15 Ways E-commerce Brands Can Grow Their Email List

19 August 2020 • 9 min read

Many businesses would not have been so successful if it wasn’t for email marketing. Since emails are a great way to connect with customers directly, using them to share offers, promotions, and news is a great strategy for smaller brands.

Growing an email list, however, can be tricky, as pop-up windows and other tools can be a bit intrusive if implemented improperly.

In this article, we’re going to share some insights on how to get more people to subscribe to your newsletters. Be warned, this article was written by a BIG coffee fan.

1. Know & Segment Your Audience

So what makes them stop and click on an email?

They do so if they think they can benefit from that email (or they perceive that email to be relevant to them).

You should study your target audience’s interests and preferences to be able to segment them effectively. The ultimate outcome of this segmentation process is the maximum relevance of your email content to the recipients.

Segmenting your subscribers means dividing them into smaller groups based on:

2. Add Pop-Ups on Your Website

The first technique is to provide a visitor with a specific offer or a deal. For example, here’s how a British health retailer Holland & Barrett does this: They give out a discount code entitling the visitor to use a 20 percent off code in a pop-up window.

Source: Holland & Barrett

Moreover, the timer below also adds to the sense of urgency, which is another common marketing technique to provide that additional motivation to act.

The second way is to list every benefit that a visitor may obtain if they subscribe. For example, The Rugged Mill has a straightforward call to action (“Join our mailing list”) and lets the visitors know that they can be the first to know about new arrivals, sales, and offers. 

Source: The Rugged Mill, Screenshot

3. Provide Signup Forms On Your Website

Signup forms are another cost-effective way to collect emails from visitors to your site. You can optimize signup forms to be more attractive to website visitors by doing the following:

There are different kinds of signup forms that you should consider adding to your eCommerce website. 

The one below, for example, is a static one that can be removed (courtesy of ID Fashion).

Source: ID Fashion, Screenshot

You can place this form on almost every page where it’s possible to capture emails. Another example with some awesome copy comes from Peace Coffee. The reason why it’s great is that the text is totally aligned with the brand’s positive communication style.

Source: Peace Coffee, Screenshot

The most common website areas where you can place a form include:

4. Host Regular Giveaways

Giveaways are a proven method to grow email lists that can help to increase the list by hundreds or even thousands of subscribers.

There are a few factors that define the success of your giveaway project:

5. Offer Discounts In Exchange For Email

We’ve touched upon discounts above, but this one certainly deserves a separate section. 

Lauren Mercantile Co., a coffee seller, uses a pop-up window with a 15 percent discount to encourage visitors to do that.

Source: Lauren Mercantile Co., Screenshot

Another way to try is to make the visitors feel special. 

For example, the below window lets the viewers know that only subscribers get access to discounts, which works to provide that additional motivation. 

This information could be interesting and relevant to the shop’s target audience – coffee drinkers and enthusiasts – so many of them wouldn’t want to miss out on this offer.

6. Make an Email Opt-In Landing Page

This is a web page designed specifically for visitors to leave their emails and get access to what you promised to them, e.g. a newsletter. For example, WildFlyer Coffee’s email opt-in landing page includes a few forms for the visitors to fill out and a contrasting CTA button.

Source: Screenshot, Wildflyercoffee.com

7. Run Contests on Facebook

Here are the things to keep in mind:

Here’s how Fresh Roasted Coffee promotes a giveaway on Facebook to grow their email list.

8. Place Many CTAs on Your Website

Make sure that a visitor has multiple opportunities to sign up for an email list. These include:

The below image shows a section from the website of Pebble and Pine. It has a simple signup form and a CTA (“Rewards”), both of which require an email.

Source: Pebble and Pine, Screenshot

The most important things to keep in mind with website CTAs are:

9. Leverage Social Media Promotion

Here’s an example of a lead capturing form from our own Facebook page which you can implement on your page too.

Source: NitroSell Facebook Page, Screenshot

10. Add Email Opt-In To the Thank You Page

The so-called “Thank You” page in eCommerce is basically a page where you express your gratitude to a customer for completing the desired action. This is another opportunity to capture more leads for you that should absolutely take advantage of. 

For example, if someone bought a product from you or signed up for a newsletter, it’s a good idea to encourage them to spread love by allowing them to share the news via social media.

11. Collect Emails from Customer Purchases

This one is a given. Not only emails are a must for allowing customers to track orders and receive notifications about their purchases, but they’re also great for you to have, so it’s pretty much a win-win.

So make the email address a mandatory field on the checkout page to make sure that you’re collecting them.

12. Do Intensive Guest Posting

Guest posting is writing and publishing content on someone else’s website. Kristin Savage, a contributing writer for TrustMyPaper and GrabMyEssay writing services says “While writing for someone may not seem like a good idea at first, there are actually quite a few benefits to enjoy here. In addition to spreading your expertise and awareness of your business, you can also include an opt-in email form or a message encouraging to visit your website at the end of your articles”.

For example, here’s an example of a guest author bio from Forbes.

By writing posts (you can include links to your content within articles, too) and sharing these links on websites visited by your target audience, you can have more people exposed to your email list building effort.

13. Collaborate With Others for Extra Exposure

Email marketing should work together with influencer marketing to advance your business. That’s why you should consider using relevant micro-influencers to promote your products, contests, giveaways, and other marketing messages. 

If you think that smaller brands can’t really take advantage of this marketing method because the cost of collaborating with an influencer is too high, take a look at this. According to The State of Influencer Marketing 2018 report, 33% of businesses spend less than $25,000 per program, which is reasonably affordable. 

Source: The State of Influencer Marketing 2018 report

Evidently, spending less than $5,000 is also an option, so feel free to explore influencers in your niche.

14. Offer Discounts to Those Who Recommend Friends

Many of your customers have friends who may also like your products and services, so why not create a referral program? You can provide a discount or a free product for those who spread awareness of your brand and products.

For example, Intelligent Brands are willing to give away 500 coffee beans for customers who refer their friends (and the friends also get a 5 percent discount if they sign up and make a purchase).

Source: Intelligent Blends, Screenshot

Coava Coffee has a similar program but with different conditions: for a successful referral, both customers receive $10. 

Source: Coava Coffee, Screenshot

15. Keep Subscribers on Your List with Autoresponders

If someone subscribes to your newsletter, you need to keep the conversation going with emails enabled by autoresponders. These are typically called welcome emails, and they generate 4 times more opens and 5 times more clicks than regular emails. 

Here’s an example of a welcome email, courtesy of The Rugged Mill:

Source: The Rugged Mill, a welcome email

Final Thoughts

So, whether you have 50 or 50,000 email subscribers, these email list building techniques should ensure that your customer & lead base is constantly getting new emails. 

If you see that some of them have been inactive (that means they don’t interact with your emails after a few months), make sure to remove them and focus on nurturing active and more recent ones. 

So, that’s it. Over to you now, time to start collecting emails!

About Diana Nadim: Diana is a writer and editor with a Master’s degree in marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research to create thought-provoking content in various fields. Besides working as a contributing writer for SupremeDissertations and BestEssaysEducation.com, Diana also does some editing work at ClassyEssay and TopEssayWriting. What inspires her most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people. Follow her on Twitter.