Despite being around for more than a decade, email remains one of the most effective communication tools available. It’s so effective, in fact, studies show that when done right, email marketing can provide an ROI (Return on Investment) as high as $38 for every $1 spent. That’ll make any business partner or investor — or even mom — proud!
But that’s not all. Email marketing can also boost customer engagement, build brand awareness and most importantly develop brand loyalty. That’s right, a comprehensive email marketing plan can nurture and develop those coveted customers — you know, the ones that are not only frequent buyers but they’re also willing to promote your brand to their friends, co-workers and family members. With this much potential, it’s no surprise that so many ecommerce store owners are always looking for ways to grow their email list.
While there’s no magic spell that will triple the number of email subscribers you have overnight, there are plenty of steps you can take right now to attract quality leads and grow your email subscriber list. Email marketing may feel like a never-ending process of trial-and-error, and in many ways, it is; but there are also several sure-fire ways to boost your number of email subscribers.
Here’s a look at the top ten.
1. Instant Pop-up Connections
Love at first sight may be what retailers want from their customers, but converting a prospect into a buyer will likely take more time than just a quick glance. You may, however, be able to entice visitors to subscribe to your email list fairly quickly.
First, subscribing to a retailer’s email is not nearly as intimidating as making a purchase. Secondly, pop-up boxes are almost impossible to miss. If set up right, a visitor will have to decide whether to subscribe or click out of the box to opt-out. If you haven’t done so already, adding a pop-up to your homepage can go a long way in building a strong subscriber list.
While pop-ups may be one of the most effective tools to building an email list, it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. Instead, you must carefully craft and display your pop-up boxes to ensure maximum potential. Here are some things to consider.
- Placement: Pop-up box placement is very important. You want to make sure your visitors see it but make sure it doesn’t cover up vital information, such as your Shopify store name. Test several locations to see which spots offer the best traction.
- Timing: You might consider displaying a pop-up box as soon as the visitor logs onto your homepage, but this could be a big mistake. Instead, give the potential customers a few seconds to look over your page before launching the pop-up box. You can also use an exit-intent pop-up box that only shows when a visitor is about to leave your site.
- Graphics: Graphics within a pop-up box can be a little tricky. You definitely want the customer to see the box, but it shouldn’t be overpowering. Stick to basic graphics with minimal words. Just add enough information to get a response.
2. “We Have a Winner”
Who doesn’t like a fun contest and the chance to win? No one. That’s what makes contests, sweepstakes and giveaways such an effective campaign strategy. After all, what better way to draw attention to your Shopify page and grow your email list than with a fun event.
This concept may seem pretty straightforward — ask your site visitors to subscribe to your email for a chance to win a prize. The reality is that to host a sweepstakes or giveaway that has enough power to substantially grow your email list, it’s going to take planning and promotion.
Start by selecting a prize with real value behind it. Think about your target customer and about what specific prizes they might like. For example, you might want to consider giving away exclusive items, a shopping spree or a new product. Your options are basically limitless. As long as the prize adds value to the consumer, you can’t go wrong.
Next, be sure to develop a list of rules for your sweepstakes. It’s crucial that your customers see the competition as completely fair and unbiased. Any irregularities or questionable actions could destroy your brand’s reputation and shrink your email list rather than grow it. Finally, a successful contest requires lots of promotion. Use your social media accounts to promote the event and use a temporary pop-up box on your homepage to entice followers and visitors to enter the contest.
3. Keep ‘Em While You Have ‘Em
The key to continuously building a strong email list is to use every opportunity to prompt visitors to sign up. One common communication tool that is often underutilized is the chatbot. If you have added a chatbot to your Shopify page, don’t miss the opportunity to gear people towards your email subscription page.
Think about it. You’ve gotten your prospective customer to a point where they are connecting with you for more information — a sale is within reach. Certainly, the most important thing is to handle the issue for the customer. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t add some extra information into the mix.
For example, if the prospective customer is asking about an out-of-stock or up-and-coming product, you can encourage them to subscribe to your email list to stay up-to-date with your brand’s latest news, such as launch dates. On the other hand, you can simply add a link with a CTA enticing them to subscribe.
This added measure is effective at attracting both new customers as well as long-standing customers who have not yet subscribed.
4. Make the Social Connection
Love it or hate it, there’s no denying the power social media has to influence consumers. It’s nearly impossible to find success as an ecommerce business without a presence on multiple social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The good news is that social media is not just a brand builder, it’s also a following maker. You can use all the power that these social sites offer to grow your list of email subscribers. All you have to do is convert your social followers to email subscribers. How, you ask?
Use social posts to explain the various benefits of becoming a subscriber, such as early access to new products, monthly newsletters, sales alerts and special discounts. Always include a sign-up form to make it super easy for your followers to become subscribers. Also, don’t forget to make these posts sharable, so your followers can entice their social friends to sign up as well. You can even add a sign-up link to your social profile or include a link in the “About Us” section.
5. Welcome to Our Shopify Store
First-time site visitors are definitely one of the top targets when it comes to growing an email list. Unfortunately, studies show that 95% of first-time visitors will not return to your site. This statistic makes it paramount that you entice them to subscribe right from the start. A warm welcome from the second they land on your site is crucial.
A homepage pop-up box catered specifically toward first-time visitors or even new buyers can capitalize on this moment. Consider tactics, such as a special discount for first-time customers, free shipping or even complimentary samples with purchase. These great offers may be enough to tempt a newcomer to subscribe to your email and allow you to engage with them even if they leave your page without making a purchase.
When creating a pop-up specifically for first-time visitors, it’s more important than ever to have a clear understanding of your ideal customer. Think about your target customer’s demographics and shopping behaviors when deciding what type of special offer can inspire them to take action.
6. Opt-in Throughout the Journey
While many marketers focus on getting first-time visitors and new customers to subscribe, it’s important to remember the repeat customer as well. Some consumers are leery to subscribe to any retailer that they are unfamiliar with, but after a few purchases, they may be ready to make this commitment. For this very reason, it’s vital that you make it easy for customers to opt-in at various stages throughout the buyer’s journey.
For example, adding a pop-up box to your home page is great for attracting new visitors to your site. However, a large percentage of new visitors and even customers will not subscribe at this point, even for special rewards. This fact is why you can’t stop your recruiting efforts at the homepage. Instead, you must follow the customer as they go through the buyer’s journey.
After the homepage, don’t miss out on the next point of contact, which is hopefully checkout. Shopify allows you to add an opt-in button at the checkout. In fact, you can even set up a pre-selected opt-in button to make it even easier for customers to subscribe. At this point, that special deal or other benefits your subscription provides may be more appealing.
If your customer has slipped through the checkout without subscribing, you still have more opportunities. Try adding a link to the order confirmation email sent to the customer as well as any follow-up emails sent. These extra efforts can help you boost your subscription numbers and keep your customers happy.
7. Email Marketing Automation
Email automation can not only help you save time, but it can also simplify the email collection process and actually grow your level of new subscribers. The most important feature email automation offers is the ability to pull your email list from various channels and merge them into one convenient location. This step can instantly boost your Shopify email list. However, you may also see a slight decrease because automation software will detect duplicate accounts and merge them into one.
Most importantly, automation can help to build reliability with your subscribers and help you streamline your campaign efforts. You can also use automation to set up email notifications at different stages of the buying process, including at the browse or cart abandonment stage. This extra engagement at this point in the buyer’s journey may not only entice the consumer to subscribe, but it also may help improve our conversion rate.
8. Not Your Ordinary Ecommerce Page
Your online store homepage and social media sites are great places to start your email list building. If, on the other hand, you want to build a solid email list that can help grow your business, you need a dedicated subscription page. This unique landing page should be where you direct potential subscribers through social media, chatbots and standard email communications.
This landing page should include top-of-the-funnel content that is geared towards prospective and new customers. Start with a dynamic headline that clearly shows the intention of the content. Follow this by briefly explaining the details of the subscription. For example, explain how often emails are sent and the various sign-up benefits, such as exclusive access to new products or sales announcements. Follow this content with a compelling CTA that is designed to prompt the visitor to take immediate action.
Finally, collect only the information you need. In most cases, this will only be the name and email address, but you could include other information, such as birthdate, if you plan to use these details to benefit the consumer. Steer clear of requesting unnecessary information, such as phone number, because some consumers might consider this an invasion of their privacy and promptly leave your site.
9. Paid Ads Can Make a Difference
Paid ads are known to boost brand awareness and may help increase traffic to your Shopify page, but did you know the right ad can also help you grow your email list? Fortunately, Shopify integrates well with social media outlets, including Facebook as well as Google, through its Smart Shopping Campaign platform. This integration expands the reach of each ad and increases your chances of gaining more subscribers.
Rather than using these ads to attract customers, your overall goal is to gain more subscribers. This method is more effective than buying email lists, which are likely packed full of consumers who may not be interested in the products you offer. In fact, with paid ads, you can target the placement of each ad. This step ensures that consumers who closely match your ideal customers’ attributes are most likely to see these ads. These types of subscriber-building marketing campaigns may help your reach prospective customers that may have never had access to your Spotify page before.
10. Create a Shopify Referral Program
Studies show that 92% of consumers trust referrals from a friend over all other types of recommendations. It only makes sense to use this power to add more subscribers to your email list. There are several ways you can make referrals part of your email marketing strategy.
- Referral Link: A referral program can be as simple as adding a specific referral link to every email you send to current subscribers. This strategy is ideal for your loyal customers who are most likely to promote your business to others.
- Social Media: Social media provides the ideal setting for referrals. Use social media posts to encourage your current subscribers to share your posts and information with their social friends. This type of approach can greatly expand the reach of every post.
- Referral Rewards: If you really want to use your referral program to boost your email list, consider offering special rewards, such as a discount or free shipping, to current subscribers who make a referral as well as to the new customer being referred. If you choose this option, be sure to create a clear and concise referral program that includes all the necessary details to protect your business, such as a limit on the number of referrals one customer can make.
Whether you choose two or three of these marketing tactics or even more, you are likely to see an increase in your email subscribers in no time. Be sure to always evaluate your marketing efforts and make adjustments as necessary. Can’t wait to check the inbox!