How to Build an Email List for Your Ecommerce Business

by 300cbt Team

You don't always need to focus on your ecommerce site's overall conversion rate, but you will want to spend time on first-time visitors, especially low-intent channels. Visitors need convincing during the buying process. This is where email marketing can provide exceptional value as a channel.

Not only does email help reduce lost sales, but it also has strong conversion rates across many industries. Data shows that, on average, businesses earn $44 for every dollar spent on email marketing, and the average conversion rate for landing page traffic sent via email is 6.05%.

Convincing someone visiting your e-commerce site for the first time to provide their email address is easier than persuading them to make a purchase. It doesn't cost you anything, and you can even receive incentives like discounts or free gifts.

To start enjoying these benefits and leveraging the potential of email marketing, you first need a subscriber list. Your list will grow once you start selling, so why wait? There are steps you can take to build your email list before selling your first product.

Effective email marketing starts with a targeted list.

A successful campaign starts with your email list. Building a segmented and targeted email list is the best way. There's no point spending time building beautiful email campaigns with elaborate design, compelling copywriting, and special offers if your list isn't well-organized. Here are three important priorities for building your email list:

1. Quality: Get real information from people and never buy an email list.

2. Relevance: Target people who are genuinely interested in your brand and products.

3. Quantity: Once you have identified your first two priorities, you can focus on growing capacity and listings.

Increase Turnover: 5 Ways to Start Building Your Email List

Like your email list, your website is a valuable asset that is entirely under your control. And since some of your most valuable subscribers will be interested customers who don't commit on their first visit, it makes sense to look to your online store as the first place to build your list.

1. Post a pop-up on the homepage

You don't want to make your customers wait or expect a discount, but one useful point is when visitors head to the back button. Pop-ups are your first opportunity to save on potential sales.

Email pop-ups can help. Although they may be ridiculed by some customers, testing has shown that with the right offer targeted at the right customers, pop-ups can significantly increase email sign-ups. There are also tests you can run to elevate and personalize your offers while minimizing the annoyance of pop-ups.

First, let's try exit intotop-up from the store. This pops up only when the visitor moves their mouse to navigate away from the page. Depending on your tool's targeting options, you can disable these pop-ups for all users who are former customers or already on your list. This allows you to focus your Carify campaign only on new customers.

“After visiting the “How It’s Made” post in the Grovemade newsletter, I was offered 10% off my first purchase.”

Customers who don't make their first purchase may have a hard time coming back. Any reasonable calculation should consider including discounts. The overall price of your products, profit margins, and potential offers will determine how many different discounts are feasible for your business.

2. Try using an email sign-up form in the navigation or footer of your website.

For sites where customers tend to look for additional information about your business, this is a good place to test small offers.

Conversion rates may be low overall, but your contribution to list building can increase over time. For example, as customers navigate to the footer of your site to learn more about your brand, what kind of copywriting will grab their attention and encourage them to sign up?

Breadbrand describes its newsletter in terms of the value subscribers can expect. It is not only a place to update products, but also to learn maintenance techniques.

3. Collect email addresses from pop-up events

Temporary pop-ups and pop-up stores are a great way for emerging brands to raise awareness, get product feedback, and give customers a direct, tactile experience with new products. But it’s also a smart way to build your email list.

Conversion rates may be low overall, but your contribution to list building can increase over time. For example, as customers navigate to the footer of your site to learn more about your brand, what kind of copywriting will grab their attention and encourage them to sign up?

Forms related to email marketing and lead generation can easily transition from URL to IRL with just pen and paper. You can get a clipboard and ask users to write down their names and email addresses, or you can provide iPads where users can submit their addresses themselves to sync with the email marketing tool of your choice.

Consider making a special offer to encourage visitors to register. For example, “Sign up for my email and you’ll receive a $25 gift card.” Or something like “Enter to get 25% off your first purchase.”

It's a good idea to segment these lists by event so you can send personalized emails later.

4. Use the sign up button on social media

There are many reasons why people follow brands on social media, but the most common reason is to stay up to date on new products. Your email list can also help support these results, so consider highlighting this list as another option on your social channels.

Not all platforms are easy to link to, but there are common solutions. On Instagram, you can use Linktree to include multiple links in your bio. This allows you to set up one link that directs visitors to the sign-up form for your email list. By isolating subscribers added through Instagram, you can roughly track how much they impact your list growth.

Likewise, you can add a call-to-action button to your Facebook business page to encourage followers to sign up for your email list.

Next Level: 6 Ways to Grow Your Email List

Once you've established a solid foundation and started adding new subscribers to your email list, it's time to look at more advanced tactics - unconventional approaches that can make a drastic difference in your subscriber growth. Listed below are some basic solutions to help you implement new ideas.

1. Communicate with potential customers using chatbots

Chatbots are a technology that is still realizing its full potential, and they already offer several effective ways to introduce automation into messaging-centric channels, saving valuable time and effort in customer support.

For example, MobileMonkey lets you expand your messaging opportunities by creating marketing campaigns within custom chatbots. Sharing special offers through chatbot campaigns allows you to encourage users to submit their email addresses in exchange for special discounts in your shop, thanks to the automated prompts and built-in features of a popular channel, unlike traditional formats.

2. Testing third-party list expansion tools

There are plenty of easy-to-use apps to help you build your email list, and some add a clever twist to tried-and-true approaches. Even better, it's integrated with the Shopify store. Here are some things to consider:

- Spin to win is a Wheel of Fortune-style app that can be used to collect email addresses. Interestingly, when customers enter their email in a regular pop-up, they can receive various prizes (discount coupons, etc.) that you have set up. Pay careful attention to what that means if customers miss this game and their request isn't fully processed.

- Personizely includes several features that help you display timely pop-up messages to your visitors. Of interest to merchants looking to create newsletters is the built-in ability to use existing forms or Facebook Messenger integration. This feature allows you to contact Messenger users the same way you would contact subscribers on your email list.

Many popup tools, like Personizely, offer a variety of ways to convert passersby into subscribers via email or messaging apps.

3. Run ads to drive traffic to your landing page

Landing pages are very useful for building email lists because they are usually created with a single result or conversion point in mind. Not only can you create specific offers on a page without distractions, it's also much simpler to measure the results.

This also makes landing pages a great place to send traffic to your page. For example, you could create a targeted ad on Facebook that directs people to a downloadable guide that links to your product (e.g., a recipe handbook that sells food). Today, with portable targeting options, you can build your offering to the audience you already have in mind, then modify attributes like location, age, gender, occupation, interests, and more to reach the right people.

4. Interact with target customers and collect email addresses by filling out questionnaires

You can engage with your target audience by conducting surveys using Google Form or Typeform.

Questionnaires can be for collecting market research and crowdsourced blog content. You can include a field to collect their email address, add a note at the end letting users know that if they fill out the form, they will be added to the list, or ask if they can be added.

Send the form to friends and family, post the form in a Facebook group, mention it on social media, and include a special offer for people who fill out the form. For example, “Fill out a short questionnaire and we’ll give you a special code for 10% off your first purchase.” Things like this.

Sending out a survey before your product launches is also a great way to start your email list and get friends, family, and potential customers on board with your startup.

5. Get a free gift in exchange for your email address

Email lists usually rely on an exchange of value to encourage people to subscribe, but since subscribers don't get any value until the first notification, free gifts are commonly used to provide a more immediate reward.

Offering free and downloadable how-to content is a practical approach, but you can also explore partnerships with complementary brands to mix up your offers and secure promotional partners. For example, if you sell cookware, you could entice subscribers with a $20 gift card and send them to Thrive Market .

Tortuga Backpacks offers a free packing list along with ongoing tips for travelers when you sign up for their newsletter.

If you don't know how much value your average subscriber currently brings to your business, you may want to invest in an offer that has an upfront cost but no ongoing costs once the offer is complete.

The best example is a free guide, usually in the form of additional tips and tricks for your product category. After paying for your time or associated writing and design fees, we offer a strong incentive to sign up for our newsletter, and you don't have to incur any recurring costs other than hosting the guide itself.

6. Host a contest or giveaway on social media

Contests and sweepstakes can help accelerate list growth by turning subscriptions into shareable events. The additional momentum can be especially useful in the early days when subscriber numbers are small and existing traffic cannot be leveraged.

One way to increase this strategy is to partner with other ecommerce brands that sell to similar customers. With the right partner, your products complement each other, allowing you to create a more compelling proposition than running a contest alone.

Another option is to find influencers who are already promoting to your ideal customers. Influencers often use giveaways for their own use to generate buzz, so they can justify the cost of offering a product instead of launching a giveaway campaign.

If you want to easily track traffic from a single target by creating a dedicated page for your giveaway, you can try a solution like ShortStack or ConverFlow .

Not all email list building methods are the same.

No two companies are exactly alike, so it's important to test different strategies for building your email list to find what works best for you. Depending on how important email marketing is to you as a channel, your investment in growing your list may vary. In either case, these tips will help you get creative and build a quality email list ready for ecommerce.

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