40 Discount eCommerce & Promotion Ideas (+ Examples)

Post by
Mehdi Boufous
40 Discount eCommerce & Promotion Ideas (+ Examples)

Are you looking for discount email ideas, promotion ideas, email marketing ideas for sales or promotions?

It is just too much work to go hunting in the wild and signing up for a thousand different brands only to find them. 

Be smart and use Panoramata to curate terrific eCommerce email promotion ideas into smart lists as we did below. 

Here’s a quick look at some effective and time-tested eCommerce discount emails, promotional emails, emails for targeted customers, BFCM-specific emails, and more.

Best Discount Emails 

Discounts never go out of fashion. No one gets tired of saving a dollar or two (or ten). Using discount emails at random or as a part of well-timed welcome email campaigns are a terrific way to push some sales for your eCommerce brand. 

Here are some examples: 

We’ve curated some of the best welcome emails and/or discount specific email ideas for you. Take a look at them here (including creatives, images, and copy).

Early Access Black Friday/Cyber Monday 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) are a golden season for eCommerce brands and for consumers alike. Clocking in several billions of dollars worldwide, BCFM is a critical season to get your email promotions right. 

Here’s how a few brands do it: 

See the actual emails -- along with subject lines, images, creatives, copy, and more & early access black friday emails.

Free Shipping 

If it’s free, it’s taken. Or it’ll soon be taken. Free shipping is something that most brands can manage and it’s a terrific deal for customers. No one likes to pay for shipping (no matter how much consumers love and adore your products). 

Add in Free shipping and watch your sales soar: 

  • Free Shipping This weekend By La Roche-Posay 
  • Free Shipping - 24 hours only by Nick’s Ice Creams
  • It’s #FreeShipping Day by Stix
  • Shipping Free | 48 hours by Organifi 

These ideas are from actual emails we curated from leading eCommerce brands. See how they look like -- from subject lines to emojis; from product images to email copy. 

VIP Members Only 

We all love to be pampered. We want to feel exclusive. We’d like to know that we “belong” somewhere. Reward your regular customers or customers who purchased more than $XXX from you with a VIP tag. 

Then, segment these customers and send out specific email campaigns tailored to them, just as these brands do: 

Follow through with the idea of email messages making your customers feel important. See how eCommerce brands pamper their customers with the “VIP Idea”.

Gift Card Emails

Everyone loves gifts. The entire credit card industry globally runs on “gift vouchers”, “joining gifts”, and occasional “gift cards”. It’s been on for years, and It’ll continue to be. Use “Gift cards” as an occasional (or mildly regular) way to rope in customers to buy gift cards for themselves or to have them send gift cards (redeemable at your store) to others they love. 

See how gift cards make for an incredibly effective way to get some action -- with sales and transactions -- along with the email creatives used.

Quiz [Fun & Smart at the same time] Emails

You’ve heard about the power of segmentation, “knowing your customer”, and personalization. Those strategies only kick in when you have information. It stands to reason that you’d need to collect information first. 

Try using simple Quiz elements or questions within your email subject lines or as the focus of the entire email itself. 

See how brands do it: 

  • What Snack Are You? By Bokksu
  • Pop Quiz! Find Your Summer Routine By Lancome
  • Quiz: Which Moisturizer is For You? By Frank Body
  • The Quiz Your Skin Needs By 4.5.6 Skin

Ask thoughtful questions. Get feedback. Go smart. Talk to your customers hitting on exactly what they want to hear about, from your brand. Some more examples for inspiration

Ask Me Anything [AMA, for the Win] Emails

We do business with people. Period. Even brands need a face that customers can associate with. Rolling out occasional “have questions, do ask” or “Ask Me Anything” with an actual person handling these questions is a remarkable and intuitive way to reassure your customers, answer questions they have, handle objections, provide more information, and more. 

See what brands do, leading with questions: 

  • Jewelry Questions? Ask us By Gemvara
  • Questions about Sunbeam? By Blume
  • Your TikTok Questions, Answered By Stryx 
  • Any Questions? By Atoms

Take the stage and answer burning questions your customers have. See more examples.

Reviews, Social Proof, & “Featuring Customers” Emails

Social proof is huge. It’s a primary driver when it comes to decision-making. We know it. You know it. How about pushing the envelope? What about adding hilarious and funny reviews as the main angle for your email marketing campaigns? What happens when you feature your own customers within emails? 

Some brands do push the boundaries when it comes to using reviews. See how

  • Real Skin, Real Reviews By Glow Skin 
  • The Reviews Are In By Stix
  • Checkout Kea’s Real Results By Sienna Naturals
  • “Coziest Thing I’ve Ever Worn” By Parade

Move the needle by pulling up social proof to do what it does best. Allow customers to learn from others’ experiences. Learn how eCommerce brands leverage social proof or feature their customers.

Got Problems? Here’s a Fix 

Nothing gets you to the “aha” moment faster than a fast solution to an epic problem your customers have. Your brand, sometimes, benefits from going in straight for the “problem-fixing” mode. 

Some email marketing campaigns are straight, concise, and aim for the fix. Here’s how some brands do it:

  • Sleep Problems? Hello Casper 4D Sleep Technology By Casper 
  • Your Pest Problems, Solved By Sunday 
  • Stomach Problems? Not Anymore By Standard Dose
  • Cryo Your Skin Problems Away By Dr. Jart

Talk straight. Build rapport. See how brands hit the sweet spot by trying to solve problems customers have

Main Proposition & your USP

Repetition leads to familiarity and brand recognition. There’s no denying the power of reinstating the “Big Why” (Thank you Simon Sinek, author of the bestseller Start With Why). Often, eCommerce brands send out email campaigns that emphasize their main promise and the primary USP (Unique Selling Proposition). 

See how: 

Checkout more examples on positioning, branding, and USP.

Hungry for more ideas? See hundreds of promotional email examples and emails with discount ideas from our specially curated list(s), categorized by several common types of email promotion ideas