Most marketers rightfully believe that email marketing remains not only a relevant but a key channel in reaching out to eCommerce clientele. This is why building an email list should be top priority for eCommerce marketers.
Building a strong email list with potential customers is one of the more important tasks while promoting an eCommerce store and crafting an eCommerce marketing strategy.
It is advisable to have multiple ways of collecting data which not only makes your email list exhaustive but helps in segmenting your subscribers and clientele for a more effective email marketing campaign.
The most effective way of creating a successful email campaign is to use targeted email marketing. To do this, you need to have a verified, authentic email list that allows you to categorize your audience in logical segments.
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What Is An Email List?
An email list, as the name suggests, is a list of email addresses that you have permission to send emails and email marketing campaigns to. Users may subscribe to email lists for following and more reasons:
- New Product Notifications
- Offers & Discounts on products they like
- Discount Codes
- Newsletters/updates about the company
Email List Best Practices
Before we venture into the methods by which you can gather data for your email list, it is important to establish three best practices to keep in mind while building an email list:
- Quality: The information in your email list should be genuine and authentic. As far as possible, do not purchase an email list
- Relevance: Your email list should consist of people who have either consented to receive emails from you, or those you know would be genuinely interested in purchasing your products
- Quantity: After the first two criteria are met, you can focus on growing the numbers on your list and building an exhaustive list of authentic email addresses
How To Build An Email List The Right Way
Your eCommerce store or website is an important online property that belongs to you and is under your direct control.
It is the single most crucial asset which can give you maximum insights into your existing and potential customers – who they are, their preferences, habits, purchase behavior, etc.
When someone makes a purchase on your eCommerce store, they are far more likely to provide you with their email addresses, thus giving you the perfect platform for collecting authentic data.
The only foreseeable struggle with building an email list through your website data is the apprehension of a visitor to share their email address.
Additionally, it is even more difficult to collect email addresses of those who have visited your eCommerce store but not made a purchase. The main objective of email lists is to target this demographic.
We explore some ways in which you can convince them to share their email address with you.
1. Display Website Pop-Ups
While pop-ups have earned a bad name for coming across as annoying and hampering eCommerce user experience, statistics show that pop-ups have the potential of delivering an 11% conversion rate when done right.
Pop-ups are a great tool for collecting email addresses from users who have visited your eCommerce store but are navigating towards the ‘back’ or ‘close’ button, thus leaving you with not much scope of interaction.
Context is key here. By offering customers something that appeals to them in terms of exclusive offers in lieu of their email address is an effective way of collecting email addresses helping you build your email list.
Exit-intent pop-up or simply exit pop-ups appear when a visitor is navigating off the page moving towards the back or close button. On desktops, it is triggered when the mouse is moving towards the back button and on a mobile phone, when the visitor clicks on the back button.
There are targeting options available where you can disable the pop-ups for those who have earlier purchased from your store or whose information is already on your email list. This helps in only collecting data from new customers, leading to a valuable addition to your email list.
Discounts or freebies are powerful tools for engaging customers however you might end up with a lot of email addresses that may not be relevant.
To overcome this, you can follow the example of SockFancy and offer a gift with purchase on subscribing to emails.
2. Include Email Sign-Up Form
Email sign-up forms can be in the form of pop-ups or part of the page where visitors will navigate only when they are looking for additional information, such as the footer of the page. You can test small offers through the email sign up form.
The conversion rate might be low for the locations but over time, it will help add to the email list. The content of the signup form must be relevant to what the visitor might be looking for, such that they would be willing to subscribe.
For example, Beardbrand has added an email sign-up form just below the section describing their journey and milestones. It talks about the kind of value the subscribers can expect to receive not only in terms of updates and offers but in learning the art of grooming.
3. Collect Data At Events
Even if you are an eCommerce brand, temporary pop-up shops or participation in flea markets and events is a great way of promoting your brand. It helps customers interact with your brand and experience your products first-hand.
Events and pop-up stores are also a great way to gather data and build a strong email list of potential customers who may or may not have made a purchase at your store but have shown interest in your products.
You can give them a small physical form to fill up or keep an iPad where they can fill in their details or display something as easy as a QR code to visit your website / download your app.
If possible, segment your email list by events that will help you send personalized emails.
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4. Embed Call-To-Action Button On Social Media
According to a study done by SproutSocial, a major reason why people follow brands on social media is that they are interested in their product and would like to stay informed about them.
Also, people are more likely to buy from eCommerce stores and retail brands that they follow on social media.
Building your email list through social media is therefore effective, as you know that your followers are invested in your brand and willing to make a purchase from you.
You can add call-to-action button or a direct link to subscribe to your email list in the post copy or even your bio. Bear in mind that not all social media platforms are link-friendly, but there is always a way to work around it.
Instagram, for example, does not let you add a link to your image and video posts. You can only add one link in the bio of your Instagram profile. However, there are services available such as Linktree which let you add multiple links in your Instagram bio.
5. Use Chatbots
Chatbots are another great way of collecting email addresses from visitors to your website. Visitors who interact with chatbots on your site are usually looking for some answers and you know that they are engaged.
You can also utilize the chatbots to give special offers to visitors and encourage them to share their email addresses.
6. Share An Engagement Questionnaire
For any market research survey or dipstick study that you conduct, add a field of including email addresses of responders and add a note at the end which lets them know they’re being added to your email list.
You can promote your forms via your existing network of followers on social media, through your website pop-ups, friends and family. You can also offer a special discount to those who are filling your questionnaire.
7. Offer Downloadable Content
While this is more effective for business websites or blogs, offering valuable downloadable content in lieu of email addresses is an effective and prevalent way of collecting email addresses.
It could be how-to content, DIY content or a free guide in the form of additional tips and tricks around your products that you have specially created.
You can give short glimpses of the content that will be available for download and add a link at the end “Read More” which then asks visitors for their email id where the content will be sent to them.
You can use all or a few of the above ways to build an email list, and it will require quite a bit of A/B Testing and implementation of various strategies to get an exhaustive list.
The amount of time and effort you invest in building an email list relies mostly on the importance of email marketing in your overall eCommerce marketing strategy.