5 Ways to Capture Emails on your Ecommerce Website

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Reading about digital marketing, one might think that Social Media has stolen the show. But Email isn’t dead.

Statistics don’t lie. And the statistics say that email marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage your customers, and turn passive visitors into active buyers.

Why is it important to capture emails?

On average, only 2% of website visitors are turning into leads or sales. The remaining 98% leave your website as a passive visitor. Email marketing is a cheap and effective way to change that.

Campaign Monitor has found that customers are 6x more likely to click on a link in an email campaign than a link in a tweet. Similarly, the Direct Marketing Association estimates that email marketing has an ROI of over 3800%. If you look at the chart below, you can see that email outperforms other channels such as SEO by far - and some suggest it is even more effective than social media marketing.


Why is email marketing so effective?

The explanation is really quite simple. With the rise of the smartphone and tablet, people are connected 24/7. They have constant access to their email, which pop up on their screen as soon as they arrive. So that is why 82% of B2B and B2C companies use email marketing as an effective tool to engage their audience and increase sales.

Capturing an email is easier that making a sale.

Website visitors might not be ready to buy after their first visit, but once you’ve captured their email address, you have established an (almost guaranteed) direct line of communication. Sending an email is a great way to start communication, and follow up to increase engagement, awareness, and eventually revenue. The minimal costs involved, and the immediate results are the reasons it has become one of the most popular marketing strategies of ecommerce businesses.

5 ways to successfully capture emails on your Shopify website

1. Pop-ups and Slide-ins: Movement that captures attention

No matter which website or Shopify store you visit, it is almost guaranteed that within a few seconds, a little pop-up or slide-in will appear, asking you to leave your email address in return for a special offer or benefit.

Pop-ups and slide-ins are the new fashion, and for a good reason. They prove incredibly successful not only for capturing emails, but encouraging immediate sales. There are a few different ways to do this.

Both pop-up and slide-ins create movement on the website, and straight away catch the attention of the visitor. The difference between a pop-up and a slide in are the way they appear. Pop-ups usually emerge in the middle of the screen, and push the website page into the background. Slide-ins - as the name suggests - slide in from the side of the screen and hover either on the bottom-right or bottom-left corner.


The timing for these elements to appear is crucial. If they appear straight away, your visitor doesn’t even know yet what the website is about. If you wait to long, they might leave before having the chance to sign up for an irresistible offer. The general rule of thumb is 45-60 seconds.

You also need to think about how often the pop-up will appear when people visit your Shopify store more than once. Most pop-up settings come with the option to set a delay, generally between 15-30 days is ideal, so your visitors won’t get annoyed.

Lead Magnet

People don’t reveal personal information like email addresses without a benefit in return. They know that their contact and this direct line of communication is valuable. To incentivise people to leave their email address with you, you need to provide a tempting lead magnet. A lead magnet is ‘the bribe’ you offer in exchange for the email address. This could be a discount code, free shipping, a free resource, or exclusive content.

When deciding on your lead magnet, think about your ideal customer and what they would want. A marketing business might provide a free marketing strategy template. An online fashion store might offer a 10% discount code or free shipping on the first order. It is important to make it appealing.

The Shwood shop has done this quite well. The structure and message of the lead magnet is clean and straight to the point. You know your offer (10% off the first purchase), you know what they’ll do with your email address (new products and events) and you have the opt-out option.

Another great idea for a lead magnet are contests and giveaways. In their pop-up, Leather Head offers the chance to win a free product each month in exchange for an email address. A pretty sweet deal!

2. Going full screen: the pop-up landing page

There are pop-ups, and there are POP-ups. Some Shopify stores have taken the pop-up idea to the next level, and turned an entire page into an email capture.

Before you can enter these online stores, a landing page pops up. Just as with pop-ups, it tried to capture emails in exchange for a special offer. Visitors then have to click through - either by leaving their email address or by declining the offer - to even get to the actual website.

The Taylor Stitch store has taken the pop-up to a new level. It has taken over the first page as soon as the visitor tries to get to the website. You can’t even see the website before you either leave your email address, or click the ‘No thanks’ link.

If you’re using your website, make sure the ‘No thanks’ link is easily found as the pop-up landing page can otherwise often deter customers from even entering the site.

3. Headers, navigation bars and sidebars: The constant reminders

Pop-ups and slide-ins are intrusive in the way they disrupt the shopping experience on your Shopify store. If you want something that is less invasive and almost as effective, you can add a signup form in the header/navigation bar or sidebar of your website.

The So Worth Loving Shop offers a great example. The “sign up!” call to action on the top right in the header sticks to the top of the page, even when you scroll down. This is a constant reminder to visitors that they have the chance to become an exclusive member of the So Worth Loving community.

Glossier’s website is playing the email capturing game well. They not only use a pop-up/slide-in to explain in more detail what they are going to send their subscribers, but also the header above the navigation bar. Visitors can hardly miss the ‘submit’ button.

Not on top, but on the side, This Colossal art shop also uses sections to provide a constant reminder to website visitors to sign up for their email. The contrast in colour draws attention to the red ‘Join’ button, without disrupting the browsing experience.
If you want to add sections to your Shopify store, check out our previous article to learn how.

4. Homepage featured box: Not easily overlooked

Your homepage is often the site with the most traffic. So why not include an opt-in form right there and then, where most browsers visit?

Most themes allow you to add a new section specifically for your email signups If the opt-in form is the first thing people see on your homepage, they know where to return to once they decided to sign up.

5. Website footer and blog posts: You like what you see? Subscribe!

You might want to give your potential customers a little more time to get familiar with your product or service. It might be a good idea to first let them go through the content of your website, become a fan of your product, and then sign up in your opt-in form.

If this strategy fits better with the feel and design of your Shopify store, you can add signup forms at the end of each page.

Little Sparrow Tea does this beautifully. The call to action is not intrusive or pushy, but calm and relaxing, just like the tea they are trying to sell. Choosing yellow - the complementary colour of their design’s base colour blue - makes the signup form pop out. Inserting the form at the bottom of the page ensures that you capture email addresses of truly valuable and engaged visitors, as they already know and like your store.

If you have a blog on your Shopify ecommerce website, you can use the same strategy at the end of your blog posts. Seeing that the reader has made it to the end, s/he must’ve liked your content and is likely to sign up.

How to capture emails without annoying your website visitors

There is a variety of tools and methods you can use to capture emails on your ecommerce website. Make sure you choose the right one for you. It should fit into the messaging strategies of your existing marketing, and complement the design of your website.

Before you start capturing the email addresses of your website visitors, pause for a second and put yourself into their shoes. When shopping online, you don’t want to be interrupted multiple times by pushy messages asking you to sign up for a newsletter, a special sale, news and updates etc, etc. Collecting email addresses is not about annoying browsers until they give you their personal information. You want them to sign up because they like what they see.

Pick and choose your methods wisely, keep it interesting, and don’t spam your website visitors with pop-ups at every turn.

Pop-in, slide-out, header, footer, side-to-side. Elkfox are experts in optimising your Shopify store theme so that you can capture more emails without being annoying. Get in touch with us to find out more.

*Image via Shwood Shop