Creating a great e-commerce email – A guide for any businesses

When it comes to creating an engaging email campaign, many marketers take somewhat of a lazy approach. Why? They aren’t using these 10 components of a great e-commerce email.

Often, creating an e-commerce email means looking at your competitor’s emails or taking a template from within your email platform and reworking that to suit your needs.

Sound familiar?

Don’t take this personally, but you don’t know what you don’t know. We’re here to impart some knowledge on the 10 components of a great e-commerce email campaign.

So, what should we focus on to achieve e-commerce email success?

When we refer to success, we’re talking about getting someone who has opened your email to take action (in most cases, a click). If you manage to use the structure of your email to achieve this, then a big part of your job is already done.

If done well, you’ve now managed to get someone to your website or online store, and they’re more likely to buy from there. Great job!

So, let’s turn this into reality by beginning with these 10 quick components which look as follows:

 1. Your subject line

 2. Your preview text

Then, you get the first part of your email which is seen before someone scrolls:

 3. Your email header

 4. Your secondary header one

 5. Call-to-action number one

Thereafter, you get the second part of your email which is seen after someone scrolls and supports your content which is:

 6. Your secondary header number two

 7 The email body

 8. Your call-to-action number two

 9. Additional or supporting information

 10. Your email footer

The copy you use in each section will be entirely up to you but will need to match the structure and composition in the way this email format is designed.

If you have an external team designing your emails (yes, we also do this😉), you’ll want to ensure that the copy for each of these sections is provided coherently.

Most companies who outsource their email marketing often merely provide a wall of text, so using this format as a brief for future emails could also really help you become a great client to your email marketing designers and partners.

So, now that you know understand the structure, let’s dive into a little more detail about the 10 components of a great e-commerce email campaign:


  1. Your subject line

    Ideally, you only have around 8 – 10 words to make an impression and get someone to open an email. You can do this by creating curiosity, eliciting humour, or evoking emotion. Just make sure that your chosen subject line is related to the content of your email.

  2. Your preview Text

    This is where you support or hype up your subject line. The goal of your preview text is to bolster your subject line and add further context to ensure someone opens your email. Here’s a great example of this in practice:

    – Subject line: “Hey [name], sale on now!”

    – Preview text: “Only 24 hours left to buy

  3. Your first header

    This is the first, bold sentence that gets people to read your content. The difficult part of getting someone to open your email is over, it’s now up to your header to take over. This header can carry the same message as your subject line, but you can say is a little less in your face, while being a little more stylish and appealing, getting someone to scroll furtherAs a practical example, if your email is about a 25% discount on your products, something like “We’re taking the worry out of Febru-worry with 25% off” works well.

  4. Secondary header number 1

    This section should ideally comprise two to three short sentences to summarise the main point of your email and your offer. This explains to your reader why they are reading your email and what you may have to offer; either through your product or service.This should be short and keep your reader’s attention. The sub-header, in this case, can be something along the lines of “There are great offers out there. But this one may just be the greatest. Take advantage of 25% off before the clock runs out.”

    Remember, short, to the point and punting the value you have to offer.

  5. Your call-to-action number 1

    This could be anything really, but use a button so that your reader knows where to click and how to take advantage of your offer. This could be something like “Buy now”, “Get clicking” or “I want this” as basic examples. Use what you feel works best for your business or the offer you’re promoting.

  6. Secondary header number 2

    Another secondary header? Yep, that’s right! You may have initially offered value, but is this enough to entice a buyer? This is where you capture them once they’ve scrolled a little further.  These details provide additional value or even a supporting offer for a related, or additional product (or products, depending on your email intention). Keep this short and potentially visual. You can add smaller additional product images or other products that are secondary to your main offer. You can mention things like product testimonials or ancillary product benefits which may further encourage your reader to buy. Secondary headers such as “See our other best-sellers” or “Don’t take our word for it, say what other customers have to say” as basic examples here.

  7. The email body

    This section is the content related to your secondary header number 2. If you’re promoting additional products, placing client testimonials, or even including visuals to promote these products such as animated GIFs or product images, this works well here. There’s no hard and fast rule about this section but be sure to keep content and products relevant and appealing. This is your chance to get people interested in specific items or see how other customers enjoy your products.

  8. Your call-to-action number 2

    This call to action is designed to reaffirm where readers can go to take advantage of your offer and also helps you give another opportunity to get people clicking. Use this space wisely and make sure you drive potential buyers to your online store.

  9. Additional information

    This part is a great place to show product reviews or even punt your social media channels. Due to this being at the bottom of your email, use this as an opportunity to bolster your offering and get people to your other channels to see more about your business.

  10. Your email footer

    What’s most important here is to tell people where they can contact you, why they are receiving your email and how to go about either changing what they hear from your business or should they want to opt-out, where to do this. Ideally, you should standardise this template for future emails, to save time and effort.

Our team of email experts design e-commerce emails for many trusted e-commerce companies.

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We’d love to help your business win at email marketing!