Are you struggling to sell more than your competition, running out of ways to ask for reviews, or sweating the next A9 algorithm update?
An email list is your secret weapon to do away with all these problems.
Building and nurturing an email list is one of the best things you can do for your Amazon business’ long-term success.
From driving sales, to connecting with your customers, to lessening your reliance on Amazon, email list building benefits you in many ways, and should be a priority.
Read on and we’ll explain more, as well as how you can start building your Amazon email list right now.
Benefits of an Email List for Amazon Sellers
Building an email list is not a small task. It takes a significant investment, in time and often money as well. So are the benefits worth it?
In a word, yes.
Your email list unlocks the world of email marketing, which is a proven and effective marketing channel used by millions of businesses.
Email marketing also gives you a competitive advantage over other Amazon FBA sellers, most of whom don’t have a list and can’t engage in any real email marketing strategies.
Here are the advantages you get with an email list.
Cheap and Effective Sales Channel
That’s not to say these channels are not worth using. But what if you had a collection of email addresses from past and potential buyers at your disposal, that costs virtually nothing to use?
That’s what Amazon sellers get with an email list. You can run promotions, new product launches and more, with zero ad spend.
Best of all, as long as you’ve built your list the right way (with incentives in line with your brand and niche), it’s about as laser-targeted as marketing channels get. No need to worry about advertising in front of people who have zero interest in what you have to sell.
Review & Feedback Outreach
An email list lets you reach out to your customers, to collect feedback on your products and customer experience.
This helps you get more reviews, as well as valuable insights from your buyers.
On one hand, understanding your audience is vital for any business. You need to know your customer’s pain points, their desires, and how you’re currently addressing these points.
Without an email list, you’re left to guesswork. However, with your customers email addresses, you can go straight to the people who know best.
On top of that, actual reviews, testimonials and product ratings are the lifeblood of an ecommerce store. Even more so on Amazon, where reviews and ratings affect your rank, and how much traffic you get.
Email lets you contact customers directly, outside of the Amazon ecosystem, with review requests that are personal and effective.
Audience Building for Paid Ads
The biggest thing in our experience that leads to high ad spend is poor targeting.
It takes a long time to build up a solid base for audience building on a platform like Facebook Ads. You need to send a lot of traffic, and have the Facebook Pixel eventually gather info on your customers, and the kind of people who are most likely to show an interest in your brand.
However, email lists let you get a head start on ad targeting. After all, this is a list of customers, buyers or people interested in your brand – the kind of people you should be advertising to.
Upload your emails to Facebook as a custom audience, and you can use Facebook’s powerful targeting engine to build lookalike audiences of people with similar attributes to your existing customers.
Custom audiences and lookalike audiences are a great way to get ahead with Facebook Ads. With our own tests we captured leads at between 10-20% the cost of cold audience targeting.
A Defensive Asset
The most dangerous thing about selling on Amazon is putting all your eggs in their basket. Nearly everything about your business is technically owned by Amazon – your traffic, your listings, your customers.
An email list is an asset you actually do own. That means if you’re kicked off Amazon, if your traffic dries up, or you simply want a way of selling without Amazon’s fees, it’s available to you.
Without an email list, Amazon has the power to turn your business on or off at will.
Why Less Than 5% of Amazon Sellers Have an Email List
At LandingCube, our internal surveys with Amazon sellers show less than 5% have an email list.
That’s because it’s notoriously difficult to access any customer information on Amazon.
The third-party marketplace is huge for Amazon, and they want to keep it that way. That means not allowing sellers anything that could allow them to sell directly to customers, and move sales away from the Amazon website.
Amazon doesn’t allow you to email your customers directly (only ever through Amazon’s encrypted buyer-seller messaging system).
Over the years they have also reduced drastically the amount of customer information available to sellers in downloadable reports. Removing customers’ phone numbers, then putting strict limits on API access for apps that connect with Seller Central, then in April 2021 removing names and addresses from Amazon seller reports completely.
The bottom line is this: Amazon wants you reliant on their platform to sell your products. And they want customers to shop from Amazon, not from individual retailers.
As a result, it’s many times more difficult to create an email list if you’re selling on Amazon than if you’re selling on your own website. But it’s not impossible – and doing so will give you a big competitive advantage on 95% of other sellers.
How to Build Your Email List
Building your Amazon email list isn’t rocket science. It takes three things:
- A traffic channel
- An incentive or offer
List building isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes a while, assuming you do it right.
You can build it the wrong way – such as buying email lists, scraping emails, or tricking people into subscribing. But email lists like these are rarely useful, and are often damaging to your business.
The time investment required is all the more reason you should start building your list ASAP, as soon as you realize it may be valuable sometime in the future.
Then you need a channel to find people to join your list. This could be Facebook, Google, another social media channel, or your existing customers on Amazon.
Think about where you could go to acquire a lead or new customer. This is the safest way to collect email addresses, as there is zero risk of running into trouble with Amazon’s Terms of Service.
Finally, an incentive; a reason for people to give you their email address, and allow you to contact them.
This is called a “lead magnet” in marketing. Commonly used lead magnets include free content like ebooks or videos, educational courses, free products, and of course, discounts.
You can also entice people to join your list with the promise of something in the future, such as first access to content or new products or future savings.
But a hard incentive available right away is the best way to build your list.
Using these requirements, here are three strategies to build an Amazon email list for your brand:
Facebook/Google Ad to Promo Offer
A simple funnel from Facebook Ads or Google Ads is an excellent way to build your email list.
You’ll want to run ads combined with a promotion, such as a discount for your product.
The promotion acts as an incentive for people to click on your ad, as well as to sign up to your list.
When the customer clicks on your ad, send them to a landing page, where they can claim the offer and subscribe to your email list.
Once they do that, you send them on to your Amazon product page.
Your funnel will look like this:
- Ad, offering a discount or promotion (e.g. 25% off, Buy One Get One)
- Landing page, showing off your product, with an email optin to redeem the offer
- Click through to the Amazon listing after the user opts in
You can get a lot of signups this way, as there’s little friction involved for customers to give over their email addresses.
Many will go on to buy your product as well, benefits your search rankings, cash flow and sales on Amazon too.
Product Insert Email Optin
You can also collect email signups on the other side of the customer journey.
A product insert with a lead magnet offer is a cheap and low-effort list building strategy.
All you need to do is create a product insert funnel, and it will run in the background of your business, with little to no upkeep required (depending on what you’re offering as a lead magnet).
Here’s how it works:
- Print an insert (a small card or flyer) to go inside your product’s packaging
- Advertise an offer or giveaway on the insert
- Put a QR code or shortened link on the product insert that takes the customer to a landing page
- Customers can claim the offer in exchange for their email address
- Set up an automation to deliver the offer to the customer once they opt in
The offer or lead magnet can be many things, such as:
- A discount code for the customer’s next purchase (great for encouraging repeat sales)
- A free product (good option for consumables, such as supplements)
- Free informational ebook/video download
- An extended warranty for the product
- A spot on a “VIP launch list”
Basically, anything you think will encourage the customer to join your list.
Almost all of this can be automated using LandingCube. It can help you set up the QR code or short link, and the email optin landing page.
If you go for a discount code as your lead magnet, LandingCube will automate sending that out to each optin.
If you’re using something else as your optin incentive, you’ll need to manage sending this out to people who subscribe. This too can often be automated, using an email marketing tool, or a small investment of time from a VA.
Overall, the number of optins you get for the amount of time and effort invested makes product insert funnels an amazing way to build email lists.
One more way you can build your list is with a contest.
You’ll require email signups for people to join a contest to win a prize.
The prize can be anything, from a free product of yours, to something big like an iPhone.
What you choose for the prize depends on your budget and how quickly you want to build your list. Obviously a bigger incentive will attract more signups.
The best kind of incentive should be in some way related to what you sell, or else you may get a lot of signups that don’t have any interest in your brand.
That’s why a simple free product is often best. You may not get as many signups as a more flashy prize, but the signups you get will be higher quality.
Set your contest to go for a short period of time, then pick a winner. You may also want to email a smaller incentive to those who didn’t win – such as a small discount code to buy the product.
This is a fun option that works well at incentivizing signups, as signing up to an email list is a small price for the chance to win something.
It can also be a good way to drive extra sales, if you send a smaller offer to those who didn’t win, as a lot of these people will be thankful for the consolation prize and go on to buy.
Additional Tips for Building Your Amazon Email List
Here are a couple more things you should keep in mind when building your email list, to ensure you get the most out of your list.
It’s great to have an email list for your Amazon business, but just having a list doesn’t give you any value. You want to make sure your list is engaged, and full of people who fit your target customer persona.
First, be transparent with people you collect emails.
We live in a day where there is intense scrutiny over personal data. Consumers are more than happy to publicly shame businesses who misuse personal information, including email addresses.
So it’s in your best interest to let people know more or less how you’re going to use their email. There may be opportunities to deceive people into joining your list, and saying that you’ll never contact them. But if you’re not truthful and transparent, this can easily backfire.
If you plan to send marketing material via email, say so. You may get a small decline in signups, but the signups you get will be higher quality, and more likely to respond when it’s time to contact them.
Nurture & utilize your list
One of the biggest sins a company can make in marketing is building an email list, but letting it sit dormant for an extended time.
When it comes time to email your subscribers, most have forgotten everything about your company and why they signed up. Your reply rate will be way down, and unsubscribe rate super high.
Another sin is sending only promotional emails. If you’re only ever sending emails asking your subscribers to buy something, they’ll quickly grow tired.
You can expect many to unsubscribe, and more still to ignore your emails whenever they come in.
The best email marketers primarily send informational and helpful content. That encourages your subscribers to look for your emails and open them whenever they come in. Then they’ll be more likely to take action and buy something when you do run a promotion.
Email List Building for Amazon Sellers – In Summary
An email list is a powerful tool for an Amazon seller to have – all the more so because very few other sellers have one.
Your list gives you a low-cost, targeted sales channel, and a way to gain valuable insights on your audience.
It also lessens your reliance on Amazon. Whether you plan to move away from Amazon or not, it’s important that your business doesn’t live or die with an algorithm change or a new competitor.
It’s vital for your business’ long-term success that you start to create a list now. You might use a Facebook Ads funnel, the post-purchase product insert method, a giveaway/contest, or any mixture of the three.
What’s important is that you start building brand assets for your business, which are going to pay off many times over in the coming years and beyond.