A lot of money is up for grabs for brands in the ever-growing global eCommerce market. But for stores to be eligible to some of the industry’s revenue growth, they’ll have to engage consumers and turn them into loyal advocates.
And of all the ways an eCommerce store can attract new customers and grow their business, building and maintaining an active email list remains one of the most cost-effective, best-converting and overall most reliable channels.
Part of the fun in running an email marketing program is that there isn’t a set blueprint for how to grow a list. At the same time, more choices can mean more confusion. If you’re among the latter group of store owners, start with these five proven strategies for growing an email list.
Post Content Regularly
The days of proudly forecasting content as the next big channel in digital marketing are long gone. However, even though the vast majority of marketers and brands believe in the importance of content marketing, only a small segment is seeing real results. This is because many companies go through the motions with ho-hum topics and a carbon-copy perspective, leading to high bounce rates, minimal visitor engagement and an overall waste of time and money. In other cases, brands may be creating valuable material, but aren’t posting it frequently enough, or for a long enough period, to translate into actual business outcomes.
Develop a cadence to your blog content so that existing readers (and blog subscribers) know when to expect new material, but also to commit to a posting schedule. It’s easy to say you’ll publish two in-depth articles per week, but sticking to that goal will quickly build a solid foundation of content that can drive traffic and continue to capture satisfied readers.
Generate Leads With Larger Resources
Ever landed on a page that promises to be the ‘definitive’ guide to a particular topic? A few sentences of description is usually accompanied by three-to-five bullet points of additional info – and of course – a form for your email address. Contrary to popular belief, these landing pages are both effective B2B and B2C strategies.
Whether the user enters their address because they want to read the content will depend on how valuable the piece of resource seems based on your landing page. If you can’t draw interest on the landing page and incite action through a succinct call-to-action, users won’t bother to give their information. If the resource doesn’t seem interesting or useful enough, it won’t generate leads. While creating longer-form content is time-consuming, ebooks, reports, guides and whitepapers can serve as evergreen lead-generation pipelines when paired with well-optimized landing pages.
Have a decent-sized blog readership? You can leverage your own audience to get real estate on other high-authority blogs. In other words, you can use your authority to guest post on other publications that can bring you more traffic. Identify a list of sites that align with your audience and receive a fair amount of traffic. Then write a custom pitch expressing your desire to write a guest post for their website. In the bio of your guest post, you can promote your resource and link to a specific landing page. As long as you’ve provided readers with value in your guest post, you’ll have a steady stream of people exploring what else you or your company has to offer.
Run An Email Newsletter
Posting unique content to your blog on a regular basis helps build a devoted audience. Doing the same thing through an email newsletter can strengthen that audience even more, gradually turning it into a high-conversion channel. Whether you post every day or once per week, readers should have an idea of your posting cadence. Similarly, you should set some structure to your newsletter. If every month is a smattering of your company messaging and internal news, nobody will read it. Keep it user-focused and opt for subtle plugs when it’s in the reader’s best interest.
If you’re looking for examples of high-quality email newsletters, subscribe to popular dailies CB Insights, the Hustle or NextDraft. While these email programs aren’t necessarily eCommerce based, they’ll show you how to lead through quality without missing the promotional or affiliate opportunities. When readers get this sequence of characteristics, they’re apt to respond positively to CTAs and other offers.
Use Tools Strategically
A concept means little without a way to execute it. That’s why as helpful as static lead forms can be – additional tools, add-ons, and plugins make list-building easier and more effective. You might think it’s a great idea to ask for an email address if someone scrolls 50 percent of your blog article or perhaps promotes a discount in exchange for an email if a visitor tries to exit the page. Whatever experiments you want to test, you’ll need to either hard-code the feature (difficult) or implement a tool that does it for you (easy).
If you used a store builder platform like Shopify to learn how to make an eCommerce site, then tools like Privy or MailChimp Forms will come in handy. But even if you built your own website, you can still leverage a tool like SumoMe’s List Builder while WordPress users will find Optin Forms convenient. As helpful as lead forms can be, though, they won’t do the job alone. Your ability to capture visitors’ email address depends on your ability to intrigue and communicate the value you offer. Maybe a fixed opt-in bar that stays with the user while they scroll your site will work best. Or perhaps a welcome mat that leads with a call-to-action as the visitor arrives on your homepage will resonate most. If you want to play with your time on page stats, you can try a timed pop-up to re-engage inactive users who may have otherwise bounced.
Part of what makes email marketing so useful is its flexibility. Without spending money on advertising campaigns, a store can send high-quality messaging tailored to the people most likely to enjoy it. Regardless of how a brand wants to run their email marketing program, it’s hard to achieve results if the contact list isn’t growing. Use these high-level proven email list-building strategies to strengthen your audience, heighten engagement and drive more sales.