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Email Marketing

How to Use Email Lists Without Breaking Amazon’s Terms of Service

So you have an email list. Now what?

Here are 10 types of emails that Amazon sellers can use to build a brand, develop customer relationships, drive sales and grow their business.

1) Welcome Email

The welcome email is crucial. This is the message sent out right after someone opts in to your list.

Use the welcome email to set the tone for your brand as well as let customers know what they can expect to receive from your communications. The welcome email is a great opportunity to tell your brand story, so that your readers (soon-to-be customers) ‘buy in’ from the get-go.

According to Easy-SMTP, welcome emails generate 320% more revenue per email than other promotional emails:

Welcome Emails Easy SMTP

It’s helpful to include a powerful call-to-action to ‘shop now’ in the welcome email. Now that you have the buyer’s attention, it’s important to capitalize on that immediately. You only have one chance to make a good impression. So make it count!

Read this guide to learn more about best practices for e-commerce welcome emails.

2) Curation Email

Curate means to collect and store information. A curation email for an e-commerce brand shows the top products sold per category in the last month or recommends a list of products that a subscriber might like, with nice images next to each so readers can easily click on them.

The e-commerce clothing brand Huckberry does a great job with email marketing. And although they don’t sell on Amazon, brands that do sell can learn a ton from their marketing efforts. Here’s an example of a curation email from Huckberry:

image4 1

There’s a beautiful display of the top-trending products across different categories.

Another type of curation email would be recommending a list of products that a subscriber might like, based on previous actions they’ve taken. Amazon’s recommendations is one of the tricks that helps them rake in over $178 billion in 2017. You can use this approach, but featuring just your own products.


3) Referral Email

You can get your current customers to refer you more customers. But don’t just send one email to ask your customers to refer their friends; a solid referral campaign involves several emails, such as:

  • An invite email to explain the offer and get customers excited about the campaign by explaining the benefits.
  • reminder email to once again explain the benefits. People risk their social reputations by sharing products to their networks. Give them a reason to share.
  • Follow up with a thank you email when customers start sharing with their friends. This will hopefully encourage them to share even more.
  • Finally, reward emails and scoreboard emails let your customers know what they have won from sharing and lets them know of the progress made by their referrals. Sharing this info motivates them to win even more.

For a more in-depth look into referral e-mail campaigns, check out Extole’s resource.

4) Discount Email

This one is pretty simple and much loved by customers. You can include discounts in the initial welcome email series to encourage sales right away. Or you can send discounts to your most loyal fans.

You can use discounts and promotions on Amazon to get an initial kick in sales velocity to launch a new product. And you can also use them to get a quick boost in keyword rankings.

Amazon gives you the tools to create single-use promotion codes (so no one takes advantage of your generosity and buys up all your inventory). Here is a step-by-step guide to creating single-use Amazon promos:

Amazon Promo Code

Just be careful. Don’t give discounts too often or customers will only purchase when a discount is available.

5) Order Confirmation

An order confirmation email is essentially a digital receipt. But like all email communications, it’s an opportunity to shape the customer experience, which you can nurture by:

  • Imprinting your brand identity into the order confirmation (humor is always a good move!).
  • Making sure you manage customer expectations by letting them know when they can expect to receive the product.
  • Reminding customers of the benefits of their purchase.
  • Including tips on how to best use the product, mistakes to avoid, or any other type of valuable content.

Happy customers means less returns, better reviews, more repeat purchases, and more referrals.

6) Upsell/Cross-Sell

Would you like to supersize your meal? Do you want fries with that?

McDonald’s is the king of upsells and cross-sells.

Customers who have already bought from you are more likely to give you additional money than those who have not bought from you yet. According to a report by Monetate, existing customers spend almost double that of new customers:

Monetate new v returning visitors

Use this as an opportunity to recommend complimentary (cross-sell) and higher-ticket (upsell) items. Once again, Amazon does this on their site, so you can use email marketing to do it for your own products.

7) Cart Abandonment

This is not so much an issue if you are exclusively selling on Amazon, but if you are selling on your own e-commerce site, this is a no-brainer.

If a customer adds an item to their cart, 69.23% of the time it doesn’t result in purchase. While over half (54%) of customers abandon their cart because of unforeseen costs such as expensive shipping, 16% was due to bad site navigation and 21% due to a long process.

Statista cart abandonment


These are all obstacles that could potentially be overcome through follow-up emails. Offering a time-sensitive discount, or even simply free shipping, can lead to more conversions. You won’t recover all sales, but it’s one of the easiest way to increase sales with emails.

Shopify has a blog post that details 13 amazing abandoned cart emails (and what you can learn from them).

8) Re-engagement Email

The purpose of a re-engagement email is to encourage customers to take a very specific action. If someone hasn’t interacted with your brand in a while, entice them to re-engage with something valuable.

Examples include:

  • Like our Facebook Page
  • Respond to this Email
  • Save Now on All Shoes
  • Shop Now and Get Free Shipping

Get them to say “Yes”  – and if they don’t respond, it might be a good idea to clear them from your list.

9) Survey Email

The more you know about your customers, the better. Sending surveys is a great way to gather insights to make more informed decisions about marketing, product development, etc. Doing a survey could help you discover:

  1. What type of content do your subscribers want to receive?
  2. What categories of products are they most interested in?
  3. Why did they abandon their cart?

When creating a survey email, it’s important to be respectful of your customers. Managing their expectations is critical, so let them know what the survey will be about and how long it will take. Offering an incentive is often a good idea as well, but be careful. Giving away a freebie may bias the data towards those who only want the free item. Offering a discount is probably a better approach than a free gift.

Here’s a great example of a survey email from Anthropologie:


They do all the things listed above (manage expectations, offer incentive), and also include a deadline and great aesthetic.

10) Thank You Email

Last, but certainly not least, send your customers some love. Thank you emails are a great way to show your customers you care. After all, you would not have a business without your customers.

According to Remarkety, thank you emails have higher open and click-through rates compared to other emails, and convert at 10%, on average:

thank you email data

Remarkety recommends the following points to increase conversions in thank you emails:

  • Keep the subject line short.
  • Include coupons (with multi-tiered loyalty programs, i.e. the more you buy, the better the rewards).
  • Provide personalized recommendations (see #2 “Curation Emails”).
  • Ask for feedback (see #9 “Survey Emails”).

Some Considerations for Email Marketing

  • Have a goal for each email. Whether it’s click-throughs, responses or sales, make sure each message you send has a clear objective. And keep track of whether or not you are hitting your objectives.
  • Optimize for mobile. More and more people are checking their emails on their phones, so make sure that your email is optimized for mobile. You don’t want to put in all the work to make a great looking email with excellent copy, and then the customer can’t even read it.
  • Make it human. No one likes to be sold to. But we love stories. And we love humor. Infuse your brand’s personality into every email.
  • Keep it relevant. Be respectful of your subscribers’ attention and only send stuff to them that they will care about. Using tags and sorting features made available by most email marketing tools are a great way to keep content relevant. If someone surveyed says they are interested in women’s products, don’t send them emails about prostate health.

In Summary

Email marketing is a great way to build relationships with customers, keep them engaged and make more sales. Amazon sellers can grow their business and brand by collecting emails. If you collect emails off of Amazon, before a customer reaches Amazon, you can use them for marketing purposes without breaking Amazon’s Terms of Service.