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How to Collect Customer Emails – Building Your Customer Email List

How to Collect Customer Emails – Building Your Customer Email List


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Email marketing is an essential part of almost any business – especially in ecommerce. That’s why a well-prepared emailing list is one of your most valuable marketing assets. 

8 out of 10 customers will abandon their basket. If you have collected their email address a well-timed and optimised shopping cart abandonment email can recover those lost online sales. So, is your email list up to scratch

If your online customer engagement is down and your contacts need a boost, it’s important to know how to get those crucial email addresses. SaleCycle explores ways in which you can achieve this, to begin building on customer service and retention, with a regular-returning audience to be able to convert them into loyal customers.

Why Are Emails Effective In Ecommerce?

The importance of email marketing and building an effective email strategy for ecommerce covers a vast number of marketing and sales benefits. Apart from the initial building and development of brand awareness, email marketing can support your ecommerce brand by:

Building Brand Credibility:

Managing your brand’s reputation can be achieved through building a space for online customer engagement and communication with your potential customers – and email marketing is a great way to do this. 

Establishing those relationships can be as simple as reaching out to make your consumers aware of current offers, promo codes and most importantly, what your brand can do for them.

To make your brand seem even more credible, you could try offering reward systems to loyal customers, to create an urgency to return back to your site and overall build on reliability.

Generating Leads:

Attracting prospects to your business and increasing their interest through online nurturing is another email marketing pro. When potential customers click on your email and follow through to your site, this means you can gauge the amount of organic interest in your brand to be closer to that end goal of converting visitors into customers.

Reactivating inactive customers through mailings can also be achieved by monitoring your email leads, to invite old customers back to your website.

Boosting Website Traffic:

With clever email marketing – including links and buttons to redirect visitors to your site – you can create a gateway into your site. This proves incredibly convenient for the customer, as well as your business, as emails can link directly to the point of sale equaling better and more lucrative conversions.

Boosting Online Sales:

Email marketing can support and boost ecommerce sales thanks to all of the above. With more brand visibility comes more sales, so the aim is to reach a wider audience with a larger more optimised emailing list.

How To Collect Customer Emails

Now that we understand why emails are effective in ecommerce, we can begin to explore how brands can collect the right mailing lists – along with all of the vital customer information that follows. Building on the number of emails in your database can help lock-in future visits, sales and increase conversion rate.

Offer Incentives:

With the majority of brands opting in for emailing campaigns, it’s important that yours stands out from the rest. You need to be able to peak the consumer’s interest by providing an answer to the question: ‘’what’s in it for me?’’.

When collecting a visitor’s email, you can build on incentive by offering certain perks. For example: early access, a percentage off their first order, a valuable piece of content (like an article or ebook) – anything that will persuade and direct them back to your product or service.

Useful Resources:

Offering an insight into your product and/or services can build on the consumers desire to connect with your brand. As mentioned above, providing useful information in the form of articles, ebooks, explainer videos or professional insights within your email can prove successful in more conversions to your site.

Resources like these can also be easily shared amongst those who would find the item useful, creating a chain of interest for even more consumers – who can also be added to your mailing list.


Instead of thinking about your next email campaign as a bulk send targeted to your whole audience, you should segment your mailing lists so that each campaign meets the interests and needs of that specific recipient. 

Building metrics via demographics within your database (or segmenting) means for more effective marketing. 

People are more likely to retain their interest when you segment, and will be more likely to sign-up and return creating that vital consumer relationship.

Improve The Customer Journey:

As an ecommerce business, it’s important to ensure that your customer stays engaged and informed during their ecommerce customer journey – and the same goes when it comes to email marketing. 

By adding a clear ecommerce CTA such as links and buttons to both your website and email campaign, customers will be able to be directed to the right place with complete ease. Try using direct microcopy like “sign up to our mailing list’’ or ‘’enter your email address here’’, to make sure you secure more consumers. 

Create A Sense Of Urgency:

We’ve already covered offering exclusive access and discounts to boost the results of your email campaign, but how can you push this incentive even further into action? 

You can try adding ecommerce countdown timers, alongside eye-catching imagery and layouts to make for a more engaging campaign. A/B testing is a great way to gauge what works best for your brand when trying to increase interactivity in this form.

Where To Collect Emails

If you’re a start-up business, or simply want to expand your horizons when it comes to your current emailing list, it’s important to know not just how – but where to find customer email opportunities. There are a number of places you can recruit these extra numbers, so we’re taking a look at the meat options and examples for any ecommerce brand.

Website Sign-Ups:

Well-placed buttons and sign-up links – or ecommerce CTAs – can be an incredibly useful addition to your website in order to generate emailing lists. It’s important to strategically place sign-up features as you want it to gain the attention of your visitors as efficiently as possible. 

Lead Magnets: 

Lead magnets can be created in the form of webinars, PDFs, videos and other interactive forms of information, which can lead to interest in signing up to your email list. It’s important to add a sign up incentive when creating these lead magnets – for example, using browse reminders to notify the viewer to sign up for further information and/ or products at the end of a webinar presentation. 

Gated Content:

Following on from utilising lead magnets, one way to collect emails is via gated content and surveys – which require email sign-ups in order for the consumer to view more webinars, ebooks, and other lead magnets. 

Advertising gated content as one of your websites perks can peak curiosity and interest, and drive consumers to hand over their email address.

Onsite Messaging:

Onsite messaging, or pop-ups, can also fall under the category of website sign-up options. However this tactic is considered more upfront and eye-catching when used on your site. Although effective, it’s important to place pop-ups strategically and sparingly to avoid frustrating the website visitor.

Social Media:

Businesses today use social media, and social proof, as one of most effective and lucrative ways to attract more visitors to their brand – this could be down to the fact that in 2022 over 4.62 billion of us own and use a social media account. 

With this huge captive audience, a great way to collect emails is to promote your business via Facebook ads, Instagram bios, links via Twitter and more recently, via TikTok – basically, wherever you’re able to find a social space to link to your email sign-up page.


Getting those all important email addresses is majorly about understanding what inspires customers to want to remain connected. Whether this is through discounts, customer loyalty, or simply because they want to stay up to date with your products – it’s more than just about receiving their personal details. It’s a means of communication that creates a long-lasting relationship between your customers and your brand.


Reviewed by Brad Ward
Written by Casey Turnbull
— Updated on 07/09/2022


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Casey Turnbull

Casey is a Fashion Journalism graduate & ecommerce marketing executive at SaleCycle. Casey is committed to producing high quality content backed by in-depth research and data. She has experience developing content in a range of sectors including fashion, ecommerce and sports.