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Search, social, PPC — that’s all old hat. The best effective digital marketing channel today is also the oldest: email marketing.

Marketers have always ranked email marketing as one of the best high ROI marketing channels. Nearly 52% of retail businesses say that the ROI from email is “excellent” or “good”. Little wonder that 58% of marketers plan to increase spending on email marketing in 2019.

Building email lists has clear benefits for online retailers. For one, sending the newsletter is the way to reach your customers’ most private communication channel — their inbox. It is additionally cheaper than most channels.

To run an email marketing campaign, you first have to capture emails. The rate at which you can convert visitors into subscribers will have a major impact on the success of your email campaigns.

In this article, we’ll share some noteworthy examples of how to build an email list and get so many email subscribers for your store.

Offer Prizes and Coupons in Exchange for Emails

At its heart, email marketing relies on a mutually beneficial exchange: you give something valuable to visitors, visitors give you emails in exchange.

How likely individuals are to give their email addresses will depend on the value — genuine or perceived — of your offer.

As it turns out, offering prizes is the simplest way to encourage people to share their emails. Since prizes have a tangible advantage, your customers are likely to value them exceptionally.

You can offer products, discounts and coupon codes as prizes. As long as customers see them be valuable, you’ll do well.

Offer Discounts to Newsletter Subscribers

Many ecommerce stores design and run their very own newsletters. Most of the time, the sign-up link to the newsletter is ignored by customers in some forgotten corner of the website.

While some individuals may sign-up for your newsletter as they’re genuinely interested in the content, a majority are only for the deals. 60% of respondents in a survey said that offers and discounts were their number one reason for subscribing to newsletters.

Therefore, concentrate on discounts and coupons in your newsletter subscription pop-ups to boost your signups. You can offer a flat dollar amount off, exclusive deals or free shipping coupon codes.

Offer Daily Deals via Email

Offering daily deals is a powerful strategy to bring people to return to your site regularly. Customers appreciate the thrill of discovering a new product at a heavily discounted rate.

Rather than showing these deals on your site, you can push them via email. This helps customers an incentive to sign-up for your email list.

You can even do a hybrid model where you offer selective deals to email subscribers and push the rest to your website. Or you could give email subscribers early access to get a deal.

The idea is to give email subscribers a tangible advantage for subscribing. If you consistently promote high-quality deals via email, you can even get extra subscribers for your email list from people suggesting deals to their friends.

The ideal example of this tactic is the plethora of flash sales sites that popped up a few years back. These sites, such as BeyondTheRack.com, Gilt.com, and so on would offer deals only to email subscribers.

Use Social Media to Capture Emails

Twitter and Facebook are two underlooked yet incredible ways to increase your sign-ups.

Twitter offers lead generation cards to get emails from interested users as they look over your feed.

This explanatory image from Twitter shows how these cards can be utilized in an ecommerce setting.

Facebook’s email capture solution — Facebook lead ads — is even more dominant. It allows you to grab emails directly from within Facebook itself.

Since Facebook pre-populates all fields with the user’s name and email, lead ads have a strong and high conversion rate. If you have a strong presence on either Twitter or Facebook, consider this strategy to increase email signups.

Use Urgency and Scarcity

Urgency and scarcity are powerful strategies for motivating action. As Dr. Cialdini points out in Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, the more scarce a person or thing is, the more esteem it has in our minds.

You can utilize this in your email marketing plan by offering deals or discounts over email for a limited quantity (quantity-based scarcity) or limited time (time-based scarcity).

For instance, Tradlands has a full-screen “welcome mat” offering a discount. The catch? There is a countdown clock showing that the offer is only accessible for a few minutes.

This urges action by forcing visitors to take action right away. If they postpone the action, they stand to lose the deal.


Email marketing is one of the most compelling channels for ecommerce stores. Getting more email sign-ups, can be a challenging task.

By following a few basic strategies shared above, you’ll see a drastic improvement in your email sign-up rate. Offering incentives such as daily deals, offers, and coupons over email get people interested. Utilizing urgency, giveaways and contests push them to sign-up.

Try some of these tactics in your online store to see an immediate boost in total email subscribers.

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