Once you’ve turned on your Shopify store, don’t sit back and presume that customers will come flocking to you through online searches – they won’t! If you want loyal, repeat customers, you need to start building an online community of followers, and a great way to do that is to create email lists of current / future customers that you can target with personal, relevant content and reminders to shop at your store.
The easiest way to create email lists is embed an email sign up form within your store, blog, external communications and social media sites. Typically, this is a small box that asks for a few fields of information including an email address, and it’s referred to as an ‘opt-in’ form, web form or sign up form.
So how do you get people to ‘opt-in’ to an email list that will deliver news and updates related to your store? Here are 10 great ways:
Launch Contests And Competitions
Hosting regular competitions and creative contests can be one of the most successful ways to increase your email lists. Create contest pages that are short, attractive and encourage sharing through social media and/or email. Most importantly, make sure that the visitor enters their email address in order to enter.
Add Apps To The Website
There are some appsthat can help you build email lists professionally and it is wise to leverage them. List Builder apps are known to offer amazing results and work by triggering pop-ups on your webpage once a visitor has viewed the page for more than a few seconds.
For example, SumoMe recommends you test pop-ups to display about 15 seconds after the relevant page is accessed. Or, with Scrollbox, the pop-up displays when the visitor has scrolled down anywhere between 20 and 50% of the page (after testing which popup position gives you the best conversion rates). You may also like to check out apps like Smart Bar and Welcome Mat to see if they work for you.
Newsletters are also a great way to market your eCommerce business and build your email list, so entice prospects into subscribing to your newsletter through discount offers and great deals that they would otherwise miss out on.
Use Your Homepage
Placing an ‘opt-in’ on your homepage is an obvious choice since it’s the most visited page on your site but, if you do choose to add an opt-in to your homepage, be careful where you place it. If visitors see an opt-in pop up before they’ve even had a chance to view your store and what it’s offering, they might be turned off and decide to go elsewhere.
Use Pop-Up Offers
It isn’t enough to simply add an email opt-in pop-up and expect people to sign up. These days everyone is bombarded by email so you have to entice people to sign up by offering something in return. As a result, make sure to include a discount coupon or other offer within any opt-in.
Use A Referral Rewards Program
Customer acquisition costs can often be on a par with product costs unless you have smart ways to optimize the channels. If your product is of high value, see if you can offer a two-side referral program that will reduce the acquisition cost.
For example, take this scenario. Clare, age 30, just loves Christmas jumpers and has found your luxury Xmas Jumper store online. In order to entice her to buy you could offer Clare a €10 credit for signing up to your email list but don’t just stop there! In addition, send Clare a link that she can share with all her friends that also offers them €10 credit for signing up, and let Clare know that should any of those friends subsequently buy from the site, she will receive a further €20 credit!
This amounts to $30 for customer acquisition where $20 may not be redeemed at all. When you have products ranging from $30 to $500 and above, this could turn out to be a very profitable approach, especially if you have a high repeat customer rate.
Get Subscription From Social Followers
A cost free and simple way of adding to your email list is to ask your social media followers to subscribe to your email newsletter.
Footer and Header Sign up Forms
Having a ‘pop-up’ sign up form within your site isn’t the only option. If you’d prefer something that is more discreet and helps to maintain the design integrity of your site, you could choose to build one into either the header / footer or both areas of your site. With a header sign up form, you can entice your site visitors as soon as they land on your page and should they dismiss it, you can remind them at the bottom of the page with a footer form.
Write Guest Posts
Using guest posts to build your email database is another effective way to drive traffic at no cost. The idea is to identify websites that have a huge audience and belong to a niche that attracts your target clientele and appeals to market demography that you are trying to woo. Having identified such websites, you should create interesting guest posts that include a ‘call to action’ and have backlinks to your site or signup form in the section marked ‘About The Author’. According to Neil Patel, this is one of the best strategies that worked for him since he has benefitted significantly from his guest posts for leading websites like Entrepreneur and Mashable.
Purchase An Email Database
Not everybody has the time and expertise to work on email list building. The good news is that there are professional service providers offering ready email databases, but naturally they come at a price.
In the end, you can’t afford to have an “I have built it they will come attitude” to your Shopify store, you are not Kevin Costner in the Field of Dreams!
But, if you take time to build your email lists, develop loyalty and encourage referrals, then you will build up a loyal community of followers to your site that will convert into sales.
Best of luck!