15 Email List Building Strategies for E-Commerce ( Examples)

Use Quizzes to Get Targeted Subscribers


When clicked, Beardbrand asks you a few questions about your beard preference. Then, before revealing the results, Beardbrand asks you to enter your email to join their newsletter.




  • They’re creating hyper-targeted user segments. Yes, there are more questions, and Fabletics are likely to collect fewer leads. But the leads they do get are likely to be of a higher quality. Plus, they’re easier to market to, given the information Fabletics already have. (For example, they ask for the user’s size, body type, and more).
  • They personalize the user experience for return visitors. If you’ve ever been asked to join an email list that you’re already on, you know that it’s annoying and hinders the reading experience. Fabletics know that, too. That’s why they only show the final page to returning visitors that have completed the survey but have NOT entered their email.
  • Their copy is ultra-unique and super-specific. Unlike Fabletics’ competitors that invite visitors to “Subscribe for Exclusive Offers,” Fabletics specify their offer in concrete terms (“2 leggings for $24”), offer free shipping, and even attach a dollar amount value to their offer (“$99 value”).

What Facebook Know About Engagement That Almost Nobody Else Does

i. Get More Information from Visitors with Multistep Campaigns



ii. Pre-Segment New Subscribers Based on Website Behavior



What’s an email list?

An email list is a collection of email addresses your business can send marketing communications to. In simple terms, it’s the number of subscribers you have—either to your general branded content or to something more specific, like your newsletter.

Similar to the old adage, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” if you create compelling content and you have no one to send it to, does it make an impact?

How does email list building help you reach new customers?

You can inform your subscribers about your business (i.e., new product launches, special or seasonal promotions, VIP programs), increase your conversions or sales by encouraging subscribers to make their first purchase, and re-engage past-purchasers with targeted messages.

Email list building is an invaluable part of your business’s growth. The more people you can reach and dazzle with your content, the more potential customers you could have knocking on your door—or in this case, clicking on your ecommerce website.

Develop good email list building habits from the beginning

Commercial messages are defined as any electronic mail message with the primary purpose of advertisement or promotion of a product or service. This includes your business’s browse abandonment emails, abandoned cart emails, welcome emails, or newsletter emails—to name a few.

The regulations you need to follow when building your email list (and subsequently sending emails) depend on the country of the recipient, as well as the location of the server sending the emails.

First and foremost, use a double opt-in as your first line of defense. The process of double opt-in requests that your new subscribers confirm their email address, ensuring that their sign-up was intentional and that they entered their email address correctly.

If, for whatever reason, one of your customers no longer wants to receive communications from you, providing an easy opt-out experience can help you maintain a positive buyer relationship.

Also, cleaning your email lists regularly will help to ensure that as your list grows, customers who have opted out aren’t accidentally continuing to receive messages from your business.

As you build your email list and continue to grow it, following good list building practices from the beginning increases your likelihood of getting your emails into your customers’ inboxes and consequently generating substantial revenue from your email campaigns.

Email list building strategies

1 | Sync Facebook lead ads with your email list

Many brands use creative Facebook ads to reach new consumers. Some ad types can be used to sell your products with a call-to-action (CTA), while others can entice shoppers to sign up for your email list.

Using Facebook leads ads is a quick way to add subscribers to your email list. When a user clicks on your Facebook lead ad, a form pops up and they’re automatically prompted to submit their information (i.e., their first and last name, email address, and phone number) in exchange for additional product information or a special promotion.

Some marketing automation platforms make it easy to set up an integration between your Facebook lead ads and your email lists, so that all of that customer data seamlessly syncs with your existing system.

2 | Embed a signup form to your homepage

signup form on Nomadic Matt

gym shark signup form

summersalt signup form

Are you unsure of where your embedded signup form should go? Try testing out different placement options to see what works best for your business and which one resonates with your audience.

3 | Use social media to promote your brand

That’s a huge potential audience pool (and customer pool) for your brand to tap into. You can use social media platforms to your advantage by adding email signup options to your business profile or directing shoppers to a landing page through a link in bio or swipe up link.

4 | Leverage order confirmation emails for email list building

When you allow your customer to check out as a guest, you’re not legally allowed to use their email address for anything other than sending transactional emails, or emails that pertain to their order, unless they explicitly consent to marketing emails in the process.

But that doesn’t mean you have to sit out on the sidelines. Encourage your customers to subscribe to your email list by including signup information in your order confirmation and shipping confirmation emails.

Chubbies order confirmation email

chubbies order confirmation email

chubbies rewards program

5 | Use out of stock messaging for email capture

For shoppers, seeing that the item they want is out of stock can be a headache. You know the situation I’m talking about—you’re eager to buy a product from a brand you love, you attempt to place that item in your shopping cart, and then BAM! You’re hit with an out of stock notification.

When you notify a customer that an item is out of stock, give them an option to receive notifications when that item comes back in stock. You’ll potentially gain another subscriber, and your customer has the option to purchase that item in the future.

6 | Set up a loyalty program and promote it in your newsletter

A loyalty program is a rewards program offered by a company to their customers who frequently make purchases. In exchange for signing up to your loyalty program, your customers can receive free merchandise, specialty rewards or coupons, early access to newly released products, and more.

A unique component of loyalty programs is the “refer a friend” campaign. When your customers “refer a friend”, they invite their family and friends to sign up to your company’s loyalty program in exchange for coupons and other rewards.

harrys referral program

Seventy-seven percent of all email addresses collected during their pre-launch loyalty program campaign came from referrals—20,000 subscribers referred about 65,000 friends. Talk about an effective email list building strategy.

7 | Use popup forms that engage visitors to your website

ilia beauty popup

How to maintain your email list

You’ve also got to keep it organized through segments. You can start simple, with location-based segments if you have local offers, product interests based on their purchase behavior, and setting up triggers depending on specific actions so that you capture subscriber intent.

As you get to know your audience and look at your data, you’ll be able to create more detailed segments and send them relevant content based on reading behavior as well as opens and clicks.

Keeping a steady line of communication is also crucial. Don’t overdo it (spam warnings!) but definitely make sure they’re hearing from you about once a week, or at the very least once a month.

Use your email content not just to sell but also to establish relationships with your customers and prospects, using a personal tone and providing some entertainment, so that when your subscribers get your email, they’re excited to open it.

Email list growth FAQ

How do I grow an email list?

Growing an email list boils down to driving traffic to your website through strong keyword placement and social media efforts, converting said traffic to subscribers with the right offers and making sure you’re building a relationship with them over time.

How big should my email list be?

For this one, quality is definitely more important than quantity. Instead of focusing so much on getting a really big list, focus on making the right offer and capturing the right people. A good place to start is with 1000. If you’ve got 1000 potential customers subscribed to your emails, you’ve got enough to start seeing some actionable data and increasing your revenue.

What is a good email list growth rate?

It depends. The bigger your list gets, the smaller your rate will be. If you’ve got 10 subscribers and earn 10 more in a week, that’s a 100% growth rate, but in the end it’s just 20 subscribers. The real trick is to decrease your unsubscribe rate. If it’s high, something is wrong and it’s time to change things up, whether it be your target or your email content.

Why should I grow my email list?

What channels should I use to grow my email list?



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *