Looking to Build an Email List? Try These Proven Methods

Email marketing is still one of the best ways to nurture new and existing relationships. Use the tips offered in this guide to learn how to build email lists.

Did you know that 72% of consumers prefer that businesses contact them by email? With this in mind, it’s a no-brainer for your online store to have an email marketing strategy.

Email is an effective way to reach your customer base and scale your business. And as we’ve stated in a related guide, an extensive, quality list of email subscribers is one of the most valuable assets of an online business. If you’re attracting the right kinds of subscribers and keeping them engaged, your company will grow faster than you can say “sign-up!”

Now is the time to get into email marketing if you haven’t already. There are multiple benefits that will supercharge your sales, and it takes no time at all to get started. For e-tailers looking to build an email list, our guide is full of must-see, proven methods.

Benefits of Email Marketing

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of email is its ubiquity. It’s projected that there will be 5.6 billion active email accounts by the end of this year, and email is used by 92% of online adults, with 61% logging on daily. The prominence of smartphones has empowered consumers, and they are nearly always “plugged in” and easy to reach via email.

This direct link to the consumer is also part of what makes email marketing so effective. Instead of relying on people seeing your social media posts or digital ads while they browse online, your message goes straight to their inboxes. More specifically, email beats social by 400% for customer acquisition and has more than double the ROI, too.

Email is also the best way to incorporate personalization. The latest statistics show the impact of personalization: increased open rates, click-throughs, conversions and much more. It’s also simple to do with an email marketing service that automatically captures the names of your subscribers and populates your messages so each recipient feels like the email is tailored to them.

As you can see, email marketing is a must when you’re running an online store. But if you’re just getting it up and running, you don’t yet have that healthy subscriber base that will keep your store afloat. That’s where we come in!

Read on for more awesome tips on how to build your email subscriber list.

How to Build a Subscriber List

There are countless variations of the expression, “Ask and you shall receive,” but no matter how you say it, this applies to collecting emails. You can add a pop-up on your online store with just a few clicks or use your other marketing channels to build an email list. All you have to do is ask.

Website pop-ups are a common tool used to gain subscribers. When done well, they offer a unique value to the consumer and encourage them to stay in the loop with what’s happening on your site.

Case in point: Specialty pet company The Dog Bakery prompts site visitors to join their email list with the promise of an offer that coincides with a pet’s birthday/adoption day. Though the call-to-action could be more personalized and recolored for contrast, this pop up has helped boost its business and add value to the consumer’s (and pet’s) life.

Another way to use the website pop-up is to hold a contest or giveaway. The limited-time nature of a promotion adds scarcity and FOMO, or fear of missing out, to the value of the email subscription. Online shoe retailer Guilty Soles is just one of many businesses that has used a giveaway to build its email list, and the bonus is that there’s no pressure on the consumer to make a purchase.

A creative method to collect email addresses is to open the line of communication. Lifestyle brand Harvey Nichols does this for site browsers after a period of inactivity. They offer personalized styling assistance, which they can parlay into marketing emails. Whether going the “get help” route or asking for an email before initializing live chat, online retailers can get creative with the ways they ask for a prospective customer’s email.

Finally, e-tailers can utilize social media to gain new email subscribers. On link-capable sites like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, always include links to a landing page that will prompt subscription. Instagram is different but more simple—the “Email” function lets users contact a company, which can then capture the user’s email address and add it to the list.

Mailchimp v. Constant Contact

If you’re going to send commercial emails as part of your marketing strategy, you’re going to need an email marketing service. Two of the top players (that also integrate directly with ReadyCloud Ecommerce CRM) are Mailchimp and Constant Contact.

For e-tailers who are just starting out, Mailchimp is a popular option that we endorse. It has become one of the most widely used tools for small businesses because of its “Forever Free” plan for accounts with fewer than 2,000 subscribers. The user-friendly platform walks you through setting up outbound messages, called Campaigns, so building an email is a breeze.

Constant Contact is similar, and it offers robust reporting and simple scalability on its paid plans. Its features also include segmenting, which is a proven method for driving purchases.

No matter which email marketing service you pick, you’ll be protected from anti-spam laws and will be able to build relationships with your subscriber base.

Bonus: How to Keep Subscribers Hooked

Now that you’ve built your email list, it’s time to craft the kind of email your subscribers will look forward to seeing. The unique value proposition doesn’t only apply to your hook—every message has to add value to the recipient’s inbox, or you run the risk of people unsubscribing.

Your email should contain high-quality, potentially exclusive content. You can’t go wrong with a personalized promo code or a relevant blog post, but even alerts to new product lines or flash sales are attractive to the engaged subscriber. By trial-and-error, A/B testing and growing your business, you’ll have your emails fully optimized in no time.

Email marketing is key part of running an online store. It’s a direct-to-consumer approach to communication that is proven to be profitable. The possibilities are endless, and there is no limit on how much you can grow.

For more email marketing tips, don’t miss our related guides:

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