Email Marketing for eCommerce: 14 strategies to get subscribers

Aabhas Vijay

Aabhas Vijay

Aabhas Vijay is the former director and VP of marketing of recycledevice.com and he has more than 5 years of experience in digital marketing. He runs several websites, recently he has ventured his way in email marketing through his blog www.freesmtpservers.com where he shares the tips and tricks around email marketing and tells you how to use Free SMTP Servers to your advantage.

It should go without saying that you nee to take your email marketing efforts seriously if you want to see the best results.

Today Aabhas Vijay of FreeSMTPservers.com shares a compilation of some the best Email Marketing strategies to grow your subscribers list size with a special focus on eCommerce stores, highlighting 14 of his go to techniques that prove effective in generating results.

Generating more subscribers is the crux of the strategies highlighted, however Aabhas also has many suggestions for ensuring you run a quality program

Does Email Marketing convert?

“The money is on the list.” Surely you have heard and read this phrase thousands of times. Email is the online channel that generates the highest conversion rates . For every dollar spent on Email Marketing, you earn $40. Not bad, huh?

If you have an eCommerce store you need to have a very long list of emails (subscribers – leads – whatever you want to call it) from people interested in your products. Why? Because this way you can carry out Email Marketing and Retargeting strategies with the potential to generate thousands of dollars in sales. Also, because if done correctly, you will gain important personalisation information that will allow you to better target the subscribers on a more individual basis.

A good list of subscribers will earn you thousands and thousands of dollars. A list with 3 people costs you thousands of dollars.

Do you want to gain or lose subscribers?

Getting subscribers is not an easy task, I know. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of posts that teach you how to get subscribers to a blog . But let me tell you one thing, what works for a blog does not always work for an online store.

That is why today I explain 14 strategies to get totally specific emails for eCommerce. Let’s start?

14 TOP strategies to get emails in your online store

1. Notify buyers when stock is available

What is this strategy about? Very simple: when there is no stock of a product, it offers the user the possibility of leaving his email so that you will be notified when you have stock again. This tactic is ideal for two things:

  • You get emails from users interested in the product (there is a good chance that they will end up buying it when you tell them you have it for sale again).
  • You have a much more precise idea of ​​what products your audience is most interested in.
warn-when-back-to-have-stock-product

Best of all, there are plugins for you to collect these emails in a very simple way (and you don’t need a web developer by your side). Like for example this or this for WooCommerce, or this for Shopify.

2. Offer free shipping

Okay, this strategy works for me, too. I fall for this every time. Get free shipping for the simple fact of providing my email? 

And, don’t you think it is a crime when you have added your favourite product in cart for $37.99 but during check out you realize that you have been added $ 7.99 shipping?

“I want to buy it for $ 37.99, Man!! Not for $ 45.98!”

I have seen the same product in a store that is 28 minutes from my house for $ 37.99. But I am lazy and I also love receiving packages at home.

Sure, you can’t offer free shipping if you’re going to lose money. That’s never a good idea! 

But, why don’t you just offer it to people who leave you their email? You will be able to increase your list of subscribers and, on the other hand, you will not have to make all the shipments for free.

How can you offer free shipping?

Use a plugin like Thrive Leads to create a pop up or HelloBar  to create a thin bar that you will place at the top or bottom of your website. Ask for the email of the users (as you should already do with other widgets to get leads) and put the discount code in the welcome email.

 3.Offer your product in pre-sale

Do not wait to have the product for sale to start getting potential buyers. Most sellers wait. Don’t be like most. Be different. Be smarter. Be better. 

If you know that you are going to have a product in X days or months; if you are an artist and produce with your own hands; if you have created an online course; create HYPE and pre-sell.  Why?

1. Because you will get new emails.

2. Because you will increase future sales (and not so future if you do what I tell you shortly).

3. Because you will raise curiosity and hype (as I hate and love this word in equal parts).

Create a landing page  advertising the product or service and start collecting emails. “Be the first to know when we release X for sale.”

Plus, you can get sales before the product even goes on sale. How? If we still don’t have the product !!! Offering a discount to people who buy it before it goes online.

Waterstones , a very cool UK book store, uses this strategy whenever it is going to be a bestseller. They announce (both on their website and on social networks) that in a few months (sometimes up to half a year) they will put such a book up for sale and urge you to sign up for the list to be the first to know the date. Also, they always offer a discount (50%) if you buy the book before it goes on sale.

It works with me.

pre-sale-waterstones-book

This technique is also ideal for testing and testing ideas before you carry them out. Thinking of writing an eBook? Or anything else? Advertise the product (s) on different landing pages and check which ones are the most interesting.

4. Create sale notifications

Surely you know someone who buys products simply because they are on sale. Do they need what they buy? Surely not, but it is on sale. It’s that simple.

Cross-country skis at 50%? I Will buy. Although I have not skied in my life. Four bags of Dolce & Gabanna at 80% discount? I Will buy. Even though I have a closet full of bags. A flight to Prague for only € 10? I buy. Although I know that on those dates I have to work.

The sales are somewhat higher than us. We go crazy when we see discounted products. The monster inside us wakes up and tells us: “Aunt, buy NOW, they have reduced it by 35%, it is a bargain” (yes, I also have this monster and I lied to you).

And we love getting a good deal. A discount. A gift. Whatever it seems that we have won the negotiation. And what we still love the most is getting a good deal before anyone else. True? That is why we do not hesitate to leave our email to a store if they promise that we will be the first to find out about their next sales or their private discounts.

Create a pop up to get emails from your users in exchange for notifying them when you make sales and when you create special promotions.


5. Offer a freebie in exchange for the email

Another strategy that does not fail when it comes to getting emails in an online store is offering a freebie. A what? FREEBIE. And what is that? A freebie is a sample of a product or service that you offer for free in exchange for something. This something can be an email, share your content, leave a comment, etc.

Amazon is the perfect example. Any Kindle version book they sell, you can download a free chapter.

Email Marketing

If you like it, the most logical thing is that you end up buying it, don’t you think?

6. Give buyers the power

If you have an online store that sells third-party products (or you regularly create new products, such as a cool print T-shirt store) you have to use this strategy. How do we empower buyers? Very simple: let them vote which products they want to appear in your eCommerce.

Create a section where users can decide what you will sell. Give them options, let them invent and believe, use their imagination, tell you what they want. Of course, when they have voted or written what they want to appear on your website, give them the option to subscribe so that you can tell them if their choice has been the winner.

What will you get

1. Emails from interested users.

2. Greater engagement with your audience.

3. Users who feel part of a community and well valued.

4. Know the tastes of your target and know which products will have better acceptance.

7. Take advantage of the FOMO

FOMO? What are you talking about? FOMO is the initials of “Fear of missing out”, fear of missing something. A syndrome that appeared with Social Networks and the need they created to always be up-to-date, to be afraid of exclusion, by not knowing something.

Has it never happened to you to get up on a Sunday, enter Facebook and see photos of the super event of the year that took place in your city just the night before? Photos where your friends appear having a great time while you were at home watching First Dates (I don’t even know if they play it on Saturdays, I have never seen it, seriously, I must be one of the only people in the world).

Well that, you find out the next day and you feel like a loser . That is FOMO. Anxiety that an event is happening somewhere and you are not finding out. Fear Of MissingOut.

Okay, that doesn’t sound good, does it? But you can use this syndrome to your advantage to get more emails from your users.

Put widgets or pop ups on your website with a copy that makes users want to leave you their emails. Tell them that, if they leave you their email, they will find out about all the promotions, discounts, news, etc. They will never miss something that interests them again.

8. Force to create a private account

Okay, okay, forcing is an ugly word and I shouldn’t have written it. But that’s how it is. Many eCommerce do it and it works for them.

In order for a user to be able to buy in your online store, an account must be created . As simple as that. An account in which you must add your contact and credit card details. The user can browse your website, see the products, add them to the shopping cart, see the reviews, etc. What you cannot do is buy without being registered.

Amazon, Etsy, AliExpress, Nike. All major online stores require you to register if you want to finalize your purchase. And with this registration, they get your email. What do they want it for?

  • Retargeting with emails if you don’t end up buying the product.
  • Send you personalized newsletters  with products that may interest you. Here is an article about newsletter templates written by me.
  • Improve your cross-selling strategy.
  • Create loyalty strategies.
  • Get to know your target much better.

And what do you get? That the next time you buy, you will have it much easier because you will no longer have to insert any data.

Be careful: always ask the user who is registering if he wants to be part of your list of subscribers. Don’t start sending her newsletters without her consent, do not act like we know each other already!

9. Turn your homepage into a kind of Squeeze Page

We are again with strange words. A Squeeze Page? And what is that? A Squeeze Page is a landing page (this we all know) where the sole objective is to get emails.

As you know, landing  pages must have a single CTA (call to action). In this case, it is that the user leaves his email. In exchange of? Here comes your creativity.

In this case, as we see Jessica Alba doing in her TheHonestCompany, we give the user the option to go to the online store even if they do not leave us their email.

Email Marketing

The Sqeeze Pages work because they focus on only one objective : for the user to leave their email. There are no distractions. There are no possibilities to do anything else (well, here we have already seen that we do give the possibility of going to the store, otherwise we would be throwing stones at our own roof).

10. Increase exclusivity with a private home page

Be careful, this strategy may not go as you expected. It is about not letting anyone who is not subscribed or registered to the online store see anything on your website. Why would you want to do something like that?

1. To get emails and be able to carry out effective email marketing and remarketing strategies.

2. To make users feel special. Part of a VIP club. Not everyone can see these products. Only me (and the others who have given their email, but this does not appear in the consumer’s mind).

This strategy may decrease your sales, so be aware that it does not work for all online stores .

However, it may also increase your sales. Users who are willing to leave you their emails without even having seen your website will be much more interested in buying. A good example is the Vente Privee eCommerce.

Email Marketing

11. Get emails right before they leave the store

You may be against pop ups . I get it. They are annoying and many times all they get is for the user to escape from the web page. But what about the pop ups that ONLY appear when the user is about to leave the web?

They’re ideal. Do not bother. I love them. And they work.

They make users leave their emails (as long as you offer them something in exchange as a discount, of course) and give you the opportunity to create email remarketing campaigns.

Pro tip: so that the user does not have to go to their inbox (leaving the eCommerce) to find the discount code, put it on the confirmation page.

12. Create giveaways with your products / services

This tactic can be carried out both in your online store, on your brand’s Social Networks or in the physical store. As the title says, this strategy is to create a raffle or contest in which, to participate, the user must leave their email. You can use tools such as Bloonder or EasyPromos to create the raffle and collect emails.

Via physical (old school), you can do it with a box, pieces of paper and pen. Simple and effective. When the consumers in your physical store are at the checkout to make their purchase, invite them to participate in the raffle. Tell them to write their name and email on a piece of paper and put it in the box.

BTW, as eCommerce you are, the prize is clear, right?

13. Do not forget the users who enter from your mobile

Surely you have been told thousands and thousands of times: the future (well, we can say that it is already present) is the mobile. If your eCommerce is not intended to be seen correctly on mobile devices, turn it off and let’s go.

In 2018, a third of eCommerce purchases in the USA were made from mobile devices. 30% of consumers who buy through mobile devices assure that they abandon the purchase process if the website is not adapted for mobile phones.

42% of users consider mobile devices as the best way to search for information when it comes to shopping. What do you say?

If you want to collect emails like crazy (that’s why you are reading this “the endless post”), you have to think about all the users who enter your eCommerce via mobile or Tablet.

The forms to collect emails must be optimized, very simple and help the user as much as possible to leave their email. Do not ask for the first name, last name, date of birth, postal address, the school from when they were little, the name of their cat and what is their favorite color. Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS).

14. Create a survey

Surveys are a safe value for your eCommerce:

  • They help you discover what your audience wants.
  • You get emails from your target.

Create a survey and have the users of your website fill it out. Fill it out and leave your email, of course.

How do you achieve this? You can ask for it for free, but when is the last time you filled out a brand survey because they asked you please? Exact.

You need to offer a small incentive for your audience to complete the survey and give you their email. A discount. A freebie (do you see how all the strategies come together if we want?). A 2 × 1. (What else can you think of?)

You ask for the email because, once the survey is finished, you will send the results to all the participants, of course.

You can use online tools like Typeform, SurveyMonkeyo Survio.

If you keep saying “I’d rather get a sale than an email, asking for the email will only hinder my sale” let me tell you one thing: I understand you but I don’t share your reasoning.

Of course, getting a sale is the ultimate and most important goal of any eCommerce, even my 7-year-old cousin knows this. But please, don’t forget about the micro objectives: collect leads . Leads that, through a good Inbound Marketing strategy, you will convert into customers. Clients that will repeat (not like the clients that you have got directly). That is, we want EMAILS so that we can SELL afterwards.

And how to get these emails? With any of the 14 strategies that I have explained here above. With one or more, of course.

Try them, test them, make mistakes and try them again, analyze them and keep the ones that get you the most leads interested in your products. I assure you that with a good email list, the conversion rate in your online store will be very high. Higher than without collecting emails.

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