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12 Ways To Build An Email List That Increases Revenue

With platforms like Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce, it’s become easy to setup an online store to advertise and sell your products. A lot of the advertising is now done through Facebook or Google, but how to do you gain the most value from those high cost clicks?

Increasing your conversion rates can only go so far to getting the best ROI (return on investment) and the ability to capitalize on even a part of the traffic that doesn’t convert can make a big difference in the long run.

Store owners are consistently focused on driving new customers to their store when they could be spending their efforts on their existing customers, the ones who have already purchased and don’t need a lot of convincing to move from finding something they like into purchasing.

Invest in customer loyalty to bring back customers.

Increasing a customer’s lifetime value and repeat order rate is the key to sustaining a store, especially if you have low margin products. One of the best ways to do this is through email marketing.



#1. Entrance Pop Up Offers

Most of the time entrance pop ups are used without an offer and simply ask for an email, this can cause the potential customer to become annoyed at the value proposition in addition to the disturbance in their flow. By using an entrance pop up to make an offer, you can entice incoming traffic to stick around, offer you their email address and potentially make a purchase using their newly obtained discount code.

Even if the potential customer doesn’t find anything that strikes their fancy on the first visit, an email drip campaign can be triggered to keep them updated on the latest sales and product offers to get them to buy down the road. In the case that an offer is used, a follow up offer of a higher value discount on the second purchase is a great way to increase customer value and build up loyalty.



#2. Cart Abandonment & Exit Intent Pop Up Offers


Cart abandonment or exit intent offers are triggered based on the intent of a potential customer to leave the store. Usually this can happen when presented with a high cart price or high shipping cost. By making an immediate offer, you achieve two things. One is that you can get an email in exchange for the discount offer, which can then be used for on-going email offers if the customer still drops off. The second, is that you have a chance for that customer who may have been hesitant, to complete the order and feel good about the discount.

Making cart abandonment offers to work well is tricky. You have to be ready to test your offers and give up your lowest acceptable price to get the customer in, at which point you can use triggered drip campaigns to engage and push the customer towards more purchases.



#3. Product Triggered Offers

Almost any store with a few SKUs has certain products that carry an exceptionally high margin, the type of products you want to sell in more volume. A product triggered offer usually comes in the form of a discount offer with an urgency factor attached to it (ie. “Redeemable in the next 15 minutes”). The goal of this is to close the deal immediately on customers that are ready to buy or just on the fence about making the purchase.

You can decide to either directly get an email in exchange of activating the product offer or to just allow an immediate redemption of the offer and wait until checkout to capture the customer’s email. The lower the barrier to purchase the better!



#4. Contests

Running a contest is a great go-to way to build your email list as well as build your social following. The Le Bateau example above is relatively simply in comparison to just what you can get into. With a contest you don’t need to think big to build a list, even $50 – $100 in prizes can mean enough emails to get a solid ROI down the road. Just make sure that you make your competition prominent as it can act as a great way to retain existing customers as well as engage new ones.

I personally recommend Gleam.io if you are going to run a contest. It has integrations with everything, which allows you to run contests that reward entrants for referrals. It makes sure your prize investment goes a long way to capturing as many emails as possible.



#5. How To’s & Buying Guides

If you have a niche, leverage that fact and demonstrate your knowledge. Chances are you are already posting content to a blog or doing email blasts, rewrite or compile that content into something a bit more meaty and offer it up in exchange for an email. Survival Knife Experts leveraged their niche in survival knives and setup a weekly email blasts of tips and articles related to survival to build their email lists.

You can quickly and easily replicate this by taking your niche, doing a few minutes of research for tips on Google and putting up a landing page. The focus of the content you send should be to provide value, the fact that you can sneak in promotions or link back to products on your own store weekly is just the cherry on top.



#6. Footer or Header Newsletter Sign Up Forms

While a footer newsletter sign up doesn’t pop out a visitors, it’s a passive form of list building. If the visitor doesn’t go further into your site or dismisses your entrance pop up, the footer form is a good way to try to make the conversion. In this particular example pictured above, the form you see is in the footer but you can just as easily place a newsletter form almost anywhere on the page.

Keeping it in the header or footer can keep the design clean as well as keeping the email request more passive. It keeps the focus on the products rather than the sign up form.



 #7. Referral Rewards Program

Acquiring new customers can be costly, 9 times out of 10 the best way to acquire a new customer is through an existing customer. The newly acquired user will be familiar with your brand and already know what they’re getting into. Referred customers, on average, spend 16% more than customers who don’t come through a recommendation.

There are a number of platforms to help you with referral programs but the best part of referred customers is that there is no wasted ad spend, just transparent and easy to calculate cost per acquisition. The above example is from Harry’s and they used their referral program to get over 100,000 customers in a very short time. Their model gave rewards for referred friends that signed up with multiple stretch goals to promote referral of a large amount of friends.



#8. Referral Credit Program


The cost to acquire a customer usually breaks even with the cost of the product, unless you’ve really optimized your acquisition channels. If you have a high value product you have the ability to offer a double sided referral and still come out ahead with a set cost of acquisition. The above example is Touch of Modern, they let you offer your friends $10 in credit immediately for signing up for Touch of Modern and you receive $20 in credit when your friend’s first order ships. This sets the acquisition of a paying customer at $30 ($20 of which may never be redeemed) and with everything from $30 wallets to $500 watches, it can be a lucrative program to run if you can achieve a high repeat customer rate.



#9. Email Signature Opt-In


There is a lot of focus on having email opt-in forms on every part of your website but some people forget about the simple places where you can still get a lot of traffic. Most small sized stores get a few emails a day about shipments, pre-order questions, stock questions and more. When you reply to those emails you likely have your social links and maybe a link back to your store. That is great for sending them out to places where they can get more information and maybe follow one of your social media profiles. It’s not a direct push towards a sales funnel though. By having a direct to email signup link you can drive them right into an opt-in form that will trigger a promotion email or even discount code to get the person into the sales funnel. All it takes is linking some text on your email signature to a form and writing an auto responder email to be triggered when someone signs up.



 #10. Twitter Lead Generation Cards


Twitter now offers lead generation focused advertising using a bid per lead generated. This means that you won’t have to worry about overspending on the email addresses you acquire because you choose how much or how little you want to spend. These type of ads are not used very often yet, so don’t expect a large influx of leads. The targeting options allow you to target your own Twitter followers as well as followers of your competitors. If you know your customer profiles you can even get into keyword, interest and demographic targeting. Much like Facebook or Google’s retargeting you can also retarget your own customers by placing a tracking pixel on your store or you can use your existing email lists.



#11. Retail Location Opt-In Offers


While a majority of ecommerce stores are online only, there are some that also have a brick and mortar retail location. Figuring out how to fuse the offline and online marketing efforts can be a daunting task but if you can make them work together than you can build long term loyalty. While online stores can acquire emails in a variety of ways, retail locations rarely take advantage of all the foot traffic. One of the easiest ways to build your list in a retail location is to simply copy the models you use online and apply them to the retail location. At check out or even when a customer walks in the door, prompt them with an offer in exchange for a name and email address. While the value to the customer may not be apparent upon entry, at checkout that 10% discount often converts. In a retail location with a moderate amount of foot traffic, these offers can really accelerate the growth of your email list. Just make sure to keep emails relevant, if they came from the retail location keep the email focus on retail location sales but throw in some online sales for those times that the customer is just too busy to come into the store.



#12. Emailing Receipts


If you walk into an Apple store and purchase anything, they ask if you want your receipt emailed to you. This isn’t just because they want you to keep track of your receipts and spending, they want to build a profile about you by acquiring your email. If you utilize a modern point of sale system in your retail location, chances are the ability to email receipts is part of the package. While a discount offer for an email might not work, emailing a customer their receipt is a big convenience that many welcome.

If you have any additional tips that you use to grow your store’s email list, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

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