A Strategy for Growing Your E-Commerce Startup Email List

As a new e-commerce store owner I knew that I needed to grow my email list with prospective customers that I could market to … especially with the holiday season fast approaching.

I could type out a lot of reasons why email marketing is important for online stores, but I’ll let this chart speak for itself:

email customer aquisition


(Source: Custora study)

As a bootstrapped startup I don’t exactly have thousands laying around to assist in my list building efforts so I had to get creative.

I started with an email list size of 0 (well 1 if you count when I added myself to my list to make sure it was working). I now have an email list size of a few hundred and have even made money off of my list building efforts (yay!).

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The Story of My First E-Commerce Sale

WOW! It’s been a long time since my last post. Let me catch you up very quickly:

1. I launched my candle store (the site is my minimal viable product at this time).

2. I started my marketing campaigns and they are doing their job! Blogger relations is where I am slacking the most. Not because I don’t have interest, but because I don’t have time to manage the relationships. I just brought on a new team member/consultant to help me with this. Remember what I said before, time is money so pay to speed things up! I knew I didn’t have enough time to dedicate to blogger relations on my own, so it made sense to find someone to help.

3. I have started making sales through my e-commerce store which is setup using Shopify. (I do plan to move off of Shopify at some point but right now it made the most sense for me pre-launch and it still makes the most sense for me right now.)

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Why You Should Craft a Persona for Your Startup

No doubt you are building your startup for a certain type of person.

Whether it’s a software company or an e-commerce business, there are specific and general attributes that the average person who uses your product will possess.

persona based marketing
Every startup should craft a persona document.

You should write those attributes down and create a persona document. A persona is a character that you create that embodies your average/ideal customer.

Writing down the basics about his or her life will help guide not only your product features but every aspect of your marketing.

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My E-Commerce Startup Marketing Plan

Working at a marketing agency I have the pleasure of managing a lot of already established brands. However, my favorite thing to work on is helping a new brand build itself from the ground up. It’s rare to get that kind of project in the agency I work for (or probably any agency) which is why I’m really excited about starting my candle business this summer (website coming soon).

This is a stock photo. These are not my candles. Mine are prettier.

It’s going to be a tough challenge because there are thousands of competitors (and a few major players), but that is precisely why I chose the candle business. I have a lot of theories about how social + content marketing can build a large and loyal fan base for a brand (some of which are not yet tried and true) and I plan to test those theories out against stiff competition.

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