Email marketing is still one of the best ways to grow your business.
Studies show that 81% of SMBs rely on email as their primary acquisition channel, whereas 80% use it for customer retention!
But remember, growing your email list is the first step towards email marketing success.
The more engaged subscribers you have on your list, the better your email campaigns will perform — it’s that simple!
In this article, we’ll show you 9 ways to grow your email list in Sendlane. We’ll also sprinkle in examples from real-life brands to help you replicate their tactics for your own business!
Let’s dive right in!
9 Ways to Grow Your Email List Inside Sendlane
1. Start a referral program
Referral programs are a win-win situation for brands — not only do you get to grow your list, you’re also rewarding your existing customers!
So, how do referral programs work?
A referral program involves incentivizing people to spread the word about your brand. For example, if a customer sends a link to your site to a friend, and that person signs up, both of these people will get a reward from you.
This ‘reward’ could be anything — loyalty points, a freebie, or a good ol’ discount coupon!
Here’s an example of a referral program from Cleancult:
Incentivizing people to send you referrals is kind of like growing your list on auto-pilot — your customers do the work for you. Plus, it’s great for customer retention — win-win!
Sendlane lets you create and manage referral programs and automatically grow your list by integrating with apps like Smile.io, Gatsby, and ViralSweep.
2. Offer opt-in at checkout
Another great tactic to grow your email list is to have your customers opt-in to receive marketing messages from you during checkout!
For example, you can add a “Subscribe to Newsletter” checkbox somewhere in your checkout form that customers can choose to check (or not) like this example from Lifeboost Coffee.
Asking their consent is important because just because they’ve bought something from you, it doesn’t mean they’re interested in receiving any emails from your brand.
If you have them opt-in voluntarily to receive your newsletter, though, they’ll be more likely to respond to your emails, which means higher engagement rates for you!
To make an attractive offer, add some text below the checkbox that briefly tells them what (goodies) to expect when they sign up to receive your emails.
To automatically add contacts who opt-in during checkout to your Sendlane email list or a newsletter automation funnel, you can easily integrate your eCommerce store with your Sendlane account and sync contacts and analytics data between the two platforms.
3. Create a loyalty or rewards program
Make your customers feel special by offering them to join a loyalty program — an exclusive membership program that gives them access to VIP sales, discounts, and other perks!
For example, in return for their email address, you can offer customers a virtual loyalty card with a special membership number that they can use at checkout.
Here’s an example from Florsheim Shoes:
Or, you can enlist them in a loyalty rewards program that gives them points on every purchase. They can later redeem these points to get a freebie or voucher!
4. Send product notifications
Another way to grow your email list is to offer customers product notifications in return for their email addresses.
There are several types of product notifications you can offer, including:
- Stock alerts
- Price drops
- Pre-sale alerts
- Time-sensitive discounts
For example, if a product or variation is out of stock, instead of letting your customer leave the store empty-handed, ask them if they’d like to be notified when the product is back in stock.
If they really want the specific product, they’ll be more than happy to leave their email address with you!
Here’s how the Canadian fashion store Below the Belt does it:
When you click on a product or size that’s out of stock, a notification pops up that lets you open an opt-in form and sign up for a restock alert!
Not only is this a great way to gather emails, offering product notifications also improves customer satisfaction with your brand!
Remember — these people have shown interest in your business and products. Letting them leave empty-handed can make you miss out on lots of potential revenue!
5. Place strategic pop-ups on your website
Pop-ups are custom opt-in forms that you can embed on your website to collect emails.
Why are they called pop-ups again? Because they can literally pop up in front of your website visitors at various set times!
There are several types of pop-ups you can use on your eCommerce store:
- Welcome pop-ups: These opt-in forms show up when visitors land on a certain page on your website, such as a product page or the homepage. You can offer first-time customers free shipping or a discount on their first purchase in return for their email address. This example from Uniqlo is a great one.
- Discount pop-ups: Unlike welcome pop-ups, discount pop-ups can show up any time during your visitor’s website journey. You can use them to send your visitors a discount code in return for their email addresses.
- Lead magnet pop-ups: These opt-in forms can also pop up at any time, but instead of offering visitors a discount code, they offer a one-time resource download, such as a gift guide, checklist, or buying guide.
Pop-ups are loved by all kinds of businesses. Reason? They have a sky-high conversion rate of 3.09%! That’s 300 signups for every 10,000 website visitors!
In Sendlane, you can create three kinds of custom pop-ups for your eCommerce store:
- Inline: These pop-ups are added to a specific place on your web page, and stay there regardless of how visitors interact with your website.
- Pop-up: These opt-in forms pop up after visitors have spent a specified period of time on a web page.
- Banner: These opt-in forms are embedded at the top or bottom of your website and will scroll as your customers navigate your website.
Learn more about pop-ups and how to make the most of them inside Sendlane.
6. Offer downloadable lead magnets
An alternative to sending email newsletters in return for email addresses is to offer a one-time, downloadable resource that’s chock full of value — a.k.a a lead magnet!
Lead magnets are extremely popular with SaaS and B2B companies, but eCommerce stores and B2C companies can also use them to gather contacts.
For example, you can offer an in-depth buying guide that helps your customers purchase the right product for their needs. This is especially useful if you’re selling expensive or highly specific products that customers are careful about buying.
Here’s how Poppin, an office furniture store, offers a downloadable corporate gift guide in return for email addresses and company information.
With this strategy, they hit two birds with one stone by growing their email list and gathering insightful information about their potential customers!
Other lead magnets for eCommerce businesses include catalogs, style guides, holiday gift guides, Valentine’s Day gift ideas, checklists, ideas, and cookbooks (if you’re selling food items like spices, for example.)
7. Create quizzes, contests & sweepstakes
Want to make it fun for people to leave their email addresses with you? Try running contests, giveaways, and sweepstakes.
According to research, contests have a 34% conversion rate, which is higher than most other content types. And let’s not forget. Your customers love free stuff, and it’s generally fun to get your name picked out of a box, spin a wheel, or scratch a card to win something!
Promote your contest on your website and social media to gather email addresses in return for entries. And make sure it’s worth their while by promising a drool-worthy prize, such as a discount, free shipping, or a free product sample!
Here’s how the folks at George’s Whitstable do it:
You can also use other types of gamification to grow your email lists, like quizzes, product pickers, and personality tests!
For example, Spongelle has created an interactive quiz on their website to help customers find the perfect beauty product for their needs.
At the end of the quiz, they have an optional opt-in form where price-conscious quiz-takers can enter in their email address in return for a discount code!
8. Leverage social media channels
Yes, we’ve kept the best for the last; social media!
Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube are not just great for posting content and getting likes and engagement — they’re also excellent lead generation tools!
Here are three top ways to grow your email list with social media:
- Sign up button on Facebook: Did you know that Facebook lets you add a signup button on your company page? Use that opportunity to fill up your email list with potential buyers and customers who visit Facebook more than your website.
- Run Facebook ads: You can also run different types of Facebook ads with a CTA to sign up and retarget your website visitors using Sendlane’s Facebook Custom Audiences integration.
- Link to your signup page from Instagram: Instagram doesn’t let you add a signup button to your profile yet, but you can always add a link to your signup page in your bio and let your subscribers know where to find it in your post captions. If you have more than 10,000 followers, you can also add a link to your stories that followers can visit by clicking the link!
- Run an Instagram giveaway: Giveaways and contests are big on Instagram. And as we discussed above, they’re also an awesome way to grow your email list. Make it compulsory to sign up using the link in your bio for followers who want to enter your giveaway.
9. Use SMS opt-in to gather emails offline
Did you know that you can also grow your email list using offline means — like sending a simple text message?
Now, gathering email addresses using SMS can seem like a time-consuming task, but wait — it’s super easy when you’re using Sendlane!
Our integration with Join By Text lets you easily collect emails via SMS and sync them automatically with your email list.
So, all you need to do is send a text message — and that’s it! The integration will take care of the rest for you.
Rapidly grow your email list with Sendlane’s integrations for eCommerce
Filling up your email list with active and engaged subscribers is key to getting more results out of your email marketing campaigns.
And with Sendlane, collecting email addresses is a breeze.
You can use tons of integrations to gather email addresses in various ways, from creating quizzes and contests to quickly developing lead generation forms, landing pages, and even SMS opt-in campaigns.
Ready to check things out for yourself? Sign up for Sendlane’s 14-day free trial and take it for a test drive!