Email marketing is one of the best channels for retailers– it offers an ROI of $38 for every $1 spent. Whether you run marketing for a brick-and-mortar or exclusively sell online, email makes it easy to not only connect with customers, but also increase their spend.

But your subscribers have crowded inboxes– they receive your emails, but they also receive messaging from a host of other brands. If you want to increase customer spend, you need marketing that is automated and personalized, reaching the right subscribers with the right messages at exactly the right moment.

Brands like Topshop, Jaybird, Rip Curl, and On are finding clever ways to increase engagement. They’re automating messages, personalizing whenever possible, and building marketing campaigns that excite and engage subscribers.

Today, we’re sharing 8 retail marketing ideas that will help increase customer spend.

1. Leverage marketing automation

When someone signs up for your email list or buys an item from your e-commerce store, what happens next? In an ideal world, they’ll not only receive a confirmation email but automatically be entered into a customer journey which includes relevant messages.

For example, after someone buys a product, they might automatically receive the following emails:

• Order confirmation email – immediately after purchase
• Shipping tracking email – as soon as a shipping label has been prepared
• Email asking for review – 4 days after product delivery
• Related products email – 10 days after product delivery

These automated messages not only keep customers in the loop, but they also increase trust in your brand. If a customer feels confident about the process, they’ll be more likely to return to your brand when they need other products or services.

2. Personalize whenever possible

Personalized messages have a greater impact than generic ones, and retailers everywhere are working to provide personalized product recommendations to their subscribers. Marketers have found a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns.


For example, when customers buy running shoes from On, the retailer collects information about their running behavior, such as how many miles per week they run. Months later, when the customer is likely to need new shoes, On automatically sends a personalized email encouraging the customer to buy a fresh, new pair.

Additionally, On translates their emails in different languages based on where subscribers live. After noticing a lot of interest from the Japanese market, On began to provide them with content in their native language.

In this way, On can reach subscribers in a personalized way, encouraging them to make a purchase.

3. Improve transactional messages

Most retailers use transactional (or triggered) emails, which are messages sent when users perform a specific action, such as ordering a product. But when was the last time you really optimized them?

Because transactional emails are sent due to a subscriber’s action, you have a unique opportunity to reach them at exactly the right time. Since subscribers are often waiting for these messages, transactional emails have 8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email and can generate 6x more revenue, according to Experian. Often times, there’s an opportunity to increase customer spend simply by optimizing these transactional emails.

Sephora, the beauty retailer, reminds customers that they can come back and buy in their shipping confirmation emails. At the bottom of the email, the brand ads a P.S. with a rotating banner of products worth checking out.

4. A/B test to reach success

When it comes to marketing, you often listen to your gut. You have a feeling that your copy will compel people to act and feel confident that branded emails are well-designed. However, sometimes a marketer’s intuition conflicts with the data. That’s why you need to A/B test.

We’ve had this happen to us here at Campaign Monitor. We ran an A/B test where we tested the body copy of our emails. By running this test, we found that using positive language increased our email conversion rate by 22%.


Bottom-line? When it comes to retail marketing, you should A/B test email subject lines, From Name, and content to figure out what works best. With Campaign Monitor, you can easily test out these elements to find out what resonates with your audience. You can get more testing tips in this guide.

5. Offer promotions

Marketing emails, particularly those that offer discounts, sales, and other deals, get a lot of engagement. After all, if a subscriber loves a retail brand, they’re going to want to take advantage of a sale.

To ensure that your marketing offer emails make an impact and truly drive customer spend, instill a sense of urgency. Urgent situations force the human brain to make decisions instantly, which can be extremely helpful when a subscriber reads your email.

For example, Legacy Box offered a 40% off deal, and mentioned that the sale would last for ONE DAY ONLY. This email compels subscribers to act fast.


This strategy is great for retail emails, but it can also be used on your eCommerce website to drive more customer spend. For example, Ann Taylor shows off a promotion on their website and makes sure to note that the sale is TODAY ONLY — ONLINE ONLY.

6. Design with conversion in mind

If you want to compel customers to spend more, then you need to make sure your online presence is designed with conversion in mind. Colors, placement of buttons, product photos, and amount of text can all have an impact on conversion.

You can A/B test your website, as well as your emails, to see which designs have the most impact. Perhaps a rotating banner serves your site best, or perhaps a static image leads to more conversions.

Here are some things to consider:

• Emails
• Landing pages
• Product pages
• Overall website layout

You can add big, bold hero imagery to your emails, or design with an inverted pyramid that guides the eye. Check out Designing High-Performing Email Campaigns, an in-depth resource that offers inspiration, tips, and suggestions.

7. Write copy that sells your stuff

If you want to increase customer spend, you should do more than offer a sale. You need to provide a holistic experience that increases customer trust. One area that often needs a little tender loving care is copy, whether it’s in an email or on your website.

Ask yourself why subscribers buy from your brand: do they want to look their best at the office? Do they need a wetsuit that will perform during competition? Write copy that addresses these problems.

For example, Rip Curl shows off their board shorts with email copy that says they’re “like wearing nothing.” Ultimately, surfers want board shorts that are as comfortable as possible, so this message is especially compelling.

8. Say “hello” to integrations

Integrations allow you to create powerful, automated marketing that gets results. Integrating your e-commerce store with your email platform, for example, can result in more robust personalization which in turn can increase customer spend.

Integrations allow you to:

• Bring in data for personalized campaigns
• Automate campaigns
• Target VIPs
• Re-engage subscribers

When it comes to retail, Campaign Monitor integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce, Facebook, Receiptful, and a number of other platforms.
For more information on how to use integrations for retail marketing, read The best email integrations to enhance your retail marketing campaigns.

Wrap up

As a retail marketer, you’re committed to providing subscribers with the information they need. You not only want customers to feel connected with your brand, but you also want them to come to you when it’s time to make a purchase.

Today’s marketing automation tools give you the opportunity to reach subscribers with the right content at exactly the right time. If you work to optimize your retail marketing campaigns, then you’ll be able to increase customer spend.

It’s an exciting time to be a marketer in retail. Between crafting better copy, finding clever ways to personalize, and leveraging integrations, you can find a way to improve your retail marketing.