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November 24, 2010

7 Ways eCommerce Can Grow Their Email Marketing Database

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describe the image The truth is that the large majority of visitors to eCommerce websites will not make a purchase and end up exiting anonymously – leaving those companies no opportunity to reach out to potential customers. Even for those interested enough to make it to the checkout process, 88% of consumers admitted to abandoning shopping carts according to Forrester Research . One of the biggest reasons noted was not being ready to purchase.

So, why aren’t you doing more to ensure that you’re top of mind when they ARE ready to purchase? There’s no reason eCommerce websites shouldn’t be actively trying to acquire non-transactional lead information for email marketing purposes. Too often an attempt to collect this information is only made during the purchasing process. With most visitors being unwilling to buy your products that day, what else can you offer them that they’d be willing to provide at least their email address?

Growing Your eCommerce Leads Database for Email Marketing

Consider these 7 valuable offers eCommerce sites can leverage to collect visitor information and grow your email database.

1. Running a Sweepstakes

Running a sweepstakes is a great way to generate buzz and excitement around your eCommerce website. More importantly it helps you acquire email addresses to market to potential customers. Find a cash value or prize that consumers will give lead information for and is also worth giving away for the opportunity to gain business from those sweepstakes entrants. Even if they aren’t ready to buy, they may get excited at winning something for free.

2. Offer Deals and Offers Exclusive to Groups

Offering to give people updates on storewide deals and offers might not be enough these days to get a significant number of email address. Giving people the opportunity to be part of an exclusive group that deals specific to that group is much more compelling. Experiment with different groupings based off different product categories you offer. This makes for more targeted email communications and assures them they will only receive emails related to the products they’re interested in.

3. Downloadable Product and Shopping Guides

In many cases visitors to your website will have already visited a competitor’s site or are planning on surfing further in order to find the best deal for a given product. You may or may not win out for that particular product, but you can still express your knowledge on products within the industry. Create a shopping guide that informs visitors about other things they should consider when purchasing a specific product beyond typical deciding factors such as price and shipping cost.  This guide should be in downloadable format but only available to those who fill out a form capturing lead information. Gaining trust from your target market who will see you as the expert on these products is invaluable. Not only could they see you as a thought leader, but also may have more confidence in buying from your website in the future.

4. Running a Contest

Who doesn't like a little competition at times? Unlike a sweepstakes where everyone has an equal chance of a winning, contests drives people to take action to win. The simpler you can make it, the more people (and email addresses) you will attract. Think fun, with a legitimate reward.

5. Limited Time Discount Offers

Create a sense of urgency by offering a discount coupon that can only be attained within a specific timeframe. As mentioned above, most people are only considering make a purchase and won't go through with it. Offer them a future discount that they can only get now. This captures their lead information while giving them the opportunity to take advantage of the discount when they're ready.

6. Offer Expert Advice

For many online transactions, the ultimate purchasing decision goes well beyond price, shipping costs, timeliness of delivery, and so on.  Smart consumers want to know the knowledge put behind and into the products you're offering. Who better than one your companies industry experts to offer a few minutes of their time? Besides helping guide that person's decision making, this time could provide value in terms of branding, word-of-mouth marketing, and building a community.

7. Invite Blog Subscribers

Subscribing to a blog legitimately only takes a persons email address. Besides these people now receiving updates from your blog, you now have the power to market to them via email. Blogging is essential to building a community and getting found more regularly in general search engine results. It also helps build a community around your eCommerce store and generates qualified website visits.

Collect Leads During Cyber Monday

Now that you know a few offers to gather email address for eCommerce email marketing, you'll also need to put together a strategy to do this for Cyber Monday - potentially your greatest traffic day of the year. Learn how you can make this Cyber extremely successful and ensure that these offers effectively capture leads .

Photo Credit: Biscarotte


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