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Season 1 - Episode 2

from markets to millions, online store success with jodie minto

Season 1 - Episode 2

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Online Store Success with Jodie Minto Podcast

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In today's episode I share with you my go-to strategies for building your list and then using email marketing to increase your sales on your eCommerce store. 

I started my own online fashion store from scratch as a side hustle when I was working full time in the corporate world, juggling young children and living in the Middle East. Today. That side hustle is a seven figure a year online fashion brand with stockists and customers all over the world.

But there was actually two businesses before iland co. and I share those stories (and failures!) in this episode.

Tune into this episode to learn how to start building your list today.


Show Notes:


Curious to check out my fashion brand?  Take a look here: iland co. 

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Show transcript

Hello, and welcome to episode two of Online Store Success with me, Jodie Minto. Today, I'm here to talk to you about all things list building and email marketing for your eCommerce store. List building is such an important part of our business because getting people's emails in this day and age is not as easy as it once was. Why is that? I know, whenever I give my email address out, even if it's a free raffle, or is for a lead magnet I've seen online somewhere, a free guide, a free PDF, whatever it might be, I know that once I hand over my email address, I'm going to receive emails. I'm going to receive marketing emails. So we want to make sure that the people that are subscribing to our store, our newsletter list, and willingly handing over those email addresses, that we look after them because obviously, they've stumbled across you somehow rather, your brand or your products or your website. And they hopefully liked what they see in order for them to willingly give you their email address. 

So list building in particular is so important because first of all, your list is an asset, a tangible asset of your business. If your business plan for your eCommerce store is to build it up to sell it one day, which to me sounds really appealing, one day I might look at selling iland co. when I'm ready to retire or run out of creative ideas. But when you go to do that, a buyer is going to ask you, how big is your database? Can I have a look at your database, how many people have subscribed because we know as marketers and as business owners, those people are leads, they're warm leads, they are people that know who you are are most likely, and have opted in for your marketing, and hopefully they are customers or their at least prospective customers. So those emails are really, really important. And it's like I said, it's a tangible part of your business that when you say you want to go and sell it in five years, the size of your list will definitely determine how much you can ask for your business. 

So list building is really important. Now, as I mentioned, we all know this day and age that if we hand over our email address, we're going to get emails, we're going to get marketing emails, hopefully we're not going to get spammed. But when we do that, we need to take care of those people. But we also might need to incentivise them to put their email in that little box in the first place. And my list building go to tactics, or apps, if you like is a spin the wheel type gamification app that pops up on your website, now don't have it pop up straightaway, that's nothing more annoying. Set the timer so it pops up after someone's been scrolling on your page or on a collection page for a certain amount of time. And what it is it's a spin the wheel. So you will programme this wheel to have different incentives, whether it's a discount, whether it's free shipping, and you can go in and set the likelihood and the ratios of you know how many people will win. So it might be that 50% of people are winners. 100% of people will be winners, maybe less but obviously we want to be able to reward those people that do go ahead and put their email address into spin the wheel but without cutting too much into our profit margins.

So still to this day is one of the most successful list builders I've had on my website iland co. And it's fun, so it pops up, you pop your email address in and then you spin the wheel and you win a discount or, or it says better luck next time and the conversion rate of that particular opt in lead magnet or list builder tool is really, really high and it's been a lot higher than just flat, you know, get 10% off or get free shipping. That's one that I like to use. 

At the moment, I'm trialling something slightly different where I am giving away two gift vouchers per month. So people that currently subscribe to our newsletter for iland co. will go in the drawer to win one of two $250 gift vouchers to use in our store. Now the reason I'm trying this, is to try and reduce the number of discounts that are floating around. And then I'm giving out straight off the bat because obviously every discount we do give eats into our profit margin. And if you look at those discounts over the course of a month, if you're using Shopify, you can see exactly how many discounts dollar wise you've given, it does kind of hurt. So at the moment, I'm doing this because first of all a $250 gift voucher, I'm giving two away. So $500, $500 in gift vouchers, that's retail. So if someone comes in and buys $500 worth of product from me, it doesn't cost me $500. It's not $500 out of my pocket, it's the cost of the product. So that might be $200. Or it might be less, or it might be more, depends on your profit margin, as to the true cost of that. Now, if I'm giving away, let's say $500 worth of gift vouchers a month, which might really only be $200 cost to me or to the business, that's a lot less than giving every single person that opts in over the course of a month a 10% voucher or a $10, free shipping coupon that can add up a whole lot more than that $200 that it costs me. So I'm testing this at the moment. So far the results are that it's not been as popular as spin the wheel. However, it gives us a chance also to talk to our customers through social media and make an exciting announcement at the end of the month to let people know who our winners are. So that's what I'm trying at the moment is going in the draw to win.

 Now, if you don't want to give any sort of monetary gift voucher or discount, perhaps you can create a great guide. So if you're in the fashion business like I am, perhaps you can create a three to five page PDF guide in a tool like Canva that gives your customers and relates to your customers a perhaps a styling guide, you know, five easy ways to build an outfit five ways to wear leopard or five ways to do this or five, whatever it might be, but something that's relevant to your customers that they're going to want. And something that won't take you too long to put together. But you can make it look nice and worthwhile. And set that up in your email system, whether it's Klaviyo, or Active Campaign or MailChimp, where once they've opted in for that you then deliver that guide via email. So that's another way you can do it. And there are many, many different types of guides, how to’s, top recommendations that you can think of if you want to try that. But just keep in mind for eCommerce, the conversion rate of those people signing up for that opt in, will be higher if you're giving them some sort of value. But I don't recommend giving absolutely everyone 10% off straight off the bat or if you do, just do it for a limited time as a promotion and talk about it on your socials. But keep in mind the cost to your business and your profit margins what that 10% is over the course of a month or six months.

I've seen one recently where everyone gets $20 off the order straightaway, if they enter in their email address, and I went to look at this website, and a lot of these products are under $100 there or you know, $50 to $80. And that would be a huge chunk of the profit margin gone instantly from that $20 discount. So just be mindful. And if you're going to give something so much you know so valuable to your list, make sure it's just for a limited time because trust me, when you have your account, accountant or bookkeeper or your business coach go through your profit and loss, they're going to highlight the fact that you've been giving away money for nothing for a very long time. 

So there are a couple of my go twos, as far as enticing people to get on the list in the first place. Now, email marketing. So what to do once you have those emails, and once you've got the emails, that's part one, part two is then warming up those customers sending them valuable content, offering your best sellers, sharing reviews, inviting them to come back to your store. That's the whole purpose of email marketing. Because if you have been in the online world for a little while now you probably know from your statistics that many of your website customers don't usually purchase on the first visit. It's often on the second, the third, the fourth. I had one the other day that I could see inside of Shopify, it was the 18th visit in 21 days before this customer finally made that purchase. So and depending on the cost of your product, it could be even longer. So we need strategies and ways in order to remind people that, you know, to come back for another look to come back and consider the items that they might have been looking at, and also to warm them up, share information about us, your business, your team, you know, your ethos, your values, get to know them in a more intimate way via email marketing. 

So setting up automated flows is super important. So once someone say, spins the wheel and pops in their email, they should then drop into an automated flow of a welcome flow. So they should then not long after doing that, they should get a welcome email from you saying, thanks so much for signing up, here's a little bit more about us. And then maybe a week later that you get enough that you send them another email that's been set up inside of this automated flow, you know, here's some recent reviews, or here's some of our best sellers, or here's our top five, XYZ, whatever it might be. And then the following week, you might perhaps offer them a little discount then. And by then you've built up a bit more like and trust with them. And you might get them across the line to make that first purchase. 

Other automated flows, you need things like abandoned carts, if someone's dropped onto your website, and they've put in all of their details and their email address. And for some reason dropped off, you should have a series of emails programmed that fire automatically to this customer and say he's saying things like, hey, we noticed you didn't quite finish your purchase, we really want to send these items to you click the link to get started. For iland co. we have a series of three emails in our abandoned cart, the first email is exactly that. It's okay, it looks like you know, you didn't quite get to finish the purchase. But then the second email, we actually offer a little discount, and I can't remember what it currently is, I think it's free shipping, we do change this as well. Sometimes it's, you know, maybe it's like $10, or sometimes it's free shipping, or sometimes it might be a free gift with purchase. But on the second email, that sends a day or so later, we offer a little incentive. And then the third email is a reminder saying don't forget, that incentive is about to expire. 

Other automated flows, you need to think about thank you for your first purchase when someone makes a purchase for the first time, or thank you for your second or third purchase in order to recognise and make your customers' day. Another automated flow that's important is a win back flow. It is for people that are on your list that haven't taken any action for a long time. And it might be titled something along the lines of we miss you come back, he's a little incentive to come back and have another look at our website. Because if you still get no engagement from those people, I would recommend deleting them from the list. Because most of these email providers, you pay your subscription based on how many people are on your list. And if someone's on your list and then not opening, they're not engaged for whether it's three months, six months, 12 months, they're just costing you money, and they're not responding or engaging with you as well. So there might as well be gone. So those win back flows are important way of seeing, you know, are they then engaging? Are you actually winning them back or not, move them to a list clean up, segment and once a month, go through and delete them. 

Now aside from those automated flows that you use as part of your email marketing campaign, you also need to send out regular EDMS or newsletters, and depending on your list size will depend on how many emails you send each week or month. So when you're very first starting, you might only have 10, or 20 people on your list. And I'll probably be your friends and family. And it's probably not worth investing the time. And if you're like me, and you pay a graphic designer to help you create these nice looking emails, it's not worth doing three emails a week to only 10 or 20 people, you might send one email a week or one every fortnight. But as your list size grows, you can then if you've got a smart system like Klaviyo, you can segment people based on how often they're engaging have they recently been to your website. And then you can send email newsletters specific to those different segments. Right now for iland co. we are sending three emails a week, but they are segmented. 

So one email a week goes to our US customers or US list because they're in obviously your opposite season to us. So we specifically mentioned their season. So it's relevant to them. And we mentioned our US website and have links and all the dollars are mentioned in US dollars. So we send one email specifically to the US a week. And then to the rest of the world and Australia, New Zealand particularly we send one email to those engaged people. So we have a segment set up in Klaviyo that notifies you know us and says these people are engaged, they're actually opening your emails and clicking the links in the past I think we might have been 90 days. So they will get a specific email as well. And then we do one email to everyone and that's usually some sort of special offer. What we're doing at the moment with that email to everyone on the list. So flash sale Friday sort of type email where we pick one product that we might have excess stock, or it's not sort of been selling particularly well. And we will sort of slash the price of that for a few days. And we'll send an email about that. 

So that particular email we send to everyone. So that's what we're doing. Our list is around 10,000, it's sort of always sits around 10,000, we have had lots of unsubscribes. Over the years, I can tell, Klaviyo tells me I think I've had about 25,000 unsubscribes. But that is probably first of all, one because we do go in and clean out people that aren't engaging regularly, too. We do send quite a lot of emails, so we are aware that people will unsubscribe. But we know with every single email we send, we drive lots of traffic to our website. And we make sales. 

One of our recent EDMs we sent out for a promotion a few weeks ago, did $10,000 in sales from that one email. So email marketing is so so important. It should be something that you prioritise in your business, and it should be an ongoing thing. It's not something you just do once and forget about it. You want to be always having a list building strategy happening, and you should always be doing some email marketing as well as having those automated flows set up. I teach this exactly in my online store success programme, my coaching programme where I provide a swipe files and tell people exactly what to say in these emails. I give examples of what's worked well for us, and what hasn't, as well as maps for these automated flows and things like that. 
So if that's something that you would like more help with, feel free to go and check out my website, Click onto courses and you can see when our next live intake is happening. I hope you found this information helpful. I wish you all the best of success in your eCommerce store and I'll see you in the next episode. 

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of online store success with Jodie Minto. If you loved it, please share it with your friends on Instagram and tag me @iamjodieminto so I can say thank you. And if you really want to make my day please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. If you'd like my help in starting or scaling your online store, be sure to check out my free resources and programmes at Thanks again and best of luck with your store.

Tune in each week to learn how to build and scale your own online fashion or lifestyle eCommerce store.

My mission is to help other emerging fashion entrepreneurs crack the code of eCommerce success for a life of uncapped income, flexibility and fun.

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