The top tips and risks for creating an effective promotional offer email for customer retention in the cosmetics industry

In order to help retain customers for your cosmetics company, it is important to have a suitable initiative. In this blog, the following initiative will be discussed:

‘Using email marketing to improve customer retention- with a focus on promotional emails’

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective promotional methods, because it allows you to connect one-on-one with customers, meaning higher responses to your offers (Yapp, 2015). In 2017, 80% of brands relied on it for customer retention (Dunleavy, 2017). In terms of promotional emails, these are important for maximising the number of customers who stay loyal. Some examples are a freebie or % off prices (McEwen, 2017). It is vital that they are well targeted and customised to the consumer. Some of the top tips and risks will be discussed.


The top tips on how to create an effective promotional email to improve customer retention:

1. Personalising– With the cosmetics industry offering many different types of products such as makeup, bath products etc, it is important to personalise the email, by understanding your customer’s most purchased cosmetics items and interests (Dunleavy, 2017); (Moosend, 2015). For instance, if a makeup product the customer left in their basket becomes on offer, this could be an effective way to entice them to come back and purchase (Saasquatch, 2017). Also addressing customers by their name could engage them more, by making the offer seem more personal. An additional tip from an academic point of view is that it is important to use segmentation, and only send to the specific groups that the offer is suitable for (Cavanaugh, 2017).

For more useful information on personalising an email, see

Below is an example of a promotional email by Mac (2016, cited in George, 2016). However, one point to add is that it could be more personalised, by adding the recipient’s name.





















2. Show a sense of urgency– By putting a clear time limit on the offer, it could help retain customers because they may feel more of a need to act on it and make a purchase before it runs out (Vertical Response, 2017). It has been further suggested by academics that the longer the time limit, the more likely it is that customers will delay taking advantage of the offer (Hanna, Berger and Abendroth, 2005).


3. Keep it concise– Keep the email fairly short, with detail on what the offer involves and when it expires (Redfern Jones, 2006). This could help retain customers because the offer will appear clear and entice the reader (Hodges, 2017). Yapp (2015) further adds to this, by stating that in a 2015 study of 2.1 million emails, emails with around 20 lines of text and 3 or less images gained the highest click-through rate.


Below is an example from the cosmetics company Smashbox (2018, cited in Pinterest, 2018). The customers are more likely to be retained because the offer shown is clear, with limited text and two images. This is a useful example to see how it can be done well.















4. Include a call to action– This is vital, because it shows the potential consumer what you want them to do next, which could help to increase the number of purchases made (Mott, 2018). Action verbs should be used, and the call to action button should stand out (Mott, 2018). Carmen and Nicolae (2010) provide an extra tip, suggesting that it should be addressed to the target, to increase the rate of response and retain the customers.


Below is an example by Sephora (2017, cited in Carter, 2017). For more information, see










5. Frequency– Ensure that you send emails regularly enough, so that consumers stay aware of your brand. However, a contradictory view by Grimes, Hough and Signorella (2017) is that sending too many offers via email could become less appealing to customers, because they will be used to receiving them.




However, there are some risks that you need to be aware of before sending promotional emails.

  • Sending emails too inconsistently- If you rarely send emails to make customers aware of your promotional offers, it could risk them losing awareness of your brand (Schreiber, 2018).
  • Sending SPAM emails- According to Reimers, Chao and Gorman (2016), if emails are sent to consumers without their permission, this is known as SPAM. Grimes, Hough and Signorella (2017) adds a further academic view, stating that the majority of people find it intrusive and irritating. If promotional emails keep getting sent, this could be off-putting, instead of helping to retain them.
  • Not proofreading- If there are spelling or grammatical errors, this could be deemed as unprofessional (Eventbrite, 2016).
  •  But, a contradictory view by Chaffey (2016, cited in Budac, 2016), is that email marketing is one of the most effective forms of promotion. Therefore, despite the risks, it is an important initiative to use.



Overall, these tips and risks will be useful when creating a promotional offer email to consumers of your cosmetics company. One of the most important aspects to consider is to personalise the email, because it creates a 75% higher open rate (Hurley-Hall, 2017). With the risk of the email being classed as SPAM and put into the ‘trash’, it is vital that your email is well targeted to the type of consumers you want to retain.


These are some useful links/videos that provide further information:

Constant Contact (2015)


How to write promotional emails:



Budac, C. (2016) Theoretical Approaches on Successful Email Marketing Campaigns. Ovidius University Annals: Economic Science Series. Vol. 1, No. 2, p306-311.

Carmen, P. & Nicolae, P.A. (2010) Email marketing campaigns: the easiest path from organizations to consumers – an exploratory assessment. Annals of the University of Oradea: Economic Science. Vol. 1, No. 1, p737-742.

Carter, E. (2017) ‘4 Elements of Successful Email Calls to Action’. [Online] <> [Accessed 29th March 2018]

Cavanaugh, C. (2017) Want Repeat Customers? An Email Marketing Lesson From Firehouse Subs. Franchising World. Vol. 49, No. 5, p64-66.

Constant Contact (2015) Email Design Mistakes You Should Avoid- Constant Contact. [Video] YouTube. <> [Accessed 3rd April 2018]

Dunleavy, K. (2017) ‘How to Drive Customer Retention with Email Marketing’. [Online] <> [Accessed 26th March 2018]

Eventbrite (2016) ‘7 Common Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid’. [Online] <> [Accessed 31st March 2018]

George, K. (2016) ‘Email Marketing Face-off: MAC vs. L’Oreal Paris’. [Online] <> [Accessed 26th March 2018]

Grimes, G.A., Hough, M.G. & Signorella, M.L. (2007) Email end users and spam: relations of gender and age group to attitudes and actions. Computers in Human Behavior. Vol. 23, No. 1, p318-332.

Hanna, R.C., Berger, P.D. & Abendroth, L.J. (2005) Optimizing time limits in retail promotions: an email application. Journal of the Operational Research Society. Vol. 56, No. 1, p15-24.

Hodges, M. (2017) ‘How to Write Promotional Emails’. [Online] <> [Accessed 29th March 2018]

Hurley-Hall, S. (2017) ‘Is Email Marketing Dead? Here’s What the Statistics Show’. [Online] <> [Accessed 29th March 2018]

McEwen, L.F. (2017) ‘The Anatomy of a Promotional Email and Examples for Inspiration’. [Online] <> [Accessed 1st April 2018]

Moosend (2015) ‘The Ultimate Email Marketing Guide For Beauty & Cosmetics Companies’. [Online] <> [Accessed 27th March 2018]

Mott, A. (2018) ‘The importance of attention-grabbing calls to action for your next email’. [Online] <> [Accessed 29th March 2018] 

Pinterest (2018) ‘Emails’. [Online] <> [Accessed 29th March 2018]

Redfern Jones, J. (2006) Sending the right message. Nursing Standard. Vol. 20, No. 41, p72.

Reimers, V., Chao, C.W. & Gorman, S. (2016) Permission email marketing and its influence on online shopping. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics. Vol. 28, No. 2, p308-322.

Saasquatch (2017) ‘3 Promotional Email Examples Guaranteed to Convert’. [Online] <> [Accessed 26th March 2018]

Schreiber, D. (2018) Experts Weigh In: 21 Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid’. [Online] <> [Accessed 26th March 2018]

Vertical Response (2017) ‘The 9 emails your business should be sending’. [Online] <> [Accessed 27th March 2018]

Yapp, W. (2015) Driving Better Results Through Email Marketing: Email campaigns are most successful when they are permission-based, well-timed and present offers that customers truly want. Franchising World. Vol. 47, No. 5, p50-52.

6 thoughts on “The top tips and risks for creating an effective promotional offer email for customer retention in the cosmetics industry

  1. It’s fantastic. Thank you for taking the time to express yourself and put down your thoughts. I’d like to learn more about it.

  2. Nice Post! Keep updating posts like this. Visit Corridor Web Agency for information related to Digital Marketing.

  3. Thank you for this informative post! I agree that a promotional offer should be concise and can show the urgency of the call since this would attract more customers to be interested and avail immediately. I found this site and then I became interested in enrolling. I’m wondering if more about these effective promotions for email and other online methods would be taught in free digital marketing courses?

  4. What are the best practices for designing a mobile-friendly promotional offer email in the cosmetics industry?

  5. Thank you for providing such an insightful and well-researched blog post. Your expertise on the subject matter was evident, and I enjoyed learning from your perspective. To gain further insights, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *