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Email Marketing Guide for Retailers

A laptop being used to create email marketing

If you're a retail business operating in the home space, email marketing is a channel that could massively increase your sales and revenue. The power behind email marketing campaigns is incredible, particularly when utilised as a part of a multi-channel marketing strategy.

Just seeing the email in their inbox can trigger renewed interest and purchases from your brand.


More than that, the success rate of selling to existing and loyal customers is 60-70% Whereas selling to new customers is 5-20%. Email marketing can cover both of these audiences in a highly personalised way.

In this guide to email marketing, we will discuss the advantages, challenges, and more, to help you hit the ground running.

About TwentyCi

TwentyCi is a team of data scientists and analysts, consultants, technicians, and marketing experts helping retailers operating in the home sector leverage data to help them scale up revenue and customer experience.

With more than ten years under our belt, we've collected and continue to collect audience data that have helped brands operating in the home renovation and home furnishings and accessories space better connect with their target audience at the time when they are ready to invest.

We help retailers operating in the home sector merge the customer data we provide with email marketing techniques for fantastic results.

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Is email marketing easy?

The action of building an email audience, writing and sending emails to them and measuring the impact is relatively simple. The art and challenge come with targeting the right audience, at the right time with valuable content that encourages them to take a specific action.

Who can use email marketing?

Email marketing campaigns are used by a wide variety of people and companies. Some use email marketing as a way of teaching, service brands use it to build relationships with prospective and loyal customers, eCommerce brands use it to increase sales.

Basically, if you're willing to put the time and effort in, have a goal you want to achieve or a topic you're knowledgeable about, anybody can get started with email marketing.

What are the advantages of email marketing?

The success of email marketing campaigns depends on the data you have available. For retailers selling in the home sector, you can reap the benefits of the following advantages:

1) Personalised content through segmentation

If you have a wide array of home-related products, you'll also have a varied marketing audience wanting different things. Your email marketing platform should allow you to categorise your subscribers, so you're only sending emails based on their interests rather than sending all groups the same messages.

This helps maintain engagement and reduces the chances of the unsubscribe button being clicked.

2) Increased Loyalty

Email marketing is a brilliant method of increasing loyalty and rewarding that loyalty accordingly. You could run an email marketing campaign with a promotional code that only they can use on your home eCommerce website, or you can provide early access to digital sales, for example.

You can also send short customer surveys to ascertain what your brand is doing well and what it could be doing better. Giving your customers a voice is a fantastic relationship builder.

Special treatment like this is a great way of making your loyal customers feel valued and enticing them to continue shopping or investing in your brand.

3) Heavier Footfall

Is there a specific sale organised at one of your brick-and-mortar stores? Is an event being held? Send promotional emails in the lead-up to these events but only to customers who live nearby - you can do this through segmentation in your email marketing software.

4) Increased Revenue

By segmenting your subscribers based on interest, you can contact previous shoppers letting them know about new products that they may like.

You can include a button that takes them straight to the product page on your website so they can buy it. With one email, you've cut out numerous steps in the buying process and increased your revenue.

5) Saving time with automated emails

Email marketing automation is a fantastic time-saver. Once set up, it frees up a lot of your time which can be spent building and experimenting with other email marketing campaigns or working on other marketing channels.

If you have an email marketing content plan, you can design these, create the email and schedule it in advance. So long as there aren't any last-minute changes, you can rest assured that everything will be sent out on the right day and time and your chosen email marketing tool will collect the results for you to analyse.

6) Holistic Marketing Strategy

Finally, your email marketing efforts can be merged with your other marketing plans for one holistic strategy overall.

Not only will it ensure a consistent tone of voice for your brand and strengthen the potential revenue gained from one marketing campaign, but you can merge the data gathered from your email marketing platform and merge it with data collected from other channels for even more precise targeting for future campaigns.

At TwentyCi, we can assist you with designing and creating highly effective multi-channel marketing campaigns to help you further leverage the power of email for your brand.

These are just some of the benefits of email marketing.

Icon of email app showing 20 unread emails

What are the challenges of email marketing?

There are four main challenges when it comes to email marketing in the home sector:

1) Striking the right balance 

In 2023, email marketing is set to reach 4.3 billion users, that's 400 million more than in 2019. Now more than ever, where competition is fierce and attention spans are shorter, it's vital to build relationships with potential customers and encourage loyalty.

Customers expect brands to focus on building and maintaining relationships rather than pushing products, so it's worth bearing that in mind when scheduling your emails and ensuring that you're creating the best balance between relationship management and sales promotion.

Understanding where your potential audience is at with their home moving journey and sending them relevant emails at the right stage could drastically improve not only engagement but sales and return on investment (ROI) too. According to the Data and Marketing Association, every $1 allocated to email marketing brings an average ROI of $42.

Our Buyhaviour service can help you segment and target homemovers at different stages in their purchasing process, and when they are most likely to buy from your brand.

2) Choosing measurement metrics

There are some common metrics, such as open rates and click rates that many brands rely on because that's what has always been done.

But these may not be the best metrics to measure success by. Certainly, they are helpful to understand how engaging your emails are, but are they helping you generate revenue?

TwentyCi ran an experiment to measure the true impact of an email marketing campaign on sales.

Using standard email measurement metrics (such as open and click rates), the results showed that the campaign delivered just 14 purchases (0.01% of the 116,606 recipients).

conversion rate of email marketing

However, when matching the data back to in-direct purchases – email receivers whose final click came from another channel – the results were different.

Of those who opened the email, 50 went on to make a purchase. Taking the conversion rate from 0.01% to 0.04%.

Additionally, of the 112,941 who didn’t open the email, 1,181 still made a purchase. Bringing the conversion rate to 1.05%.

Adding all the purchases together, the email actually delivered 1,254 sales in total with a conversion rate of 1.06%.

Bar graph showing purchase rates from email marketing

Taking the time to measure the true impact of your emails on your revenue is vital to creating a successful email marketing campaign.

3. Privacy updates

Recent updates have altered or limited the data available from email service providers.

A recent example is an update from Apple. If someone uses an iOS15 mobile operating system and Apple mail, tracking the impact of email marketing become much more difficult.

Marketers can only track email open rates if the recipient has downloaded the images within the email. When asking users their preferred privacy permissions, Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection feature automatically ticks the 'Protect Mail Activity' box:

Meaning that most users will opt-in due to ease rather than preference. This means that the images within the email will be pre-downloaded, which will report all emails as being opened, even if they haven't been physically opened and read by the reciever.

That doesn't mean that email marketing tracking becomes obsolete, just that you'll need to look at different methods of measuring performance.

Alternative measurement options you can use instead to gather the most accurate data possible include:

  • Measuring 'delivered' status rather than 'open rate',
  • Target 'non-purchasers' with follow-up emails, rather than 'non-openers',
  • Focus on conversion metrics (both direct and indirect) where possible.
  • Aim to include a trackable action in emails for better click tracking. This could be a 'shop now' button for home sector retailers with an eCommerce website, or a 'register interest' button for events being held at a brick-and-mortar store, for example.

4. Spam Filters

Another issue heightened by device privacy settings is that it makes it more difficult to ascertain whether your emails are being automatically allocated to the junk folder.

A few ways to avoid spam filters include:

  • Being careful with your wording - in the email subject line and body content,
  • Ensuring your emails are offering value - so that the subscribers' email provider doesn't begin sending your messages to the spam folder due to low engagement),
  • Refraining from using email attachments and more.

There's a lot more information available at the Content Marketing Institute.

While these challenges may feel tricky, they in no way outweigh the benefits retailers can reap from email marketing.

What are the different types of email?

Laptop sending out a cloud of email messages

When you begin creating an email marketing strategy you'll need to decide the types of emails you want to start with. Here are some of the options available that retailers in the home sector may find the most useful:

Welcome emails

This is a great place to begin your email marketing journey. Whenever a potential customer signs up for updates or a newsletter, a loyalty program or even signs up for an online account so that they can shop online with you, it's great to get off to the right start by sending a welcome email.

Welcome emails for new subscribers can be set up as automated emails - so you won't have to send this email manually every time somebody signs up.

Confirmation emails

Similar to welcome emails, these can be automated and are only sent when an online purchase has been made, or someone has filled in a contact form on your retail eCommerce website.

These can be short and sweet, thanking the customer for their investment, summarising their order and confirming when they can expect their purchase to arrive.

In the instance of an email being triggered following a contact request, this can simply thank them for their interest and inform them of when they can expect contact to be made.

Newsletter emails

Newsletter key on a keyboard

This is a great tool for retailers operating in the home sector, as it gives you time to build the relationships that Gen-Z's and Millenials want from the brands they shop with. The home moving process is notoriously long-winded, and what people are looking to buy for their homes changes over that period.

Newsletter emails are generally sent out weekly or monthly (depending on your available time and how much you have to say) and can include company updates, new blog posts previous website visitors may be interested in, promotions or other relevant content that readers may find interesting.

Event invitation emails

Whether it's an online sale or an event being hosted at one of your brick-and-mortar stores, an event invitation email is a great way to spread the message quickly. These emails should include all the necessary information or send them to an online landing page or Facebook event page for more information and to RSVP if needed.

Promotional emails

Promotional emails are a great way to boost sales and revenue, especially when sent at the right time. Whether you are launching your new product line for the season, advertising a Black Friday sale or some other sale, you can let every subscribed shopper know.

When you work with TwentyCi, we can help you time your promotional emails to audiences at different stages of the home-buying process. For example, if you sell home furniture, you can target your promotional emails to consumers about to move or during the moving process.

Whereas if you sell garden equipment or home furnishings, you could send these promotional offers to subscribers who have just moved and are settling in.

Survey emails

A customer leaving feedback on an online survey

Through email marketing campaigns you can give your loyal shoppers the chance to have their say. Loyalty is increased when customers feel like they are a part of something and that their voice matters. You can send survey emails every year, giving subscribers the chance to have their input without feeling bombarded.

We advise beginning with a limited number of email campaigns and building as you feel more comfortable with the email marketing tools and have gathered some great data to go on.

What is the most important feature of an email?

Whatever type of email you opt for as part of your email marketing strategy, arguably the most important feature is the email subject line. It needs the right balance to grab attention and stand out from all of the other messages waiting in the subscribers' inboxes, but without coming across as clickbait or running the risk of your emails being sent to the spam folder.

Is email marketing still worth it in 2023?

A successful email marketing strategy is more than worthwhile, particularly when utilised as part of a multi-channel marketing campaign. Whether you're using it for promotional campaigns, survey requests or some other email campaign.

Email in general has been growing year on year worldwide, and the upward trend is expected to continue - making it a fantastic marketing platform to utilise.


Whether you're using it for promotional campaigns, survey requests or some other email campaign, you can begin leveraging the returns quickly and easily.

If you're interested in using email marketing to generate sales and revenue, we can help you leverage data for even greater success.

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