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Episode 127 - Building your list through other channels

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Hey, Scott Austin here.

In this episode, I'm going to talk about how to add your customers from other channels like Amazon, Etsy and eBay to your email list.

For most Shopify stores, email is the most cost-effective marketing channel for consistently driving revenue.  An established brand should be getting 1/4th to 1/3rd of their Shopify store's revenue from email.  Those emails will be a mix of flows, which are triggered by customer actions like leaving a positive review and campaigns, which are sent out based on your marketing calendar's events for things like Valentine's Day or Thanksgiving.

One of the benefits of owning your own Shopify store is that you own the customer relationship and can email your customers.  But on many third-party channels like Amazon, Etsy and eBay, you don't own the customer relationship.  So you can't send marketing emails to the customers to re-engage them with your brand.

But wouldn't it be great if you could market directly to your customers from those other channels?  Of course it would.  So let's talk about how you can make that happen.  Specifically, we'll discuss ways to get your customers from other channels to sign up for your email list on your Shopify store.

The Power of Email

But first, let's talk about why we want to get these customers on our list.

  1. Direct Communication and Relationship Building: Email allows you to communicate directly with your customers, fostering a relationship that isn't mediated by third-party platforms. This direct line of communication enables you to build trust and loyalty, encouraging repeat purchases.

  2. Brand Control and Identity: Unlike marketplaces where your brand may be one among many and subject to their branding guidelines, emails allow you to control the narrative. You can showcase your brand's identity, values, and uniqueness through your email content.

  3. Cost-Effective Marketing: Email marketing remains one of the most cost-effective marketing channels. Once you have a customer's email, you can reach out to them without paying the additional fees that channels like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay have.

  4. Higher Margins: Selling directly to customers through your Shopify store typically offers higher profit margins than selling through third-party platforms, which take a cut of each sale. By driving traffic directly to your store, you're maximizing your profits.

  5. Reduced Dependence on Third-Party Platforms: Relying heavily on external platforms can be risky due to changes in their policies, fees, or algorithms that can negatively impact your visibility and sales. By building your own email list, you reduce this dependence, gaining more control over your sales and marketing efforts.

  6. Keep Your Brand Top of Mind: Through email marketing, you can encourage repeat purchases by keeping your brand top-of-mind, offering exclusive deals, and showcasing products that are relevant to each customer's interests and needs.

Calls to Action

Collecting email addresses from customers on other channels requires a strong incentive.  You need to grab their attention with an offer that's compelling enough for them to take action.  Here are same ways you can do that.  I've put the one's that I've seen be the most impactful first.

  1. Provide a Welcome Gift.  The welcome gift can come in many forms.  As it's free, it should generate some interest.  And because its free, you don't want its COGs to prohibitive for you.  Welcome gifts that my clients have used include:
    1. Stickers of the brand
    2. An item that can be used in cleaning or maintaining the product.  For example, leather shoes could have a leather sealant welcome gift.
    3. A product that complements the product they purchased.  For example, wine could have a branded wine opener welcome gift.
  2. Educational Content.  Provide educational content for customers on how they can can get the most out of their purchase.  This could include instructions on how to use the product, how to clean it, how to maintain it, etc.  This content could be delivered through videos or eBooks.
  3. Warranty Registration.  If you provide a guarantee for your products, have a warranty registration form that customers can fill out.

Now there are other possible calls to action.  But I find them to be too weak to compell customers.  For example, you may think that offering a discount on their next purchase if they purchase from your Shopify store could be compelling.  And it may be for your business so I encourage you to try it.  But I'd ask that you put yourself in your customer's position.  Are they going to be compelled by a discount for a product that they just purchased?

So, now you know what your call to action is going to be.  Next, you have to figure out how to deliver that message.  There are two main options - a pack-in or a sticker.  A pack-in is a card or sheet of paper that you have printed-up.  You'll then add it either inside the product packaging or the shipping box.  Which placement you use will depend on who packages the products and the shipments.  A sticker, when used, is usually placed on the product package.  This is typically used if you are reselling someone's else's products and are not packing the shipments.

Make it Easy for the Customer

Your call to action should be as easy as possible for the customer to take action on.  Here are some things you can do to make taking action easier for your customers.

  1. Keep the Message as Short as Possible.  Avoid extra details in the pack-in.  The text should be large, the value-prop should be clear and the call to action should be singular and obvious.
  2. Dedicated Landing Page.  Have a dedicated landing page for your call to action instead of sending them to a generic sign-up form or your store's homepage.  This landing page should continue the conversation you started with them in the product they purchased from the other channel.  So it should use the same language and images that was on the package messaging.
  3. QR Codes.  Covid has brought QR Codes back to life and everyone knows how to use them.  So QR codes are an easy way to get customers to your landing page.  Shopify provides a free QR code generator that I'll include a link to in the show notes.  Canva can also generate QR codes for you. 
  4. Friendly URLs.  A friendly url is a shorter, easier to read URL than the URL of your landing page.  That way, it's easier for customers to type it into their browser and get to your landing page.  For example, let's say my landing page's url is  My friendly URL could be  It's a bit shorter and easier to type.  In your Shopify store, you can create a redirect that takes the customer from your friendly URL to your landing page.

Creating a Redirect in Shopify

Here's how to create a redirect:

  1. Log in to Your Shopify Admin.

  2. Go to the left-hand side menu and click on “Online Store.” 

  3. After clicking “Online Store,” a new set of options will appear underneath. Look for “Navigation” and click on it.

  4. Inside the Navigation page, you’ll see a button labeled “View URL Redirects” in the upper right of the page. Click on it.

  5. In the upper right of the URL Redirects page, click on the button labeled “Create URL redirect".

  6. Enter the from and to fields as follows:

    • Redirect from: Here, you’ll input the friendly URL. Do not include your domain name; only include the path after the domain. So, for our example, you would just enter /join.
    • Redirect to: In this field, you’ll input the landing page URL. As the landing page should be hosted on your Shopify store, this should be a relative URL.  So in our example, you would enter /pages/amzn-landing-page.
  7. Click the “Save” button to activate your redirect.

  8. Test.  Go to the customer facing side of your website and check that the redirect is working.  For our example, you would type into your browsing and ensure that you end up on the desired landing page. 


Now it should go without saying, but I'm going to say it anyways, that you need to ensure that you are not violating any terms set by the third-party channel.  Each platform has its' own rules on what you are allowed to do in these types of marketing efforts. 

Now I don't have familiarity with the rules for Amazon, Etsy and eBay, so I asked AI what is allowed by channel and here are the guidelines:


Amazon has strict policies regarding communication with customers and the solicitation of personal information, including email addresses. The platform is particularly vigilant in preventing sellers from diverting sales or customer interactions away from Amazon. Here are the key points regarding Amazon's policies that relate to the tactics previously mentioned:

  1. Direct Solicitation for Off-Amazon Sales or Email Collection: Amazon prohibits any attempt to direct customers off Amazon to complete a sale or collect personal information, including email addresses. This means including calls to action in packaging inserts or follow-up communications that encourage customers to register their email on your Shopify site for discounts, exclusive access, or loyalty programs would violate Amazon's policies.

  2. Inserting Promotional Materials in Shipments: Including marketing materials that direct customers to your website or request email sign-ups in your shipment packages can be against Amazon's policies. Amazon expects that any insert or packaging is primarily for enhancing the product experience, not for redirecting customers or data collection.

  3. Feedback and Reviews: Amazon allows sellers to ask for feedback or product reviews but strictly within Amazon's ecosystem. Directing customers to your site for feedback in exchange for benefits could be seen as manipulating reviews and feedback, which is against Amazon's terms of service.


Etsy's policies regarding seller interaction with customers focus on maintaining a respectful and secure marketplace. While Etsy may be more lenient in some areas compared to Amazon, it still has guidelines that sellers must follow, especially regarding communication and soliciting personal information like email addresses. Here's how Etsy's policies relate to the tactics mentioned for collecting email addresses:

  1. Including Marketing Materials in Shipments: Etsy allows sellers to include marketing materials with their shipments. However, sellers should ensure that any requests for customers to sign up for emails or visit an external site (like a Shopify store) are presented in a way that respects the customer's privacy and choice. Direct solicitation for email collection should be done carefully to avoid appearing spammy or intrusive.

  2. Product Inserts and Packing Slips: Including inserts that thank customers for their purchase and subtly invite them to join an email list for updates and exclusive offers can be acceptable. However, the primary intent should be to enhance the customer experience rather than aggressively drive traffic away from Etsy.


eBay has specific policies regarding seller interactions with buyers, especially concerning communications and the solicitation of personal information, including email addresses. Like Amazon and Etsy, eBay aims to keep transactions within its platform to ensure security and compliance with its policies. Here’s how eBay’s policies relate to the tactics mentioned for collecting email addresses:

  1. Including Marketing Materials in Shipments: eBay allows sellers to include packing slips and thank you notes, but any material specifically designed to divert sales outside of eBay or solicit personal information directly could be against eBay's policies. Care must be taken to ensure that any marketing materials comply with eBay's guidelines and do not explicitly encourage customers to shop or sign up for newsletters outside of eBay.
  2. Product Inserts and Packing Slips:  While sellers might include inserts or packing slips that enhance the customer experience, directly soliciting customers to leave eBay and engage in transactions or communications elsewhere (including asking for email sign-ups) can be problematic. Any such efforts must be very carefully considered to avoid policy violations.

    Allright, that's it for this episode.  Here's your homework.  If you are selling on other channels and do not yet have a solution for further engaging those customer, put a solution together now and test it out.  When my clients implement their solutions, they see results pretty quickly.

    Thanks for listening.

    JadePuma is a certified Shopify Expert. If you need any help with your Shopify store, we can help.