3 Ways to Get Buyers to Opt In Without a Discount

Ecommerce buyers are smart.

They know that many brands will offer a small discount if they sign up for a newsletter or share their email address. And so they sign up, planning to ignore your emails, relegate them to spam, or unsubscribe immediately. But only after taking advantage of that great discount.

As a B2C marketer, this should worry you. All too quickly, pricing becomes a race to the bottom. By immediately offering a discount to new customers, you devalue your products, hurt your margins, and condition buyers to expect a discount every time they buy. A discount may help you build your email, but it hurts your brand in the long run.

Luckily, it’s not the only way to get your customers to opt in. Instead of bribing your buyers to engage with your brand, think about email marketing as something they should want to get in their inbox. You can find a way to get your audience excited about signing up for your emails, rather than expecting to get a reward in return.

Learn how to show buyers the value of opting in without ever offering a product discount.

1. Be the first to know

Rather than giving a discount right away, show your customers that by signing up for your email marketing, they’ll be joining an exclusive club. Offer them early access to new products, news about exciting offerings from your brand, and exclusive experiences just for subscribers. If your buyers are feeling the pain of FOMO, they’ll be all too happy to sign up for your newsletter to get the latest updates.


This example from Wanderlust & Co takes the FOMO literally and makes sure that their buyers feel part of an exclusive community. If you give your email, you join the #WCOgirlgang, an active Instagram community that shares beautiful and inspiring travel photos. By signing up for their emails, buyers get to be part of that cool and exciting club — and aren’t just looking for a discount.

2. Save products easily

For customers who are thinking about making a purchase, but aren’t ready to pull the trigger just yet, try to convince them to set up an account on your site. How exactly? Offer them benefits for creating an account. Show them a list of the products they’ve browsed or added to cart, and offer to save those products for later.


This example from Lancome is great because it shows an easy, social login process and helps buyers create a wishlist of products they may like to buy along with other benefits. Creating an account isn’t annoying to the Lancome buyers, but is a valuable part of the user experience on the site. Customers can go back, look at the products they’ve considered, and make an informed choice. Even better for your brand, you’ll be able to collect valuable customer data about when they create an account, including name, email, and what type of products they’re interested in buying.

3. Earn rewards faster

The other offer that will often convince buyers to share their email is the possibility of earning valuable rewards from your brand. Instead of a straight-up discount, get your buyers to sign up for your rewards program instead. This will be less of an immediate hit to your bottom line, and will be perceived as more valuable to your customers.


A program like Zappos Rewards shows you example how it can be done. By signing up for the program, their buyers get free expedited shipping, early access to sales, and earn points that eventually add up to tons of benefits — all without offering a discount! In addition to giving you the email of your buyer, these program help you understand your buyer journey, gather data on them throughout their lifecycle, and cultivate long-term customer loyalty. It’s truly a win-win-win.

While you may still want to occasionally offer a discount to your buyers, make sure you’re doing it thoughtfully. Instead of assuming that you have to give a discount to get an email, try thinking a bit more creatively. There are many ways you can show your buyers the value of opting into your email marketing.

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