How To Build An Engaged and Targeted Email List For An ECommerce Website


As any seasoned marketer will tell you, the money is in the list. With any purchase, there is latency between the time a prospect is first exposed to your product and when they actually make a purchase. With an email list, it is possible for eCommerce owners to nurture their prospects and turn them into buying customers down the line. 

Success with email marketing is directly proportional to how large and targeted your list is. A large list makes it easy for you to reach a lot of people with your campaigns – and this brings you a lot of conversions, in absolute terms. A targeted list, on the other hand, increases conversion rates. 

Here is a short guide on how you can go about building a mailing list for your eCommerce business. 

Target the demographic, not interests

There are two ways to build an email list – you may either target the buyer demographic, or the interest category. For instance, if you run an online t-shirt store, you may either target the male, college going kid, or target people looking to buy t-shirts online. In this example, you will obviously be interested in the second group since that promises immediate revenue. 

But here’s the thing – focusing on the interest can help you build a very targeted list. But it’s also going to be a much smaller subset of the population of prospective buyers. Also, interests change all the time – a person buying a t-shirt today may not be interested in buying another for a few weeks or months. 

Targeting the demographic will help you build a much larger list of prospective buyers who can then be nurtured over time to convert.

As for the people in the interest-category, you may look at converting them immediately with the help of a sales copy instead of adding them to the list. The conversions are likely to be higher in this case.

Advertise on social media

Do you have an advertising budget to build an email list? Social media is definitely something you must consider. This is for a few reasons. Firstly, social media channels have a deeply accurate profile of their users – this allows you to target a user based on their gender, age, location or even the school they went to. In addition to this, interest-based targeting is available too.

Social media users are also not motivated buyers, like it is on other channels like Search. So it is a better use of your money to capture their emails rather than selling to them right away. Make sure you offer these viewers exclusive content in order to capture their email more efficiently.

Remarket and Reengage

There are people who come to your website and either subscribe to your list or buy something off your store. You know them as leads and customers respectively. But they are just a small fraction of everyone who has ever landed on your website. A vast majority of them land on your site and bounce never to be seen again. This is despite the fact that they are as targeted as the buyers. 

Remarketing involves following these visitors as they traverse the internet with follow-up ads that try to pull them back to your website. You may either promise a discount that wasn’t advertised earlier or access to content that is otherwise hidden to the rest of the visitors. In doing this, remarketing helps in capturing these visitors into leads who may then be nurtured with a well-planned drip marketing campaign.

But capturing their email is only one part of the challenge. The average open rate of your emails, on a good day, is somewhere between 20%-25%. That is, only a fifth of your subscribers open any of your emails. A vast majority of subscribers either become inactive or fail to engage. 

It is important to re-engage these visitors at a regular level. You may do this by sending personalized discounts, notification mailers about deactivating their account or by simply asking them to come back to the site. This helps re-engage at least a part of the subscribers who can then be nurtured.