Without a quality email marketing list, your eCommerce business is dead in the water. Email marketing has the highest ROI among any marketing channel. With email marketing you can build trust and increase sales. When someone gives you their email address, you have a direct way to communicate with them.
Email marketing will probably be your most profitable channel if you nurture it rightly. But before you can start sending out emails, you need to build your email list. Here’s what you need to know before you start list building.
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is the highly effective way of digital marketing strategy for sending emails to prospects and customers. Effective emails convert prospects into customers, and turn one-time buyers into loyal, outstanding fans.
Why Email Marketing?
Despite the rise of social media, email still remains the most effective way to nurture leads and turn them into customers.
Although there are many reasons to choose email marketing from other eCommerce marketing channel, here are the top 3 main ones.
1. Email is the best communication channel. According to a report,
91% of consumers use email at least once daily. That can’t be mentioned of any other communication channel.
2. You own your email list. On any social media platform, your valuable account with lots of fans and followers could be suspended or deleted at any time, for any reason, without notice. There’s no chance here because you own your free email list. No one can take those list from you.
3. Email converts better. As we mentioned earlier, according to a report, Email marketing has an ROI of 3800%. Which is huge! Another report said that the average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media.
Steps to Build Email Marketing List
There are many email marketing software or service available such as Mailchimp, SendinBlue etc. You can read our article of Best Email Marketing Service and Tools for small business.
1. Place the Standard Signup forms on the website
You’ve to give your customers plenty of options to sign up for your email list. Placing a signup form on your website is the most common and simplest way to start building your email marketing list.
While it may not be the most effective way to build your email marketing list, it’s a necessity and has to be somewhere on your site/store.
The most optimal location to place your signup form is the footer.
Though the number of companies using the footer form to solicit signups is slightly down in 2017 compared to 2016, the footer is still by far the most common place for an opt-in location.
By the time your customers reach to the footer, they have already browse your site thoroughly and get a feel for your brand and product.
Now, they can get more information if they want to be on your email list.
This is different from having your sign up form in the header because your visitors may feel spammed or forced to sign up too soon.
Another reason is, joining your email list is not the first thing on someone’s mind when they visit your eCommerce store.
The customer has other options and intentions.
So ease them into it, and put your sign up form at the bottom of your page.
Here’s an example of adidas.
You might have notice that Adidas also gives you an incentive to sign up.
Sign up for news and get 15% off.
It’s a great way to get more visitor on board.
While it may not seem that much important, opt-in form subscribers are great customers. They are giving you permission to contact them in the future.
2. Grab Their Attention with Standard Popups and incentive-based popups
According to the graph earlier, popup ads are the second most popular method of gathering email addresses on online stores.
Popups are very interactive and dynamic. They grab your attention at specific times during the visit on your website.
Popups can be designed to appear on the website right when a visitor is about to leave. It seems like they are done with your content, but a popup will grab their attention and engage them more.
Companies may be hesitant to use popups on websites because they have a bad reputation.
The word popup can sound like spam—something intrusive and unwanted by the visitors.
This may hold true for harmful, malicious, or unwanted advertisement popups.
The consumer is still on your website.
Your popup isn’t opening a new window or redirecting them with irrelevant content.
In fact, the information may be extremely helpful for the visitors, especially if your popup adds an incentive.
“Sign up for emails” isn’t the most effective way to build your email list.
Why should the visitor provide you with their email address?
You need to give them a reason.
Just have a look to the adidas example.
Popups can also be displayed after specific time. They can also be displayed after the visitor clicks on certain pages which may indicate what they are interested in learning about.
Experiment and find out the perfect timing and placement for your popups. This can help you increase sign-ups and build your email list.
3. Collect email addresses from customers making a purchase
People are hesitant to share their personal information. It’s natural.
They might have had some negative experiences with other companies after giving out their email addresses.
After facing some bad experiences, people may not be so willing to give their email addresses to every brand that asks for it.
You may need to be creative.
Ask for your customer’s email addresses while they are just finalizing the order. But give them a proper reason.
You’re not just adding them to your email list, but you’ll need to send them an order confirmation.
Look at the below screenshot of SAXX.
The email address is required to complete the check out. Why?
SAXX will send you a confirmation code of your order.
4. Entertain and Engage Visitors
Entertaining and engaging your visitors is another essential tool to building your email list. Sometimes simply offering sales and discounts is not well enough.
There are now interactive signup forms which is entertain and engage visitors. They are fun and effective also at increasing email signups.
A great example of an entertaining and interactive signup is Omnisend’s Wheel of Fortune. This features a fun wheel that the visitor “spins” to get a prize. Prior to spinning the wheel, visitor must sign up for the email list.
This is mostly known as gamification. Adding some elements of a game to your marketing efforts. Which makes it a bit more fun and exciting for customers who are competitive.
As the owner, you will determine the prize. It can be either a discount or a certain amount off on their next purchase.
This creates a win-win for the customers and as well as the owner. The website visitor gets a savings and the owner builds their email list.
5. Create a Landing Page
Landing pages are extremely focused pages with fewer elements than your homepage. They enable your site to run very specific marketing and advertising campaigns.
Visitors can get overwhelmed to visit on homepage. Landing pages allow you to direct them to sign up for your email list and follow your calls to action.
Landing pages often offer a giveaway for your customers to get in on that, they’ll need to write their email address to sign up. Most landing pages have single call to action for visitors to take.
Always test your landing pages: there are lots of factors that can affect their conversion rate. Make sure that you’re testing each of those elements regularly and using what works best for your customers.
6. Use a Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is a valuable resource to collect emails. It can be a PDF file, eBook, template, stock images, list of recommendations, etc. Lead magnets are something that your target market will be attracted to and willing to exchange their address in order to obtain that file.
Lead magnets help to build trust with consumers and overcome their doubt of new websites. This trust can improve the conversion rates and decrease bounce rates.
Lead magnets also help to prevent visitors from simply leaving your website and never returning. It allows you to contact with those visitors again and gives you a second chance to convert them into sales.
Below is an example of AdEspresso’s lead magnet.
As you can see, they are giving away a free eBook.
Lead magnets can be hosted either on your own page, or you can use a landing page builder and have it hosted there.
Lead magnets should be directly related to your product niche. For example, if you are selling juicers to health conscious people, you may want to create a lead magnet such as Orange Juice Recipes.
7. Social Media Giveaways
Another effective tactics that works really well for eCommerce is the use of giveaways. It is really effective in social media such as Facebook and Instagram.
These two are both popular and the advertising costs are very low. You can even get cost-per-click as low as 1 cent with an attractive viral offer.
As always, focus on your target market’s interest. It will be the key to your success. If your goal is to build a list of pet lovers, the giveaway should be pet related. Don’t give away an iPhone.
While an iPhone may attract many people, you’ll end up with a email list that is full of general people. Targeting future interests and sales parallel will be impossible.
The main point of the giveaway is to turn the beginner into qualified leads. Therefore, you need to make the giveaway very specific to the target market.
Look at the example below, the jewelry company, JewelScent, is giving away one of their products for Valentine’s Day.
In order to encourage the giveaway to go viral and increase shares, they added a bonus entry points for each share.
8. Use Referral Programs
Uber, PayPal, Dropbox, and Hotmail all became popular in their fields through the use of referral marketing programs. Each of them attracted their customers with rewards for sharing their product with friends and family.
Referral programs allow your current subscribers to share your offers with their friends, family, and colleagues. The most successful referral programs motivate loyal customers.
Referral programs work wonders to increase your email marketing list and help you get new customers. New customers are the end goal of creating an email marketing list.
Build Email Marketing List: Conclusion
It’s awesome you’ve recognized the importance of building an email marketing list for your eCommerce site.
But before you jump in, think about some of the things we discussed above.
If you don’t know where to get started, add a signup form to your home page.
As we mentioned earlier, the most common place to include this is in the footer. Though it’s a necessary feature but it’s not the most effective.
You also need to add popups to your store. Just make sure that these popups give the consumer an incentive to join your email list.
If your website visitors don’t take the option signing up through your popups or footer, it’s not over yet.
Get their email addresses when they complete their purchase or at check out process.
In a word just follow these above tips before you start building an email list for your website.