8 Lessons Email Marketers Can Learn from Amazon and eBay


You may not own the next Amazon or eBay, but you can learn a lot from the biggest players in the online world. Companies like Amazon and eBay were there at the dawn of the Internet, and they have already experienced and overcome the growing pains your small business is going through.

Looking at how the largest companies use email marketing is a great way to build your own business and grow your sales. You can also learn from the missteps larger companies have made and avoid making the same mistakes.

1 – Time Your Emails Right

Big companies like Amazon and eBay understand the importance of timing. They send their emails when their customers are ready to see them, and they use a series of emails to build excitement and grow sales. They also test and retest consumer response, constantly tweaking the timing of their emails until it is just right.

2 – Use a Single Call to Action
Your customers need to know what to do, so don’t leave them guessing. Every email you send should include a single call to action. Whether you want your recipients to visit your website, like you on Facebook, explore your retail store or buy your product online, a clear call to action is essential.

3 – Avoid the Hard Sell

Selling is at the heart of email marketing, but it should not be all you do. If your emails are nothing more than dressed-up ads, your list members will quickly tire of them. Offering valuable advice and information is the best way to keep your customers engaged.

4 – Create a Sense of Urgency


Time-sensitive emails can improve your response rates and get you more sales. Creating a sense of urgency is a great way to engage your customers and make them look forward to the next message.

5 – Create a Consistent Brand


Every email you send should be an extension of your brand. From the logo in the email header to the size and color of the fonts you use, creating a consistent look and feel engenders trust in your customers and increases the value of your brand.

6 – Know What Your Customers Want

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Tracking your customers and understanding their needs should be an integral part of your email marketing strategy. Whether you use surveys, metrics or other forms of tracking, understanding your customers allows you to anticipate their needs and know what they want before they do. The biggest players in the industry have already learned this lesson, and you can benefit from their experience.

7 – Keep it Simple
If the people on your mailing list wanted to read a book, they would buy one – probably from Amazon. Keep your emails short and to the point. If the reader cannot figure out what the email is all about within a few seconds, you need to edit your message.

8 – Spot the Trends
The Internet moves at lightning speed compared to other forms of media. Changes that would take years in the offline world can happen in a matter of weeks or even days online. Amazon was one of the first to spot the shift from bookstores and music retailers to online book and music sales, and they profited handsomely as a result. Companies like eBay were quick to spot a need for an online marketplace, and they rushed in to fill the void. Spotting opportunities and moving quickly can help your business succeed as well.

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