Building a high-quality email marketing list is a long-term process that can pay off handsomely. Using the right tools and practices, you can cultivate a loyal ecommerce customer base, and that translates into repeat buyers.

Ecommerce email marketing relies on finding the right audience for what you’re selling and convincing them to interact with your campaigns and return often to your site.

Here are our top five ways to capture customer interest and keep it long-term.

Phase 1: Capturing the Email

1. Use an appealing opt-in form

Getting people to sign up for your ecommerce email marketing list is the first step in marketing your product to them. Starting with the basic ‘x-percent off for signup’, there are many ways to make opting in attractive to prospective customers.

It helps to have a signup form that’s hard to miss, and a floating or sticky opt-in box will keep it front and center. Just make sure that it doesn’t get in the way of relevant information.

Adding a tagline to your opt-in box is a way to generate interest while sharing more information about your product or service. Here are a few examples:

  • Building quality widgets for over 30 years.
  • Shipping is always free at WidgetPro.
  • The widget people buy again and again.

2. Choose the right incentives

To get people to sign up and keep coming back to your store, you need to devise incentives that are tailored to your target audience.

This can include lead magnets like savings or free gifts. If you plan to send out a newsletter, make it sound appealing. Ask the customer to sign up for your newsletter to receive information about sales, new inventory, tips & tricks and other perks.

Using free downloads as lead magnets can help build your email list because everyone is interested in getting something for free.

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Just make sure your free offer fits the profile of your customer base and is related to your product. If it doesn’t relate to your product or brand, it’s not going to attract customers who are organically interested in what you have to offer.

Free e-books, guides and top 10 lists are popular free gifts that can beef up your email marketing list.

3. Make it fun

The road from the initial contact to regular customer interaction with your website should be paved with positive reinforcement. Use humor to engage the reader, but don’t overdo it.

Once the customer has scrolled to the bottom of your pitch, it’s time for a popup that encourages them to sign up. This can take the form of joining a ‘preferred customer’ list or signing up for sales and discounts. You can give two options, signing up or a humorous version of not participating:

  • Sign up for special offers!/No thanks, I’m not interested in saving money.
  • Join our preferred customer list./No thanks, I don’t need extra discounts.
  • Be the first to find out about sales./No thanks, I prefer to pay full price.

Another great way to make signing up for your list fun is by using an interactive sign up form. For example, a great Wheel of Fortune sign up form combines gamification with email capture.

Everyone loves to win a discount, and they’ll happily give up their email address to do so.

Phase 2: Keeping Your Customer’s Attention

4. Divide and conquer

Segmentation is a key tool for targeting potential customers with the right message and communicating with an audience according to their unique characteristics can pay off.

After all, a message that isn’t relevant to your customers won’t keep their attention for long. This is where segmentation helps you personalize those message so they’re always relevant.

One strategy that builds on signs of interest is sending a coupon code to those who opened the latest newsletter email. For customers who have already purchased your product, follow-up messages can be an effective reminder to purchase again.

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Segmenting your audience according to demographics like age, sex and geographic location can also be a useful marketing tool.

This is easy to do if you’re using automated email marketing. With the click of a button, you have the ability to send individualized messages targeted to specific audiences. Not only can you segment your audience, but you can also adjust the timing of messages sent to different segments.

5. Automation is key

You don’t need to spend all your time devising strategies and making them work if you use a quality automated system to deliver the message about your product or service.

For example, you can set a signup popup to appear after a reader has been on your site for a certain amount of time or when they’ve scrolled to a particular point on the page.

You can also stay in contact with your audience through automated welcome, follow-up, birthday and holiday messages.

This is a prime opportunity to heighten interest in purchasing with special offers or updates on new services and merchandise. With automation, there’s no need to stop what you’re doing and get out the latest newsletter or holiday greeting.

One of the best things about automated ecommerce email marketing is that it allows you to ‘set it and forget it’, giving you more time to focus on your business.

Final words

Building a great email list isn’t just about capturing the initial email, but maintaining and creating a relationship between you and your customer.

With these tips, you’ll be able to easily grab your customer’s attention at first, and then keep it through automation and segmentation strategies.


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