Apr 16, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Dropshipping (2024)

This guide on email marketing for dropshipping has the potential to completely change your store's profitability. If, for some reason, you've been dropshipping without properly leveraging email marketing, chances are you're leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

Why? Because email marketing is known to have the higher ROI (return on investment) out of all marketing channels.

While Facebook Ads might pull in a 3 ROAS (I.E. You spent $1 to get $3 in revenue), the average email marketing campaign is estimated to have a 30-40x ROI (source).

The secret is in familiarity. Email marketing is a channel that you own, and is not reliant on any social media algorithms. You can send out emails for fractions of a penny, control your messaging without platform censorship, and convert browsers into customers without paying any commissions.

But, before we get into the secret sauce of how to set up your email marketing campaigns for success, let's quickly take a further look at the importance of email marketing for dropshipping.

Why is Email Marketing for Dropshipping Important?

The importance of email marketing for dropshipping can be boiled down to a few key points. If you're still not convinced that it's something worth investing in, make sure you read these points carefully and Google anything you're unsure of.

As we mentioned in the beginning, this can add thousands of dollars to your monthly income (if not more), so it's worth examining in detail.

Email Is One Of The Cheapest Channels

Most customer acquisition channels will charge you $0.50 to $5 for a click, depending on your creative and niche. This is because with paid advertising platforms you're competing in an auction alongside similar brands to determine whose ad gets show to the user.

Email marketing, on the other hand, doesn't rely on any auctions. You'll usually pay a small fee for each email you send or a flat rate for a fixed amount of emails. The price will depend on your email service provider (ESP) and your subscription. But, overall, this means that email marketing for dropshipping is one of the cheapest methods of reaching customers.

Email Is A Channel You Control

Most marketing channels are owned by big corporations, and individual companies have very little control over them. Advertising platforms like Facebook or Google can change the algorithm, increase advertising costs, cut you off, or throw other changes at you.

Besides filing a complaint, you'll have very little recourse. They don't care — they have millions of customers.

Your email list, on the other hand, is an asset you own and control. If you have issues with one email provider, you can switch to another one. You keep direct access to your customers.

Existing Customers Are The Best Customers

Any marketer worth their salt will be able to tell you that existing customers are the best customers. The reason why is that they are already familiar with your brand, they already trusted you enough to purchase your products, and you already have their contact information.

These three factors make it much easier to sell to them compared to cold traffic (I.E. people who have never heard of you). While not everyone on your email list will be an existing customer (some are just leads), the core principles still apply. Email marketing for dropshipping stores is more effective than other channels because the recipients already know you.

Getting Started with Email Marketing

If you've never set up email marketing for dropshipping before, it can seem a little bit intimidating. But, don't worry, we're going to talk about how you can get started without pulling your hair out.

Email marketing for dropshipping is super important. Make sure you set it up properly!

Choosing The Right Platform

If you're using Shopify, there are some email marketing apps that can integrate directly with your store, and simplify the process. These apps are called "Email Service Providers" or ESPs.

The most popular ESPs for Shopify are Klaviyo, Yotpo, Omnisend, and Privy. These are the best tools to set up email marketing for dropshipping stores, and for the most part they share the same features.

Let's say you have an email list of 3000 contacts (for example).

  • Klaviyo's pricing starts at $70/month (assuming 30,000 emails total)
  • Yotpo starts at $8/month (assuming 15,000 emails)
  • Omnisend starts at $50/month (assuming 36,000 emails)
  • Privy starts at $75/month (assuming unlimited email sends)

Klaviyo is usually considered to be the best all-around service for eCommerce brands, Yotpo is the more affordable option, and Omnisend/Privy are well-rounded alternatives.

Integrating With Your Store

Once you've chosen email marketing for dropshipping software, you'll want to install the app on your Shopify store. Each ESP will have their own instructions available for setting up, so you'll want to read the documentation provided by the one you choose.

In general, the main things to do are to set up your email address (usually info@yourdomain.com or support@yourdomain.com), import your email list (if you have one), and connect the forms on your website to your new email lists. The ESP Shopify app should take over control of your email flows, which we will walk you through later in the article.

Strategies for Capturing Emails

Email marketing for dropshipping really won't work unless you actually have some emails on your list. That means you have to optimize your website to capture those emails. Growing your email list should be one of your top priorities. It's not as important as generating sales, but it's an activity that will directly impact the amount of sales you generate.

With that in mind, here are some proven strategies to help you expand your subscriber base and ensure that your email marketing efforts produce the best results possible.

High-Converting Opt-in Forms

Your opt-in forms are one of your most important tools for gathering emails. You want to play around with the placement, design, and incentives, since all three of those play a role in the conversion rates.

  • Placement: Position your opt-in forms where they are most likely to catch attention, such as the top of your homepage, at the footer of your site, during checkout, or as a timed popup.
  • Form Design: Keep the form simple and straightforward. Request only essential information like the email address, or possibly a first name to personalize emails. Make sure it matches your store's branding.
  • Incentives: Offer a compelling incentive that encourages signups without devaluing your products. Common offers include discounts (e.g., "Sign up for 10% off your first order"), free shipping, or access to exclusive deals.

Content Offers

Content offers are basically digital products that you offer for free, in exchange for an email address. The most common ones include:

  • Lead Magnets: Offer downloadable content such as eBooks, guides, or industry reports that require users to provide their email addresses to access.
  • Webinars and Live Demos: Pre-recorded webinars or product demonstrations that users can sign up for with their email. This not only builds your list but also engages customers and moves them closer to making a purchase.

Exit-Intent Popups

Exit-intent technology tracks when a user is about to leave your site and presents them with a last-minute offer to encourage email sign-up:

  • Offer a Discount: Provide a coupon code as a part of the exit-intent popup to entice users to subscribe before they leave.
  • Engage with a Question: Use questions that resonate with visitors’ hesitations such as "Not ready to buy? Sign up for more information and exclusive offers."

Social Media Integrations

Social media platforms can be a valuable source for growing your email list. Use your presence on these platforms to direct traffic to your email sign-up forms:

  • Social Media Posts: Regularly post content that includes calls to action (CTAs) encouraging followers to sign up for more exclusive content via email.
  • Contests and Giveaways: Run contests that require an email sign-up to enter. Promote these on social media to extend their reach. A well-executed giveaway can provide you with thousands of emails.

Leveraging Technology and Tools

Integrate technology solutions that automate data capture and streamline the sign-up process:

  • Automated Tools: Use tools like popups, slide-ins, and interactive content (quizzes or polls) that integrate directly with your ESP for seamless data collection.
  • Mobile Optimization: Ensure that sign-up forms are optimized for mobile devices, considering that a significant portion of users access the internet via smartphones.

Actionable Tips:

  • Regularly test different types of incentives and content offers to determine what resonates best with your target audience.
  • Use A/B testing for different popup designs and timings to optimize for the highest conversion rates.
  • Track the performance of different strategies using your ESP’s analytics tools to continuously refine your approach.

Crafting Your First Email Campaigns

Now that you're starting to build your list, we need to talk about what you should be sending out.

Effective email campaigns are crucial for leveraging the full power of email marketing for dropshipping.

Once you have built a healthy list of subscribers, the next step is to engage them with well-crafted emails that encourage opens, clicks, and, ultimately, purchases. Here’s how to design email campaigns that resonate with your audience and drive results.

Welcome Email

Your welcome email is the first step in a long relationship with your subscribers and sets the tone for what’s to come. It's one of the most effective emails in terms of engagement rates.

  • Timing and Content: Send a welcome email immediately after a customer subscribes. This email should thank them for subscribing, provide them with the promised incentive (if applicable), and give them an idea of what to expect in future emails.
  • Personal Touch: Personalize the email with the subscriber's name and tailor the content to their interests, if known. A friendly, approachable tone can make a big difference.
  • Call to Action: Include a clear call to action (CTA) that guides them on what to do next—whether it's visiting your store, checking out a particular product, or simply learning more about your brand.


Regular newsletters help keep your brand top-of-mind for your customers, providing them with valuable content and updates about your products.

  • Content Variety: Mix promotional content with useful, informative, or entertaining articles that relate to your products or the interests of your audience.
  • Consistent Schedule: Send newsletters at a regular interval that keeps your audience engaged but not overwhelmed. This could be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly depending on your content and audience preferences.
  • Engagement Features: Include engaging elements like images, videos, and links to blogs or articles on your site. This not only makes the newsletter more interesting but also drives traffic to your site.

Promotional Emails

Use promotional emails to announce sales, special offers, or showcase new products. These emails are direct and to the point, designed to drive sales.

  • Clear Offers: Make your promotional offers clear and compelling. Use bold text and buttons to highlight key offers like discounts or limited-time deals.
  • Urgency and Scarcity: Create a sense of urgency with phrases like “limited time,” “while supplies last,” or “offer ends soon.” This can encourage subscribers to act quickly.
  • Segmentation: Send targeted promotions based on past purchase behavior, browsing history, or subscriber location. This personalization makes the offers more relevant and effective.

Seasonal and Triggered Emails

Automating emails based on specific triggers or times can lead to highly effective engagements without constant manual effort.

  • Abandoned Cart Emails: Send a reminder email to customers who leave items in their cart. Include a picture of the item left behind and a link back to the cart to make it easy for them to complete the purchase.
  • Birthday and Anniversary Emails: Celebrate special occasions with your customers by sending them a personalized birthday email or celebrating the anniversary of their first purchase.
  • Seasonal Campaigns: Plan email campaigns around holidays and seasons that are relevant to your products. Tailor your content and offers to these events to maximize relevance and engagement.

Actionable Tips:

  • Use automation to deliver triggered emails efficiently and at scale. You can find tools and strategies to help automate your email marketing for dropshipping on posts about automating your dropshipping business.
  • Continuously test and optimize your email content, design, and sending times to find what works best with your specific audience.
  • Measure the success of each campaign through analytics provided by your ESP to keep improving your strategies.
  • If you're having trouble writing the copy for your emails, check out our article on ChatGPT for dropshipping. It's an incredible tool when used correctly.

Mastering Abandoned Cart Flows

Abandoned cart emails are basically the cornerstone of effective email marketing for dropshipping. They cannot be skipped.

These emails target customers who have added products to their cart but left the site without completing the purchase. And, as any dropshipper will tell you, this happens a ton.

Mastering abandoned cart flows can significantly increase your conversion rates and recover lost sales. So, here’s how you can optimize these emails to maximize your chances of converting those customers.

Your abandoned cart recovery flow is the most important part of email marketing for dropshipping.

Understanding Cart Abandonment

First, you should understand why customers abandon their carts. The most common reasons include unexpected costs (like shipping fees), a complicated checkout process, low desire for the product, slow shipping times, or they were just browsing.

By addressing these issues, you can tailor your emails to meet the needs and overcome the hesitations of your customers.

Designing Effective Abandoned Cart Emails

The design and content of your abandoned cart emails can make a big difference in whether they convert or not. Here are some key elements to include:

  • Timely Reminder: Send the first email within a few hours of abandonment to catch customers while your store is still fresh in their minds. Follow up with one or two more emails if the first goes unanswered.
  • Showcase the Abandoned Products: Include clear images and details of the products they left behind. This reminder of what they’re missing can reignite their desire to purchase.
  • Incentivize Completion: Offer a small discount or free shipping to encourage them to complete their purchase. Make sure this offer is time-sensitive to add urgency.
  • Simplify the Return Process: Provide a prominent, clear link back to their cart with a simple call to action like "Complete Your Purchase." Most ESPs have this feature built in.
  • Personal Touch: Personalize the emails with the customer's name and provide recommendations based on their abandoned items. Ideally, you're collecting the customer's first name as much as possible.

Automation Techniques

Leveraging automation can make managing abandoned cart flows much easier and more effective:

  • Automated Triggers: Set up your email marketing tool to automatically send an abandoned cart email when a cart is left unpurchased. The ESPs we covered earlier (Klaviyo, Yotpo, Omnisend) all handle these triggers seamlessly through their Shopify apps.
  • Segmentation: Use segmentation to send different messages depending on customer behavior or cart value. For instance, higher-value carts might receive a larger discount.
  • A/B Testing: Regularly test different elements of your emails (such as subject lines, email content, and timing) to find what works best with your audience.

A/B Testing

Optimizing your abandoned cart emails is not a set-and-forget process. You want to constantly be A/B testing to see if your can improve your metrics.

  • Test Subject Lines: Experiment with different subject lines to see what leads to higher open rates. Try emphasizing the abandonment, the offer, or personalization.
  • Test Offers: Vary the discounts and incentives you offer to see what drives the most completions.
  • Test Timing: Change up the timing of your emails to find the sweet spot for your customers. Some might respond better to an immediate reminder, while others might need a day or two.

Actionable Tips:

  • Make sure your checkout process is as streamlined as possible to reduce initial cart abandonment.
  • Continuously collect data on why carts are abandoned and use this information to adjust your strategies.

Reviewing The Top Shopify Email Apps

A hunter is only as good as his tools, and in email marketing for dropshipping, you can't expect good results if you don't choose a reliable Email Service Provider.

Each ESP offers unique features that can be beneficial depending on your specific needs. Today, we'll save you some time and boil down our recommendations to four popular ESPs on Shopify: Klaviyo, Omnisend, Yotpo, and Privy.  We'll be reviewing their their advantages and disadvantages to help you choose the right one for your circumstances.



  • Deep Integration with Shopify: Klaviyo offers seamless integration with Shopify, syncing your data in real time to utilize for highly targeted campaigns.
  • Advanced Segmentation Capabilities: It allows you to segment your audience based on purchasing behavior, browsing activity, and other detailed criteria.
  • Automation and Personalization: Provides robust automation options and dynamic content for personalization, enhancing the relevance of your campaigns.
  • Detailed Analytics: Klaviyo’s analytics are comprehensive, giving you insights into campaign performance, customer lifecycles, and more.


  • Pricing: Klaviyo can be more expensive than other ESPs, especially as your contact list grows.
  • Complexity: The wealth of features and customization options can be overwhelming for beginners.



  • Multichannel Capabilities: Omnisend supports email, SMS, and social media integrations, allowing for cohesive cross-channel marketing campaigns.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Known for its intuitive design, making it easy for newcomers to start creating campaigns quickly.
  • Automation Features: Offers powerful automation tools for cart abandonment, welcome series, and post-purchase follow-up that are easy to set up and customize.
  • Pre-built Templates and Workflows: Comes with a variety of templates and workflows that can be customized, saving time and effort.


  • Limited A/B Testing Capabilities: While Omnisend offers A/B testing, it’s not as advanced or as flexible as some other platforms like Klaviyo.
  • Fewer Integration Options: Although it integrates well with Shopify, it has fewer third-party integrations compared to Klaviyo.



  • Focus on Reviews and Loyalty: Yotpo is unique in its integration of email marketing with reviews, ratings, and loyalty programs, enhancing content authenticity and engagement.
  • Social Proof: Makes it easy to incorporate customer reviews and photos into your emails, which can improve trust and conversion rates.
  • Unified Marketing Platform: Beyond emails, Yotpo offers features for referrals, SMS marketing, and visual marketing, all from one platform.


  • Complex Pricing Structure: Yotpo’s pricing can be less transparent, with costs increasing significantly as you add features or grow your database.
  • Email Capabilities Secondary: Its primary focus is not on email marketing, which may mean fewer email-specific features compared to specialized ESPs.



  • Designed for Small Businesses: Privy is an ideal choice for small to medium-sized enterprises due to its simplicity and focus on basic email marketing needs.
  • Ease of Use: Offers a user-friendly interface and straightforward setup, good for those new to email marketing for dropshipping.
  • Affordable Pricing: One of the more affordable options, making it accessible for businesses with limited budgets.


  • Limited Advanced Features: Lacks the depth of segmentation, personalization, and automation capabilities found in more robust platforms like Klaviyo or Omnisend.
  • Scalability Issues: As your business grows, you might find that Privy’s features are not sufficient to meet more complex marketing needs.

Actionable Tips:

  • Assess your specific needs and budget before choosing an ESP. Consider not only your current size but also your growth plans.
  • Take advantage of free trials offered by these platforms to get a hands-on feel for their interfaces and features.

Advanced Email Marketing Strategies

Now that we've covered the basics of email marketing for dropshipping, it's time to refine your approach and implement some advanced strategies. These techniques can help you optimize your campaigns, increase customer engagement, and ultimately drive more sales. Let’s explore some advanced strategies that can take your email marketing for dropshipping to the next level.

Segmentation Tactics

Effective segmentation allows you to tailor your messaging to different audience groups based on their specific needs and behaviors, increasing relevance and engagement.

  • Purchase Behavior: Segment customers based on their purchase history, such as frequent buyers, one-time buyers, or cart abandoners, and tailor emails accordingly.
  • Engagement Level: Differentiate between highly engaged subscribers who frequently open and click through emails and those who are less active. Send re-engagement campaigns to awaken dormant subscribers.
  • Demographics: Use demographic information like age, gender, or location to customize your messaging, which can be particularly useful for regional offers or products targeted to specific groups.

Personalization Techniques

Moving beyond basic segmentation, personalization involves tailoring the content of your emails to individual recipients based on their unique data.

  • Dynamic Content: Use dynamic content that changes based on the recipient’s profile or behavior. For example, show different products to different users based on their past browsing behavior or purchasing history.
  • Personalized Recommendations: Include product recommendations that are specifically tailored to the individual’s tastes and past purchases. This can be powered by AI-driven tools integrated with your ESP.
  • Customized Email Journeys: Develop customized email journeys based on the user’s actions. For instance, if a customer browses a particular category without purchasing, follow up with emails featuring similar products.

Email Automation

Automation is a powerful tool in email marketing for dropshipping that ensures timely and relevant communication with subscribers without manual effort.

  • Triggered Emails: Set up emails that trigger based on specific actions, such as welcome emails after signing up, thank-you emails post-purchase, or follow-up emails if a customer hasn’t shopped in a while.
  • Lifecycle Emails: Design email campaigns that correspond to different stages of the customer lifecycle, from onboarding to loyalty programs, to maximize customer value over time.
  • Replenishment Emails: Automatically send reminders to customers to reorder products that are consumable or have a specific usage lifecycle.

List Maintenance

Maintaining a clean email list is essential to maximize deliverability and engagement rates.

  • Regular Cleansing: Periodically remove inactive subscribers who haven't engaged with your emails over a defined period. This helps improve your deliverability and engagement metrics.
  • Re-engagement Campaigns: Before removing inactive subscribers, attempt to re-engage them with a targeted campaign. If they don't engage, it's a sign they should be removed.
  • Avoid List Churn: Monitor unsubscribe rates and feedback to optimize email frequency and content. Adjust strategies as needed to minimize list churn.

A/B Testing

Continuous A/B testing allows you to refine every aspect of your email campaigns based on data-driven decisions.

  • Test Everything: Regularly test different elements of your emails, including subject lines, email content, layouts, and timing, to continually refine and improve your campaigns.
  • Segmented Testing: Conduct tests within different segments to understand what works best for each demographic or behavioral group.
  • Iterative Process: Treat A/B testing as an ongoing process, not a one-time task. Continual improvement is key to staying relevant and engaging to your subscribers.

Actionable Tips:

  • Utilize tools and features provided by your ESP for advanced segmentation, personalization, and automation. Refer to resources on automating your dropshipping business for more insights.
  • Keep abreast of new technologies and strategies in email marketing for dropshipping to continually adapt and evolve your email practices.

Legal Compliance and Best Practices

Anytime you're sending thousands of emails, you need to make sure that you're following the rules. There are multiple sets of laws and legal standards that can apply depending on your jurisdiction, ad you should always do your best to adhere to them. Don't let email marketing for dropshipping be your downfall!

In this section we'll be going over some best practices that can protect you from legal repercussions, maintain your brand’s credibility, and safeguard trust with your customers. Here’s what you need to know to keep your email campaigns compliant and effective.

Staying compliant is super important in email marketing.

Understanding Legal Requirements

CAN-SPAM Act (USA) and GDPR (EU) are two major legal frameworks that govern email marketing. Compliance with these laws is essential:

  • Consent: Always obtain explicit consent from users before sending them emails. Pre-checked boxes are not considered valid consent under GDPR.
  • Clear Identification: Your emails must clearly identify you as the sender. Include your legal business name and contact information.
  • Opt-Out Option: Provide a clear, easy way for recipients to unsubscribe from your emails. The unsubscribe process should be straightforward and respected immediately.

Email Deliverability

Deliverability refers to ensuring your emails actually reach your subscriber's inbox. This is super important if you want to have success with email marketing.

  • Reputation Management: Maintain a good sender reputation by keeping your bounce rates low and your engagement high. Regularly clean your email list to remove inactive subscribers who could harm your reputation.
  • SPF and DKIM Records: Set up Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) records to authenticate your emails. This helps prevent your emails from being flagged as spam.
  • Engaging Content: Send content that engages users to open, read, and click-through. High engagement rates positively influence your deliverability.

Ethical Practices

Adopting ethical practices in email marketing not only complies with legal standards but also builds long-term relationships with customers.

  • Transparency: Be honest about what subscribers can expect from your newsletters and how often they will receive them.
  • Privacy Protection: Safeguard customer data and use it responsibly. Be transparent about how you use their data and who has access to it.
  • Quality Over Quantity: Focus on sending fewer, but more targeted and well-crafted emails rather than bombarding subscribers with frequent, less relevant messages.

Best Practices for Email Marketing for Dropshipping

Implementing best practices can enhance your email marketing efforts and drive better results:

  • Personalization and Relevance: Make sure that all communications are relevant to the recipient. Use data-driven insights to personalize emails and make them more applicable to the individual’s interests and buying behavior.
  • Mobile Optimization: With the increasing use of mobile devices to read emails, ensure all your email campaigns are mobile-friendly.
  • Regular Testing and Optimization: Continuously test different aspects of your email campaigns, including design, copy, and call-to-action buttons, to find what works best for your audience.

Actionable Tips:

  • Stay updated with the latest email marketing laws and guidelines. Ignorance of the law is not a defense, and non-compliance can result in hefty fines.
  • Utilize email marketing tools and resources that help automate compliance checks, such as ensuring all emails contain an unsubscribe option.

By following these guidelines and prioritizing compliance and ethical practices, your email marketing for dropshipping will not only be more successful but will also sustain customer trust and loyalty.

This foundation of trust is crucial for building lasting relationships with your customers, which is ultimately reflected in your store’s bottom line. And remember, email marketing is not the only marketing strategy for dropshipping. Make sure to experiment with others!

Final Thoughts

As we wrap up this guide on email marketing for dropshipping, it's clear that being effective is not just about sending emails — it's about sending the right emails to the right people at the right time. By understanding your audience, using the right tools, and continuously implementing tests and optimizations, you can significantly boost your results and revenue.

Now that your email marketing is covered, let's talk products. If you're looking for a dropshipping platform that can deliver high-quality products with fast shipping, DropCommerce is your go-to solution. DropCommerce is a dropshipping app that integrates directly with Shopify (or Wix, BigCommerce, Shoplazza), and allows you to sell high-quality products from North American suppliers directly on your store.

Start email marketing for dropshipping, and let us handle the orders and fulfillment. You can get started for free!

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