4 Email Acquisition Strategies to Help Get Retailers Ready for the Holidays

Kevin Randall, Product Marketing Manager

August 19, 2020

This holiday season is sure to be different from any other, with the unknown of how many customers will want to shop in stores, and whether some retailers will even remain open. Ecommerce and direct engagement with shoppers will become more important than ever. Retailers should be dialing in their new strategies right now with these circumstances in mind.

One area that retailers can get a jump start on now is to reinforce their email marketing acquisition strategies to capitalize on building brand engagement directly with shoppers. Even if these visitors don’t purchase during their first visit, they can be easily communicated with throughout the holidays via email marketing campaigns. Having a solid email acquisition strategy in place ensures retailers can expand their email marketing audience to drive more revenue during the holiday season and hopefully long after.

The Challenge with Email Marketing Acquisition

You must constantly grow your list of email subscribers. Businesses that only capture email addresses during checkout (at the bottom of the funnel) miss out on signing up shoppers who are browsing (at the top of the funnel). Marketers should optimize email sign-ups across their website and other channels like social and mobile. If not, businesses are likely to lose more subscribers than they gain, leading to dwindling email revenue conversions.

4 Email Marketing Acquisition Strategies

In order to continue to acquire new email subscribers, businesses can utilize these four strategies.

Pop-up Sign-up

Undoubtedly, the most effective email acquisition tactic is a pop-up sign-up. A pop-up sign-up is a small modal window form that appears while browsing a website to collect email subscriptions. Pop-up sign-ups can be obtrusive when configured improperly (triggering immediately upon landing on the website or repeating on every new page load) or if they don’t provide value (no perceived benefit or lack of incentive). However, when pop-up sign-ups are properly set up, they convert at 3.1% on average and 9.3% for the top 10% best-performing pop-ups.(opens in new tab)

To optimize a pop-up sign-up, they must provide value and are triggered at the right time. Pop-up sign-ups are more effective once a visitor has been on the site for a little bit or after a certain number of clicks. Once their attention is captured, you need to provide a clear call to action, use on-brand creative, and provide an irresistible incentive, which don’t always have to be discounts. Try “first to know” on specials or exclusive content. Pop-up sign-ups should be adjusted from desktop to mobile viewing for the best user experience, such as using a floating ribbon bar at the bottom of the window.

Exit-Intent Pop-Up

Imagine how many visitors window shop on a website, lose their focus and then decide to leave. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to communicate with them right before they bail? This is exactly what an exit-intent pop-up does. They sense when a visitor is getting ready to leave a website and trigger a pop-up sign-up that appears right before they leave.

Exit-intent pop-ups can be used to encourage a visitor to share their email to receive an incentive or special offer to complete their purchase. If businesses don’t offer a coupon on the initial pop-up sign-up, they can entice potential shoppers with something that provides value on the exit-intent pop-up. To provide more relevant and engaging experiences, configure multiple exit-intent pop-ups to trigger on different pages, such as a free guide download on a blog post article or a free shipping offer on checkout abandonment.


Social Sign-Up

Social media and email marketing strategies pair very well and there is huge upside to coordinating them. Customers reached by both email and Facebook campaigns are 22% more likely to buy(opens in new tab). Lead Ads allow marketers to acquire new email subscribers with targeted advertisements on Facebook and Instagram. When shoppers click on a paid social advertisement, they are taken to a form they can easily fill out without leaving the social media platform. When these new leads are automatically synched to an email marketing platform, marketers can follow up with an email campaign.

Lead Ads can be super powered by Facebook Custom Audiences. Custom Audiences are an ad targeting option that helps marketers find their existing audiences among people who are on Facebook. They can use sources like email lists to create a Lookalike Audience, which is a group of people who are similar to the people on the email list. Lead Ads built from Lookalike Custom Audiences have higher engagement and are more effective than shooting in the dark with Facebook’s basic ad targeting abilities.

Text to Join

Text to join is a great tool to drive email acquisition outside of web and social channels. Users can subscribe for emails on their smart phones by texting a unique keyword to an SMS short code. They will receive an auto-reply confirmation message prompting them to reply with their email address to sign-up. Afterwards, no further text messaging is sent, and the contact is opted into the email marketing program.

Once you configure text to join, you just need to promote it with store signage, events, billboards, TV or radio advertisements. Holidays are a fantastic time to use text to join because of the influx of shoppers and the variety channels that can be used to reach them. Shoppers looking to save on their gift buying are more willing to use text to join to get a special offer and will likely remain on the list if marketers continue providing value after the holidays.

Start Growing Your Contact Database Now

When you can seamlessly acquire, onboard and engage new email subscribers in a single solution, you can create more effective campaigns and drive more revenue. NetSuite’s Bronto Marketing Platform natively integrates with leading ecommerce platforms to power pop-up sign-ups(opens in new tab), exit intent pop-ups(opens in new tab), social sign-ups(opens in new tab), and text to join strategies without the help of a developer.

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.