How to sell any or advertise any product online.

Grow your email subscriber list to build an audience of potential customers

Every creator with an ecommerce business should leverage his or her email list to move products. It just makes sense!

People who signed up for your list are at least somewhat interested in you and your product offerings, so it’s a natural fit to promote what you’re selling there.

The first step, then, is building out a list of email subscribers. But saying, “Hey, sign up to stay up-to-date with my news!” isn’t going to cut it, unfortunately. You need to get creative.

Here are a few tips and tactics to get you started.

Pop-ups or opt-in forms on your website

You see pop-ups and opt-in forms everywhere for a reason: they work. In fact, using pop-ups to ask for customer info has been shown to create a 44% increase in email subscriptions.

But again, it’s often not enough to make a simple ask with an opt-in. You need to give people a reason to subscribe. A lead magnet is a great way to incentivize opt-ins, as visitors get something valuable (and often free!) in exchange for sharing an email address.

You can even time these opt-in forms to pop up just before the reader leaves your website, which reduces the chance of disrupting the customer experience.

That’s what Angela Mary Vaz does for her content creation business, Stay Curls:

Referral programs

If you create a high-quality email that offers real value to your customers, then they’ll tell their friends. Right? Well… maybe not.

Sometimes people need a little push to get them to spread the word, which is where referral programs come in handy.

Try offering a special bonus for subscribers who refer three friends. Or you could give them a personalized discount code or access to your latest ebook, for example. There are lots of ways you can encourage folks to drive word-of-mouth signups.

If you need help setting up templates and automating this process, check out our integration with referral marketing platform newsletter referral platform Sparkloop. SparkLoop is a referral tool for newsletters that allows you to incentivize signups to your email list. This tool creates unique referral links for each user and allows you to manage a tiered reward system with ease.

ecommerce email marketing
Sparkloop is a great way to automate your email reward strategy and further your reach. Image via Sparkloop.

Podcast sponsorships

If you know your audience religiously listens to a specific podcast, you might want to become a sponsor of it. Sixty-eight million Americans listen to podcasts weekly, so it’s a great medium to reach potential customers.

Find a show that shares your brand values and ask to come on board as a sponsor—it’s a great way to share your products with a highly relevant audience. If your brand has a podcast of its own, don’t forget to mention the benefits of subscribing to your email list there, too!

Leverage user-generated content

When you’re crafting a product launch strategy, think about how you can tie in user-generated content—think customer-created photos, or videos—with your email list. Showing happy customers utilizing or enjoying your product can be a powerful form of social proof.

The Crochet Crowd shows us how content creation doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel, either: They put user-generated content to work, often including this type of material into their email marketing efforts.

Try looking for user-generated content on Instagram to validate your product offerings and add compelling, sales-driving visuals to your email marketing campaigns.

Share ecommerce marketing offers on social media

Social media is a great way to drive traffic to your email list. Since your followers are already interested in what you have to say, use your social media channels as a way to share special offers along with a behind-the-scenes look into your business.

If you’re not sure where to focus your time and energy on social media, start with Facebook. With seven out of 10 Americans using it, it’s arguably the best place to start promoting your newsletter. Keep in mind, however, that Facebook will only show your posts to about 7% of people who like your page on average, so if you want to increase your conversions, you’ll want to look into paid Facebook ads.

Twitter is another solid option. There, you can tease your products while also building connections. Creator Matt Ragland, for example, tweeted a breakdown of his productivity template to his followers.

ecommerce email marketing
Matt Ragland uses social media to reach out to his followers and promote his ecommerce products. Image via Twitter.

However, he mostly sticks to the 80/20 rule on social media: 80% of his content are tips on productivity, health, and other topics engaging to his followers, while the remaining 20% are more sales-focused. As part of that 20% promotional work, don’t forget to remind people to subscribe to your email list.

Instagram and Pinterest are worth looking into as well. Pinterest currently ranks as the highest driver of average order value (valued at $103), but the social platform you choose depends on your company’s target demographic.

Run PPC ads to convert more visitors

We talked about using social media advertisements to promote your email list, but you can also use PPC (pay-per-click) ads on Google, YouTube, or other search platforms.

Google Ads allow you to target particular people who are already using their search tool, and they have a staggering 90% share of the market. Run an ad for your product (and make sure to plug your email list simultaneously).

Partner with influencers

People are used to hearing influencers talk about products. However, having brand-aligned influencers ask people to subscribe to a company’s newsletter makes for an out-of-the-box way to boost email subscribers you can then advertise to down the road.

To do influencer marketing well, you must choose influencers with audiences that align with what you’re selling. So, how do you figure out who that is?

Hashtagpaid is one platform that makes it simple to find and hire influencers that match your brand values (and budget). You can see the influencer’s price per post, engagement rate, and reach before launching a campaign.

ecommerce email marketing
Hashtagpaid is a platform that allows brands and individuals to find and hire influencers for creative partnerships. Image via Hashtagpaid.

If you don’t want to go the paid route, you still have options. For example, you can partner with influencers simply by giving them free products to try. That means no money changes hands between parties, and the influencer is not obligated to post about the product. The idea is that they’ll love your product so much they will talk about it, which leads to more authentic content.

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