How to Collect Email Addresses: 9 Proven Tactics that Work in 2024

How to Collect Email Addresses: 9 Proven Tactics that Work in 2024
Ivan Kreimer Ivan Kreimer Jun 30, 2023 —  8 min read

If you are trying to learn how to grow your email list and don’t know where to start, we have two pieces of good news.

The first one is that there’s a lot you can do to collect email addresses. Tactics abound, but you don’t need to try two dozen of them to get emails. Just a few effective, well-executed tactics are enough.

The second one is that if you want to learn these tactics, you have come to the right place. The following nine tactics will show you how to get emails for your marketing campaigns and how to make sure you’re attracting subscribers who are genuinely interested in your brand.

The bad news? There are none! So let’s get started, shall we?

1. Create time-delayed pop-up forms

You know popups work. We’ve said that too many times here, just like many others around the web. But just because someone says “popups work” doesn’t mean any popup will do in any circumstance.

Popups work when they are timed correctly.

Timing may include the data on the current visit and the information on whether it’s a returning visitor or a first-time visitor.

You can increase the efficiency of your popups by leveraging the data that’s already available to you, such as:

  • Time on site
  • Time on page
  • Scroll depth
  • Exit-intent (more on them later)

Start by using your visitors’ “time on site” or “time on page” to avoid showing your popups right after someone lands on a page or site — this can be mildly infuriating, to say the least.

According to one study, it’s ideal to wait approximately eight seconds before showing your opt-in forms, but you can time them as little as three and as high as thirty seconds.

Chart showing the optimal time to display a popup on a website

2. Use exit-popups to convert abandoning visitors

Exit-intent popups are a unique breed of behavioral triggers that can take your popups to the next level. Exit-intent popups work like this:

  1. A visitor lands on a page, most likely, a product page
  2. The visitor decides to leave, so they move their cursor toward the top of their screen to leave — this is their “exit-intent”
  3. A popup software uses an algorithm to detect these mouse movements and triggers an exit-intent popup
  4. The popup presents an offer for them to subscribe, typically, a discount coupon for next purchase

This is what a typical exit-intent popup looks like:

According to our data, you can convert up to 7% of abandoning visitors into email subscribers if you offer a discount for the next purchase.

To start with exit-intent popups, you need to create a popup and select a display trigger for when someone wants to leave your site. The process is very intuitive even if you’ve never done anything like this before. This is how it looks with Getsitecontrol:

Exit-intent popup settings in Getsitecontrol

As for the offer, you can present:

  • Last-minute discounts
  • VIP club benefits
  • Free shipping coupons

If you aren’t ready to offer monetary incentives, you may want to consider other lead magnets 👇

3. Offer irresistible lead magnets (beyond discounts)

Lead magnets are one of the OGs of digital marketing. Beyond discounts, there are many other incentives you can offer to your customers to collect emails and use as lead magnets. Put simply, they are gated content pieces you give away for free in exchange for your visitor’s email addresses.

For example, Your Guitar Academy, an online guitar course platform, offers a student toolbox to help guitar learners get started:

Your Guitar Academy offers a student toolbox in exchange for an email subscription to collect emails

Simple and effective, right? Well, according to our data, they are:

Popups with lead magnets convert at 101.82% and 155.43% better on mobile and desktop, respectively, than popups without them.

Chart showing the efficiency of lead magnets for collecting email addresses

The key to generating results with lead magnets is giving away a really valuable offer.

You see, lead magnets have become a dime in a dozen these days. Anyone can present a “free email course” or a “PDF with templates.” Few can offer something unbelievably valuable for free.

To create an irresistible lead magnet, you want to think you could charge for your offer, even if you won’t.

Your goal is to educate your leads and customers. What do they need to know to be successful with your products? This is what will be your lead magnet’s core message.

Not only will this generate email sign-ups, but it will also make them better customers. They’ll know how to use your products and, most importantly, why they need them.

Ecommerce lead magnets vary by industry. Some common examples are:

  • A fitness company offering a workout plan
  • A nutritional company offering a meal plan with recipes
  • An electronics company offering a buyer’s guide

4. Offer first-purchase discounts

Discounts are the go-to option for most ecommerce stores. They are an easy option that works both for collecting email addresses and for generating sales.

But as awesome as they may be, they also lower your profits.

To avoid cannibalizing your profits, you should segment your discounts. One way is by offering a discount for a first purchase.

Subscription popup designed to collect emails by offering a fist-purchase discount

Even if you lower your profits in the short term, you could potentially earn a customer for the long term. You can also increase your average order value, as one Blippr study found that coupon users spend 37% more at checkout on average than regular shoppers.

To offer a first-purchase discount, you simply need to create a coupon and present it using a popup.

Easy way to collect emails using a fist-purchase discount

To maximize their persuasiveness, highlight the value or percentage. Then, explain that the discount is useful only for their first purchase. If it’s time-limited, say that, as in the example above.

5. Use quizzes

Most email opt-in methods are based on reciprocity: you offer something valuable, and someone accesses it in exchange for their email address. Simple, but quite boring, isn’t it?

You can “gamify” the list-building process by using quizzes.

With a quiz, your leads answer a list of questions to get a personalized response they can access after signing up for your list.

This is how Birchbox, a beauty brand, does it:

Birchbox uses quizzes to collect email addresses

Ecommerce brands use quizzes to pre-qualify prospective customers and offer tailored product recommendations that fit their needs.

Quizzes are at the core of Dollar Shave Club’s marketing strategy, too. To sign up, you have to go through a “Get Started” quiz, where you give them information on your grooming practice.

At the end of this short, four-part quiz, you get a personalized set of products.

The recommendation received by customers who participate in the Dollar Shave Club’s quiz

On top of the positive feeling your prospects will get through this process, you will learn a lot about your customers. You can use this information to refine your products and marketing strategy.

To create a quiz, you first need to define your customer recommendations. Categorize them in groups, so each customer group gets its own “unique” suggestion.

For a company like Dollar Shave Club, that could be young professionals trying to look sharp and older executives trying to rejuvenate themselves, among other groups.

From these groups, reverse engineer the questions to ask. Finally, create a quiz using an app like Quizify or RevenueHunt’s Shop Quiz.

As for promoting quizzes, you can use popups, inline banners, ads, social media content, and emails. You can also make the quiz mandatory for every first-time customer, such as in the example of Dollar Shave Club.

6. Run giveaways and contests

Two other engaging ways to collect email addresses are giveaways and contests.

In both cases, your visitors compete to earn a given award — the catch being that to do so, they have to sign up for your email list. Their only difference is that everyone gets rewarded in a giveaway, whereas only a few do in a contest.

Contests have seen conversion rates of 35%, while 94.46% of users share one. Effective as they are, the key is to pick something highly valuable to get people to compete for it. That could be:

  • A free product
  • A set of products
  • A rare, limited-edition product
  • A year-long supply of a product
  • A gift card

In the case of a giveaway, you want to offer something cheaper and smaller, such as:

  • A small discount or gift card
  • A sample
  • An educational content piece (like an ebook)

With the reward defined, you only need to create the contest or giveaway. One popular tool for this is Gleam.

The best part is that you can make people do several actions at once to earn a higher chance of winning. So not only will you get an email subscriber, but a social media follower, a referral, and so on.

Gleam is an app to help you collect email addresses via contests and giveaways

7. Host free webinars

Hosting webinars is an advanced way to educate your audience while collecting email addresses.

Webinars are often used by B2B software companies and online entrepreneurs, such as course creators. These companies host webinars to continue their lead nurturing and developing brand loyalty.

BigCommerce hosts webinars as a part of their email list building strategy

To run a webinar, you must pick a meaningful topic your audience needs help with. Think of webinars as more in-depth versions of lead magnets — value defines a webinar’s traction and effectiveness.

Example of an online course creator collecting emails via webinars

To host a webinar, you’ll need to use a tool like BigMarker or Livestorm. Then, you’ll have to promote the webinar as a regular content piece using social media, ads, and email.

8. Сollect email addresses from your social media accounts

Getting emails from your social media following is a no-brainer for any brand with a moderately-sized, engaged audience. All you have to do is add a link to a landing page where they can sign up in exchange for any of the previously mentioned ideas.

There are two ways you can go about doing this. The first one is to add a link in the description of your posts or videos — if you use Instagram Stories, you can add the link in the content itself.

This is how the Girls Night In does it:

Using Instagram Stories to collect email addresses for a newsletter

The second one is to add a link right in your profile. This way, you can collect emails on any social media platform including Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. However, to make it work, you have to give some context as to what the follower will see once they click.

Melissa Ruiz, a public speaking coach, does exactly that:

Melissa Ruiz collects email signups via her Instagram Bio link

If you don’t have a dedicated email capture page on your website, you can collect emails using online form builders like Getform. In fact, this way you can even collect emails without a website.

9. Embed opt-in forms on your site

An embedded opt-in form, or inline form, is the simplest and most traditional option from this list. In this tactic, you create an opt-in form in your list-building tool and embed it on your site.

Example of an embedded opt-in form designed to collect emails

Embedded forms are ideal for repeating an offer without stuffing a page with other popups. Here is step-by-step guide to adding an inline opt-in form to your website.

Floating (or “sticky”) bars are another option. Whether you position them at the top or bottom of the screen, they can help you broadcast a message without disturbing your visitors.

How to get email addresses in 2024: A summary

Now that you know how to collect emails, you have enough to start working on growing your email list. These email capture best practices will let you build an audience you can use to connect with your audience and sell more products.

With the help of a tool like Getsitecontrol, you’ll be able to launch your first opt-in form in no time. It requires no technical knowledge and allows you to create beautiful pop-up and inline email opt-in forms.

To recap, here’s what you can do to capture email addresses:

  1. Use behaviorally-triggered popups
  2. Use exit-intent popups
  3. Offer irresistible lead magnets
  4. Offer first-purchase discounts
  5. Use quizzes
  6. Use contests and giveaways
  7. Run a webinar
  8. Leverage your social media following
  9. Use embedded (or inline) opt-in forms and floating bars

Try at least two or three of these tactics in the next 90 days, and you’ll see it yourself.

Ivan Kreimer is a freelance content writer for hire who creates educational content for SaaS businesses like Leadfeeder and Campaign Monitor. In his pastime, he likes to help people become freelance writers. Besides writing for smart people who read sites like Getsitecontrol, Ivan has also written in sites like Entrepreneur, MarketingProfs, TheNextWeb, and many other influential websites.

You're reading Getsitecontrol blog where marketing experts share proven tactics to grow your online business. This article is a part of Lead generation section.

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