4 Ways of Capturing More Email Addresses and Increasing Conversion

There is a very strong link between website conversions and email. A recent study by my firm showed that once traffic has gotten as far as the shopping cart email was the largest source of ecommerce conversions, ranking above a direct entry and search. This is a useful reminder that the majority of sales come from people you already know, and who already know you.

This shouldn’t be a surprise, since we know that existing customers and prospects are much more likely to purchase than “cold” leads. Email is going to nudge and prompt them back to buy.

But traffic sources don’t work in isolation. We need to consider how different traffic sources build towards an eventual conversion, triggered more often than not, by an email.

We know that it may take many visits to achieve a conversion, not a single visit. New traffic may not lead directly to a sale, but if it leads to a micro-conversion, such as a newsletter sign up, registration or social login, then this is very valuable. So perhaps we should be looking at search and social as a stepping stone, beginning to build a relationship, which ultimately will probably only turn into a sale after a sequence of touches.

In the interest of achieving more conversions, here is a list of the top four ways of capturing more email addresses on an ecommerce site.

1. Incentivized Newsletter Sign Up

Given the importance of email in converting traffic, it’s worth considering giving your newsletter sign up more prominence. On most ecommerce sites, it is buried well below the fold, often in the footer. Visitors give their email addresses willingly in exchange for a promise of promotional offers. A recent study by ExactTarget, an email firm, showed that the top three reasons why consumers subscribe and share their email addresses are all promotional:

  • 67 percent to receive discounts and promotions;
  • 55 percent to get a “freebie” in exchange for my email address;
  • 50 percent to get updates on coming sales.