Source: Shopify Masters
It is 2018 now but I’m happy to let you know that the old adage, money is in the list, holds true even today.
Almost all successful businesses have one thing in common – they have an email list. If you’re a store-owner, the email list you build almost dictates how successful you will be.
You can – and you will – rely on organic and paid traffic to your store. But there are lulls in these kinds of traffic that will affect your business. If you want to have an audience that you can readily sell to – and they are willing to see your products – you should focus on building that email list.
You want to build a list of people who are passionate about your brand (or at least like you enough to subscribe). This community of passionate followers is the key to making more sales and having a ready, primed marketing channel whenever you launch a new product in your store.
Store owners with email lists and communities around their brand fare better.
Here’s a basic outlay of building an email list:
1. You drive traffic to your website (organic, paid, social, word-of-mouth, offline, local directories etc)
2. You offer something in return for their email address
3. And you keep the email list happy by offering something every once in a while (make them feel exclusive)
4. Rinse and repeat without coming off as a spammer
In this article, we’re concerned with #2 in the list.
What can you offer so lucratively that makes people give their email to you?
Let’s take a look at 8 of them:
1. Discounts, coupons.
“Give me your email, I will give you great discounts.”
Almost everyone likes a good discount. It’s no wonder that you see popups on almost 90% of the stores that use discounts as a lure to build their email lists.
Due to the prevalence, you might have to notch up your discounts. What you lose in immediate profits, you gain in long-term marketability via the email list you build.
2. Pre-launch access to products
Works great for brands which evoke a passionate following. Works like Amazon Prime.
A pre-launch access is an exclusive thing. People generally tend to like to be in exclusive lists. If you sell something that’s not easily available – or if you have a great user-experience on your shop that beats your competition – your potential visitors would love to have a pre-launch access.
You can tap into this by simply letting them subscribe at the appropriate time with an appropriate message.
3. Subscriber-only offers, discounts and access
This is almost similar to the pre-launch access list. The key theme is “exclusivity”.
People pay for Netflix and Amazon Prime because it give them access to things that are otherwise unavailable.
Similar to that, if you make it clear that being in your email list will give them not just early-access but also special discounts and offers, they are more likely to subscribe.
4. Newsletter of interesting discoveries
Although this is not for everyone, this definitely has a huge impact. Take the case of Huckberry. They grew their shop entirely through their newsletter – which in its initial stages had interesting, curated content besides a “sell”.
Curating great content within your niche is a definite way to keep your email list passionately involved in your newsletter. They will look forward to your emails. And a small plug is your way to get the sales rolling in.
5. Make it a game
A short while ago, wheel of fortunes began making an appearance on online shops. That spread like wildfire and I saw a lot of online stores using it to get visitors to give their email address in exchange for the 50% discount they just “won”.
On the Shopify app store, there are a lot of apps like these.
You can put an arcade-style fortune wheels or dice roll. People have fun spinning the thing. (And the results are controlled so you don’t worry about someone getting a 100% discount).
6. Single-focus landing page
Marketing gurus swear by the single-focus landing page for a reason.
They have the best conversion rates.
If you sell a single product or if you’re launching something brand-new and you exclusively want to collect emails, then this is something you should look into.
Picture this: the whole page has no other distractions. Everything leads to the subscription form. The visitor either subscribes or leaves. Sounds antithetical to the idea of online ecommerce but it surprisingly works wonders.
7. Exit-intent popups
You leave a roadside shop because the thing you wanted to buy is expensive. The shopkeeper does a last-ditch effort just as you step out of the shop, offering you a discounted price.
That pretty much sums up what exit-intent popups do. Just as your visitor leaves, you throw a surprise – “here’s a 20% off if you purchase in the next 1 hour from our shop”.
Contests and giveaways are great at capturing emails. Caveat: you don’t attract purchasers.
Another gamification that can help you build a giant email list is holding contests regularly and doing giveaways. Everyone likes to win or get a freebie and the prospect of that is okay to subscribe to a list.
The catch here is that the list you build may see a lot of churn as people who signed up just to get the freebie will unsubscribe. But if you can get creative with your newsletter, you might retain a lot of them who will end up purchasing from you.
Elements of Email Sign-up forms:
You have got some ideas for different types of values you can offer in exchange of email ids. Now when you are up to building the Sign-up forms on your store, you should know the elements you need to have in the forms.
Our friends at Campaign Monitor have created very useful infographic for this. Have a look at it.
I’ll be honest. Building a list is not completely easy. It takes a lot of time, effort and experimentation. But the list is your investment in your shop’s future growth.
You could be getting a good chunk of traffic and sales without a list. But the list is like your insurance against the lulls and ebbs in traffic. With a list, you can maximize your sales and ensure a steady stream of sales.