Collecting email addresses from your users is essential to building your business and marketing your product. The fantastic thing about a strong email list is that you can make use of email marketing in numerous creative and clever ways.
But let's go back to Step 1 - how do you even build this email list in the first place?
1. Exit-Intent Pop-Up
Urban dictionary defines a "pop-up" as "the ultimate evil" (among other definitions that we cannot print here). While pop-ups may be the black sheep of the internet family, they're used so frequently because, well, they work.
Exit-Intent pop-ups are only shown when someone hovers outside of your window, or near the page close button. The theory is that you've seen enough about the website to be interested (or not), and if you are, might as well make it easy for you to sign up before you navigate away. Make sure you are clear about what they will receive when they sign up...maybe "exclusive deals" or "VIP membership". Whatever your pitch, make sure it's compelling, and that you follow-through with what you're promising.
2. Sidebar Sign-Up
This method is particularly useful with blogs and can lead to a 26% or more increase in subscribers. Placing the subscribe form at the top of the sidebar is generally the best converting position, along with something fun about the kind of information you'll be sending if they sign up.
Benefits: You can place the box on every page of the blog, and the sidebar sign-up provides a great, unobtrusive user experience.
3. External Landing Subscription Page
Create an external dedicated landing page where your users are directed to once they click "subscribe". Whether this is a link from an email list or even a giveaway, the value of having an eye catching external page is remarkable and can lift your conversion rate by as much as 50%.
Make sure the page has a clear call to action and makes it easy for users to enter and submit their information.
4. Social Media Giveaway
Giveaways create excitement and help to contribute towards brand culture and lifestyle. They also make users feel like they’re a part of something special. Simply use Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook and have a link to your external landing page (see above). This enables you to easily collect emails that auto-subscribe the user, while also entering them in the product/experience giveaway. Extra bonus points if you can get your users to also add their friend's email to “double their chances”, and get you double the subscribers!
5. Poll or Survey
Users love to tell you their opinions, and more importantly, know that their feedback is going somewhere. Embed a survey widget on your website and collect emails when people respond. Make sure to let them know that you'll email them with the results! It’s a fun way to collect feedback, help you understand who’s coming to your site, and beef up that email list...win-win.
While everything seems to be moving online, there's something to be said about good old fashioned in-person communication. "What's that?" you ask.
People love to know that there's a real person behind your potentially unknown e-commerce brand. Trade-shows, conventions and networking events are a great way to connect with potential customers, and add users to your email list who are even more likely to convert since they know you IRL!
To Sum it Up
Email lists are a marathon, not a sprint, and it's definitely one area in marketing where quality wins over quantity every time. A highly active email list of real human beings is a bajillion times better than a huge but unresponsive list...and you can quote us on that statistic.