Baking email templates since 2008

The MailBakery Blog

eCommerce Email Template Design: 6 Essential Elements

Reading Time: 4 minutes

This article was last updated on January 22, 2018

The eCommerce email template designs are a huge part of any brand’s email marketing. Besides the obligatory elements such as a subject line, a preview text, a header and a footer, the eCommerce email template design differentiates from other campaigns with a few must-have elements. We’ve outlined the 6 most important traits of an eCommerce email template, so let’s start!

1. Visuals

The creation of a great eCommerce email template starts with choosing the right visuals. Visual content nails the attention, pleases the eye, and tempts the recipient to click through. Therefore, all photos and pictures that go into your template should be high quality. Moreover, they should capture your product in its best light. Angle, light, colors, density – every little “touch” should contribute to your product’s irresistible look.

The purpose of the visual content is to activate the senses and create desire. Here is a great example by Nike. They created a “Go green” themed campaign showing off incredibly attractive product shots. In fact, Nike chose to focus on the visual presentation of the product and cut out the copy to a minimum. We are pretty sure they generated lots of clicks on this one!

2. Copy

A well written copy has the power to impact the recipient’s decision to click even if they originally didn’t intent to. A powerful copy should be crafted in such a way to tap into the recipient’s feelings, provoke emotion, and even make the recipient imagine they own the product already. In most cases the copy is complementary to the visuals but as much essential. Similar to the photos, the words are meant to evoke a strong emotion which would lead to action.

Here is a great example of a campaign that taps into the recipient feelings. EF College Break has captured the euphoria of the holidays, enhanced it by using the right photos and the right message and turned it into an email campaign promoting trips.

3. Font

Your choice of font should enhance the copy effect. Make sure it is readable on all kinds of screen resolutions. You should never ever make the user zoom. Usually you can combine up to 2 different fonts for eye-pleasing effect.

Here is an example of an eCommerce template design by Free People. They used one primary font and two additional fonts as accents to spice up the template.

free-people ecommerce email

4. Call-to-action

The call-to-action button is the most vital element of your eCommerce email template. The reason you are creating the template is to navigate the user to your website and make them shop. This is the call-to-action button’s job.

Now, in most cases you will have a primary call-to-action button which is big, notable, and placed above the fold. Even if your email marketing template continues below the fold, the button’s job is to instantly grab the attention of your recipient, therefore increase the chance of a click. Logically, the first section of your eCommerce email should be complete on its own, or it could in fact be the whole template, just like the following example by From the Ground Up.


Multiple call-to-action buttons are quite common for eCommerce email template designs. Usually, the brands give several offers to choose from, and each offer has its own section including a product picture, description and a call-to-action button. Here is an example by Beauty Insider showing off various offers in neatly arranged sections.

beauty-insider ecommerce email template

5. Incentive

The right incentive can be crucial for the recipient’s decision whether to click, or not. Creating scarcity is a great technique to persuade the user to check out your offer. Use words such as limited time, limited collection, exclusive offer. Free shipping is also widely popular especially if you have to convince new users to make a purchase. Here is an example by Boden. They combined 20% discount offer plus free shipping and returns.

ecommerce template email

Scarcity provokes the fear of missing out. Free People created an email marketing template, directly taking advantage of this consumers’ fear. This technique is widely popular and although people see it quite often, it still works because it influences the user’s behavior on a subconscious level. Here is the example.


6. Social proof

Social proof elements build trust. They demonstrate that people are actually buying the product. Now, elements of social proofs can be different every time but usually these would be testimonials, reviews, product ratings, celebrities representing the brand, other famous brands recommending the product, etc.

Kate Spade went a little bit further with social proof elements and used people’s reviews as main incentives for their offer.


Bottom line,

These 6 elements will make your eCommerce email template successful and will increase your chances for conversions. To make the best out of your email marketing campaign, check out these 60+ Little Email Marketing Tips.