3 ways to grow your email list through your website
No Shopify merchant ever said, “I have too many customers.”
OK, maybe in an age of labor shortages and supply chain issues, they have uttered it a little less frequently.
The point is, acquiring customers is very high on most brands’ to-do lists. Your website is a ripe place for accomplishing that.
Specifically, your website should serve as a collection portal. Use it as an engine for growing your email subscriber list.
Subscribers equal first-party data. Said another way, email addresses (and cell phone numbers, if you have SMS capabilities) are a direct line to the people who want to hear from you. They are the people you need to reach with your messages.
Let’s take a look at the different ways you can leverage your site.
There’s one important step before you start building your site’s email collection points. Have you determined what you’re offering in exchange for an email address?
A popup is just as it sounds. It’s a form that appears on a site after some amount of time — sometimes mere seconds, other times only after you’ve done some scrolling — inviting you to join the brand’s subscriber list.
They come in different sizes and looks. Small and straightforward, with text only. Big with a striking photo. “Off the wall,” as in emerging from the top or lower corner. You name it.
The messages are just as varied, too. Some offer short-term wins, like a discount on a first purchase. Others tout long-term benefits, promising subscribers they’ll be the first to know about sales and product news. Both kinds are what we refer to as calls to action (CTA).
WEND Jewelry’s example above is a spin on a short-term win CTA. Planting a tree in a subscriber’s honor matches the company’s dedication to sustainability. Through their jewelry, they “honor the Earth and its inhabitants as we make each sourcing and production decision.”
Traditional web placements
Popups are a new-ish thing when considering the overall timeline of website development technologies. Before they came along, brands relied on static email signup forms to capture contact information.
Of course, they are still very important today and double as being less intrusive than a popup. Anyone new to your site who wants your emails will scope out a few key places to find a signup.
There are plenty of spots, as demonstrated in the following examples.
It doesn’t get much more front and center than this. Nordstrom Rack prominently positions its email signup within the site header section. It doubles as the login for returning customers.
Apollo Tarot writes to its tarot-loving audience by infusing the footer with relevant lingo. “Fresh from the cauldron” and “witchy must-haves.” We love it. Footers — and all other static CTAs — are perfect spots to lean into your niche.
PLNDR’s banner design goes the simple route, with one unique aspect: the addition of boxes for selecting clothing type preference. You can check off women, men or both. It’s a great mechanism for creating customer segments at the outset, enabling PLNDR to send more personalized messages down the road.
If your site has a blog, take advantage of the extra real estate. Use the page as another opportunity to ask for an email address, as Clearspring does.
Interactive content poses a creative way to grow your subscriber list. The idea is to offer something fun or valuable in exchange for contact details. Personality tests, private-access pages, recipes or style quizzes all fit the bill.
Below is an example from Stitch Fix. The brand is known for its style quiz. While it’s entertaining to the site visitor, Stitch Fix is gathering precious information that they can use for better targeting.
Any brand that creates interactive content should also make sure to include clear language about the signup, so the recipient understands they are concurrently registering for the email marketing program.
Final points for on-site email collection
We recommend choosing at least two spots on your website to focus your list growth engine efforts. If you do nothing else, implement a central popup along with one static email signup CTA.
There are a lot of widgets available on the market, so make sure that none overlap or block important information on the website. You don’t want to fire off too many things that tamper with user experience and immediately send visitors away.
Test them out. Place yourself in the shoes of your visitors. Is anything too overwhelming? Or irritating? Ask employees, family members, and friends for their honest feedback.
And when you pull in short- and long-term wins that fit your brand, you’ve got the roadmap for growing your subscriber base.
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