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How To Build A Highly Targeted Email List For eCommerce

By September 28, 2018October 1st, 2018eCommerce Case Studies, eCommerce Trends, Email Marketing

This article is about best practices for building the ultimate email list for eCommerce.  The average conversion rate online hovers between 2% to 4% depending on various factors like the product category, the referring channel, the platform that the user is using, and so on. What matters the most however is how targeted your user base is. Campaigns that reach an audience that is not highly targeted towards your marketing message is essentially a waste of your advertising budget.

build ecommerce email list

Your marketing medium plays an important role in building a targeted mail list. A PPC campaign for example, can target an audience based on the keywords they use to search on Google. Here, although a targeted user may not belong to your user demographic, they have demonstrated high intent to purchase and may thus have a high conversion rate.

A Facebook ad on the other hand, helps you reach out to an audience that is highly targeted based on their demographic factors. However, they may not necessarily have high purchasing intent at the point of touch.

From a marketing perspective, both these user types are highly critical. However, it is important to keep these lists segregated and create unique promotional strategies for each of these user types. Let us take a look at a few such user types and marketing messages that appeal to these specific users.

Lists based on shopping behavior and user actions

This is by far the most effective category of mail lists. People in such lists have already expressed their interest in your products or an intent to purchase. By clearing up the roadblocks that these clients face in the buying process, you improve their experience and thus increase conversion rates.

Consider a list of users who have abandoned their cart after investing a significant amount of time in product research. Some of the most common reasons why users abandon their carts include surprise fees (for shipping, tax, etc.), delivery time or simply because they found a cheaper product elsewhere. Reaching out to such users with a promotional offer to waive off their shipping fee or to offer a discount can smoothen the roadblock and trigger higher conversion.

You should create different segments based on shopping behavior and purchase history and target these segments with a different offering. For example, target repeated shoppers with different promotions then one timers or new customers. This will increase your open rate, click rate and of course bottom line conversion rate. A store that sells printers online may follow up past buyers with promotional offers for printer ink or paper. These are legitimately effective ways to target a past buyer with products that they are most likely to buy.

There are a number of such scenarios where you could build a list of users merely based on their past actions. This includes targeting users who have purchased or have not purchased specific products, those who have purchased products from certain categories or have purchased beyond a certain dollar amount, the country they belong to, etc.

With Remarkety, it is possible to automate a lot of such scenarios so that your store can build a dynamic list of users who qualify for a certain campaign and reach out to them on a continuous basis.

Content marketing

While user actions provide eCommerce stores with the most targeted email lists, these strategies only cover users who are already on to your website. To grow your business, it is important to target prospective buyers outside your website.

Content marketing is effective for this purpose. This is because this technique can be repurposed to meet a variety of different marketing objectives like SEO (getting your article ranked on Google for specific keywords), virality (drawing in customers from social media platforms) or lead generation (building a very targeted email list).

The strategy here is quite straightforward – publish content that your target user base is most interested in, and lure these visitors into subscribing to your mailing list using a lead magnet. Shopify is a good example of a business that executes this strategy well. The company has a number of different mailing lists each targeted at a specific niche of audiences.

Their content on the topic of “how to build, launch and grow a profitable online store” is targeted at aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start their own eCommerce business. This topic includes a lead magnet that offers free access to resources that would interest such a user.

At the same time, take a look at this page on their subsidiary site Oberlo. This is a website that targets a smaller niche of eCommerce store owners who drop ship their products to customers. The lead magnet is highly focused on the topic of dropshipping.


In short, your content marketing needs to be tightly aligned with your product offering as well as lead generation strategy. This way, you not only bring in the right kind of audience to your site, but also succeed in capturing their email address for future marketing.


A number of eCommerce businesses operate with very slow margins. This makes advertising an expensive proposition. At the same time, the sheer dominance of websites like Amazon on organic search gives online stores no option but to advertise.

The middle path that such eCommerce stores choose is to move away from campaigns advertising the product to those targeted at capturing email addresses. Facebook offers advertisers the ability to launch highly targeted ad campaigns. However given the extremely low purchasing intent of social network users, businesses may look at advertising lead magnets (similar to those discussed in the content marketing section) to capture email addresses.

In addition to this, advertisers may also look at other innovations like chatbots to fuel their mailing lists. You can now, theoretically, build a chatbot that can ask Facebook users questions like the products they like or the price-range they are comfortable with and automatically add them to a list based on the answers they provide.



This is highly effective because Facebook advertising makes it possible to reach a highly niche demographic. With chatbots, you may further establish their purchasing intent based on the responses provided. This form of advertising makes it possible to dramatically improve the effectiveness of social media in building a list with high purchasing intent.

Email marketing is by far the most effective forms of eCommerce advertising. However, the success of this depends on how targeted your list is, and how effective your communication is. Following the strategies above will help your store build multiple lists of highly targeted consumers who may then be engaged with relevant content to improve your store conversion rate.


As the leading email partner for online retailers, Remarkety lets you create a more personalized shopping experience for buyers and promotes brand awareness to grow your database. Contact us for a 1-1 product demo and to learn how Remarkety can support your ecommerce store and and help you increase customer life time value.

Author Bio: Anand Srinivasan is the founder of Hubbion, a suite of free business apps and resources. Reach out to him @