ShopSite Tip: Adding Customers To Email Lists

Sending email campaigns to existing customers is an excellent way to increase recurring business – whether you’re sending out news that you have a new product, you’re running a special, or you’re sending a discount coupon – emails to your customer base allow you to keep in touch and remind them of your business.

Obtaining that list of email addresses can be cumbersome or simple – and with ShopSite it’s quite simple.  In this article we’ll review what settings you’ll turn on to provide your customers with an opt-in checkbox and how to export the details of those customers so you can use them in your mailing list program.

The Checkbox

ShopSite has a feature to easily add a checkbox to your checkout screen allowing your customers to opt-in to a mailing list. When turned on it will appear as a checkbox labeled “Add me to your E-mailing list” and you can control whether the box is on or off by default.

You have control over the settings for the checkbox on the Commerce Setup > Order System > Checkout page of ShopSite’s backoffice:

  • “Create an add to e-mail list box” – Turning this box on will cause the option to appear on your checkout page.
  • “Add to e-mail list box checked by default” – With this box on the checkbox will automatically be checked for the customer, but they can uncheck it if they choose to.
  • “Text displayed for add to e-mail list” – The text that appears next to the checkbox.

TIP: If the checkbox doesn’t appear when you have it turned on, you may be running a custom template that doesn’t support this feature.  Check the “[– DEFINE Shipping –]” section of your shopping cart template for this code, and you can add it to the form where you want the box to appear if the code is missing:

    [-- IF Email_List --]
       [-- Email_List --]
    [-- END_IF --]

The Data

Once your customers are submitting orders with the checkbox turned on, you’ll need a way to access their email addresses.  This can be done by downloading your orders on the Orders > Download Orders screen.  Using the “Selected fields only” option makes this process easier, and you can download just the First Name, Last Name, Email, and Email List fields to obtain the data.

The Email List field will contain the text “Add me to your E-mailing list” for anyone that turned on the checkbox.

  • NOTE: If you changed this text value in the ShopSite backoffice the value you changed it to will appear in this field instead of the text “Add me to your E-mailing list”.

Once downloaded you can open this file in a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel, sort the results by the “Email List” field, and delete anyone that doesn’t have a value of “Add me to your E-mailing list” in this column.  Everyone left will be the people that signed up for your email list and you can then import them into a mailing list program or store their addresses any method you prefer.

Advanced Options with ShopSite Pro

Wouldn’t it be nice to save email addresses in your mailing list system automatically?  Depending on what you use for a mailing list system, you can save them automatically with ShopSite Pro’s Order API feature.  The API process passes order variables (such as name and email address) to a script which can then automatically pass the values to a mailing list system.

For hosting customers of LexiConn we have an Email Marketing Module that saves user data automatically when using our Mailing List Service.  If you’re hosted with us but using Constant Contact instead of our service we have an API that can be used to automatically import the user details for your store as well.

If you’re interested in creating a custom script, here are details from ShopSite on the Order API settings and specifications:

Order API Settings:

Order API Specification:

If you’re not currently using a mailing list system or sending newsletters, it’s a simple process to prompt users to subscribe to your mailing list and then extract their list of emails.  It doesn’t hurt to turn on the checkbox now and start obtaining their addresses, so if you then decide to send newsletters in the future you’ll already have a list of customers that have chosen to receive it.

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