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How online shops successfully generate newsletter subscribers
16.01.20, Haydar Yüce

Acquiring new customers, strengthening customer loyalty and sustainably increasing sales: sending out newsletters brings online shops numerous advantages. However, newsletters are also extremely popular by customers, as a survey by “united internet” confirms: In the D-A-CH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), approx. 70% of those surveyed have registered for newsletters¹. 

The challenge is to convert unknown visitors into known newsletter subscribers and ideally into paying customers. Newsletters are often suitable for convincing undecided visitors after all. How online shops can increase newsletter subscriptions sustainably, you will learn in this article.


Newsletter: Indispensable marketing channel

With the help of newsletters, online shops increase customer loyalty sustainably and convert unknown shop visitors into well-known newsletter subscribers. These become paying customers through interesting content and deals: About one third of the newsletter subscribers in the D-A-CH region bought a product immediately after clicking on the deal in a newsletter².

This does not include those customers who are in another part of the customer journey and who are inspired by the newsletter, for example, so that the actual purchase is completed at a later date. In such cases the newsletter acts as an important touchpoint in the customer journey, too.

Many online shops have recognised the importance of this marketing channel and have set up a newsletter. For good reason 95% of the 1000 top-selling online shops in Germany are offering a newsletter³.

Whether an online shop already offers a newsletter or is planning to do so: The generation of newsletter subscribers is not a one-time thing, but always a relevant aspect of customer acquisition and customer loyalty. However, many online shops do not make optimal use of the existing traffic on the website to attract newsletter subscribers. There are ways to increase newsletter subscriptions without much effort.


Which channels are suitable for winning newsletter subscribers?

How online shops successfully generate newsletter subscribers


The first question is which of the many channels online shops should use to generate subscribers. Of course, it is not limited to a single channel, but rather a good combination is more effective. Merchants can use the following channels, among others, to increase their newsletter subscriptions: E-Mail-Signature, Website, Social Media and Popups/Slide-Ins.


  • E-mail signature

Obvious and yet rarely used for this purpose: The e-mail signature. For legal reasons, this option can of course only be used if there is already an existing contact. Transactional e-mails, which the visitor receives automatically after certain actions (order, payment, etc.), are well suited for this purpose.


  • Website

Whether in the navigation, the footer or elsewhere: there are indeed interested shop visitors who are looking for a specific option on the website for newsletter registration. These visitors are extremely qualitative leads. Merchants do not have to convince them of a newsletter subscription first, but simply provide them with uncomplicated access to the registration. Since this access is assumed to be primarily on the website as the most important contact point to the customers, online shops should make the newsletter registration clearly visible on the website.


  • Social media

Social media plays a major role in the marketing of most online shops. So why not use this channel to generate newsletter subscribers? There is space for this in the profile description, in a post or in advertisements.


  • Popups / Slide-Ins

The appropriate message can be conveyed prominently with popups or slide-ins. For this purpose, a functioning and GDPR-compliant opt-in is required first. The benefit of this channel: It is possible to display the opt-in only to certain visitors and to tailor the content individually to the shop visitor in order to increase the chances of success.


Which incentives are useful for increasing newsletter subscribers?

How online shops successfully generate newsletter subscribers Incentives


Once it has been decided which channels to use, the next question is how to convince potential newsletter subscribers. By far not every visitor explicitly looks for a possibility to subscribe to the newsletter of an online shop. In order to convince shop visitors, 42% of the online shops offer incentives for newsletter subscription⁴. Each incentive addresses a different need of the shop visitors, which is why a personalized form of generation is clearly more target-oriented. There are three main incentives for generating newsletter subscribers: Voucher, Exclusivity and Fear of missing out (FOMO).


  • Vouchers

The classic method by which online shops successfully generate newsletter subscribers is rewarding them with voucher codes. In this way, particularly price-sensitive visitors can be won as subscribers. However, for visitors who would have subscribed to the newsletter even without a voucher, this incentive means a certain amount of revenue that is not generated.


  • Exclusivity

To create suitable incentives, online shops can combine newsletter subscriptions with so-called “memberships”. The members then enjoy, for example, the advantage of exclusive or premature access to certain products.


  • Fear of missing out (FOMO)

FOMO describes the fear of missing something. This effect could be observed for the first time in the social media, but can also be transferred to the marketing sector. When generating newsletter subscribers, a merchant could, for example, create the effect by pointing out that subscribers are always up to date with the latest discount campaigns.


Responsive design

78% of online shoppers in Germany state that they use mobile devices to shop online⁵. If merchants use solutions that also work on mobile devices, they reach a much larger number of potential newsletter subscribers. The responsive design applies to pop-ups / slide-ins as well as contact forms embedded in the website.


Increase newsletter subscriptions with uptain

uptain offers an intelligent solution for generating newsletter subscribers: The Newsletter-Optins. The uptain® ALGORITHM in the background recognizes when a visitor is undecided and presents him a slide-in. With the help of intelligent data processing it determines the needs of each individual visitor and thus ensures the greatest possible success with the appropriate incentives. 


  • Personalized content: Depending on the website visitor and situation, a distinction is made for example between individual vouchers and FOMO.
  • Mobile Responsive: The slide-ins are compatible on all devices and thus reach a far greater number of potential newsletter subscribers.
  • GDPR & Privacy: Double-Opt-Ins (DOI) are used to increase newsletter subscriptions in accordance with GDPR guidelines.

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