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An email list is a valuable asset for businesses and organizations in various ways.
But it’s a myth that buying email lists is an effective way to get subscribers.
Buying email lists can harm your email marketing efforts. Purchased lists often contain outdated or irrelevant email addresses, but even if the addresses are correct, you’re likely to annoy the recipients because they didn’t sign up. This leads to low engagement rates, spam complaints, high bounce rates, and damage to your reputation.
To avoid this, it’s best to focus on organic methods of acquiring email addresses.
In this article, we’ll share top-notch email acquisition strategies, accompanied by inspiring examples.
What is email acquisition?
Email acquisition is the process of growing an email list with people who opt-in to hear from your business.
The process starts by identifying your target audience. Then, encourage them to subscribe to your email list by offering valuable benefits. You then use email marketing to stay in touch and send your offers.
Importance of email acquisition for ecommerce
Email acquisition plays a critical role in ecommerce marketing. By actively gathering email addresses, you get the following advantages:
- The creation of a targeted audience. This drives sales and conversions through personalized promotions and recommendations
- A better ROI compared to most other marketing channels
- Improved customer loyalty and retention rates
- Long-term relationships with your customers
In short, it is an important way of staying in touch with your potential and existing customers.
12 email acquisition strategies
At this stage, you may be wondering how to get customers. In this section, we’ll explore email acquisition tactics that generate excellent results.
Collect email addresses
Popups and signup boxes serve as attention-grabbing elements on websites and landing pages. They ask visitors to provide their email addresses and opt-in for further communication.
Be sure to consider the timing for triggering them. You have several options to choose from:
- After a certain amount of time spent on the page
- Upon scrolling to a specific point on the page
- When visitors are about to leave the page
Keep the form fields simple and concise. Ask for only essential information like name and email address—a shorter and more straightforward signup process offers a better user experience. If you want to collect additional information, consider using multi-step forms.
To boost conversion rates, offer exclusive content, discounts, free downloads, or special promotions.
Check out how Bakell captures visitors’ attention by offering enticing sale updates:
2. Use landing pages for capturing emails
Landing pages have one message or theme, with a specific action for visitors to take. This makes them effective for growing your email list as you can share the benefits of your list, and even have different landing pages for different audience segments.
Landing pages are simple to create and email marketing platforms like Omnisend often include them. To further save time, opt for a pre-designed template and add a persuasive copy to it.
Take a look at Codeacademy’s clean, visually-appealing landing page. The message is loud and clear, followed by an immediate CTA:
3. Leverage social media for list building
Chances are that your target audience is active on social media platforms. Identify which platforms they use, and start leveraging them to grow your email list.
The scope is massive when it comes to using social media for acquisition email marketing. Here are some approaches you can try:
- Contests and giveaways: Organize social media contests or giveaways. Do it in a way that participants will have to submit their email addresses.
- Live Q&A sessions: Engage your audience by hosting live Q&A sessions on social media platforms. Encourage attendees to subscribe to your email list for updates on upcoming sessions.
- Engage in social media communities: Engage actively in relevant social media communities. These can include Facebook or LinkedIn groups. Share valuable insights, answer questions, and promote your email list when relevant.
4. Use paid advertising for list building
Next on our list of email acquisition strategies is paid ads.
Choose where to host them by taking into account your target audience and budget.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer lead generation ad formats. These enable email capture within the platform.
You can drive paid traffic to landing pages, blog posts, or even virtual events.
Unlike organic methods, effective paid ads generate quick results and are also easier to scale.
Moreover, some advertising platforms integrate with conversion tools for direct email address collection. This eliminates the need for users to leave the ad, and streamlines opt-ins.
5. Leverage affiliates, referrals, or influencers
This is one of the best email acquisition tactics due to its performance-based nature. This means that you only pay for actual results and not upfront advertising costs.
By providing your affiliates with tracking links that direct their audience to dedicated landing pages, you’ll be able to track exactly how effective each affiliate is.
As for influencers, you can collaborate with them to create valuable content together. In exchange, ask them to encourage their audience to sign up to your email list to access it.
The effectiveness of this strategy lies in its foundation of word-of-mouth marketing. People are more likely to invest in a brand when someone they trust recommends it.
Let’s look at Audible as an example. The company often collaborates with celebrities and influencers. In an Instagram post, photographer Jesse Driftwood shared his personal experience using Audible. In doing so, he encouraged his followers to try it out as well:
6. Ask customers to subscribe to your newsletter when they buy a product. Make sure they haven’t subscribed before.
You can use the below strategies to encourage people to subscribe to your newsletter:
- Order confirmation email: Include a section in your email inviting them to subscribe.
- Thank you page: After a customer buys a product, direct them to a thank you page. Express your appreciation for their support and state the benefits of subscribing to your newsletter.
- Incentives and discounts: Offer customers an incentive or exclusive discount. This could be a percentage off their next buy or a free gift with their next order.
Remember to focus on the value customers will receive when asking them to subscribe.
Improve lead magnets to collect more email addresses
7. Suggest useful resources like ebooks, guides, and cheat sheets
Lead magnets can be diverse and varied. It is important to identify which ones will attract and convert potential prospects.
Among the primary categories of lead magnets are:
- Educational resources
- Incentives based on prizes
- Time-sensitive information
- Free consultations and trials
These can include ebooks, guides, templates, cheatsheets, whitepapers, and case studies.
Always provide content with valuable insights tailored to your target audience.
But creating a lead magnet in a hurry may not yield the desired results. It’s important to invest time in crafting something valuable for your audience.
Consider this example from Smart Blogger, of a cheat sheet for writing viral blog posts. This is appealing to the site’s audience, and it’s completely free in exchange for an email address.
8. Suggest irresistible incentives like discounts, special or VIP offers
For ecommerce businesses, offering discounts can be an effective email acquisition strategy.
You can also create a VIP membership or rewards program for subscribers. You can offer things like points and special perks, priority customer support as well as member benefits.
Just remember the golden role of aligning incentives with your audience’s preferences, interests, and pain points.
For example, if you run a travel agency, you could consider offering seasonal discounts. Or if you own a fashion brand, Buy One Get One (BOGO) deals may work well.
Here’s how BlendJet incentivizes site visitors to place their order:
Engage with your subscribers
9. Send welcome emails (setting the stage for a strong customer relationship)
Welcome emails are an opportunity for your brand to create a strong first impression.
When a customer has subscribed to your mailing list, it shows that they are already drawn to your brand. Chances are that they want to learn more about your company. They may also be just a step away from making a purchase.
But if you fail to communicate, they may become leads for your competitors instead. In a welcome email, you can offer exclusive content or discounts. Show your latest or top-selling products. You can even share your customer success stories, or express gratitude for their interest in your business.
This strategy is a proven email marketing best practice.
Wix’s welcome email serves as an introduction to its platform. It showcases the range of possibilities available to its newest subscribers:
10. Segmentation and personalization to deliver targeted content
Marketing communications that lack relevance are more likely to be ignored, which can be highly discouraging.
By combining segmentation and personalization, you can tackle this and deliver targeted content.
Understanding your target audience, their preferences, and behaviors is vital. For instance, some individuals may express interest in new product launches. Others may be more focused on discounts and promotions.
By examining factors like these, you can identify distinct segments within your audience.
Then, customize your communication for every individual in a segment. You can do this by:
- Addressing customers by their name
- Acknowledging their previous purchases or interactions
- Providing recommendations for relevant products or services
This email acquisition strategy helps maintain subscriber engagement and prevents them from unsubscribing.
11. Encourage user-generated content and social sharing
When users create and share content related to your brand, it generates social proof. This attracts new potential customers to your business.
User-generated content also adds authenticity and credibility to your brand. It creates a sense of community and can help to build stronger relationships with your existing customers.
Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign is a great example of this. The hashtag “ShotOniPhone” has amassed more than 28 million posts, which is a great reflection of the campaign’s tremendous success.
12. Re-engage with your list from time to time
Check in with your subscribers to see if they’re still interested in hearing from you. This can help you maintain good email interaction metrics and improve email deliverability.
For inactive subscribers, consider implementing re-engagement campaigns or emails. You can use these to confirm their interests or update their preferences.
Consistent evaluation of list engagement and the removal of inactive subscribers is crucial, as it helps you enhance the effectiveness of your email campaigns.
Implementing effective email acquisition strategies should be a top priority for ecommerce businesses. You can explore everything from website popups and signup forms to lead magnets.
These are vital for driving website traffic and boosting sales. But it is important to nurture acquired customers through effective email marketing. Developing a well-crafted email marketing strategy becomes crucial for customer retention.
Omnisend can help with all this, offering customizable forms, landing pages, automation, and advanced segmentation, so you can thrive in a competitive market.