How to build an email list?

What is the relationship between pop-ups and email lists? What's interesting about pop-ups is that so many people have very strong feelings about them, yet they convert so many website visitors into email customers, of course it won't stop at pop-ups, we'll know all the ways to build an email and SMS audience with enthusiastic people who are ready to buy.

Well, raise your hand if you don't like pop-ups? and let's be honest, now raise your hand if you've ever used pop-ups on your website.

The Benefits of Pop-up Tactics in E-mail Marketing

Pop-ups are the most effective way to grow your list. The key to pop-ups that are not annoying and convert well is twofold. You need to offer something valuable and you need to do it at the right time. Of course, if you just say "join our newsletter" and you do it two seconds after I enter your website, that's when I feel annoyed.

If you give me some time to browse your website and then offer a discount or something for free, I'll think, "Wow, that sounds like a great deal for a retailer that offers something valuable is reasonable.

Discounts are the lightest thing but you can also give free gifts with purchase, free shipping, or join in a monthly draw or just highlight that customers who subscribe get first access to the best deals and product launches.

The average pop-up converts around 3% which means that out of a hundred people who see the pop-up, three people join your list, but the best pop-ups convert around 8% to 15%. So keep experimenting with your message and design until you see results above average.

Pro tip: the fewer fields you have in the pop-up, the more people will fill out the form. People tend to feel too much if you ask for too much information, so if you want people to actually submit the form, ask for only what you really need, such as email and phone number. When it comes to timing, exit intent pop-ups are the best way. When the user is about to close the window, it is considered an exit intent, and your pop-up will appear at that time.

Okay, so I've mentioned that as a retailer, you have a lot of options when it comes to incentives to subscribe but you might be wondering, "Dude, just tell me what works best?" I've read a study that analyzed thousands of pop-ups with millions of views, and it said that pop-ups with offers, meaning discounts or deals, convert five times better than those without offers.

And what's interesting is that it doesn't really matter what the offer is, as long as there is an offer, your pop-up will perform better. In our experience, there are three offers that work best, namely discounts in the form of percentages or price cuts, free gifts with purchase, and participation in draws.

There are also companies that don't offer discounts at all, in which case we like to highlight bundle savings. Technically, you don't have to be a customer to get these savings, but most buyers don't know about these bundle savings at all because they are hidden on the product page.

So we say something like "Did you know that you can save up to 20% when you bundle? Join our email list so you don't miss out on deals and new product announcements," and then in the welcome email we highlight the bundle savings.

Effective Strategies to Build an Engaged Email List from SMS

When it comes to SMS, for technical and user experience reasons for both parties, we often offer the same offer for email signups, but SMS is a much more personal channel, and we make sure to highlight that.

Our SMS customers are always the first to hear about offers and product launches, even if the welcome offer is the same for them as email customers, we often offer them a slightly bigger discount during big sales and promotions, plus we really make SMS customers feel like part of an exclusive community by sending them photos from the warehouse or early updates on product development, so the value of joining the email list is being part of a closer community.

Okay, as I said in the introduction, pop-ups are just the beginning. Let's talk about all the other ways you should grow your list.

Conversion Potential on Checkout Page

Right now, most shoppers expect that they can find email signups at the bottom of the website. If your pop-up is disabled or just doesn't show up for some reason, it makes sense to have a very simple embedded form at the bottom. It doesn't collect as much as pop-ups, but it's a good thing to have there as a precaution.

SMS has been stealing a lot of attention in the marketing world lately, and for good reason. If you've added a phone number field to your pop-up, that's great but how do you get existing customers to join your text list?

You build a very simple landing page and send your people there. Keep it simple, make it on-brand and embed your SMS form, that's it. Once you have it in place, you can run cool campaigns like this example: "We're releasing our new product next week, can you guess what it is? Join our SMS list and we'll give you access two days earlier."

One obvious but very important place to collect subscribers is your checkout form. If someone has started checkout, they are pretty interested in your products and brand, so you definitely want them to get on your list. The important thing here is that you need to collect permission to send marketing content to these buyers.

Most shopping platforms like Shopify have a checkbox right below the email field, and this is what will allow you to send beautiful product launch emails and engagement and offer campaigns to your people.

You can have this checkbox checked or unchecked by default, and it's actually just a brand choice if you have it checked or pre-checked, you'll collect more emails, but they also won't be as intense as if you leave it unchecked.

As a marketer, I recommend having it checked by default, but that's entirely up to you. Now keep in mind that this is only email permission. If you also want to send SMS messages to your buyers, you need to have another consent checkbox that is specific to SMS, and your SMS provider should be able to help you set it up.

Building an Exclusive Community through SMS Marketing

Make sure to encourage your social media followers to sign up for email and SMS by guiding them to the signup form on your website, this can be done through posts, stories or even ads, so here's an example from Havenly

This is an example for their customers love, so Havenly "Next week, we're launching something new," then they have a links, that leads to a very simple landing page.

You may have seen or even participated in giveaways where several brands partner, collect a big prize, and each partner promotes the giveaway to their own audience, and then what happens after that is that they all share the list of people who signed up.

Many have run dozens of giveaways like that, and the results are always the same they have added a lot of subscribers, really thousands quickly but very few of them open and click, and really only a handful of them change and it just doesn't make sense financially because not enough people place orders, but when we add the cost of damaging email delivery with low engagement, it becomes clear that partner giveaways like that are a big strategy.

At the end of the day, the goal of growing your list is to grow your business with buyers, not just inactive customers, so for that reason I personally don't recommend giveaways and instead recommend sticking to all the other strategies we just discussed in this article. I hope you took some notes while reading or you can come back and look at this article again. See you!