You work hard to get people to visit your ecommerce store. Would you let them exit without ever trying to communicate with them again in the future? The answer is no.
Whenever a visitor leaves without a trace, you are leaving money on the table.
You want to take every opportunity you have to get more email subscribers and stay in touch with them. That's what email marketing is all about.
For an ecommerce store, there’s an endless stream of stats that prove email marketing is the most profitable channel:
59% of consumers say emails affect their purchase decisions
Email marketing generates $58 (£42) for every dollar spent
81% of small businesses use email as their main customer acquisition channel
31% of B2B marketers consider email as their favorite nurturing method
The average ecommerce abandoned cart email earns $5.81 in revenue per recipient
Some other benefits aren’t so easily quantifiable but are equally important:
- An email list helps you build a personal connection with a buyer
- You can generate multiple sales for as long as you keep the buyer active and satisfied with your brand
- You own the channel. That means no bans from Facebook or penalizations from Google
- It’s cost-efficient as every email marketing platform charges a few cents per subscriber
If this all sounds incredible, then let’s jump right into the seven proven methods that will get you more email subscribers for your ecommerce store.
Offer discounts in exchange for emails
If there’s one thing online shoppers like it’s discounts:
42.3% of Americans subscribe to email lists to receive savings and discounts
64% of online consumers wait to purchase until their desired products go for sale
Also, 59% search for promo codes before buying anything online
No one likes to pay more than they should for a product, regardless of their purchasing power. By offering a discount after signing up for an email list, you will incentivize new subscribers and generate more sales simultaneously.
To offer a welcome discount, here’s what you need to do:
Define a discount margin: Your margin will depend on your average order value (AOV). You can offer a discount that’s equal to the average AOV — which means you’d be selling on break-even — slightly below it or above it. The goal is to cut your margins in the first sale and recover them later on.
Define the type of discount: You can offer a percentage amount — e.g., “Get 20% off your first purchase” — or a monetary one — e.g., “Get $50 off your first purchase”. In general, choose the one with the highest numeric value—in the previous example, that’d be the $50 off discount.
Add it to your popup: If you aren’t offering anything valuable in your popups, add your discount there. If you aren’t using popups yet, install an app like Getsitecontrol 👇
The only downside for this method you must analyze before using it is that focusing on discounts early on the shopper’s lifecycle may lead them to devalue your brand. They will see your products as cheaper than they are, and when they lack a discount, they may not be interested in purchasing again.
💡 To overcome this issue, focus on delivering a great post-purchase experience that explains your company’s mission, product’s quality, and what makes your products unique (and, therefore, valuable).
Use exit-intent offers to convert abandoning visitors
Every time a visitor tries to exit your site, there’s an opportunity for generating a new subscriber. How? By using exit-intent technology.
Exit-intent technology allows sites to target the users who have shown an intent to exit the site. Brands often use this technology to trigger a popup.
In your case, you want to use ext-intent popups to get more email subscribers.
At this point, you may be asking yourself, “why would anyone want to sign up for an email list if they are leaving the site?” There are multiple reasons:
- The visitor may have liked the site but hasn’t found a way to sign up
- The visitor may like the offer the site shows in its popup (more on this later)
- The visitor may not be on its first visit, so they may already like the site but haven’t thought about signing up
Whatever the case, exit-intent popups are a handy method to get more email subscribers. In fact, exit-intent popups for list building have shown to persuade between 4% to 7% of your site visitors to sign up.
To make exit-intent popups work, you want to:
Show the right offer
The simplest option is to add the same discount you should have defined using the previous strategy. Alternatively, you can ask them to sign up for your email newsletter or for any other offer you may have (like a lead magnet).
Use the right words
Acknowledge the fact the visitor is leaving the site. Use words like “Wait,” “Before you leave,” or any other similar wording that makes the user think before leaving the site.
Place site-wide signup forms
Persistence pays off. At least, it does in the marketing world. The more you remind the visitor about your offer — i.e., the discount or any other gift you have for them — the easier it will be for them to convert when they are ready to do so. That’s what site-wide signup forms are for 👇
Their goal isn’t to interrupt or annoy the visitor but to stay close to where they usually click around. Some suggestions include:
- Below your menu bar but above your product and/or collection page
- Between the rows of your product collections
- Above your footer
To make these signup forms work even better, consider A/B testing your offers to see which one converts better. For example, in one group you could offer a 20% discount and in the other a $40 coupon.
For example, GoMacro presents the following discount-focused signup form above their footer menu bar in every collection and product page 👆
Once you have defined your offer and placements, set them up on every collection and category page and even on every product page.
Promote your signup forms on social media
There’s a lot to say about making sales through social media, but one thing is sure: it’s much easier to convince a user to give you their email address than their credit card information from a social media post.
If you have a substantial following in your social media accounts, you have a list of subscribers waiting for signing up.
They already trust your brand, so why wouldn’t they sign up for your email list?
Since you are trying to get more email subscribers for your ecommerce store, you want to add a landing page created specifically for that purpose. You want to highlight your offer clearly in the headline and write the rest of the copy around it.
You can promote your landing pages in your social media content, including Facebook posts, tweets, and Instagram posts and stories 👇
Another way is to include your landing page URL in your bio URL, which every network offers. This is like an ad, so make sure to explain what the user can expect to get after clicking on the bio link.
Provide an option to sign up after account creation
The moment a user opens an account in your store is often seen as irrelevant for an ecommerce brand. All ecommerce marketers care about is generating conversions, not account openings. However, if you think about it, creating an account is a critical part of a buyer's life cycle.
Many ecommerce stores require buyers to open an account before finishing a purchase. If that’s your case, wouldn’t an account opening represent a pre-checkout action?
Even if that’s not your case, there’s little value in opening an account without making a purchase. When a user does so, take advantage of the opportunity to get them into your list like Boohoo does in the example below.
All you need to do is add a new field to your account creation form that asks for the user’s permission to email them about promotions and connect the new user’s email address to your email list.
To add a form field, you may have to work with a developer to add the button to your account creation page. Here’s more information from Shopify.
Once that’s done, you can either use an API that connects your store with your email list or an automation tool like Zapier that does that for you. What's great about Zapier is that it connects your Shopify store with every major email marketing platform.
Provide an option to sign up after checkout
If account creation is an essential step in the customer’s lifecycle, a checkout is the culmination of all your hard work. With all we have said in the previous strategy, it would go without saying that adding a form field that asks the buyer to sign up for your email list when finishing a purchase is a no-brainer.
Fortunately, most platforms make this method much easier to execute than the previous one. For example, if you’re selling on Shopify, this is what you need to do:
- From your Shopify admin, go to
Settings > Checkout
- In the
Email marketingsection, check Show a sign-up option at checkout, which will add a signup checkbox to your checkout
You can have the email signup button pre-selected or not. If you decide to keep it pre-selected, you will see a much higher email list growth than if you don’t keep the button pre-selected.
However, many customers may realize you signed them up without their consent and unsubscribe. Make sure to think this option through before deciding on what’s best for you.
Run a giveaway
You love free stuff, don’t you? I know I do. And I’m sure your visitors as well. Giveaways are a method that allows you to leverage your visitors’ inherent love for free things in exchange for their email addresses.
The power of giveaways lies beyond the free nature of the product at stake but in its relevance. Aim for a product (or set thereof) that you know most visitors want—you can select the most widely sold product in your store or one that’s near the top. You can also give away multiple products simultaneously, coupon codes, and much more.
To run a giveaway, you can use a Shopify app like ViralSweep Giveaways Contests or Social Boost Giveaways Contest. Alternatively, you can add a form and popup around your site promoting your giveaway and then run the contests using a random name picker tool (like this one) to select the winner for you.
Communicate the giveaway winner to your email list and social media followers, and send the prize to the lucky winner.
Having an email list will help you diversify your traffic acquisition while growing your revenue. What’s not to love?
And if you’re still wondering how to get more email subscribers, with the seven email list building methods shown here, your ecommerce store will benefit from all the advantages email marketing has to offer. Try one of the methods and see it for yourself.
Ivan Kreimer is a freelance content writer for hire who creates educational content for SaaS businesses like Leadfeeder and Campaign Monitor. In his pastime, he likes to help people become freelance writers. Besides writing for smart people who read sites like Getsitecontrol, Ivan has also written in sites like Entrepreneur, MarketingProfs, TheNextWeb, and many other influential websites.
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