10 Steps – Build an eCommerce Email List and Convert Today


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All the Tools and Methods You Need to Get People to Subscribe to Your List


Your first-time visitors are the ones who will need the most convincing on their journey to conversion or making a purchase. For accomplishing these conversions, email marketing can bring significant value to your eCommerce as a channel.

Ecommerce email, while being the go-to way to salvage otherwise lost sales, also provides strong conversion rates across various industries.

Data implies that, on average, eCommerce businesses can earn $44 for each dollar used to spend on email marketing. Plus, the average conversion rate for traffic on landing pages funneled through email is 6.05%.

Convincing anyone to give you their email address when they visit your eCommerce site for the first time is more straightforward than influencing them to make a purchase. Giving their email address costs them nothing, and you can easily leverage incentives like discounts or gifts to more effectively get the details you need.

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To start benefiting from email marketing, you will need a list of subscribers. While you will inevitably grow a list as you generate sales there are things that you can do to speed things up.

Sometimes all you need to do is find the right PEO to help you get the right personnel to do your emails. However, you will have to make sure that the right job is being done.

Here are vital, actionable steps you can take today to create a mailing list even before selling a product. 

Effective eCommerce Email Marketing Starts With a Targeted List.

You first need an email list, and the best way to start is by creating segmented and targeted email lists.

Do not spend your time building gorgeous campaigns with sophisticated designs, excellent copy, and irrefutable offers if you haven’t organised your mailing lists.

Here are vital priorities for building an excellent eCommerce email list.

  • Acquire genuine and quality data from a real audience – do not buy email lists.
  • Target an audience that is genuinely into your products – they should find your offerings relevant.
  • You can only focus on volume or quantity and grow your list after making sure that the first two points are in place.

Now, Here is How to Build an eCommerce Email List.

  1. Use a Popup Offer on Your eCommerce Site’s Homepage.
  2. Place an Email Sign-up Form on your eCommerce Site’s Navigation or Footer.
  3. Gather Email Addresses During Live Events.
  4. Use Sign-up Buttons on Your Social Media Handles.
  5. Use a Chatbot and Engage Potential Customers.
  6. Try Third-Party Mailing List Building Tools.
  7. Run Ads and Drive Excellent Traffic to Your Landing Pages.
  8. Use Questionnaires to Engage Your Audience and Get Email Addresses.
  9. Offer Freebies in Exchange for Email Addresses.
  10. Run Contests and Giveaways on Social Media.

Your eCommerce email list, like your website, is a vital property that is entirely under your control.

Some of your most essential subscribers are interested shoppers who didn’t purchase their first visit. Hence, it would be best to focus on your eStore as the first venue to begin creating your list.

STEP 1: Use a Popup Offer on Your eCommerce Site’s Homepage.

You want to avoid conditioning shoppers to anticipate or wait for discounts. However, a point in the customer journey where promos are practical is when a guest is heading to the back button.

That situation opens the first opportunity to save a potential conversion and this is where email popups can significantly help.

A few shoppers may dismiss them, but tests have continually shown that, given the right offer presented to the correct audience, popups can massively increase your eCommerce email sign-ups.

You can run tests to optimise and personalise your offers and minimise the perceived general annoyance popups.

To begin, trial-run an exit-intent popup on your eCommerce store. The popup will only show if a guest moves their mouse outside the page, which usually implies that they plan to navigate elsewhere.

With your tool’s targeting options, you can disable these pop-ups for previous customers or subscribers already on your list. Targeting allows you to focus your copy only on new customers.

50% off

A visitor you lost before their first purchase can be challenging to recover. Hence, it would be excellent if you considered offering a discount as long as the math checks out.

Check your discounts’ viability based on your product’s overall pricing, income margins, and other factors.

STEP 2: Place an Email Sign-up Form on your eCommerce Site’s Navigation or Footer.

It is best to test small offers on locations on your eCommerce website where shoppers are likely inclined to look for more information about your brand. While conversion rates for these areas are usually low, the additional help they provide to building your list can accrue over time.

When a shopper scrolls down to your eCommerce site’s footer to learn more regarding your business, use copy that will draw their attention and influence them to subscribe.

Email Sign-up

STEP 3: Gather Email Addresses During Live Events.

While covid has maimed exhibitions, conventions, conferences and other opportunities to showcase, you must leverage them when they come by. In such an event, you can spread awareness, collect feedback, and provide customers with a chance to have a hands-on experience with your products, especially new ones.

Gather Email

Additionally, these opportunities provide a brilliant venue for you to build your email list. Bring a clipboard and ask goers to write down their names and email addresses.

You can also sync with an email marketing tool. You can provide a device or use a QR code system by which guests can submit their addresses directly.

You can excite things up more by using a special offer to encourage people to sign up. You can say something like, “Sign up for our email list to win a $50 gift card,” or “Sign up to win a 15% off promo code.”

It would be excellent for you to categorise the lists you get from live appearances per event

This way, you can send personalised emails.

STEP 4: Use Sign-up Buttons on Your Social Media Handles.

People follow brands on social media for many reasons. However, surveys show that people do so to stay updated on new products.

Your email list can help support that outcome, and therefore it makes sense to feature it as an additional option on your social media handles.

One perfect tool is IG’s swipe up CTA on stories.


STEP 5: Use Chatbot and Engage Potential Customers.

Chatbots, when used right, introduces excellent automation into your messaging channels. This technology saves you valuable time and effort for your customer support.

For example, the tool MobileMonkey allows you to easily create marketing campaigns by using a custom chatbot. Your chatbot can offer discounts and promos to encourage users to give you their email address in exchange.

STEP 6: Try Third-Party Mailing List Building Tools.

Here are two simple tools that you can test for your eCommerce email.

Spin to Win is a Wheel of Fortune style tool that you can use to collect email addresses on your eCommerce website. When visitors enter their email address, they can win various prizes (usually in the form of discounts) that you have customised.

Third-Party Mailing
One tip for using this app effectively is never to let anyone lose the game. Always give a consolation prize for those who don’t win the top tier prizes.
Personizely provides several useful features that will help you notify visitors with a perfectly timed popup.

The tool also has a built-in capability to use a traditional sign-up form or Facebook Messenger integration. The integration provides you with the opportunity to send messages to Messenger users the same way you’d email your mailing list subscribers.

Speaking of third-party integrations, it would be excellent if you reached out to digital companies that can do everything for you – perfectly. Outsourcing your email marketing means you won’t have to start from scratch and you will have expert-level campaigns that can cost less than when you DIY.

To ensure you have a great list, you can always reach out to some of the top digital marketing agencies.

STEP 7: Run Ads and Drive Excellent Traffic to Your Landing Pages.

Landing pages are generally created with one focused outcome in mind. This makes them significantly useful for building your eCommerce email list.

With a landing page, will you be able to create a specifically focused offer with no distractions, and it becomes more straightforward when you measure your results.

The lack of distraction and ease of processing makes the landing page an excellent place to send traffic. One example is when you run targeted ads on Facebook to drive leads to a downloadable guide that links to your product, like a DIY handbook if you sell hardware.

With the targeting options available in today’s digital platforms, it would be straightforward for you to create an offer with a prepared audience in mind. All you need to do is tick attributes, including location, gender, age, interests, profession, and other demographics.

STEP 8: Use Questionnaires to Engage Your Audience and Get Email Addresses.


Include a field for email addresses. You can either opt to add a note that tells people that they will be included in your email list upon filling out the questionnaire or give them options with a question at the bottom asking permission to add them.

Send your questionnaire to friends, family, Facebook groups, social media subgroups, and fortify it with a special offer. You can say something like, “When you fill out our short quiz, you’ll get a limited offer code for 20% off when you buy your first pair.”

Also, it would be wise to consider sending out a questionnaire before you launch your product. Doing so will get your email list started and get family, friends, and potential buyers engaged early on.

STEP 9: Offer Freebies in Exchange for Email Addresses.

Your email list will benefit from an exchange of value. People must become convinced that they are getting something valuable when they subscribe.

However, readers virtually can’t “acquire” any value until your first email. To go around this, you will have to rely on freebies as a staple, immediate reward in exchange for the addresses you want.

You can give away free offers, downloadable how-to handbooks, and other things of value. For more potent “freebies”, explore promotional partnerships with non-competing but same-audience brands to mix up your offers.

For example, if you are a burger joint, you can partner with the next door milk tea shop. Have them use promo codes for your store to get customer emails, and you will do the same with their promo codes.

If you still don’t have a substantial understanding of how much the average subscriber is worth, you might want to invest in offers with an upfront cost but no ongoing fees. One excellent example is audible giving you 30 days for free – not only are you on their mailing list, but you are also a single step away from conversion.


You can give away a free guide, generally in the form of helpful tips and tricks about your product niche. It costs your time to make, and you can calculate writing and design fees for it, but afterwards, you won’t have any recurring costs – you give it in exchange for email addresses.

STEP 10: Run Contests and Giveaways on Social Media

This last step is the most straightforward thing to do. 

Here are two hacks that will make your contests more effective.

  • Make sure everybody wins – losers may end up disliking your brand because of bad feelings, so use consolation prizes.
  • Make the prizes the reason why they should give you their email. You can direct them to a landing page where it says, “enter your email address so we can send you your prizes”.
  • Use influencers to run the contests for you. Influencers have tremendous clout, and it is easy to find the right one who has the same audience interest as your brand.

Building an eCommerce Email List is Not the Same for Everyone.

No two stores are exactly alike. That’s why it’s crucial for you to test different strategies when building your eCommerce email list and figure out what works best.

The value of eCommerce email marketing as a channel for your brand will depend on your business’s nature. Hence, how much you invest in growing your list may also be different from others.

In any case, these tips will help you jump off from somewhere.

Utilise this list as a guide to help you get started on building an excellent email list for your eCommerce store.

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Kas Andz


Kas Andz is a multi-award-winning marketing leader, and the founder of KAMG. He is one of the top digital marketing experts in the UK and has helped companies and brands across Europe, North America and Asia to achieve greater revenue and expand sustainably. He also tries to play football when he can but doesn’t succeed as well as he would like.

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