Putting your time, energy, and money into growing your email list is one of the best investments you can make when it comes to your e-commerce business. Why?
Simple. Because email marketing has an insanely high ROI. How high exactly? Well, according to the DMA National Email Report 2015, an average campaign has a 3800% ROI, which means that the average return for every dollar spent on email marketing is $38.
Moreover, while a lot of online stores have caught up with the times and started to build their lists, email marketing is still severely underutilized in the world of e-commerce, and doing it right can help you get ahead of your competition.
Building a solid email list takes time. However, if you know what you’re doing, you can really accelerate that process.
Follow these five steps. It’s time to put your email list on steroids!
Step #1 Offer an opt-in incentive
An opt-in incentive is a “bribe” that you offer your store visitors to encourage them to sign up to your email list, such as a discount code, a free report, a free video course, etc.
A lot of online store owners are missing out on tons of email subscribers (and, consequently, sales!) by not having the right (or any) incentive in place.
I recommend to use something that is delivered over the course of several days (as opposed to one-off download) because that will help you draw your subscribers in and get them used to opening your emails.
What exactly am I talking about? Okay, so let’s say you have a health and fitness store aimed at men, and most of your customers are interested in losing fat and gaining muscle. Here are some examples of what you could offer them.
A newsletter with exclusive content. The very least you can offer your subscribers is a weekly newsletter with exclusive, relevant content. In this case, that would be weight loss and muscle building links from all other the web, advice, interviews and success stories.
A text-based email sequence. You can start with something as simple as offering your subscribers 3 tips that will help them build bigger and stronger muscles and then send those 3 tips in 3 separate emails over the course of a week. This is very easy to set up, so you really don’t have any excuse not to.
A video-based email sequence. You can make those same 3 tips more appealing if you offer them in a video format. You can either film yourself talking into a camera, create Powerpoint + voice over presentations, or produce animated videos. Don’t know anything about video? You can always outsource to someone who does.
Keep in mind that this opt-in incentive is the beginning of what is hopefully going to be long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. It doesn’t have to be fancy… But it does have to provide value to your subscribers. Remember, you only get one shot at making a great first impression, so go above and beyond with your opt-in offer.
Step #2 Create a high converting landing page
Once you have your opt-in incentive, it’s time to create a landing page, which is where you’ll “sell” your free offer to potential subscribers.
Here are three things that you need to keep in mind:
The sole purpose of a landing page is to get the visitor to subscribe to your email list. That means that you should remove any and all distractions - your landing page shouldn’t have any links to your own websites, any external links, any other calls to action, etc. It’s one and only aim is to get that email address so remove anything that might distract the visitor from subscribing.
Headline and subheadline of your landing page must explain why the visitor should subscribe to your email list. So, for example, “Lose fat. Build muscle” as a headline and “3 Tips That Actually WORK - Straight to Your Inbox!” as a subheadline might work for a men’s health and fitness store.
The color and the text of your call to action button matters. The button must stand out from the rest of your page, so you should pick a color that would stand out. Red, orange, and yellow buttons tend to convert the best, but really, it all depends on your particular color scheme. And the text? Avoid using boring words like “Subscribe” and go with something more lively and relevant to your audience instead (say, “Get Jacked!” in the case of men’s health and fitness store).
Of course, these are only three tips, and while they are enough to help you get some of the most important stuff right, you should really take time to learn more about crafting high-converting landing pages.
Step #3 Use Facebook ads to drive targeted traffic to your landing page.
Ecommerce expert Leighton Taylor says that the fastest way to build an email list is to send quality traffic to a landing page:
“The fastest way to start building your email list is to send quality traffic to a landing page. By quality traffic, I mean that it needs to be people who are likely to be interested in your products. Your marketing budget will be much more effective if you carefully choose who to spend it on.”
And what is the easiest way to get quality traffic? Paid advertising. Leighton himself used Facebook ads to go from 50 subscribers to over 1,000 subscribers - all within 4 weeks!
“My online shop sells survival knives, so I set up a Facebook ad targeting men ages 18-50 located in the United States who have expressed interest in survivalism and bushcraft. I was able to send traffic to a landing page for about $0.08 per click. The landing page offered a weekly newsletter containing survival articles and gear reviews, and about 15% of the visitors signed up for my newsletter. Within 4 weeks I went from less than 50 to over 1,000 email subscribers”
It might seem strange to use ads to get email subscribers instead of sales, but given the insanely high ROI of email marketing, it’s worth it in the long run.
Plus, It’s also a great method for introducing new people to your brand and warming them up to the idea of buying something from your store before hard selling them your products.
Step #4 Use strategically placed, well-timed pop-ups
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. You hate pop-ups. So do I. So does everyone. Despite that, there’s no denying that they work (and sometimes they work extremely well… SkinnyMe Tea increased their email opt-ins by 758%!)
Here are three pop ups that you should be using on your site:
60-second delay pop-up. This is the pop-up that appears 60 seconds after a visitor arrives to your store. That gives them a bit of time to look around and get a sense of what it’s all about before they are presented with the opt-in incentive.
Store browsing pop-up. This is the pop-up that appears when a visitor is already browsing your inventory. They are probably thinking about buying something… So what better time could there be to offer them a $5-$10 discount (a small price to pay for acquiring an email subscriber!).
Exit-intent pop-up. This is the pop-up that appears when a visitor is about to leave your site. Offering a discount is probably your best bet.
Also check out this new Gamified Email Collection popup that we've seen on a few Shopify stores recently.
Step #5 Run giveaways and contests!
Giveaways are a great way to boost your email list. Everyone likes free stuff, right? So give people a chance to win some of your merchandise!
Here are some suggestions:
It only makes sense to give away your own product because giving away something random will attract random people who might not otherwise be interested in what you are selling.
Creating a landing page for a giveaway will help you to get more subscribers. Make sure to really “sell” your prize and encourage people to sign up for the contest!
Use paid ads on Facebook and Reddit to drive quality traffic to the landing page. Once again, it might feel strange to use ads to get email subscribers instead of sales, but it makes sense in the long run.
Promote your giveaway on social media. This is where having a solid following on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram comes in handy.
Remember, if you want your giveaway to be a success, you can’t do it in half-hearted way. You need to put time, energy, and yes, even money into it. Take it seriously. After all, if you play your cards right, all those new subscribers will be more than worth it in the end!
Okay, so now that your list is growing, you might be wondering how to make the best use of it...
Here are three articles that you can read next to make your email marketing more effective and increase your sales:
3 Emails Every Ecommerce Store Needs in Their Welcome Series - Wondering what you should even start with? This article will help you!
3 Emails Every Ecommerce Store Should Be Sending in 2017 - Learn about the 3 types of emails that are an absolute MUST for every ecommerce store.
Killer Tips for Designing Email Newsletters for Gigantic Conversions - No one will bother to read your emails, much less buy anything, if your design is ugly. Improve your design and get more sales!
Also be sure to check out this case study - How Purple Toys Boosted Their Sales By Over $150k Using Automated Email Marketing!
Over to you: What tactics do you use to grow your email list faster?