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The Best Way to Grow an Email List for Small eCommerce Stores

What’s the most important thing if you are doing email marketing? What’s the best way to put the word out there?

Simple question, right?

It may seem so, but again, and maybe in a more coherent way, what is the best way to market your brand, showcase your product and acquire more sales from your eCommerce business?

Simply put, the best way is to ensure that your subscribers are constantly engaged, at the right times of course, and on top of that, making sure they see the value you are adding to them.

Now the catch, what if you don’t have those subscribers? Who will you engage with? Who will you send out your creative emails to?

Also, keep in mind that with every passing day or month, you’re most likely to lose a subscriber.

Optinmonster estimates that your subscribers list naturally degrades by about 25% every year.

In this article, we are going to focus on that, getting more subscribers to grow your email list, make up for the lost subscribers and hence have more subscribers to market yourself to.

How can you do it though?

Sephora has a mailing list of more than 2 million subscribers! How did they get there?

Start blogging

One of the most effective ways to build brand awareness, while providing relevant and useful content to your target audience is through consistent blogging.

Its rewards are enormous and worth the time you dedicate. For instance, blogging boosts your SEO hence increasing your chances of ranking high on search results. This results in more visibility for you and your brand, and on top of that, drives more traffic into your store/landing page. With traffic, comes the chance to gain subscribers to your email list.

Gate some of your blog post content

Have you ever been reading an enticing and stimulating article, then out of nowhere and immediately when the content starts to take form, a pop-up, that doesn’t delete tells you that you must enter your email, or alternatively choose a paid plan, in order for you to continue reading? Well, this is surely a catch that will get even more subscribers into your email list.

Use pop-ups

They are annoying but when used at the right moment and at the right time, they are as effective. Base them on customer triggers, for instance, interactions on your site after a certain period, or an attempt to exit your page. Grab their attention with how you display the request for a subscription and don’t forget to say thank you.

Actually, if possible, offer a discount with the pop-up.

Check out this catchy example:

Host contests and giveaways

Most people love free things, actually, everyone does. You won’t imagine how far people will go for a free gift, especially if it’s something they’ve been eyeing for. Bank on this. Host a giveaway and require people to submit their email for a chance to win.

Check out how this store does it:

Or how does it: is an app integrable with Shopify and a tool you can use to run contests and giveaways.

Create questionnaires or surveys

To proceed, especially if you’re using Survey Monkey, you’ll always need an email. Conduct a survey relevant to what you are selling as a way of getting feedback.

However, be keen on this, state precisely how you will use the emails because otherwise, the chances of being marked as spam are high.

There are a number of widgets you can add to your store for this task. To start off, check out Getsitecontrol or enquire

Use chatbots

Chatbots, a technology still realizing its full potential, already offers a few effective ways to introduce automation into your messaging-focused channels, which can save you valuable time and effort in customer support.

MobileMonkey, for example, allows you to expand the opportunity of messaging by creating marketing campaigns within a custom chatbot. You can share a special offer via your chatbot campaign to encourage users to submit their email address in exchange for a special discount from your shop.

Add the newsletter sign-up button in the footer

If someone scrolls all the way down, then somehow means they like what they see. An option to sign up may prompt them to provide you with that precious email address.

Check out how Sephora does it.

Run ads to drive traffic to a landing page

Ads are effective in making sure that you get an expansive reach based on the parameters you specify. Landing pages, on the other hand, are a great place to send page traffic.

For instance, I can create targeted ads on Facebook to drive people to a downloadable guide that connects to your product (e.g a recipe handbook, if you sell food). To download the handbook, the customer will need to specify an email address and if successful, then that’s some subscribers added.

Test 3rd party tools

There are a lot of tools, integrable with Shopify, that can help you build your email list using clever twists and proven approaches.

Spin-to-win, for instance, adopts the Wheel of Fortune style. In a hysterical approach, a shopper can win various prizes. You can set, for example, an instant 20% discount with the condition of entering their email address.

Check out Spin-to-win


As much as you may go full force trying to grow your email address, remember that there is the inevitable aspect that your emails maybe be marked as spam. To reduce such instances, state clearly what the subscribers should expect, and give them the option to unsubscribe. You can check out other tips here.

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Eric Mumo

Eric is a Content Creator at Relevon. You'll find him researching, documenting and writing marketing and technical content for Relevon's Blog.