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In: Ecommerce, Email

Build Your Email List By Drawing Visitors In

by Lyndsay Peters - Mar 08, 2016
welcoming new customers to website

 
Email marketing is one of the most successful, and not to mention trackable, of your online marketing mediums. Email marketing, done right, means you’ve got direct access to an audience that has decided it wants to be engaged with you.
 
If you need to start an email list you’re probably thinking “Yeah, great, I know. How do I get people to join in the first place?” While email marketing may be one of the most responsive marketing platforms, getting people into your email list in the first place is among the toughest challenges in marketing.
 
Many of your customers are going to see an email subscription as starting a relationship with your company. Like any relationship, you’ve got to be up front and honest about what you’re going to bring to it if you’re going to have any chance of continuing!
 


Earning Email Subscribers


 

Qualify Them

 
When adding subscription forms to your website, include text about who you want your readers to be. If your potential subscribers aren’t sure you’ll be talking to them in your emails, they could skip you altogether. Give them an idea of your intent, so they they have a chance to identify with it.
 
Let’s say you’re running a hardware store and you want to target DIY homeowners, but you’re well known around town for being a supplier to contractors and homebuilders. You’ll want to be sure that your email marketing forms make it clear that they’re going to have DIY repair and renovation projects readers can complete in a weekend – so that they know you’re going to be speaking to them at their level.
 

 

Qualify Yourself

 
In your forms (if you have space), or on your site, establish what makes you a great authority to subscribe to. “With 30 years of experience serving the Valley, we’ll help you prepare for El Niño with our Rainy Season DIY Newsletter!”
 
The key is not to establish what’s great about your experience; it’s to connect that directly to the value your email marketing can provide for them.
 

Keep Their Options Open

 
If you’re running an ecommerce website on WordPress, you’ll know by now that it’s a very robust CMS with a universe of plugins that can grow its capabilities. If you’re email marketing to your customers, you will need to have an email marketing plugin of some kind that is hooked up to your email client of choice.
 
Many of these clients offer the option to have a subscription popover show that’s virtually impossible to ignore or exit. While it’s appealing, this is an attention grabber the same way an air horn is. It’s abrupt, it throws your customer off course, and it’s all about you.
 
You don’t want to market endlessly to people who are resistant to the idea. You want to market to enthusiastic customers, likely to convert and visit your store. Reinforce that with your email marketing by making it unobtrusive. Put the effort into making it appealing.
 

Be Accessible, Not Desperate

 
As a continuation of this idea, you want to communicate the right image to your prospects. Exude confidence by having your email signup accessible and easy to find, but not everywhere. If you’ve done the right job marketing your company, then your prospects will want to find your email newsletter and subscribe.
 

Be Generous, Not Demanding

 
Have something to offer. This is central to content marketing, but even if you can’t manage to make enough content to set up a full lead generation funnel, there are still ways that you can provide value to your email marketing prospects.
 
In many cases, this is going to be something that you include in your “Welcome to the subscriber list!” email that’s going to be easy to read, and easy to act on for your customers. In the case of our DIY store, maybe it’s how to silence a creaky door hinge, or tighten a dripping faucet.
 
It doesn’t have to be a complicated opus, but it should be really appealing. You want to show up in your subscriber’s inbox with information they want to read, so they’ll open the rest of your emails, instead of unsubscribing.
 

The Art of the Callback

 
You may not have the time or budget to make email-exclusive content. That’s perfectly normal! If you want to build your email list, however, you may want to experiment with your email list getting certain information first, and mentioning on social media and your blog that “as we told our email subscribers earlier this week, petunias will be in stock starting April – be the first to know by singing up here!”.
 
This short period of exclusivity draws customers into your list, without making your social media and blog readers think that they’re being ignored or shortchanged.
 
Email marketing is all about giving. For many ecommerce websites, this means discounts. For others, it may mean ways to use the products you sell, or the hobby or profession that surrounds what you sell. It’s a matter of knowing your customers, listening to negative feedback, and remembering that the world revolves around them, not you.
 

 
Looking for a responsive email template and data-driven email marketing? Get in touch with us at ATAK about how email marketing fits into your ecommerce marketing strategy.

Lyndsay Peters
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lyndsay Peters is Director of Search Marketing at ATAK Interactive. She's also the one who brings a dog to work to keep everything around the office just a little more human.

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