Popping The Question In Retail

“Can I get your email?” is a question most of us have heard before- multiple times. Collecting consumer emails is highly valuable to retailers for the purpose of connecting with and maintaining a relationship with their customer, while allowing them to create exciting content to influence future buying decisions. By now, most consumers have had a bad experience with their inbox being spammed and are becoming more cautious about where they share their email, and knowing how it will be used. The simple “Can I get your email?” might not be enough in 2014.


I have conducted my own study through my social networks to receive feedback on the topic. Here are the results:

18% refuse to share their email.

These people aren’t worried about missing the next sale. They refuse to receive junk mail and aren’t afraid to say “No.”

15% avoid the question by lying or giving a fake email.

These individuals do not want to receive emails, but have a hard time saying no. They lie by making up an email address, or changing it slightly to ensure it will not be delivered.

39% make the decision based on how they perceive the brand and their use for the brands products.

These consumers are open to receiving mail from their only favourite brands. Note that some of this group has a secondary email they provide so they can check for sales on their own time.

22% expect a return for sharing their email.

What’s in it for me? These consumers attach their email to a value, and expect either an instant discount, or some sort of incentive for their next visit if they are going to share their email.

6% have no problem with sharing their email.

Retailers love this group!

Where can retailers make improvements to ensure they capitalize on the 67% of consumers that are willing to share their email information?

Communicate benefits

Sales associates can share the benefits of receiving emails from the brand and give further detail on the types of exciting offers and information that will be shared.

Offer an incentive

An instant discount or bounce back offer will impact the consumers’ decision to share their email. This is also a great way to drive traffic back to the store within a set time period, increase bill total, and increase units sold.

Advanced targeting

Many retailers are targeting emails based on demographics, purchase history, and more. Customers may be interested in knowing that the content they receive will be relevant to them.

Reminder of “unsubscribe”

The unsubscribe button brought a whole new level of confidence in the consumer to say “yes.” The sales associate can remind the shopper that if they are unhappy with the content they are receiving, there is an option to opt-out at anytime.

Incorporate email acquisition into the shopping experience

Sales associates are sometimes challenged by time and long line-ups at the point of sale, which makes it difficult to put that extra time and effort into acquiring an email. Retailers can take the time to interact with the customer and share an incentive in exchange for their email while they are still shopping. When they make it to the point of purchase, it is simple to ask with no further explanation needed.

Many people consider their email to be personal data, which makes it difficult for retailers to acquire. Retailers must understand the caution consumers are taking and their thought process when making a decision to share their information. Offering an experience or incentive in exchange for an email is a simple way to distract one’s thought process and sway the consumer to make a decision to connect with the retailers brand further.