Online Store Ideas that Actually Attract New Customers

Online Store ideas

You’ve done everything by the book. From purchasing your domain name to stocking your online store with the right products, you’ve done everything possible but still just aren’t getting new customers.

Sound familiar?

For many online entrepreneurs, this is the all too common scenario. They did everything right but end up closing their online store after a year due to low sales.

The good news is that getting new customers can actually be pretty easy. For online store owners, an email address is perhaps the most valuable piece of data they can collect.

Building an email list for your company is always a good idea because it allows you to stay in contact with your customers. Here are a few online store ideas that will actually attract new customers to your e-commerce website.

Why Get Their Email Address

Ah yes, the dreaded, “Enter your Email Here” tactic. Believe it or not, there is a reason why so many companies ask you for your email address.

It doesn’t matter whether or not the person visiting your website is actually going to buy something. What matters is that you have a way to get their business eventually.

Email Coming out of tablet

Once you have a person’s email address, you have the ability to stay in touch long-term (so long as you don’t harass your way to the spam folder). There are many reasons why you want to build a list of email addresses.

Once you have a customer’s email address, you can:

  • Send them promotional information about new products and services
    • Keep your customers up to date with the latest and best-selling products. Once they see it, they’ll be more likely to buy it.
  • Inform them about discounts
    • Everybody loves discounts. If you inform your customers about the 15% off sale at your e-commerce store, you can expect people to check it out.
  • Collect customer feedback through surveys and other 
    • Customer feedback is a great way to improve your company. Instead of guessing what the customers want from your business, find out first hand.
  • Tell them more about your company and mission
    • Customers want to connect with your company. Give them a reason to want to shop with you. Think about Tom’s Shoes and Burt’s Bees. Customers shop with them because they are connected with their customers.

Why it Matters

It is important that you only send emails when you have something meaningful to tell them. People don’t be like the pushy salesman who is forcefully trying to get you to buy the latest and greatest widget.

Instead, send your emails less frequently and most importantly, give them a reason to come back to your store later on.

Maybe send out a monthly or quarterly email to let customers know what new and exciting things are happening at your store.

There is a lot of competition online. Showing up in a customer’s email feed reminds them that your company exists is just one more way that you can be marketing to your customers.

Build a relationship with your customers and they will be more likely to spend money at your store in the future.

Email Campaign Services

There are many ways you can set up your email campaign. Whether you are using MailChimp, Constant Contact, AWeber, or Campaign Monitor, you have the ability to stay in touch with your customers.

Since MailChimp is the most popular email marketing service, let’s talk about how to start an email marketing campaign using this service.

If you are just starting out, it will probably be a good idea to stick with MailChimp’s free plan. This plan allows you to send emails to up to 2,000 subscribers. This will be plenty if you are still trying to get your online company off the ground.

Emails coming out of phone

The cool part is that the free plan isn’t a demo, you can use their free service forever. MailChimp does have other plans should you go over your allowed 2,000 free subscribers.

Use your email campaign service to send meaningful information to your subscribers. It is relatively quick to set up and can really pay off in the long run.

At the end of the day, your email list is the lifeblood of your online store. It is what allows you to stay connected with your subscribers and increase your chances of doing business with them again.

Just remember, nobody likes to be spammed.  Use your email campaign for good and you will get good in return.

Promotional Popup Windows

You go to a website to shop for a new pair of shoes and bam! 5 seconds later, the screen dims and a fancy window pops up telling you about the 10% off promotion that is going on now! To get the promotion, it must be emailed to you. Reluctantly, you enter it just to save the extra few bucks.

While these popups can be annoying, they can actually be pretty useful for the store owner.

What it’s basically saying is that in order to get something, you need to give something. In this case, customers are willing to give their email address in exchange for say, a 10% discount which will be sent to their email address.Website popup example

Depending on what information you are presenting to your website visitors, you have another opportunity to get them to enter their email address.

Tips for Designing Popup Windows

Here are a few ways to design popups that actually get email addresses.

  • Make the window look interesting
    • Use an interesting color scheme, pattern, or picture to catch the eye of the viewers. Make sure that your message is easily read against the popup background because after all, you are trying to convince them to enter their email.
  • Tell them something important
    • Don’t use a popup window just because it looks nice. Tell them something they will want to know or have like a discount or new winter products. This way customers will be more likely to give you their email address.
  • Delay your popup window
    • Nobody likes to see a popup window as soon as they enter the store. Delay your popup by a few seconds so that your visitors have a chance to actually see your website before you launch the popup.
  • Give them a way out
    • Don’t trap the customer by making it hard for them to exit out of the popup. If they feel pressured, they will be more likely to leave your website before they even enter their email address.
Have Users Create Accounts

When a shopper is checking out at your store, prompt them to quickly create an account with your business. Here, they will be able to enter their email address before they finish checking out.

Even though you are only collecting the email addresses of current customers, this still gives you the chance to contact them in the future. After all, the goal is to collect as many email addresses as possible. It doesn’t matter if they are current or potential customers.

Account Sign up

Most online retailers require this so it shouldn’t deter customers from creating an account on your website.

It might be a good idea to ask users to confirm their email address before getting that special discount code. This way you can be sure that the email address the customer is giving you is an active account that they can check.

You want active email accounts, not some random address the user is making up on the fly.

This can be easy to set up on your e-commerce website and is a good way to stay in touch with your customers. Just be sure to give customers the option to opt out of your mailing list. You don’t want to annoy them if they don’t want to hear from you.

Be Patient

Building a 10,000 subscriber email list isn’t going to happen overnight. Don’t sound like Willie Loman from Death of a Salesman in your emails. Be sincere and tell them something they want to know.

Customers aren’t going to give away their email address for nothing. In order for them to agree to be sent promotional emails in the future, you have to offer them something that is worth their while.

Collecting email addresses is a great way for you to build a relationship with your customers and keep them coming back to your store later on.

Be creative and soon enough you will have an email list that yields lifetime customers.


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