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April 17, 2020


Privy releases free email templates to help eCommerce shops bring back buyers

Essence of Email is proud to announce a new collaboration with our partners at Privy – 12 brand new email templates. These ready-to-use templates include newsletters, Abandoned Carts, and Order Follow-Ups, and you can access them on Privy’s eCommerce platform. Our goal in joining forces is to help every retailer take their email marketing to another level without having to spend hours creating template emails themselves.

Email design can make or break your relationship with your customers and 66% of people, especially millennials, prefer visually appealing designs over plain text emails. So, it’s no surprise that a well-designed email can improve engagement and lead to higher click-through rates and more sales.

However, creating amazing emails is often time-consuming and small eCommerce brands typically don’t have the time to create them. That’s why we decided to make use of our years of experience and email marketing expertise to create templates that can be used across industries. Our designs are based on data, so we know what works when it comes to driving sales for eCommerce stores.

Certain emails are heavily under-utilized by eCommerce brands. For example, some brands don’t use Confirmation emails correctly, even though they can be a very effective way to keep customers engaged and turn first-time buyers into repeat customers. Additionally, Abandoned Cart emails can potentially save 4% of abandoned carts. As over 70% of eCommerce carts are abandoned on average, these emails can be highly valuable. 

Our email templates will help you stand out and utilize these valuable sales opportunities! You can take a look at our collection of templates on Privy’s website. 


New Outlook 365 ATP will try to protect us from security threats during and after the COVID-19 crisis

Microsoft Outlook 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is scheduled to release mid-April 2020 and will impact email deliverability of senders whose sending structure has not been white-labeled. ATP will block any emails sent to Outlook 365 email addresses that do not have proper DKIM and SPF alignment. In a recently published article, Klaviyo examines what Outlook 365 ATP entails and what you can do to prepare for this change.

Outlook 365 Advanced Threat Protection is a Microsoft initiative to boost security, blocking any malicious content from reaching their customers’ inboxes. The update will block any incoming emails that do not have the proper DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) and SPF (Sender Policy Framework) alignments. SPF and DKIM are mechanisms that identify the validity of email senders according to DMARC.

For more information on what DMARC, DKIM, and SPF entail and how to continue emailing your subscribers during the COVID-19 crisis, read Essence of Email’s latest guide: How to Improve Email Deliverability During the COVID-19 Crisis.

Anyone using a shared sending domain will see an uptick in bounces if they have Outlook 365 emails on their subscriber list. A bounced email is one that fails to deliver or is rejected by the recipient’s email server. But, if you do not have any subscribers using Outlook 365 as their inbox provider, or if you are already a white-labeled domain, you will not be affected.

As reported by Outlook.com, their base of users reached 400 million in 2018. On average, about 5%-15% of subscribers on an email list are Outlook users. However, for B2B companies, this number may be higher. If there is a high number of Outlook 365 subscribers on a particular email list, it is very likely that bounce rates will rise (according to Klaviyo, a great bounce rate is 0.4% or lower). 

The process of white-labeling allows you to create your own designated sending domain. Doing so will ensure you comply with Outlook 365 ATP regulations and prevent unnecessary bounces. White-labeling means updating your DNS records to align your SPF and DKIM in a way that informs Outlook that emails are coming from your business, not from Klaviyo.

When it comes to Gmail, the company does not publicly share official information on their filtering algorithms, but it is always best to keep the setup and sending practices the same as for Outlook. 

In a nutshell, white-labeling changes (or removes entirely) the “via” part of the message that is displayed next to your “from” address, as shown in the image below.

If you are a Klaviyo user, visit their website to learn more about how ATP will affect your Klaviyo account and how to white-label it. You can also check and see if you have been already affected.


Shopify makes email marketing features free until October 1, 2020

On April 15, Shopify announced that their email marketing platform, Shopify Email, will be free for use for all merchants until October 1, 2020.

Shopify knows that email’s role as a direct line of communication between sellers and customers has never been more critical. Email marketing has become a lifeline for the countless businesses that need to reach out to and build trust with customers during this period of uncertainty. For this reason, Shopify decided to make their service free for the next six months.

Email is often the only channel that allows retailers to fully own their relationships with customers and potential buyers. And as a built-in part of the Shopify admin, Shopify Email is a direct extension of your online store. Smart templates automatically use your store’s logo, colors, and products to save you time and to maintain your unique branding.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, proactively sharing business and shipping updates can help reassure customers and maintain the relationships you’ve worked hard to build.

Shopify also announced more features that will make Shopify Email stronger, such as email scheduling, new pre-built templates, and 20 additional languages for merchants around the world.


How to become an “essential” online store in the age of coronavirus

The impact of coronavirus has been so catastrophic that not all predictions related to eCommerce can still be relied on. For many businesses, these times are a matter of adaptation and improvisation.

Common Thread put together 10 online shopping strategies for stores to become “essential”, followed by examples, insights, and results. We’ll take a look at a couple of them and you can check out the full article on their website. 

1. Messaging in “the moment” – Tactics, strategies, and offers that worked two weeks ago will not work today. What about addressing safety and shipping concerns? Should you explicitly mention the virus or use softer language around health and home?

As with all things, the answer is that it depends. Take a look at a case study by Bambu Earth and how their email generated $33.8k in revenue on the back of a single “Watch Now” call to action.

2. Lean into the “at-home” zeitgeist – Software-as-service platforms like Zoom, Slack, and Loom fit naturally into work-from-home environments and they’re reaping the rewards.

In what ways can you lean in as well? If you sell fashion, how can you leverage Walmart’s macro-data on “tops over bottoms”? If you’re an outdoor product, how can you bring it inside or into a customer’s backyard?

The irony of candle-maker Homesick’s success is that with everyone stuck in the house, it only makes us miss home all the more.

In response to that feeling, Homesick intensified its already strong position as a way to “connect with the people, places, and memories that matter most”.

Since the initiative went live, Homesick has reduced CAC from $19.65 to $13.17 and simultaneously increased:

  • Conversion rate by 68.4%
  • Traffic (users) by 99.5%
  • Revenue by 127.3%

Take a look at how 8 more brands offer clarity in the face of uncertainty. Their success is proof that it’s possible to take control of your own reality in a situation that seems unreal.

For some of us, this will be a time for grabbing market share previously dominated by enterprise retailers. We may see growth and opportunity like never before.

For others, it will be a  day-to-day battle with cash flow – fighting hard to retain customers, remain profitable, and stay afloat.

We can’t change the current climate. But what we can do is push forward and not hold back.

The winners will be those who peel back wallet-clasped fingers by removing every barrier to action, while remaining sensitive to wider needs, causes, and realities. Constraints generate creative solutions, demanding data to inform business decisions and guide innovation.


One newsletter. So much inspiration.

This newsletter from Starbucks is highly informative as well as fabulously designed. The detailed instructions for the pour-over method, the CTA buttons inviting people to shop, summer floats’ recipes, and Verismo’s variety are all excellent examples of great content and design. The best part is that every detail has a vibrant image to complement the text. Special mention: the placing of the Pinterest and Instagram logo is a clean-sweep!


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