Digital Marketing

How To Build An Email List From Scratch Quickly & Easily

Patrick McCarthy

Shopify experts and ecommerce website specialists report that attracting new customers takes a lot of effort, and about five to seven times the financial investment (1, 2). It’s also one of the most critical factors in building your business. 

Getting more conversions requires strategic action, and growing your email list is one of the most effective. However, we want to stress that cajoling a bunch of visitors to sign up for your newsletter who aren’t going to stick around shouldn’t be the aim. The goal is to attract the right type of subscriber and keep them regularly engaged.

In this article, we recommended five ways to attract and retain your ideal subscriber. 

This article is for you if you’re a relatively new Shopify or other ecommerce Dublin business wanting to build a loyal customer base.

In this article we cover five main areas of attracting new email subscribers:

  • Developing customised CTAs
  • Using social media
  • Creating more landing pages
  • Strategic opt-ins
  • Engagement

Acquire New & Loyal Email Subscribers 

Develop Customised CTAs

According to Hubspot, customised CTAs have a 42% higher view-to-submission rate than general ones (3). Customised CTAs are those that target viewers looking for specific information.

What are your most visited pages and content and popular products or services? Those are the places to which you want to call people. Gone are the days of boring CTAs like “Learn More” or “Sign Me Up.” Psychologically, it’s beneficial to remind people of what they’re getting in exchange for their email address. It clarifies intent and supports decisive action. 

Customised CTAs also appear like less work for the responder. The CTA “Learn More” for example, implies that additional investigation, i.e. work, is required, and thus more effort. While this may be practical and wise in many cases when there is indeed more to be learned before a commitment is made, it doesn’t bode well for simple quick-hit actions like a “7 Steps For Beating Sugar Cravings” downloadable guide.  

Likewise, the CTA “Sign Me Up” suggests there is an obligation on the other side of signing up.

In contrast, customised CTAs are specific and direct about what clicking through is going to give. Following from the previous example, if a popular blog post on a nutritional consultant’s site is about the effects of sugar on the body, then a customised CTA could be: “Click here to download 7 easy tips for mastering sugar cravings.” That CTA not only leads the visitor one step further in their journey, it also reminds them that they’re about to get great value and usable, helpful information just by sharing their email address. And it gives the consultant a prospective client.

Granted, you need to create the promised content to fulfill your end of the deal. Choose lead magnets that are simple and quick for you to develop, or hire a content writer if your budget allows.

Injecting a little humor into your CTAs doesn’t hurt either. It reminds us that there is a human on the other side of that button. It also personalises visitor interaction which means your brand will stick in their memory a little better. An example is: “No thanks, I don’t care about my health” beneath a more prominent “Yes, I want to feel & look fantastic!”

Use Social Media

If you already have an established fan base on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, try pitching your email newsletter via one of these channels. They’re following you, so there’s already a great deal of interest in your work, service, or product. Why not offer them more from another angle? 

Create More Landing Pages

It’s simple, really: More landing pages = more conversion opportunities. Create more (good) offers, adapt existing ones, and repurpose your content. As the graph below shows, the real growth happens after 15 landing pages. In this context, more is better. Transforming a popular blog post into a lead magnet is an excellent way to extend the journey. 

Check it out:

(Source: Hubspot)

An An Opt-In At the End of Blog Posts

If a reader has made it to the end of your blog, they’re interested in what you have to say, so it’s an ideal and organic time to offer more and get a new subscriber at the same time.

One of the easiest and most efficient ways to do this is with a short author bio. Include a small but noticeable box in the footer of each blog that displays a photo and a short 2-3 sentence bio. The final sentence is an invitation to subscribe to your email newsletters.

Engage, Engage, Engage

Like we mentioned right at the start, your ideal subscriber becomes a customer who sticks around long term. That is, they purchase your product or service more than once. 

How to take that mere browser to the status of loyal customer? There’s work to be done. The suggestions made here are starting points on which you can build. We recommend continuously reassessing both your customer acquisition and your customer retention strategies. There’s no point in a potential buyer subscribing to your site if they never open your emails or engage with any of your offerings.  

Engagement is the way to do that. Regularly send interesting, useful information through an email nurture series. Give your subscribers access to exclusive information, deals, or services. Craft compelling content on a regular basis. Invite your subscribers to share content with their community. Offer them freebies –– there’s no one in the world who doesn’t like free stuff.

Check out these stats on customer acquisition versus customer retention (2):

  • Probability rate of selling to a new prospect is 60-70% versus selling to an existing one – 5-20%.
  • A 5% increase in customer retention = 25-95% in profit increase.
  • Companies focus almost three times as much on customer acquisition versus customer retention yet 65% of their business comes from existing customers.
  • Loyal customers spend 67% more than new customers because they have experience with the brand. 
  • Customer retention rate for most companies is below 20%.

Where Does Your Effort Matter Most?

As a recap, most business owners put more money and effort into less important strategies. It doesn’t seem very sensible but if we look at it from a psychological sense, it makes perfect sense: It’s human nature to forget or take from granted what we already have and work to acquire more of what we don’t have.  

That doesn’t mean you should forget about new customer acquisition. We wouldn’t need to write this article otherwise, and you wouldn’t need to read it.

The key difference is garnering subscribers that have staying power. So in short, you want to do both. And if you’re a new business, then focusing your efforts on customer acquisition is your most necessary task. Learn more about customer retention for different stages of business development.

These five strategies –– develop customised CTAs, use social media, create more landing pages, offer strategic opt-ins, and engage –– focus directly on the goal of getting subscribers who will eventually become loyal customers. If you want more guidance, direction, or simple tips for building your email list or other business strategies, we’re happy to hop on a no-cost consultation call. Book a time with one of our Shopify experts here. 


  1. Customer Acquisition Vs.Retention Costs [Infographic]
  1. Customer Acquisition vs. Customer Retention: What Data Says?
  1. Personalized Calls to Action Perform 202% Better Than Basic CTAs [New Data]

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