How to Increase your Email List Size and Realize the Incremental Sales Benefits

In today’s super competitive retail climate, all merchants are looking for quick and easy ways to increase traffic and drive incremental sales. While much focus is being placed upon mobile and social media tactics, it can be difficult to truly realize the benefit and ultimately the return on investment for these efforts.

With consumers becoming less brand loyal, and even more price conscience then ever before, marketers are facing challenges when it comes to attracting and keeping consumers engaged. What has aided in the consumer shift to price over brand is the ever-increasing number of retailers who offer large product assortments and great pricing. These factors have created a prefect storm for every retailer as they fight to grow their customer base while also retaining existing customers. In order to stay relevant and top-of-mind for consumers, retailers need to find ways to communicate with these consumers when they are not visiting their local store or browsing online. Enter email.

The number one choice for today’s retailers when communicating with consumers is STILL email and the reasons are simple:

  1. It is the least expensive means of communicating with an audience of any size
  2. When campaigns are executed properly, the returns are immediate and far exceed the dollar investment.
  3. It outperforms all other direct marketing channels, including direct mail, according to research conducted by the Direct Marketing Association.


How Valuable is an Email?

In order to project the opportunity that can be gained through an in-store or an online email capture program, the first step is to calculate the value of every new email address acquired. The easiest way to determine your dollar value per email is to follow this example with your own data points. Example: If today you are driving $8 million in sales from a list of 2 million email addresses, then we can say that each email is worth approximately $4 annually.


How Many Emails Can You Capture?

Multichannel retailers have a distinct advantage over online pure-plays due to the fact that they already have millions of customers making offline purchases every year. This offline traffic typically far exceeds total online traffic as well as the total size of their current customer email database. For this reason, many multichannel retailers are focusing on growing their email database through their offline store traffic.

Imagine if you could capture an email address from 10, 20, or even 30 percent of your annual offline traffic? While it may seem impossible, it’s actually pretty easy. Many multichannel retailers such as Bath & Body Works, Banana Republic, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Aeropostale are successfully collecting emails from their offline customers in a myriad of ways, like during the in-store checkout process. In many cases, these same retailers are collecting an email address from at least 30% of their in-store transactions every year. The result is an email list that grows at a significantly higher rate than it would if they only relied on an online only email growth strategy.

For those retailers without a physical store presence, there are still many ways to engage with customers and increase your email list size. Examples include activating triggered emails such as ‘New Arrivals’ and ‘Back in-Stock.’ These are great ways to incentivize online shoppers to enroll in your program as well help you segment your email database – enabling you to deliver highly relevant messaging to your customers.

So whether you are a multichannel store or exclusively an online retailer, start to evaluate how to increase your email list size and realize the incremental sales benefits.


About The Author

Brian Gallagher, a former eBay Enterprise Executive, is a member of the Springbot team. With more than 15 years of combined Internet and eCommerce experience, Gallagher writes for the Springbot Blog – covering best practice advice in retail eCommerce, mobile commerce, product strategy, development and marketing. Follow him on Twitter @gallagherb.