Shopify Lead Generation: Grow your email marketing list on Shopify
Sales & Marketing

Shopify Lead Generation: Grow your email marketing list on Shopify

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Shopify is the leading ecommerce platform for selling online. It works great for online store, retail stores, pop-up shops and more.

One of the best ways to drive sales for your Shopify store is email marketing because it is a direct connection that builds a deeper relationship with your customers.

But how do we grow our email list? We may have thousands of millions of followers on social media, but they don't convert as well as email does. So how do we grow our email list to drive more sales with our Shopify store? In this guide we'll cover the best way to do it. Let's dive in.

In this guide we'll cover 🤔

  • How to grow your email list and get leads to drive sales for your Shopify store
  • How to turn social media followers into leads & email subscribers
  • How to effectively use social media for lead generation
  • The best social media lead generation tool
  • How to make social media users want to give you their email address
  • The #1 way to collect email addresses & grow followers (at the same time)
  • How to make sure the email addresses you get from social media are valid (not fake)
  • How to reach more prospects & get more leads with social media collabs
  • Ideas for your next social media marketing campaign
  • What Shopify apps you should use for social media lead generation

After reading this guide, you'll know the best way to get leads and email subscribers to consistently grow your Shopify store's sales.


The #1 source of email subscribers & customers for Shopify stores

If there's only one thing you take away from this guide that'll help you consistently get new customers and make sells when selling online, it's this:

Social is for discovery, email is for conversions.

When we say "social is for discovery, email is for conversions" what does that mean?

It means that social media is primarily how people (you, me, and your prospective customers) find new things, but it is NOT primarily how they buy.

Why? Because people browse social media for fun and entertainment. They do it when they're bored and have down time, not when they are ready to buy. This isn't to say that people don't every buy on social media, but social media just isn't the highest converting channel.

Use social media to find your customers and let them discover the great products you have to offer. But do convert more of these prospects into customer and drive sales, you must get them on your email list. Here's why.

Email subscribers are more valuable than social followers

Email marketing and social media marketing are both valuable marketing channels, but they have different strengths: social media marketing is 10X better at helping you find new customers, but email marketing is 10X better at converting them.

It's easier to monetize email subscribers than social followers

People generally browse social media in their free time. It's entertaining like TV. Use social media well to build your following and more prospective customers will find you.

But since social is primarily for browsing it is always harder to make sales on social media and convert followers into customers.

The average engagement rate on Instagram is only 0.8%. It's low because it's less purpose-driven than email, which is a direct connection to customers. The average email open rate is a whopping 20%!

For example, Instagram has an average engagement rate of only 0.8%, and it's the highest engagement rate of all social networks! But the average open rate for email marketing is around 20%, which is much higher than Instagram and other social networks. That's why email marketing is so much better at converting customers than social media is.

Now, don't get me wrong, social media's marketing ROI (return on investment) is still pretty good at an average ROI of 28%. But email marketing ROI is orders of magnitude higher at over 3800%! For every $1 you invest in email marketing you earn $38.

Social media marketing + email marketing = unbeatable combination

So, if email marketing's ROI (3,800%)is so much higher than social media marketing ROI (28%), why even bother with social media marketing? Remember the opening quote: "Social is for discovery, email is for conversions."

Social media marketing and email marketing complement each other because you grow your audience on social media, then convert them into email subscribers to drive Shopify sales. You need both for an effective marketing conversion strategy.

Email gives you the power of owning the customer relationship

The most important thing about email marketing for every Shopify store is that you always own your email list. Your email list is so valuable because it represents a direct relationship with your customers because they explicitly gave you permission to market to them.

On the other hand, with social media somebody else fully controls the platform, your account and all your customer relationships. For example, if a social media platform shuts down or closes your store's account, you lose access to all your customers. That doesn't happen with your email list.

Email marketing is different because you'll always have access to your email list. For example, in Shopify your email subscriber list is part of your Customers database. But you can export it at any time or transfer it to any email marketing provider regardless of whether you use Shopify or some other ecommerce platform for your store. That's the value in owning the relationship with your customers.

But since it's hard to grow an email list by itself, use social media for discovery to find your customers and help them get to know your brand, then get them on your email list to nurture the relationship and turn them into loyal customers.

But how do you get your social media followers to give you their email address? That's what we'll cover next.

How to make social media followers want to give you their email address

The predicament: Social media followers are plentiful, but low value. Email subscribers are valuable, but not plentiful. How do we fix this?

Here's a stat that'll blow your mind:

When engaged effectively, on average around 40% of social media followers who comment on your posts will opt-in to give you their email address.

Can you believe that? What if you could convert 40% of your social media followers into email subscribers? That'd be incredible, especially for those with well-tuned email marketing campaigns and funnels.

So, how do you do it? You use platform-native, incentive-driven engagement.

Ok, "platform-native, incentive-driven engagement" what the heck does that even mean?!

At a high level, it means two key things, especially related to 'engage' and incentivize' behaviors:

  1. Engage: Engage your followers where they are (on that specific platform), in ways they love (that fit the culture and trends of that platform).
  2. Incentivize: Use the right incentives to get people on your email list (make then want to join your email list).

Every social media platform has its own culture and trends. You need to leverage a trend native to that platform along with incentives to drive the engagement you want. Let's use Instagram as an example in these next two sections since it's one of the most popular social networks and had the highest engagement rate.

Example: Engage users where they are, in ways they love

Instagram has the highest engagement rate of all other social networks for a reason: People use Instagram because they want to be engaged and have fun. Instagram is the best at facilitating that (for now, TikTok is catching up!).

Leverage the native engagement functionality of Instagram for likes, follows, tags and comments to engage your users. Though other social networks have different features, you can use them in the same way.

Incentivize followers to subscribe to your email list

People operate based on incentives because it's human nature: You eat and drink, so you're not hungry or thirsty. You work a job to earn money to pay for things. You obey laws and pay taxes, so you don't go to jail. All of these are incentivized behaviors because almost all human behaviors are.

So, what incentive are you giving your social media followers to join your email list? If you do this right, you will consistently convert your social media followers to email subscribers, which will drive sales to your Shopify store.

How to do lead generation & grow your Shopify store's email list on social media

As we covered above, to turn your social media followers into email subscribers for your Shopify store you must 1) engage users where they are, in ways they love and 2) incentivize them to join your email list.

We'll continue to use Instagram as an example, but the basics this can be applied to any social network with variations based on that social network's features, culture, and trends.

On Instagram, the best engagement and growth strategy that leverages a platform-native approach is Instagram giveaways.

Why? Because Instagram users absolutely love them, they generate huge engagement, they're free to run and they are simple to do.

You've likely seen giveaways on Instagram from time to time and possible even participated in a few. If you haven't, ask someone you know who uses Instagram, they're probably very familiar with them.

For our followers, giveaways are a fun way to interact with a business. But for us they have a specific purpose: grow the email subscriber list for our Shopify store to drive sales.

If you are new to Instagram giveaways, here's an in-depth Instagram giveaway guide, but here's the gist of how Instagram giveaways work:

  1. Instagram giveaways incentivize users to act (follow the giveaway rules) for a chance to win a prize.
  2. Giveaway rules should maximize engagement, follower growth, and email list subscriber growth.
  3. Only use a giveaway prize that your target customer would like. Inexpensive prizes ($25-$50) are ok, especially if your audience is small.
  4. Instagram giveaways usually last 2-3 days (up to 1 week for collabs or expensive prizes with paid boosts).
  5. Add the text 'GIVEAWAY' on your social post to catch attention as people scroll.

If you want more tips on how to run a great Instagram giveaway and a comprehensive checklist, see our Instagram giveaway guide.

When using social media to grow your email list, it's important to keep it simple, which means you typically want no more than 3 rules. So, each rule has a job and must be effective, easy to follow and drive your business objectives (which are ultimately to get more sales for your Shopify store).

For example, when if you're running an Instagram giveaway, we recommend these rules:

  1. Follow me
  2. Tag 2 friends in the comments
  3. Subscribe to my newsletter (link in bio) for 10 BONUS entries

Here's the value in each of the above giveaway entry rules:

  • Follow me: Grows your social following. When people tag friends (rule #2 below), those friends will also follow you if they want a chance to win your giveaway.
  • Tag 2 friends in the comments: This is how your post go viral as people tag friends, and those friends tag even more friends.
  • Subscribe to my newsletter: The main reason why we're doing this: to grow your Shopify list. This directly converts Instagram followers into email subscribers (and customers). This step is last because after completing the above steps, you're committed and more likely to complete this step too.

The best thing about these social media platform-native, high engagement tactics if that in addition to growing your email subscriber list on Shopify, they also grow your social media following! It's the best of both worlds and you get to double dip on your marketing investment ROI.

So, how often can you do this. You can run these events 2-4 times a month to maximize growth without overdoing it, but test and see what works best for your audience. Using a social media lead generation tool also makes it easier.

How to verify & validate the email addresses you get from social media

Raise your hand if you ever used a fake email address when signing up for an email list before? We've all done it.

But to maintain a high-quality Shopify email subscriber list and maximize your marketing ROI you must make sure the email addresses you collect are valid. Here's how to do it automatically.

How to automatically validate the email addresses you collect

There are social media lead generation tools like POPSMASH that will use double opt-in verification to automatically validate email addresses you collect catch mistakes or prevent people from using fake email addresses.

This automated email address validation process also helps ensure the integrity of your campaign and maximizes your marketing ROI by making sure only those users who successfully subscribed to your Shopify email list are entered to win your giveaway. Why? Because the most important part of a successful marketing campaign is tying a conversion (subscribing to your email list) to the giveaway entry from the social network. Here's how to do it.

How to connect email opt-ins (conversions) to social media entries

And the end of the day, you want to know how effectively you're converting social media following to Shopify email subscribers. This is how you'll ultimately track sales conversions so you can understand your ROI, and whether to invest more or tune your marketing funnel.

In this context, you're measuring how many valid entries you're getting that are converting to email subscribers. Connecting an opt-in to your email list (a conversion) to the social media giveaway entry (e.g., on your Instagram post) is how you 1) ensure the giveaway entry is valid and 2) how you measure the effectiveness of your campaign.

Yes, it's a bit complex to track, but Shopify combined with a social media lead generation app like POPSMASH can do all of this for you automatically. For example, POPSMASH is available in the Shopify App Store and seamlessly integrates with Shopify to automatically add new subscribers as Shopify customers so you can track ROI.

Here's a brief example of how tis all works together with a hypothetical Instagram giveaway:

  1. Do an Instagram giveaway with entry criteria (rules) requiring users to tag friends and subscribe to your Shopify email list
  2. Validate users followed those rules and verify email addresses a Shopify app like POPSMASH
  3. Match the email addresses you collect to giveaway entries (Instagram users) to ensure only valid entries are eligible to win
  4. Measure the ROI from followers giveaway entries email opt-ins to track conversions
  5. This attribution data is automatically added to Shopify to track sales conversions over time, to get a full picture of ROI

This is why we built POPSMASH to do all of this for you automatically: you just post your giveaway, and we do the rest, including adding new email subscribers to Shopify as customers with additional data.

Sounds great, right? But what if you don't have a large social media audience or want to reach even more people? We'll cover that next.

How to maximize your social media lead generation & email list growing efforts

The great thing about social media is that everybody uses it. In addition to billions of users who are prospective customers, there are also thousands of potential collaborators you can team up with who are influencers in your industry or complementary businesses.

For example, you can leverage collabs to get more Shopify email subscribers if you have a small social media following. In fact, collabs are one of the most underrated social media hacks of all time because you get access to millions of social media followers without doing the hard work of growing a large following yourself.

With a collab either 1) pay others (e.g., influencers in your niche) with a relevant audience or 2) partner with a complementary business to borrow their and ready a highly targeted audience.

Just remember to only collab with those who have audiences that match your target market. For example, influencers in your niche or local of business with complementary offerings in your local area.

Shopify Collabs

Looking for influencers to collab with to grow your Shopify subscriber list and drive sales? Shopify recently launched the Shopify Collabs program for Shopify store owners that could help. If you're still looking for collabs, there are dozens of influencer marketplaces to find collab partners. Some of the larger social networks also have their own collab programs.

What social media lead generation & email collection software tool should you use with Shopify?

Today POPSMASH is the only lead generation and email collection software specifically built to grow email lists for Shopify stores and is available in the Shopify app marketplace.

Why use POPSMASH to grow your Shopify email list & get leads? Is it for you?

There's a lot of competition at there and getting sales is hard.

There are hundreds of marketing tools, and many are great. But you're only one person with limited time, so you must decide where to invest your time and money.

POPSMASH is an effective Shopify app for growing your store's email marketing list, but it's not for everyone. It is specifically built for growing an email subscriber list from social media. That means if you don't have any social media following, then it's not for you. However, if you do have a social media following (even a small one of a few thousand) they it could be great for you.

It also works well because it has both active and passive modes.

  • Passive: Get leads and grow your email list on autopilot.
  • Active: Run boosts periodically (e.g., just on holidays or special events) to accurate your growth.

Even if you leave POPSMASH on autopilot, it'll pay for itself multiple times over. But if you do want to run boosts, you'll get even more out of it.

Grow your Shopify email list & get leads on autopilot

Most of this article discussed the kinds of social media campaigns you can run to grow your email list and get leads for your Shopify store. But if you're pressed for time, you're probably wondering if there's anything you can do automatically with minimal work. Well, you're in luck, because POPSMASH has a magical feature called autopilot. It has 3 special features:

  • One Link: You get one link to use on all social networks and anywhere else. This link has your magic social lead page, which we cover below.
  • Magic Social Lead Page: This is your single social lead page that converts social followers into email subscribers for all networks. It intelligently adapts to things like what social network users come from, whether you're running an active campaign, automatically validates emails and more to make it easy for you.
  • 5-Minute Setup: It only takes 5 minutes to setup, and it'll double your email subscriber growth rate.

Does this sound too good to be true? It's not. Try it free and see for yourself!

Whether you use POPSMASH or not, I hope this guide was useful for you. Shopify is an amazing platform that helps store owners be successful online, and an effective email marketing strategy is a big part of that. We at POPSMASH aim to help Shopify store owners grow their email list subscriber faster, and in turn get more sales. I hope this guide helps you do that!

Drive more sale with marketing personalization & recommended products

One way to kill two birds with one stone is to use quizzes to collect additional data on your customers and their buying preferences.

It works the same as above, but with a Shopify quiz app you can collect emails in addition to getting to know more about what your customers like in a few extra questions.

Then you can use the data from your Shopify quiz data in email marketing campaigns and on-site to recommend products that you know customers will love, which increases conversions rates, average order value and reduces returns.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Shopify Lead Generation & Growing Your Email List

There's a ton of content in this guide, so we summarized answers to the top questions we get below.

What is Shopify lead generation?

Shopify lead generation the process of generating leads and collecting email addresses of prospective customers to drive more sales for your Shopify store.

How effective is social media for Shopify lead generation?

Social media the most effective too for Shopify lead generation because it has billions of users across multiple social networks and it is primarily for discovery, meaning users are open to finding new things that fit their interests based on their friends, the accounts (e.g., influencers) they follower, hashtags, and more.

There are multiple social networks, so no matter what your business is, there's a social network with a media type that fits your business. For example, Instagram is great for health, beauty, food, fashion, and fitness. YouTube is great for longer form video content. TikTok is great for showing off a product in short video clips. There's a social platform for every to help you show off your offerings to your ideal customers.

How can I do Shopify lead generation with social media?

The most effective way to get leads on social media is to use platform-native engagement techniques. These vary by social platform, but for example Instagram giveaways work well on Instagram because users love them, and the prize incentivizes a high engagement rate. A tool like POPSMASH can automate much of the social media Shopify lead generation for you, like collecting entries, validating email addresses and more.

How can I do organic Shopify lead generation on social media?

Organic lead generation uses non-paid (organic) methods of collecting information like email addresses (leads) from social media users to market your Shopify store's offerings. Social engagement techniques like Instagram giveaways work well here because they give users an incentive to share their information without paying for ads.

What is the best Shopify lead generation software tool?

POPSMASH is the only lead generation tool purpose-built for getting leads for your Shopify store, so it is also the most effective.

Wrapping up! 🏆

This guide looked at everything you need to know about getting more leads and email subscribers on your Shopify store. We covered everything from why creating a direct relationship with your customers is so valuable to using the right incentives to attract those leads and email opt-ins to drive more sales on Shopify.

So, now that you know what to do and how to do it, get out there and start building your Shopify email list!

About the author
Gabriel Mays, the Co-Founder and CEO of POPSMASH
Gabriel A. Mays
Gabriel Mays' Website
Co-Founder & CEO at POPSMASH
Before POPSMASH, Gabe was a Director at GoDaddy and founded two startups. He was also a Marine Corps Captain, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lives with his wife and two kids on Cape Cod, MA.

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