Email lists are the bread and butter of your business, email lists are the life blood of your business, email lists are critical to the success of your business, email lists ... etc etc etc. I have read these any many more variations of the same thing over and over again for as long as I can remember and you know what, it's true. According to emarsys 81% of businesses surveyed noted email marketing as the biggest factor that brought in and retained their customers.
Why Do Email Lists Work So Well?
Well for one they are highly targeted. Customers signs up for your email list because they are interested in what you have to offer. They are letting you in the door and they want to receive communication from you. Your list will consist of people who want to buy stuff you are selling.
Also since they've chosen to let you into their mailbox, they're warmer then someone who hasn't interacted with your brand. This makes it easier to sell to a customer on an email list.
They help you build trust and a relationship with your customers. People are more likely to buy from you if that trust you.
Don't Buy (Or Rent) Email Lists!
There are companies and individuals that offer email lists that you can purchase or rent. You may think this could give you a head start without the hard work of building your own from scratch. Unfortunately there are a lot of problems with this approach and it could land you in hot water.
The lists you get could be outdated. You could end up wasting your time, energy and money on email addresses that are not in use anymore. Bought email lists also result in lower opening rates because the owner doesn't know you, so there is no trust.
You will not be able to use any reputable email marketing service because using purchased email lists is against their policy. You could end up on a black list if your list is shady. It'll make your future email marketing efforts tough even if you have stopped using purchased email lists.
Now that we have that out of the way, lets get to the main topic of this post. Here are methods you can use as an ecommerce brand to build an email list.
What I love about Zappos Newsletter is the straightforwardness of the request. A lot of people are wary of giving out their email address. This comes across very honest and human.
Have an opt in box for your customers to sign up to receive articles, news and deals in their mailbox. If they like what they have seen so far on your website, they will sign up. You could then send them a look book, deals, resourceful articles featuring your products. This will build trust with the customers. They'll get to know you and identify with your brand so that when the time comes to purchase, they will do so confidently.
However not everyone will part with their email address easily (rightfully so) and you will have to incentivize them to give it to you. The other methods will show you how to do that.
Contests And Giveaways
Linen Chest requires that you enter in your details to take part in their contest. However notice that they explicitly ask for your permission to send you any promotional stuff. They have also combined this with an exit intent pop up that reminds you to enter their contest before leaving.
You can hold contests where part of the process requires that they give you there email address. You can even take it a step further and require people to share your contest with others in order to gain entry. This will expose your brand to more people and more email addresses for your list.
This method shouldn't be your sole way of building your email list. Even though your list will grow with new potential customers, it will also bring in people who have no interest in your product but are signing up to get free stuff. Combine this method with other ways mentioned here to maximize your return.
Crawdford Supply is a plumbing and heating wholesaler and they also have kitchen and bathroom showrooms. On their website page, they provide free planning guides on building your dream kitchen or bathrooms. This gives them a chance to show their customers that they are experts in the field and should be trusted with the job.
Content Upgrades are typically associated with blogs but they can also be used on an ecommerce website. On your product page offer your customer a resource or a tool that is associated with the product in exchange for their email address. Since they are looking at that particular product, they are more likely to give you their email address if the lead magnet is a helpful resource associated with the product.
Discounts And Coupon Codes
Forever 21 has a pop up discount box that takes over the screen if your cursor shows exit intent. To make it more enticing, it is also a limited time offer which doesn't come back if you close out of it. This adds a sense of urgency. If the customer wants the discount, then they must share their email address right now or risk losing out on the deal.
Offer a discount or a coupon code in exchange for your customers' email address. It's a win win situation, they get your product for a cheaper price and you have a customer who not only has made a purchase from you but also has given you means to contact them in the future for more potential sales.
This is not a tactic however that you would want to use if you own a luxury brand. Discounts and coupon codes are not something that you associate with luxury and would be a misstep for your brand. You have to know who your ideal customer is and make sure your brand speaks to that persona.
Exclusive Deals Only For Subscribers
Adidas has exclusive offers and promotions only for those signing up to be on their mailing list.
Give your customers benefits for staying on your email list. Send your email list first dibs on a new collection. Send offers that are only available to those on your list. If you treat them well for being on your list, they are likely to stay with you and make future purchases because they are a valued customer.
So there you have it, some ways to get started on building an email list for your ecommerce store. Remember once built, an email list is a valuable asset that you can use again and again to bring in sales without having to spend large amounts of money each time.
Have you used any of these in your ecommerce store or have you used any that I haven't mentioned that have brought you good returns? Share in the comments below.