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How To Build An Email List For Your Retail Store?

Anytime you start working with a marketing professional, one of the first things they ask is how big is your email list?  Or do you even have one?  And it’s not because they’re just trying to dig into your business and learn a little bit more about your strategy.  Honestly, it’s because email is incredibly important.  It’s still really valuable.  You may hear other information or other experts talking about how videos are on a downward trend or the newest generation doesn’t use email,  they don’t have email addresses. Maybe that’s true from a statistics standpoint, but from an actual user standpoint in an actual benefit case scenario for you as a small business owner, that doesn’t really matter.  If you’re working in a company or you have a business, you have an email address.  So just because someone may want to communicate over Snapchat or Instagram more often than email doesn’t mean that it’s any less valuable, this is particularly important if you’re an eCommerce company and focus on Shopify dropshipping.

In fact, you can see the more that you send emails or the higher quality those emails are the more potential you have to earn sales to drive more customers into your store and actually get a real benefit.  A lot of this comes from the quality of the emails that you send and actually building a good high-quality list of people that truly want to hear from you.  That’s what we’re going to talk about today.  How can you build an email list and grow your business?  Now if you’re an e-commerce store or running a website like that, it’s actually pretty easy.  You just make that a part of the process.  Someone buys something from you, you collect their email address.  Boom, they’re in your email list.  Want more email addresses?  All you got to do is run a campaign or run a contest on social media.  Enter your email address to sign up.  You can use a myriad of different tools to manage that.  So if you’re e-com, it’s actually pretty straightforward.  But what if you’re a retail store?  It becomes a lot more complicated because it’s not a natural part of the selling or the checkout process.  So let’s talk about a couple of different tips and tricks that you can use to make it a part of your process and actually generate some emails.

Ask For Emails:

First things first, If you want to generate an email list, you ask for emails.  Now, that’s a crazy oversimplification because if it’s not a natural part of the process,  just asking for emails isn’t really the way to go.  Now if someone comes up to you on the street, hey, put your email address down on this clipboard.  Sign up for XYZ.  It’s pretty easy to say no, and in fact, you probably should because that’s really spammy.  It’s not a great way to generate those lists.  But you have to ask.  So tip number one, plant the seed.  Plant the seed first.  And a great way to do this is passively using signage or table tents or things like that within your actual physical location.  If people already get the idea that you have an email list,  and you’ve already provided some information on what you’re going to do with those emails:  sign up for tips and tricks on whatever product it is or sign up today and get a 10% off coupon,  something like that, just passively informing customers that you are going to ask.  It’s a great way to start to open their minds to the fact that they’re going to ask as part of the process and give them some information as to what they should expect.  So the bonus tip for this actually even adds a QR code or something like that to your signage.  Let customers sign themselves up.  Now if they just scan that QR code,  takes them to the landing page where they can enter their information, they sign up on their own.  Those are people that want to hear from you.  They’re people that really want your information or want the quality of information that you are going to provide to them.  So by giving them that opportunity, that’s a great way to passively start collecting email addresses before the checkout process even begins.


Use Tact And Show Value:

We talked about this a little bit in tip one.  You need to be able to show your customers what you’re going to be providing. But a really important part of this is to use tact. You can’t just come right out and be like, Gimme yo email! They’re not going to do that.  And it’s really easy to say no. No is a significantly easier word to say,  and it’s a much easier process for a customer to follow than the thought process of saying yes. So use tact when you’re communicating this to your customers. Maybe they’re up at your front counter. Maybe they’re back as part of the sales process. You can start to collect some of this information,  and again, with your passive signage, and inform them what you’re going to be doing and why you’re going to be asking. One of my favorite questions to ask is, Are you in our system?  Now if you’re using a point of sale like Lightspeed, for example, it’s really easy to just add some customer information. So as part of the checkout process ask them,  Are you in our system? No, I’m not in your system. Oh excellent, let’s get you added. All I need is your name and your email. I just want to make sure that we get you in here. We can send you some coupons. And if you ever forget the product that you purchased or you need to come in you need a replacement part or something like that, we can use this information to look up your previous search history and make sure that it’s not on you to remember all this. So are you in our system? No, I’m not.  Perfect, let’s get you added. Now at that point, you can also say, We’ll send out an email or two. We don’t send any more than two emails a month. And if that’s too much for you, no problem, I get it. But we want to make sure that we can look up your information. But this way you can also get some tips and tricks and learn how to use the product that we sell a little bit more, get some more value out of it,  and we’ll make sure that we’re not going to spam you because I hate spam, too.  So just by having that natural conversation and making it a part of that checkout process, it makes it a lot easier for a customer to say yes. Yes, I don’t want to have to remember what I purchased from you a year ago.  You can look it up, and you’re going to send me some tips and tricks once or twice a month. Perfect, let’s do it. So use tact and add value.

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Train Your Staff:

It’s pretty unlikely that you are going to be the only person up at the cash register or helping your customers as they come through your door. So you’ve got to make sure that your staff is trained on an easy way to collect email addresses and even more importantly, why it’s important to you. Especially in the retail world, a lot of retail workers, it’s just been ingrained in them the customer comes first, and you have to provide value to the customer. And that is absolutely accurate, and it’s absolutely true. However, they also have a responsibility to add some value to the company. And this is a great way to do that. So some staff members may just be like,  okay, you told me to collect emails, so I will. Others are going to want to know why. It just helps keep them informed. It’s also a great way for them to overcome objections. If they ask for an email and a customer goes, why do you need my email? If they don’t know, then they hem and haw, and they stumble over the question and that just, it doesn’t really add a whole lot of confidence to that whole conversation. So by training them on how to collect emails, how to ask for emails and then why it’s important both to the customer and adds value to them and why it’s important for the business and adds value to the company, that way they’re able to be a lot more confidence in this. They’ll ask the question a lot more, and you’ll collect more emails through the process. So don’t just think that just by telling your team, collect emails, ask for emails, that’s it’s actually going to happen. You got to train them on the reasons why,  train them on the value, and then show them by doing it yourself.

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Don’t Spam:

I hate that I have to say this, is don’t spam. Your email list is not an ATM.  You cannot just collect emails and then go, sales are low today. I’ll think I’ll send out an email and see if I can get some more sales or more people through my door.  That is not how it works, so don’t sell spammy email titles, such as “how to make money on Shopify?”. Unless your whole goal is to get people to unsubscribe, that is not a good way to treat your email address or in your email system. Respect goes both ways. They trust and respect you enough to give you their email address, so you have to respect them enough to not blast out spam emails every single opportunity that you get. You may have to create a calendar. You may have to create certain scenarios within your own mind and your own processes so that you are able to go, wait, wait. I know that I want to send an email today, but it doesn’t fit with my email marketing campaign and my email marketing strategy or calendar. So I’m going to have to wait. Maybe you change it up a little bit and go, okay, this information’s really important, so I’m going to change up the email that I’m sending on Wednesday. I’ll change that.  We’ll put that information in there. Just don’t spam people because it’s a great way to get people to unsubscribe,  and it hurts your brand and your business. So take a step back, understand that your email list is not an ATM. And it’s not going to be valuable for you to just spam out any time that you think you’ve got something interesting. Provide value, provide quality,  and you’re going to earn more customers.

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Now a bonus tip here as to why collecting email addresses is important is because you can actually use that information to create additional audiences outside of just an email marketing system. So you can actually after you have started generating a list and using these tips and tricks to get people to give you their email, you can take that information and actually export it to different marketing platforms like Facebook and create lookalike lists. You already know that these are your best customers because they came in, they bought something  and they gave you their email. So take that information and create a new audience on Facebook. It’s a great way to build some new customers,  get out in front of people that are very similar to your best customers and generate more sales that way. I love the ability to be able to take that information and take it out of just the email world and put it into other digital marketing platforms. So this way you’re not just passive and you’re not just working within this community of current customers. You can actually use this information to build a community of new customers. So keep that in mind.

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