Ecommerce Stores Ebook

Get more sales with personalised email marketing. Start your 15-day free trial on BigCommerce, Shopify, Neto, or WooCommerce

Scroll to Top