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110. [BIZ BITE] Should I Use giveaways to grow my email list?


If you’ve been hanging out with me for any length of time, you know how much I love email marketing for eCommerce. It’s my favorite way to make money in your eCommerce business and I’ve become known as the Klaviyo girl around the internet.  A name I’m proud to have by the way. 


But the thing is, you can’t have great results from email marketing if you don’t have a list of people to email.. and of course, email list growth is a struggle for a lot of eCommerce entrepreneurs. 


Especially because tactics like giving away a discount on your pop-up, using a quiz, or even a PDF download only really works if you already have people coming to your website. Sure, you can get some visibility on social for those things, but nothing seems to work quite as quickly or get as much reach as a giveaway. 

So in theory, it sounds like a good idea, right? 


So the question is – should you use giveaways to grow your email list?


Truth be told this is not my favorite way to grow an email list by any means. Yes, it can grow it more quickly than some of those other methods… but the leads or emails that you do get through a giveaway tend to be less qualified and ultimately less likely to end up making a purchase from you. The shorter way to say that is usually it just attracts people who are just looking for free shit. 


But that doesn’t mean giveaways don’t have a place in your business and that you won’t get any qualified potential customers from them – the idea is to reframe your thoughts around them and what you expect to gain. 
Instead of thinking of them as a lead generation tool, think of them as a visibility tool instead. That doesn’t mean you won’t generate leads from them, you totally will – but let that be a positive byproduct of the visibility that you gain. 


Then comes in how you actually implement them and here are a few tips and tricks for you. 

#1. Make sure what you’re giving away is directly related to your business like a product from your store or a gift card. Don’t give away an iPad or Starbucks gift card. I mean… you COULD do that, but only to your existing customers. So for instance if you wanted to enter people into a giveaway for answering a survey for instance. Still not my favorite thing, but if you sell a really expensive product and it doesn’t make financial sense to give that away then fine. But still not the best option. 

#2. Partner with complementary brands to get even more reach. Parter up with 3 or 4 other brands and create a product bundle where you each put something of equal-ish value inside. Make sure you’re all selling to the same customer. But just with different products. 


So for example, maybe there is a group of you whose target customer is Moms with a newborn. So you have a lactation cookie brand, a breast pump accessories brand, a sleep consultant, and some other thing that moms with newborns need. You get the idea. 


Just make sure it’s clear that when people are signing up, they’re agreeing to receive marketing emails from all the brands that are a part of the giveaway. 


#3. Have a custom welcome series and sales funnel in place to try and convert them after the giveaway. Don’t just dump them into your regular email sends or even your regular welcome series. You want to create a custom series just for them. One that takes them down a specific buying path and nudges them along to convert. 


#4. Clean your list regularly. If you’re using giveaways to grow your list, you’re naturally going to get people who aren’t necessarily interested in being a loyal customer. That’s okay, it’s the nature of the game. But you want to pay close attention to who from that group is or is not continuing to engage with your emails and/or buy from you. If they show no interest beyond the giveaway, remove them from your list. 


#5. Do them sparingly. If you do giveaways too often your audience will get fatigued and the novelty will wear off. Let the size of the giveaway dictate how often you do them. On average, once a quarter is probably good. IF you do really big giveaways with lots of partners, etc. then maybe even just twice a year. 

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Hey, I’m Jessica!

eCommerce + email Marketing Strategist

I support scrappy female entrepreneurs with actionable steps & strategies to grow and scale the traffic, sales & profit in their eCommerce businesses. Learning from the top experts in the digital marketing & eCommerce industry she loves working with female entrepreneurs and teaching the secrets of 7-figure eCommerce businesses.

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