Sales & Marketing

How to collect email addresses & grow your email list with Shopify

Email marketing is the #1 marketing channel for small business, especially for ecommerce stores on Shopify. Why? Because email marketing is affordable and trackable, meaning you can tell how well your email marketing funnel is converting to sales.

But how do you grow your Shopify email list with high quality, targeted customers? There are three main ways and we're going to cover all of them.

TL;DR

You can collect email addresses for your Shopify store using on-site with popups, footer opt-ins and a purchase checkout flow opt-in. You can collect email addresses off-site on places like social media using email lead generation tools like POPSMASH.

On-site vs. Off-site Shopify email address collection

There are two general categories of ways to collect email addresses for your Shopify store. They are:

  • On site (on the actual Shopify store website)
  • Off site (off the Shopify site, like on social media)

Seems simple, right? There are ways to get emails on your site and off your site. So, why does this matter?

The value of awareness when growing Shopify sales

It matters because of intent. Users who are on your site have already found you. Maybe they're in the process of purchasing or maybe they're just browsing. But either way, they are aware of you, which is a big achievement.

When you overcome the hurdle of awareness, you want to get the most out of it. If they're aware of you, then you want them to buy. If they've already bought, you want them to buy again. You need to nurture and grow that relationship to build customer loyalty. And you do that through your email list.

How to collect emails for your Shopify store on-site

There are three main ways to capture emails on your Shopify website:

  • Checkout flow email opt-in
  • Pop-up or similar email capture
  • Shopify website footer opt-in

The great thing about the three above email collection mechanisms is that they're included in Shopify by default. Next, let's cover each of them.

Checkout flow email opt-in for Shopify

The checkout flow email opt-in is built into the Shopify platform. It allows customers to opt-into your email (or SMS) marketing while purchasing from your store. Turning this on is a no-brainer and I highly recommend all Shopify stores enable this option because it simple, automated and works seamlessly with the checkout flow.

You can turn on the Shopify checkout flow email opt-in by opening your Shopify admin dashboard and going to Settings > Checkout and you'll see it in the section called Consent for marketing.

How to enable the email opt-in during the checkout flow in Shopify.

Pop-up or similar email capture for Shopify

The other kind of on-site email opt-in for Shopify stores is a pop-up email opt-in. If you spent a lot of time on the internet you probably see these a dozen times a day: They usually pop up in the middle of the screen, sometimes they slide in at the bottom, but they always ask for your email address. Sometimes they also offer some sort of incentive.

Pop-ups are annoying, why should I use them?

"I love popups!" ... said nobody ever. If most people hate popups, why use them? Well, because they work. It's as simple as that.

Someone came to your site because they're interested in what you offer. Why not try to get them on your email list? Most people won't join, but some will, and that's why it's worth it. But I digress...

How to add an email newsletter opt-in popup to a Shopify store

The good news is that most Shopify themes have a basic popup option built in. For example, here's an example of the popup option in a Shopify theme called Impulse.

An example of the email opt-in popup in the Shopify Impulse theme.

You can do this for your theme in your Shopify's admin dashboard by going under Sales Channels and selecting Online Store > Themes then clicking Customize.

What if your Shopify theme doesn't have an email opt-in popup?

If your Shopify theme doesn't have a built-in popup to collect email addresses, it's no problem because there are dozens of options in the Shopify app marketplace. It's also possible that your email marketing service may also have its own opt-in option, especially if it has a Shopify integration in the app marketplace, so check there first.

Shopify website footer opt-in

The last on-site option to collect emails on your Shopify store website is a footer option. These differ from popups because they are static (don't change) and always present. It's common to include an email newsletter opt-in in the footer of websites, so people tend to look here if they want to join your newsletter.

How to add an email newsletter opt-in popup to a Shopify store

Similar to popups, most themes allow you to add a newsletter opt-in section in the footer of your website. For detailed instructions on how to do this, look at your theme's documentation. But if your theme has this option, you can find it by going under Sales Channels and selecting Online Store > Themes then clicking Customize.

Once you're in the Shopify website Customizer the footer option is usually one of the bottom areas. There you should be able to add a newsletter opt-in section to collect emails for your Shopify store. Here's an example from a Shopify store of what it could look like.

Example of an email opt-in on a Shopify store.
What if your Shopify theme doesn't have an email opt-in section in the footer?

These days I believe just about all modern Shopify themes have an email opt-in section that you can add to the footer of your Shopify store. But if for some reason yours doesn't, you can either switch to a theme that does or find an email opt-in in the Shopify app marketplace. It's also possible that your email marketing service might have its own email opt-in option, especially if it has a Shopify integration in the app marketplace, so check that before using any other app.

How to collect emails for your Shopify store off-site

Collecting email addresses off site is a different game. If people are already on your site, then they're already aware of you and your Shopify store.

On the other hand, collecting emails off site is all about discovery. It's all about finding new people and getting them to discover what you offer, join your email list, and hopefully turn into customers.

So where do you find people off site? You guessed it: social media. Billions of people use social media to connect with people, follow celebrities and brands, and discover new things.

But social media is fleeting because people scroll through their feeds so quickly, including those ads you paid so much for 😂

That's why you want to get them on your email list: To deepen that relationship and continuously share what you have to offer.

But how do you do it?

Why collecting emails off site is so hard (especially on social media)

On places aside from your website like social media it's very easy to post and follow people. It's even easy to get a few followers to an extent. But it's not easy to grow your email list. Why?

It's hard to grow your email list on social media because social networks want you to pay for ads. Once you get people on your email list, you can consistently reach them without paying anyone for access.

How to grow your email list on social media and other places aside from your Shopify website

If you want to leverage social media to collect email addresses and grow your Shopify email list, then you have to get creative.

Every social network is different, but we'll use Instagram as the example here since it's one of the most popular. If you want to collect email addresses on Instagram, you have you do two things:

  1. Get attention
  2. Incentivize opt-ins

You need to catch user's attention, then give them a reason to opt-in. On Instagram the best way to do this is Instagram giveaways because Instagram users love them, and they are easy to run (learn more in our Instagram giveaway guide).

They work because they're highly engaging and you can use "join my newsletter" as one of the Instagram giveaway rules.

In fact, they work so well, that on average 40% of Instagram users who comment on your post will also give you their email address, which is also increased because many more people comment on giveaway posts. It's magical.

If you're wondering how to run an Instagram giveaway, track entries, validate email addresses, etc. then a social media lead generation tool like POPSMASH can do that all for you automatically (including on autopilot!). That's the easy part.

If you're looking for more details on how this works, here's a more detailed guide on how to get leads and email subscribers on Shopify.

Summary

Email marketing is by far the highest ROI marketing channel for any Shopify store, especially with its cost-effective our reach and highly trackable campaigns.

You can collect email addresses for your Shopify store with on-site with popups, footer opt-ins and a purchase checkout flow opt-in. You can also collect email addresses off-site on places like social media using email lead generation tools like POPSMASH.

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Gabe

Cofounder of POPSMASH