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How to Build an Email List That Grows Your Business

How to Build an Email List That Grows Your Business

Email marketing remains an effective marketing tool and delivers a strong ROI for all types of business, including ecommerce.
One of the big challenges businesses face, however, is how to build a meaningful list that can then be used for a range of marketing activity.

Why is email marketing so important for ecommerce?

Any way that you can directly reach your customers and market to them personally increases your chance of making a sale. Social media is great but sites like Facebook use algorithms that often mean your well-thought-out messages don’t get in front of the right people in any organic way.

People tend to think that email is old school and part of the marketing past. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the right hands, it’s a powerful and effective tool.

The biggest benefit of email marketing is the return on investment you get. According to one recent survey, for each dollar spent, email delivers a return of $42. Personalising that email to meet your customer’s needs also improves opening rates by as much as 50%.

Another good reason for using email is that you can create compelling messages that resonate more deeply with your customer. This in turn allows you to build a stronger relationship with your customer that garners greater brand loyalty.

7 ways you can encourage subscribers

If you’re waiting for people to sign up of their own accord and leave their email address, you may well be disappointed. We all need a little nudge now and again and the following strategies have all been shown to work.

1. Pop-up offers

People have different views on pop-ups that suddenly appear when you hit a website home page. What is indisputable is that they work. If you have a pop-up offer on your site, you are likely to generate more click-throughs than if a subscribe form or banner was on the side panel of your home page.

The key here is that the offer has to be a good one. It needs to be thought through and relevant to your potential customer. People are always looking for bargains, for example, which is why offering a discount if someone signs up on the spot can work so well.

2. Sign-up forms

One of the time-honoured ways of collecting data, including email addresses, is a sign-up form. You might have a monthly newsletter or offer to keep customers updated with new products. This type of form generally sits on your pages and works especially well on blog sites.

3. Social media

Using social media to build your email list can have an immediate impact. As a brand, you should create social media conversations, join groups where your customers hang out and offer help and advice.

Like many things to do with social media, it’s all about engaging rather than pushing a particular activity such as inviting them to sign up on your site with an email. Think about providing value and how that can benefit the user rather than your business.

4. Run ads to a lead form

A more direct approach is to encourage visitors by using a range of online advertising. The key here is to craft a compelling message that moves the individual onto a focused landing page that contains a lead form where they give you their email address.

5. Questionnaires

Questionnaires and surveys work remarkably well as long as they are relevant to your consumers. You might want to create something that also improves your website, for example, asking about what sort of products people want to see, how easy they find it to navigate your site or how they found you in the first place.

6. Gated content

Gated content is where you have an area of your site or a product like an e-book that potential customers can access if they give you a little bit of personal information such as their email.
Let’s say, for example, you run a fashion site and you develop a series of webinars or videos about the latest trends or how to mix and match different styles. You can make this gated content and give your customers the chance to join an exclusive club.

7. Giveaways where emails are required

Everyone loves something for free. For your ecommerce site, this might be a 10% discount on that first order. All the customer has to do is give you their email and you’ll send a code to them. Or maybe you want to run a contest with the winner getting a voucher to spend in-store on anything they like.
Any ecommerce business needs to have a range of different tactics in place for collecting emails. Maintaining a strong list allows you to market directly to your customers and tailor content for them. Get it right and it will deliver a strong ROI that helps you grow your business well into the future.

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