Ultimate strategies to build email list

Discover the top ultimate email strategies for building and growing your ecommerce email list, including step-by-step tutorials and tips on using popular platforms like Klaviyo and Shopify. This guide will help you optimize your email list building efforts and boost your online business.

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Deciding to create an email list is one thing, but for retailers, actually achieving success can be challenging. This is especially true because managing an online company frequently involves a lot of additional responsibilities.

The following are the two primary prerequisites for effective email list building:

  • Decent traffic to your website
  • Decent sign-up forms on your website

Better still, the 12 email list development strategies we go over below are really simple to use and show results in a matter of hours or days.

What is an email list?

A collection of email addresses that a company or individual has obtained from clients, potential clients, or website visitors is known as an email list. Sending newsletters, promotions, updates, and targeted and personalized marketing messages to the recipients' inboxes is done using these email addresses.

Email lists are essential to email marketing since they let advertisers do the following:

  • Build and maintain relationships with their audience
  • Drive customer engagement
  • Increase sales or conversions

Email lists can be divided into groups according to a variety of criteria, including interests, purchasing patterns, and demographics. This allows material to be tailored to certain audiences and produces more effective and relevant marketing campaigns.

Increasing the number of potential leads is the primary goal of creating an email list. In this manner, you can later turn them into devoted customers.

Why you should build an email list

You may be surprised to learn how beneficial developing an email list can be, especially if you're just getting started in e-commerce. The majority of e-commerce businesses consider their email list to be their most valuable asset.

The following are the main advantages of creating your email list:

It’s affordable. The effectiveness of digital ads is declining as their prices are skyrocketing. Comparatively speaking, sending out regular emails to your email list is far less expensive.

Email is personal. Emails can be customized, but advertisements cannot. Unlike social media, emails can be programmed to automatically send out in response to client behavior.

Audience targeting is more precise. Facebook and other ad networks are experiencing a decline in targeting. Email allows you to target subscribers with precise criteria such as demographics (birthdate, gender, city) or behavior (clicked on email, made a purchase, etc.).

You own your list. You won't have to rely on any other business or website. You own that email list, and it's really valuable.

You can build relationships through email. The "spray and pray" strategy that is inherent in digital advertisements aims to spread the same word to as many individuals as possible. You can use email to customize follow-the-customer automated mailings that follow them on their path. Ads don't allow you to do that.

Email list-building tactics

1. Use a standard opt-in form

Two to five percent of your website's visits could convert.

Almost all Shopify websites will have an opt-in form enabled, typically located at the bottom or center of the screen.

It's crucial to incorporate this into the design of your website for other e-commerce platforms, such as WooCommerce. You can use a sticky sign-up form on the side or bottom of the screen in place of a separate opt-in form.

It's critical to recognize the significance of opt-in forms for online retailers. In this essay, I discuss some of the most significant applications and recommended practices for sign-up forms.

2. Use a surprise popup form

Potentially, 7-8% of your visitors could convert.

Even while the opt-in form is crucial, it is still quite passive. Ideally, you would require a solution that increases the visibility of your forms for email signups.

Moreover, it is difficult to determine if they are already intrigued by your brand. You ought to use a popup form in its place. This is a fantastic example of a branded popup from B-Wear:

Pop-up forms are inherently dynamic. They are an excellent method of delivering lead magnets for lead generation, and you can program them to appear at specific times or in response to specific events.

For instance, the pop-up can appear in Omnisend's sign-up forms after a predetermined number of seconds, when the user views a specific number of pages, after a predetermined proportion of the page has been scrolled, or when the user is about to depart (exit-intent):

Just make sure to have a strong call to action or incentive in your pop-up form. When you get it right, you may be surprised at how fast building an email list can be.

3. Offer incentives

Potential conversion rate: 10% of your visitors

If you want visitors to subscribe to your email list, you need to give them something in exchange. Something that they would find relevant, such as:

Discount. Offer a discount to new subscribers as a thank you for signing up. This will incentivize more people to join your list and make their first purchase.

Sale. Run a sale and advertise it exclusively to your email list subscribers. This will create a sense of exclusivity and urgency, and encourage people to sign up to get access to the sale.

Free shipping. Offer free shipping to new subscribers or to people who make a certain purchase amount. This will incentivize people to make a purchase and join your email list to receive the free shipping offer.

Here's an example of how to include free delivery in your registration form:

With Omnisend's drag-and-drop form builder, adding high-converting incentives is simple and yields big results. You can easily incorporate distinctive discounts and incentives into your signup forms and personalize them to align with your brand's style and messaging.

4. Gamify your signup forms

Up to 20% of your visitors could convert if you employ them for limited-time offers.

Numerous interactive sign-up forms are available that are useful for e-commerce store owners and entertaining for users. Take Omnisend's Wheel of Fortune, for instance. The visitor "spins" this entertaining wheel to win an item. Before the visitor can spin the wheel, they must subscribe to one of your email lists.

Here's how to guarantee that your gamified popups generate the highest number of conversions:

Make it eye-catching. Making your wheel stand out and draw attention requires the use of vivid colors, strong typography, and eye-grabbing visuals.

Keep it simple. Make sure the popup's copy and design are clear and straightforward to read. Don't give them too many options or too much information.

Offer a valuable discount. To encourage users to interact with your popup and provide their email address, provide a discount (% or flat) that is worthwhile and pertinent to your target market.

Make it easy to enter. Make it simple for users to play the game and submit their email addresses. Avoid making the procedure overly complex or requesting excessive amounts of information.

5. Create a targeted landing page

Conversion rate potential: up to 10% of your visitors

Because landing pages are so specialized and narrowly focused on a particular audience or offer, they can be an effective tool for expanding your email list.

When developing a targeted landing page for list-building, bear the following in mind:

Have a clear and compelling headline. The worth of your offer should be made evident in your title, which should also catch the reader's attention.

Use persuasive copy. To increase the likelihood that visitors will interact with your landing page and provide their email address, use convincing language that speaks directly to the needs, wants, and goals of your target audience.

Include a strong call to action. Make sure your call to action is obvious, prominent, and conveys the advantages of registering.

Keep it simple. Make sure your landing page's layout and style are clear, uncluttered, and simple to use. Don't give them too many options or too much information.

Here's a fantastic landing page example from Blue Apron that satisfies every condition listed above. It is convincing, succinct, and has a powerful call to action.

6. Share lead magnets

Conversion rate potential: up to 25% of leads

One of the best ways to grow your email list is by offering a lead magnet, which is a quality resource (such as a PDF guide, ebook, gift guide, stock photos, etc.) that your visitors truly want.

They will need to subscribe to your newsletter and email campaigns to receive that material.

This is an AdEspresso pop-up that requests the visitor's email address in exchange for a lead magnet:

You can also host your lead magnet on a separate page, as we at Omnisend did with our 2022 ecommerce marketing statistics report lead magnet landing page:

A word of caution: the lead magnet ought to be specifically relevant to your niche.

The lead magnet for your fidget spinner business shouldn't be a compilation of more than 500 adorable kitties.

Cat images and fidget spinners could be entertaining to your audience, but they won't prepare them for the sales presentation.

7. Offer giveaways

Conversion rate potential: up to 30% of leads

Using the effective giveaway is a fantastic email list-building strategy that all e-commerce businesses should take into account, especially on the social media platforms that your target audience uses most frequently.

With a straightforward entry form, the watch brand Jack Mason is giving away $500 gift cards here:

Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are great places to advertise your giveaway because of their popularity and because you can decide whether to pay for a promotion or just put it on your feed. Numerous business kinds have found success with the different giveaway techniques.

Although you can host your giveaway landing page on your website, using a landing page or other software that offers this function is typically the simplest option.

Just keep in mind that, much like with the lead magnet, you should make sure the prize you are giving away is targeted towards your intended demographic.

Give out something that only a dog lover would truly value if you desire dog lovers. Never part with an iPad or a pair of Bose headphones.

Make sure to be explicit so that the giveaway's main goal—that is, to turn participants into qualified leads—is met.

Fortunately, there are some excellent WordPress plugins and giveaway tools available to make the process simple. Rafflecopter is an excellent choice because it makes giveaway setup and management simple and offers social media integrations and customizable entry forms.

8. Use referral programs

Conversion rates that could be achieved: up to 15% of website visitors

By offering referral programs, you can get more people on your email list by asking members to tell their friends, family, and coworkers about your offers.

Generally speaking, attempt to provide something of value in return for a recommendation, as seen by this example from Allbirds:

You can offer free shipping, a $50 coupon or discount, a 25% discount, or even a gift as an incentive for people to sign up for your referral program. This can be quite effective in expanding your network and bringing in new clients.

9 Make a free interactive tool

Conversion rates that could be achieved: up to 10% of website visitors

Providing free interactive resources such as generators, calculators, and quizzes can be an entertaining and useful strategy to increase the number of individuals who subscribe to your email list.

These tools can offer value for your visitors, entice them to interact with your website, and even assist in positioning your company as an authority in the industry.

For example, Bare Performance Nutrition gives visitors a 2-minute interactive quiz to help them choose products:

After completing the questionnaire, users are given the choice to provide their email address to receive exclusive discounts:

Consider the following before developing a free interactive application to aid in email list building:

Provide value. Your interactive tool should solve a problem, answer a question, or provide some kind of benefit that makes it worth their time to engage with your tool and give you their email address.

Make it easy to use. The tool should be user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Offer personalized results. Provide personalized results based on the user’s inputs to make the tool more engaging.

Include a CTA. Include a clear call-to-action that encourages users to enter their email addresses to receive additional content or resources.

Promote your tool. Actively promote your interactive tool through social media, email marketing, and other channels to maximize its reach and exposure.

10 Use a live chat or chatbot

Conversion rates that could be achieved: up to 10% of website visitors

Chatbots can provide discounts or exclusive promotions in addition to offering helpful customer support to encourage signups.

Offering a coupon code or access to exclusive material to clients who subscribe to your email list through the chat window is one method to take advantage of live chat with chatbots, as demonstrated in this example from clothing retailer Steve Madden:

Including chatbots and live chat in your customer support plan is another suggestion. Customers can request that you send them a follow-up email with useful information or answers to their problems when they contact your support team via live chat or chatbot.

This offers your customers a fantastic experience while also allowing you to get their email addresses and add them to your mailing list.

11. Collaborate with other businesses

Potential percentage of conversions: 15% of your users

You may reach new potential clients who could be interested in your goods or services by collaborating with brands that are complimentary to yours in your sector and making use of their already-existing audience.

Building brand awareness and establishing your company as a reliable authority in your industry are two further benefits of collaborative marketing. This is how it operates:

Assume you manage a successful store. You are aware that 5,000 of your users are triathletes thanks to segmentation.

Coincidentally, you'd like to collaborate with a business owner who runs a swimming establishment.

Thus, you draft an email campaign to the 5,000 triathlete contacts, marketing that partner swimming business. They are directed by the campaign to the swimming store's offer to purchase swimming equipment.

Simultaneously, your partner promotes your store on their email list through a similar campaign, which increases traffic to your website and helps you grow your email list by adding subscribers from the partner.

You can make use of one another's reach and expand your email lists by producing pertinent content and promotions that appeal to your mutual audience.

12. Use offline list-building tactics

Unknown potential conversion rate, but still worthwhile to try

As you can see, you should use your website, landing pages, social media accounts, and other online platforms to organize your ongoing list-building operation.

But wherever possible, always make use of and employ "old-school" offline methods to get emails.

For example:

Network. When you meet someone and discuss your business, print off business cards to give to them. Activate the contacts you have received.

Make your presence known. Attend live fairs and events, and keep a registration list at your booth that includes an email column at all times.

Don’t forget your in-person customers. If you offer your goods offline, get clients' emails.

Build a community. Think about planning get-togethers to bring like-minded individuals together for talks. For this, use a signup form.

If only list-building techniques were allowed by law. Therefore, ensure that any offline forms you employ contain the same legal declarations as those found online.

While many aspects of offline list-building can be automated, it could be necessary for you to manually add these email subscribers to your email list builder (email marketing software).

Email list building: Summary

These days, you have a variety of options for expanding your email list and connecting with new prospects. Your labor doesn't end there, though. It's critical to keep learning and improving your email marketing tactics, as well as to use the appropriate tools to put them into practice if you want to get the most out of your endeavors.


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