Delivering contextual experiences is the best way to target your customers with content they care about and email is one of the most powerful tools in which to do so.

Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar or strictly e-commerce, email marketing can be the thing that helps your business scale.

By sending targeted, relevant messaging to your audience at the right time, it’s easy for retailers to see amazing results with their campaigns.But executing a truly personalized email campaign means having a deep understanding of who your customer is and finding the right points in their journey to connect.

Let’s take a look at the emails that every retail brand should be sending to engage with customers and boost their ROI:

The Welcome Email

This one seems obvious, but it’s worth reiterating. Your welcome email is your first impression—it helps set the tone and expectation of your emails to come.

Let’s break down the anatomy of what separates a great welcome email from a not-so-great one:

– Delivers on your promise—If you promoted an incentive or exclusive offer upon signup, now is the time to act on it.

– Sets expectations—Be sure to cover all your bases. The type of content you’ll be sending, frequency and a little bit of background info are all important things to mention.

– Encourages engagement—Rather than come off strong right out the bat, use your welcome email to start a conversation and encourage them to connect with you on your other channels.

This automated email from Glossier hits all the right points.

Image Credit: Really Good Emails

Note the use of user-generated content as social proof—this is a great way to engage new subscribers while they wait for your next send.

The Abandoned Cart Email

Nearly 68% of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart before completing their purchase. Not all customers leave your site intentionally. Things like slow load times, a complicated checkout process and their session timing out can result in navigation from your page.

With abandoned cart messaging, you can re-engage customers who left your website and recapture sales you might have missed—in fact, over one third of clicks back to your site could lead to a purchase.

Here’s a great example from Casper:

Image Credit: Really Good Emails

This email does a great job of reminding customers of what it is they’ve abandoned. Saving the items left in their cart and displaying them within the email is an easy way to win back your customers. Add to the mix great copywriting, a compelling image and a clear CTA, and you’ll be recovering sales in no time.

The Order Notification

If you sell things online, you know how important it is keep customers in the loop about their purchase status. Whether it’s an invoice, shipping confirmation or delivery status, sending order notification emails can improve the customer experience and result in more revenue for your business.

Here are some ideas for email notifications you can send to engage customers throughout their buyer journey:

– Order Confirmation—Send your customer an automated receipt for their recent purchase, listing the details of their order.

– Shipping Status—Update customers when their order has shipped and include the date for which they should expect to receive it. Let them know when their order is on the way as soon as it leaves your facilities.

– Refund Confirmation—Not every purchase has a happy ending, but making the refund process a seamless experience can help you retain a customer. Providing real-time updates and notifications can keep customers informed of their refund status.

Here’s a great example of a shipping confirmation from Fitbit:

Image Credit: Really Good Emails

The email generates up some excitement for the customer’s recent purchase and provides helpful links and information, like order number, tracking information and contact us links.

Send Smarter Emails

Now that you have a good idea of what to send, here are some helpful tips for sending better emails:

Get personal: The easiest way to up your email game? Personalization. In fact, personalized emails have shown 6 times higher transaction rates and over 41% higher unique click rates than non-personalized emails. Retailers can take advantage of customer data to build highly-targeted campaigns based on factors like browsing history and past purchase data.

Keep your design simple: Most people spend less than 15 seconds reading your emails, so keeping things short and sweet can prove most effective. Keep your color palette minimal and always remember to include your brand assets at the top of your message so subscribers know where it’s coming from.

Use analytics to understand your customers: You might think you know your customers, but your data could reveal a different story. Looking at trends and patterns in your email analytics can help you create more focused segments and targeted campaigns.

Don’t neglect your preview text: Use your preview (or preheader) text to your advantage. This often neglected line of text can help tell a complete story and compel readers to open your message.

Optimize for mobile: Since most subscribers will be reading your emails on a mobile device, it’s important to consider how your messages display as you design your layout. Taking a mobile-first approach can ensure that your subscribers have a positive experience with your campaigns.

Integrate with your social media strategy: Social media and email work better together. Use each channel to help expand your audience and reach new customers by promoting special offers and discounts in exchange for an email signup.

Looking for more email marketing tactics for retailers? Download The Retail Marketer’s Email Playbook.