If you offer a customer $10, will they give you their email address? What about $20? Or $50? How much is their email address worth, to them and to you? Retailers who are trying to build loyalty and deliver a better customer experience need their customers’ email addresses to share news about promotions, engage with them more deeply, and gain insight into their shopping habits. Although the majority of retailers are seeking ways to expand their connection to their customers beyond the store visit, about half of them, according to YesMail, aren’t collecting email addresses. Email contact is one of the most efficient ways to increase loyalty and engagement, so what’s holding some retailers back?

Here’s what women I’ve talked to say about giving out their email address:


Does your offer provide value to your customers? Are you contacting them with the right frequency?  Are your emails getting them into your stores?

“At my local market, they offer $5 off your next purchase for your email address. As a customer, I think $5 is low, since they can contact me as often as they want, send me all kinds of offers I won’t be interested in. There’s not enough in it for me.” 

Terms & Conditions    

Does your offer require your customers to do something they aren’t going to do? Are you creating conditions they can’t meet?   

“My store offers $10 off the next purchase of $50 or more to sign up for emails. Having to spend a certain amount to get the benefit keeps me from signing up. If they knew my shopping habits, they would know I rarely spend that much. I could give them my email address and never see the benefit until Thanksgiving.”


Have you earned the trust of your customers before asking for their email? How have you earned their trust?

“I don’t give out my email address to anyone. Many retailers sell my email address and then I have no control over who gets it and who sends me emails. I don’t want any more emails.”


Are you providing a worthwhile incentive to your customers? Do they benefit from sharing their information with you?

“I save over $500 a year with my favorite retailers. I like the frequency and benefits. I shop there more often because of it.” 

How do you discover how much an email address is worth? Start by asking your customers.