Email marketing, although sometimes wrongly considered an outdated and superfluous practice, is one of the most powerful digital marketing strategies out there.
If you think about it carefully, it’s obvious why this is the case: people check their inbox several times a day, so email provides direct access to consumers. Plus, personalized emails have a much higher chance of converting than any other form of ad.
The question that naturally arises is how to gather emails and ensure you’re sending your audience relevant, high-converting content.
Here are some ways to build a powerful email list for your e-commerce brand and use it to generate more sales.
Pop-ups on Your Homepage
The pop-up is considered a bit of a controversial tool. Most users find them incredibly annoying. Nevertheless, with so many websites featuring them, most shoppers have just gotten used to pop-ups and will click off as intended with or without them.
However, there are those who will appreciate your nudge when they see it.
The more personalized and user-specific your pop-up is, the better your chances will be of converting someone. That being said, you want to really consider what you’re about to say. Can you offer a discount for signing up to your email list? Can you offer a popular product?
You can also set up your pop-up so that it doesn’t show for returning customers, targeting only first-time visitors.
Bay Alarm Medical is a good example of a company that does this very well. They have a special offer for anyone who either calls them or fills out a short form that collects their email. image source: bayalarmmedical.com
Opt-in Forms in the Footer
The footer is also ideal website real estate you can utilize to get someone to sign up to your newsletter.
The footer is typically where information about the company and useful links (delivery information, returns policy, FAQs, and so on) can be found. It’s a space visitors will always check out.
An unobtrusive email opt-in that emphasizes the value you provide via the newsletter and other email is a great way to attract leads. After all, they are already interested – they just need to be told a newsletter exists to spark their curiosity.
Beardbrand has an opt-in in their footer that focuses on value. Their mission statement is right there next to it, so the benefits of signing up are easy to spot.
image source: beardbrand.com
Offer Discounts in Exchange for Emails
The discount-for-your-email offer we have just touched upon can be used in other ways as well. You don’t have to just add them to the pop-up (and you can change the pop-up based on the visitor at hand and what might work for them).
You can also place your discount notification somewhere on the page where it will be easy to spot, and clearly note that it applies to first-time buyers.
This is a great way to attract people who are considering a purchase and trying one of your products but might need a little bit more of an incentive to take the plunge and add something to their cart.
Natasha Denona does this really well. They have a 10% discount for everyone who signs up and registers. This is a great way to collect email addresses and provide incentive for new customers to try their products.
image source: natashadenona.com
Offer Valuable Content in Exchange for Emails
Gated content has always been one of the best ways to get visitors to sign up for your newsletter. It makes the effort you put into creating an ebook, checklist, or cheat sheet that much more worth it.
Make sure that the content itself appeals to either your most valuable audience segment or your most numerous audience segment. Don’t target a small number of users who may not be as likely to convert.
LFA Capsule Fillers offers a great ebook in exchange for an email – this is the kind of content that provides actionable value while also targeting an important and significant audience segment.
image source: lfacapsulefillers.com
Create Urgency with Time-Sensitive Offers
Playing the urgency card is another great way to promote an offer (and get people to engage with you and give you their email).
The fear of missing out has become integral to the online shopping experience. By featuring a countdown timer that urges visitors to make good use of an offer, you can use FOMO to your advantage and boost your conversions.
Do try to set the timer to something realistic. You want visitors to have time to think about it, as opposed to making impulse purchases they might later come to regret. Regretful shoppers are less likely to return.
Runners Athletics features a great timer – a special offer to activate within 30 minutes, placed in the corner of the page. That’s just enough time to have you stick to the website, browse around, and make your decision without rushing.
image source: runnersathletics.com
Abandoned Cart Pop-ups
Abandoned cart pop-ups appear to users who are already on the verge of making a purchase but are hesitant for whatever reason. They can work really well – and they are also a direct line to conversion.
At this stage, you can offer a discount on their cart, or you can ask them to contact you with whatever obstacle is preventing them from completing the purchase. Maybe you don’t offer a payment method they prefer, or the shipping to their country is too expensive. In both cases, you might be able to work around the issue with a discount.
Newsletter Checkbox During Checkout
Checkout is also a great time to ask shoppers to sign up to your newsletter. They are already interested in your brand and your offer, so adding a reminder and a simple checkbox option can go a very long way.
You should also note that there will be shoppers who simply forget to uncheck the box, or who don’t bother to read the box. So, you might also get some signups who have not actually meant to be added to your list. Some unsubscribing is to be expected – don’t let that discourage you.
Partner with Related Sites That Have a Large Audience
You may still be growing your audience, so you don’t get that much traffic that has lead and conversion potential. In that case, you might want to partner with a website that is in your niche and that would make a natural connection.
They can feature you in their newsletters, giving you access to their wide audience – as long as this exchange makes sense to both your brands.
For example, a website like Each Night, which offers sleep-related content, would be a great partner for e-commerce stores that sell mattresses, pillows, blankets, etc.
image source: eachnight.com
Pro Tip for Making the Most of Your List
Once you’ve built your list, you want to make sure that you put it to good use and actually benefit from the people you have access to.
The number one way to achieve this is to segment your list thoroughly and carefully. That’s the only way you’ll be able to truly provide information and offers that your specific lead will want to see.
Start by considering how someone has signed up to your list – via gated content, a pop-up, from your footer? Once you’ve considered that, also consider everything else: their age, location, interests, and so on.
A well-segmented list will reduce churn and enable you to show people content they actually want to see, making your chances of conversion that much higher.
Email marketing has rightfully earned its spot at the top of the marketing food chain. Don’t discredit and disregard it. Use it to the best of your ability, and you’ll see great results. Use Designmodo to create your email newsletter design online.