Increasing shopper signups: an art form you need to learn

Increasing shopper signups: an art form you need to learn

An email list of ready buyers is one of the most effective marketing tools an eCommerce retailer has at their disposal but you need to increase shopper signups to build that audience. But getting interested people to sign up in the first place can be a major challenge.  So, before you work on mastering your email communications, make sure you have an audience to talk to. We outline 10  ways to increase email newsletter signups.

Don’t overcomplicate things

Keep it simple – This is the golden rule when trying to increase email signups. Be cognisant of how much information you’re asking subscribers for when signing up.   If your signup form has too many fields to fill in, users are almost guaranteed to move on to another website.  Stick to the bare minimum and only ask for the information you absolutely need. If details like their name and workplace are important, make these optional fields.

Who doesn’t love a competition?

From a free weekend getaway to a fine dining experience at an exclusive restaurant, online competitions are an excellent way to grow your email signups. Assess which of your product offerings would be best to entice potential subscribers.


The opportunity to receive special discounts is not easy to ignore (especially if you can only access these by subscribing to your newsletter). Incentivise potential subscribers by offering a discount code or exclusive offering for signing up.

Allay their concerns will increase shopper signups

We’ve all received enough spam and marketing emails to know how vulnerable our data is. Allaying the customer’s concerns can be the thing that actually encourages them to subscribe. Spell out your commitment to their privacy and what type of content they can expect to receive from you and how often.

Grab their attention with a pop-up

Pop-ups are a brilliant way to grab attention and get users to sign up for your newsletter. Add a pop-up offer to high traffic areas of your site including the home page, contact us page and checkout page.

Be strategic about where you place your newsletter signup button

Don’t make it hard for potential subscribers to find your email signup button. How often do you find yourself scrolling to the footer to find it when trying to subscribe to sites that interest you? Place signup reminders in locations on your site where shoppers are inclined to look for additional information about your business.

Brag to attract more subscribers

As soon as your subscriber list reaches an impressive size, boast about it! This is based on the psychological trigger known as social proof that focuses on the idea that we essentially want to do what others do. Speaking about your growing list of subscribers is sure to encourage others to follow suit.  Testimonials from satisfied readers is also another great way to create social proof.

Use another brand to help build credibility

Partnering with an organisation offering similar products or complementing services is a fantastic way to broaden your potential reach. Either run a cross-promotional competition or get them to promote email signups to your newsletter on their various platforms and in return, offer to do the same for them. As an internal example, Payflex often teams up with our merchants to offer free publicity to our own audience hoping that it will increase their own signups. It’s a win-win model.

Offer daily/weekly deals

Offering daily or weekly deals that can only be accessed by subscribing to your newsletter is another way to drive email signups. Local eCommerce retailers like Superbalist, Takealot and OneDayOnly do this well. Every day, the subscriber can expect a new special offer or deal on one or many of their products. Finding a good deal is certainly a reason to read the newsletters you send every day.

Throw in free shipping

Let’s face it, paying for shipping is a grudge purchase for online shoppers, especially when so many sites offer standard free shipping over a certain minimum spend. Offering free shipping to subscribers is another clever way of encouraging price-sensitive shoppers to subscribe.


Many online retailers make the mistake of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach to building an email signup list. Different incentives and offerings will entice different people. Your website data is your most valuable tool. It will give you important insights into your audience and enable you to test various strategies to find what works best. Remember, your subscribers want to hear from you, meaning they could soon become paying customers with the right strategies and tactics.