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Eight creative free shipping examples to increase sales

By Stacy Kimbell

January 17, 2024

Free shipping is an attractive proposition to encourage shoppers to buy your products. 

Free shipping emails allow customers to get the products they love at no extra cost. In fact, 76% of online shoppers consider free shipping the most essential factor when choosing an online retail shop. 

This clearly shows that your store has much to gain from knowing how to offer free shipping. Well-crafted free shipping emails are critical in persuading customers to take advantage of the offer and purchase.

This article will explore creative free shipping email examples and discover best practices.

Let’s get right into it. 

The power of free shipping in email marketing

Online shopping has revolutionized how we shop. A survey by Goshippo states that 60% of buyers prefer buying online rather than in-store.

However, 62% of shoppers won’t buy from an online store because they don’t offer free shipping. That’s how important free shipping is to buyers.

By implementing a compelling email marketing strategy that includes free delivery, you can confidently expect more customer engagement and a boost in revenue.

Below, we highlight the power of free shipping emails in marketing. 

Customer loyalty: Free shipping guarantees hassle-free shopping. Satisfied customers are more likely to return to your store.

Reduced cart abandonment: 47% of shoppers abandon their carts because of extra costs, like shipping fees. So, offering free shipping encourages them to complete their purchases.

Stand out from the competition: Free shipping offers set your brand apart. It encourages customers to choose you over the competition, especially when comparing.

Higher order value: 78% of consumers will likely add more items to their cart to qualify for free shipping. This contributes to an increased average order value and higher revenue for your business.

Customer-centric perception: Customers will consider your brand customer-centric when you offer free shipping. Your brand image gets a positive perception, which can lead to positive word-of-mouth.

Win back customers: You can win back former customers with the right free shipping email strategy. The offer compels them to come back and make another purchase.

Timing and frequency for sending free shipping emails

Timing and frequency are essential considerations when sending free shipping emails. Finding the right balance guarantees that your emails are engaging and well-received.

So, let’s walk you through how you can ensure that your emails don’t overwhelm your customers.

Strategic timing: Schedule free shipping announcements and emails around peak shopping periods. This includes summer sales, back-to-school periods, and winter season holidays. 

Free shipping emails are very effective in the second or third iteration of promotional campaigns. 

For instance, you send the first email about the winter sale, highlighting discounts and special offers. The following email in this campaign could then focus on free shipping, and reiterating the seasonal offers promoted previously. Free shipping emails are an excellent opportunity to reach out to your customers again, remind them of ongoing sales, and specifically promote the free shipping offer.

Other times you can send free shipping emails include:

  • Product launches and pre-launches
  • First order from new customers
  • Subscription renewals
  • Anniversary celebrations
  • End-of-month promotions
  • Limited-time offers
  • Post-review appreciation
  • VIP customer rewards

Right frequency: Striking a balance between engaging and overwhelming your customers is crucial for a successful free shipping email strategy. A general guideline is to send a single free shipping email per month.

Consider sending two emails for limited-time offers or major sales—an initial announcement and a reminder.

In addition, segment your audience and fix the frequencies accordingly. While new customers may respond well to welcome offers, returning customers might prefer exclusive free shipping deals.

Segmenting your audience for free shipping offers

The most common strategy merchants employ is offering free shipping to all customers on all orders of $50 ($100, $200, etc.)  and above.

However, if you prefer not to offer this to all shoppers, you can segment your audience and present the free shipping offer as an exclusive incentive.

Let’s discuss how to tailor your free shipping promotion email for maximum impact.

Customer loyalty levels

If your store has a loyalty program with different status levels, leverage this to segment your audience for free shipping. 

Offer free shipping exclusively to higher-level members as a reward for their continuous patronage. You incentivize loyalty and encourage lower-level customers to move up the ladder.

For better visibility, display free shipping as an incentive for each loyalty level. Also, group your email marketing list based on loyalty levels. You can personalize offers to emphasize free shipping as a perk of their status.

Shopping and purchase history

Customer behavior and purchase history provide valuable insights for creating targeted free shipping offers. 

If a customer hasn’t bought from you in 14+ days, you can offer them free shipping to restore their interest. It also encourages them to buy from your store again.

Alternatively, you could segment customers who have spent less than $50 with you (or below your average cart value) and offer free shipping exclusively to them on purchases of $50 or more. This strategy aims to increase the average cart value.

Eight creative free shipping email examples

Crafting free shipping emails for every occasion can be overwhelming. So, we’ve compiled eight exciting examples to use as a free shipping email template.

Observe the elements that work in these examples and incorporate them into your campaigns.

1. Holiday season free shipping – Frank. Body

The Frank Body’s free shipping promotion email copy is simple yet effective. The announcement of free shipping during the holidays instantly catches your attention.

The two CTA buttons are hard to miss, and they also redirect customers to the store to make a purchase. The copy reassures customers of fast delivery, even during the holidays. 

Overall, the design is simple but aesthetically pleasing.

Image via Really Good Emails

2. Limited-time free shipping – Glossier

Glossier offers free shipping as a limited-time promotion in this example. Here, they keep the text and image simple so that customers aren’t overwhelmed. 

Even better, they clearly state at the top that the offer has no requirements. This lets customers instantly know they don’t need to do anything to qualify for the offer.

There’s more!

Stating exactly when the offer ends sparks a sense of urgency in customers. People fear missing out (FOMO), compelling them to act. A clear CTA also directs customers to the website to make a purchase.

Image via Pinterest

3. Free shipping offer on birthdays – Boden

Here’s an excellent example of a free shipping announcement from Boden on a customer’s birthday. 

This strategy creates a personalized experience that enhances customer loyalty. The email’s vibrant and celebratory design adds a festive touch that captures attention.

It has a well-displayed CTA and instructions that create urgency and tell customers what to do next.

Combining all these elements creates a memorable connection with the customer. It also encourages them to make a purchase.

free shipping email by Boden


Image via Pinterest

4. Seasonal and large order free shipping offer – Levain Bakery

This example uses free shipping wording that spells out the offer clearly and concisely. It states the requirements for the offer, encouraging customers to buy larger orders and various packs.

As a back-to-school season offer, it presents a convenient solution for busy families. 

Even better, the direct CTA guides customers to the website to make a purchase. The code (BACK2SCHOOL23) needed at checkout is easy to remember. It’s boldly written, making it hard to miss.

The images are also noteworthy as they show the products they sell. Customers can see what they are about to buy before going to the website.

Image via Really Good Emails

5. Free shipping on first order – Tory Burch

Here, Tory Burch prioritizes a personalized experience for its new customers. This makes an excellent first impression and helps them stand out.

The email combines a welcome message, a 10% discount, and free shipping. This compels customers to use these offers and come back for more.

The pictures of new arrivals tell customers they are the first to know about any new product. There’s also a clear CTA and instructions on how to redeem the offer. With that, customers can learn the next steps to take to buy the product.

Image via Pinterest

6. Abandoned cart free shipping offer – United By Blue

This example from United By Blue is another excellent free shipping template you can use. 

It offers an incentive to customers to clear out their carts. It clearly states specific requirements and conditions for getting free shipping.

The fixed minimum cost requirement compels customers to add more items to their cart before clearing it. The copy also has a strong CTA that takes the customer directly to their cart to complete the order.

It employs a minimalist look with little text and an image of one of the products in the cart. The copy reminds customers of what’s in their cart and directs them what to do next.

Image via Really Good Emails

7. One-time free shipping offer – Pottery Barn

Offering a one-off incentive is a great chance to increase sales with free shipping. That’s what Pottery Barn does in this example.

Due to its limited availability, new and existing customers are strongly motivated to buy immediately. The tight deadline introduces a sense of urgency to the email’s tone and voice.

This email combines the offer with a President’s Day sale, giving it a catchy theme. It grabs the customer’s attention and piques their interest.

Image via Pottery Barn

8. Add-on free shipping offer – Loeffler Randall

Loeffler Randall combines free shipping efficiently with their Thanksgiving deal in this email. It taps into the season’s excitement and positions the offer as a solution to holiday stress.

The CTA and texts at the bottom show all the benefits they stand to gain, which piques the customer’s interest.

Moreover, the simple yet aesthetically pleasing design creates a festive, friendly atmosphere that fosters brand loyalty. The bold “thank you” text demonstrates that Boden values customers above everything else. 

Image via Pinterest

18 free shipping subject line ideas

There’s more to sending free shipping emails. You need a subject line that captures customer’s attention and drives clicks.

Here, we’ll provide 18 free shipping subject line ideas to inspire your next campaign.

General catchy subject lines:

  • Did someone say “free”?! Order now and get free shipping!
  • Psst… your cart wants free shipping. 🛒Give it what it wants!
  • Shipping fees? Not today! Join our free shipping fiesta!
  • Get it fast, get it free! Don’t miss out on our free shipping offer.
  • Don’t worry about shipping. It’s on us! Shop now! 
  • Make a purchase worth $50, and we’ll ship it for free! 🚚

Urgency-driven subject lines:

  • LAST CHANCE! ⏳Free shipping ends at midnight. ⏱️Shop now!
  • Time is running out! ⌛Free shipping ends in 3 hours. ⏰
  • Free shipping for the next 24 hours only! ⌚Don’t miss out!
  • Last call! Free shipping on gifts ends tonight!
  • Flash sale alert! Free shipping for the next 5 hours!
  • Just one more day left! Make huge savings with free shipping now!
  • Free shipping on all items in our store. Offer lasts till midnight!

Personalized and targeted subject lines:

  • Free shipping on your next order! Shop now and treat yourself!
  • Welcome, [Name]! 🎉Your first order will be shipped for free!
  • Psst, [Name], free shipping awaits these items in your cart! 🛒
  • We miss you, [Name]! Order again and enjoy free shipping!
  • Happy birthday, [Name]! 🎂Enjoy free shipping on your special day! 🎊

Best practices for designing free shipping emails

To capitalize on the potential of free shipping emails, you need to create them strategically. Here are some best practices to apply when designing free shipping emails.

  • Use a catchy headline: Your subject line is your first impression. Add a bit of excitement with clear, concise messaging. Strategically use emojis to grab attention. 
  • Design captivating visuals: Use a vibrant banner that clearly shows the “Free Shipping” message. Make sure the layout and product images are clear and visible on desktop and mobile devices.
  • Keep it short and sweet: Don’t bury the message; clearly state the free shipping offer upfront. Also include the time limit and minimum order requirement, if any. Use concise copy and bullet points to highlight important details, like excluded items and estimated delivery times.
  • Add a sense of urgency: Time-limited offers create a sense of urgency. Set deadlines for free shipping promotions or tease limited quantities of top-selling items. Scarcity cues and countdowns are powerful motivators.
  • Use a clear call to action: Let your audience know what you want them to do next. Use clear CTAs like “Shop Now” or “Go to Cart.” Consider adding countdown timers for urgency.
  • Perform A/B testing: Don’t guess what works. Conduct A/B tests for different banner designs, CTA wording, and subject lines to see what works best for your audience. Data-driven insights help refine your free shipping email strategy to get the best results.

Measuring the success of free shipping emails

Like other marketing initiatives, measuring the impact of free shipping emails is essential. Here are the key metrics to keep an eye on to gauge their success.

Open rate and click-through rate: Open rates show initial engagement. However, metrics like click-through rate (CTR) show how effective your messaging is at compelling customers to take action.

Does your “Free Shipping for Orders Over $10” encourage clicks to your product page? This CTR data guides you in creating more compelling offers and headlines.

Conversion rate: The percentage of clicks that turn into sales is essential. It tells you if your free shipping offer has been truly effective in driving sales.

Did that free shipping email translate into the clearing of more shopping carts? You can assess your offer’s actual sales driving power with this metric.

Average order value: Don’t stop at conversions. Measure the average order value (AOV) to see if free shipping encourages customers to add more items to their baskets.

This data shows if you strategically set your minimum order thresholds for free shipping to justify promotional costs.

Return on investment: Check your ROI to see if your free shipping offer email campaign generated any profit. Analyze this across different email campaigns and platforms to identify winners. Then, refine your strategy to get the best financial results.

Free shipping emails: Wrap up

There you have it. We’ve shown you some creative free shipping announcement examples to help increase sales.

These examples can serve as free shipping templates for your next campaign. You can also use them to build customer loyalty and improve the shopping experience.

Seize the opportunity, and start sending those emails today!

Stacy Kimbell
Stacy Kimbell
Co-founder & Chief Editor
Stacy Kimbell has nine years of experience in email marketing. She's worked with different email platforms and created many successful email campaigns for online and offline, well-established as well as family businesses. Stacy is excited to share her expertise with readers.

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