10 Ways to Build an Email List for Your Ecommerce Business

1) For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI. – Campaign Monitor

2) Only 39% of online retailers send personalized product recommendations via email. – Certona

This is the great paradox of the email marketing sector. It is a known fact that email has and will keep giving us amazing returns for the foreseeable future. The majority of B2B businesses or ecommerce industry use email marketing to their advantage today. It takes a certain amount of dedication and resources to crack email marketing. Gone are the days when spamming used to be the in thing. Email marketing today is a highly personalized, commoditized and automated process. Relationships are built through emails and customers who connect with you via email are highly likely to purchase from you, compared to any other channel.

Ecommerce is one of the largest internet enabled business currently. It rakes in billions and some of the largest companies today are ecommerce based. Companies such as Alibaba and Amazon deal with billions in sales globally. They are the benchmarks for ecommerce success today.  The ecommerce marketing has grown considerably in the last 5 years. Here’s a chart determining the same.


Asia-Pacific seems to be the largest in terms of growth and cash flow. These markets are maturing when it comes to email marketing too, with buyers becoming choosy about which brands they are likely to buy from. Email marketing is a trillion dollar industry today and will dominate the internet in the coming years.


These are the biggest days for ecommerce companies. Billions are spent on these days across the world. They may differ slightly based on the geography.

Building your Ecommerce list

Targeting your prospects via email marketing can be difficult, time consuming and monotonous. That being said, it is practically impossible to contact your prospects if you aren’t using email. There are two distinct paths to take up when using email marketing for ecommerce. One is to approach new subscribers to present your products, offers and get them to make the purchase. The other one is to keep these subscribers active, interested and keen to make the next purchase. This process needs to be demarcated and approached with clearly different energies.  If you are planning to build your list for your ecommerce venture, we have a few tricks you can use to optimize the process.

For first time users and interested prospects

1) Contests

The quickest way to net new customers is to host exciting and attractive contests on your store. You may have lead them to your website through ads via Google. The next step is to get them interested in signing up. This can be done by creating contests that are engaging, relevant and worth spending time upon. There are lots of contests that are run by companies every day. To beat the competition, it needs to give great value for the participant. Freebies always work. Get them to sign up with their email address right away. Don’t make it cheap and attract the freebie seeker. The give-aways should be useful to your target audience, such as video tutorials, how-to courses and so on. If the contest gives them what they are looking for, such prospects are strong and have a higher chance of converting.

2) Newsletter subscription

Newsletter subscribers are the gold standard in interested prospects. You need to take them seriously. Someone who has expressed interest to know more about your products and services should get a lot of your attention. Offer then the right benefits rather than sell to them. This puts off about anyone on this planet today. Give those codes for free shipping if done through the newsletter. Select offers only for email subscribers are your best bet.

3) Great content

Creating engaging content is the best way to attract the customer of today. It is not enough to have good offers; they need to be marketed well. To do this, your content needs to be aggressive, smart and humorous too. Today, a good laugh gets you a customer. It’s a fact that most brands today engage their customers by being funny and not taking themselves too seriously.

4) First time purchasers

When someone purchases from your store, it is inevitable for them to provide email addresses. This is your best way to build your list. Nurture them delicately. You can give them first time benefits such as coupon codes and such. When they fill out their email addresses, you can ask them to sign up for your newsletter as an auto sign-in. Most times, they do it.

Put up sign-up forms all over your website. Places you can do it without getting too annoying are on your social media pages, blogs, contact us page and all landing pages you use for promotional emails.

On social Channels- Some social media posting tools offer the choice of adding email subscription tab on your Facebook profile. If you cannot do that, you can create posts that encourage users to sign up with you.

Twitter lead generation cards are the best way to generate subscriptions on the micro blogging site. Since Twitter is a fast paced environment, you need to leverage as many tweets as possible to get the message across. You can create a list and then in turn tweet to your entire list about your subscription easily. Even though it does not see a lot of success, it can be done in a judicious manner.

5) Surveys

People love giving feedback. You can have a popup on your website once the user has viewed 5 or more pages. You can always collect their email address as you can ask it for responding to the feedback. Add them to your email list. Make sure you send an opt-in mail before adding them to your newsletter list.

6) Website popup

These may be annoying if overdone. For all first time shoppers, give them the incentive of discounts if they give their email address and sign up with you. Two birds from one shot! Don’t overdo the popup, one is sufficient.

7) Ads from Google and Facebook

Ecommerce is a populist business. Google and Facebook ads are cheaper than ever now. You can always rope in new customers with these ads with the right offer. It is better to use a dedicated landing page for this purpose. Design these landing pages with offers and content that is compelling.

 For regular customers

Repeat purchasers form 40% of ecommerce revenue

1) Email their shopping carts

 Shopping cart abandonment is the number one issue faced by ecommerce providers. The figure stands at 74%. This can be tackled by using your email list. Improve the chances of a completed order by sending them unfulfilled shopping carts. Add a coupon or give them discounts exclusively. This helps not just in getting business, but also in keeping the email address active. Inactive email addresses are a strict no no, even if you are sending them newsletters, they may not be interested in purchasing or engaging. This tactic has elicited the best response.

2) Improve the mobile experience

Once your email list is popping, it is essential to move on to the next level. Mobile is the next level today. Over 28% of emails opened on the mobile have the chance of getting opened again. This is where your mobile strategy comes into the picture. Make it easy for them to access your email on their phones. Give them options that are easy to complete. People generally tend to drop following up on their phone if the experience is cumbersome. The email as well as your website must be optimized for an easy and fast check out. It is advised not to have pop ups on mobile versions of your website since it increases load time and hence abandonment.

3) Referrals

Referrals are big business. If you are able to crack the code of referrals, you have a lot to gain. It is not easy to earn the trust of a customer hence it is important to make sure that your offer is seriously enticing to your customer. Referrals not only increase your email list, it increases sales as well as improves trust. You get a referral that trusts your brand from the reference of a friend, that is the pinnacle of brand trust and it is hard to achieve.

In this time of instant gratification, you need to be ready to pull the ultimate magic trick. Get your customer interested with an offer they cannot refuse. It is essential to sweep them off their feet. Once the new customer is gained, it is important to keep them interested. Make them happy with tailor made offers, good customer service and you will benefit immensely from word of mouth interest.

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