6 Ideas to Get People to Sign Up for Your Handmade Shop’s Email list

Jul 3, 2018 | Marketing Tactics

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Want to grow your handmade shop email list but not sure how to convince people to sign up for it? Truth be told, everyone says you should build an email list but you’ve had a form on your shop for a while now an no one is signing up for your newsletter… so how does that work? Today I am going to share with you 6 ideas that actually works so you can get turn more of your visitors into email subscribers.

You can watch the video, or read the post below.


Before we take a look at those 6 opt-in ideas I want to make sure of one thing: Promise me that you are not simply saying “sign up for my newsletter” – that’s just not going to work. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but no one really cares about your newsletter.

When was the last time YOU signed up for “a newsletter?” It’s possible that you love the content of a shop or a blog so much that you wanted to give your email address just for a newsletter, but most likely you were given something valuable in exchange, like a coupon code or discount or some sort of a valuable pdf. That’s what we want to do today: come up with ideas of things you can give in exchange for an email address that sounds and is more valuable than just your newsletter.


This is the usual “welcome discount” strategy. I’m guessing you’re familiar with this strategy because a lot of e-commerce shops are using it everywhere over the Internet. The idea is that you offer visitors of your shop the opportunity to get a discount code in exchange for their email address. It could be for 10% off, it could be $10 off or whatever amount you think is reasonable for you-you have to do your numbers. It’s a good strategy because it qualifies subscribers (people interested in buying). The downside is that people who are just getting to know your brand might not be ready for that yet. Generally, it is an industry standard because it works so it’s definitely worth testing out.

2 – Exclusive discounts and offers

This is not a discount your subscribers would receive immediately but the promise of upcoming exclusive discounts that you would be sending exclusively to your list. It could be exclusive products, bundles, whatever it is, it’s something that people would know about only if they’re on your email list. It’s like the idea of being a bit of a VIP, so if they want to be kept in the loop, then they have to give you their email address. This is a great way to get interested people into your email list, but one word of advice here, make sure you actually do it. Remember, we’re in the business of under promising and over delivering.


Some people will advise you against discounting your products because it can look cheap and ultimately have an impact on your brand. If you discount all the time it’s not so special anymore and people will never buy full price. There are pros and cons to discounts and I actually have a video JUST about that here.

3 – Monthly giveaway

This is where each month you give something for free to one lucky person on your email list. It might sound crazy.

“Deb, I run a business I can’t be giving stuff away for free all the time”.

Great point. I like the way you think.


It doesn’t have to be one of your most expensive products, it can and should be a low-price point product or something that you might not even sell usually like a sample pack, a miniature size, etc.)

In the end, giving 1 of those away each month might be cheaper than offering 15% off every first order… Food for thought.

4 – Free guide, video, or PDF download

By something helpful I mean:

  • guide;
  •  video;
  • PDF download.

This one is trickier but oh so magical when you get it right.
It’s trickier because it seems like it should be reserved for people selling services, and when you’re selling physical products it’s not always easy to think of something of value your shop’s visitors might want to download, read, or watch. It is totally doable and worth thinking about because it’s free (yay!).

If you want to this idea, ask yourself what your ideal customer is looking for when they find you and what they might need help with or be interested in knowing more about.

Let me give you 3 examples:

  • Natural beauty products: PDF download ‘5 ingredients commonly found in skincare products that are actually damaging your skin’ (obviously yours don’t have those ingredients in them).
  • Wedding stationery: wedding planning to-do list PDF download.
  • Knitting: PDF ’10 ways to wear and style a scarf in any season’.

5 – Free shipping

This one is easy to understand, this is the situation when people sign up and receive a coupon code that covers their shipping cost.

As for the free discount and the monthly giveaway, you need to make sure that you calculate what this will cost you to make sure that you’re not losing money.

A simple solution is to put some conditions in place: over a certain $ amount, only to “country” etc. to make sure no one gets free shipping on a $5 product that you then have to ship across the world.

6 – Free gift with order

Similar to free shipping or a discount code but instead of offering a monetary discount, you ADD value to their order by giving them a little extra something that you specify in advance: “Free X with your first purchase!”

This is interesting if you’re not willing to discount your products and it definitely is “over-delivering”. It doesn’t have to be expensive and in some cases can cost you less than free shipping or a discount code – but make sure to do the math so you don’t lose money though!

My last tip is to pick opt-in ideas that you like and test them. Different things might work for different people so it’s best to test for yourself. Back to you – how are you building your email list right now? What are you offering to your shop visitors to convince them to turn into email subscribers? I would love to know what’s working and what’s not working for you so make sure you leave a comment below.

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