ecommerce incentives

Drive Conversions Without Discounting Your Revenue

Tired of handing out discounts that eat into your profit margins? You aren’t alone. The good news is that pointed email marketing strategies can replace some discounts and still drive ecommerce conversions and sales.

That’s not to say that discounts shouldn’t be used. They can be very effective in certain scenarios, so continue to use them where they can be a critical factor in driving the first purchase, reengaging a high-value customer, or as part of a win-back campaign.

Let’s take a look at top strategies for driving conversions and sales with your email marketing.

Increase Average Order Value With Product Recommendations

Add to or improve the product recommendations you are sending. Doing so can help to trigger conversions and boost average order value (AOV). The ReSci A.I. automatically determines and includes the best products to highlight for each customer: viewed or purchased products, best sellers, similar products based on category, products left in a cart, or predicted user preferences.

Watch this quick overview video to learn more about ReSci’s A.I. and powerful product recommendations.

Ecommerce Marketing Automation with A.I. | Retention Science

Include Order Minimum Incentives

Maybe it’s a free shipping offer for orders over $75, or a $25 off $100 or more offer. Yes, it’s still a discount, but you are boosting AOV at the same time, minimizing the impact on your bottom line. Alternatively, you could add a fun branded gift like a t-shirt or sticker that nurtures brand loyalty and helps to grow brand awareness.





Share Standard Incentives and Brand Values 

Do you offer free shipping across the board? What about free returns? Do you have a satisfaction guarantee? Is your product manufactured in a way that is eco-friendly and/or cruelty-free?  Make sure your subscribers know about your brand values and standard incentives. 

Support independent businesses


Natural ingredients


Socially responsible


Socially aware and environmentally aware shoppers are likely looking to connect with a brand via their explicit, shared values.

Similarly, if you are committed to using a Welcome discount code, test its effectiveness against Cortex’s Welcome flow incentive optimizer. This allows you to A/B test incentives in the welcome series so that you can compare new users who receive a 10% off offer with users who only see your standard incentives, or with new users who see no incentive at all. You might be surprised to learn that you don’t always need a discount.

Cross-Selling Through Product Recommendations 

This is an especially effective strategy to consider within the Ready to Buy stage which targets new and existing customers. It’s possible that these customers have only lightly explored your products. Cross-selling via product recommendations in email communications can build awareness of other products within your catalog. 

ReSci’s dynamic merge tags in the drag and drop template builder enable this sophisticated way of cross-selling. Once they have been implemented, the A.I. does all the work for you, pulling in the right product recommendations for each customer based on their own browsing habits and purchase history. 

Let’s Talk About Subject Lines

Let’s cut to the chase. Subject lines are so important for email marketing success. Take a look at your reporting to see which subject lines are performing better than others. More times than not there is a story to tell and a pattern to take note of in terms of what drives your subscribers to open and engage with your email.

It could be time to brush off the creative side of your brain and update some subject lines. Could you use some help with this? ReSci offers a smart subject line builder that tests and selects subjects to ensure you are getting the maximum benefit from your subject lines. Effective subject lines drive customers back to your site so they can engage further and perhaps make a purchase.


Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to get your customers to continue buying from you without always offering discounts. Discounts should still (and always will be) be a tool in your marketing toolbox, but knowing when to use discounts and being strategic with them is smart marketing.  A standard incentive or relevant content can be just as important to your customers, so make sure you are providing value in a variety of ways.



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ReSci is a team of marketers and data scientists on a mission to democratize AI. We make powerful recommendations and predictions accessible to brands.

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