When done right, email can be the lifeblood of a business.
You probably already know you need to capture email addresses to grow your list, but it’s easy to get stuck on the ‘how’.
Break through the email list building block by trying out some of our best email capture practices below!
Why email capture is so important – and why business owners struggle to do it
How do you make sure the people who land on your website come back?
Email capture is a huge part of that effort.
When you email your audience regularly, you remain top-of-mind and make sure they don’t forget you exist.
Additionally, if you grow your audience on other platforms such as social media, you are always at risk of losing your audience. Social media is, in a way, ‘rented land’.
You don’t own your contacts, and if one day the platform shuts down or if you lose your account, you lose your audience along with it.
On the other hand, you’ll always own your email list. Even if the specific software you use (Convertkit, Klaviyo, etc) shuts down, you can export your list and re-upload it anywhere you’d like.
However, people don’t give away their email for fun.
Here is what I see often. Many website owners add a newsletter opt-in form at the bottom of their website and hope for the best.
But people need more incentive to give away their information. And they need more than one reminder to do so.
The reason the above brand can get away with such a simple opt-in form? Holo Taco is owned by Simply Nailogical, a Canadian Youtuber with over 7 million subscribers.
So, unless you also have an existing audience of millions, you’ll need to make a bit more of an effort to grow YOUR list.
To help you with that, we’ve compiled 10 easy tactics you can use to capture emails on your website.
1. Take the proactive route to capture email leads
Don’t wait until your visitors start looking for a subscription form. Unless they fall in love with your brand, they won’t care enough to do that.
You need to capture email addresses in a proactive way.
Luckily, you can easily implement more proactive opt-in forms using popup builders (such as Getsitecontrol). Email subscription popups may look somewhat like this:
Popups are a tried and tested email capture tool. The best part about them? You can tailor their design to your website’s theme and set up the exact moment they appear on a webpage.
2. Include a variety of opt-in methods
When people read the word ‘opt-in’, they often think of a popup that appears when site visitors first land on a home page.
While popups are effective when used sparingly – meaning, you don’t assault your visitors with too many popups that prevent them from enjoying their user experience – they are far from the only type of opt-in you can use.
For instance, in-line forms, especially embedded in blog posts, are a great way to showcase relevant opt-ins throughout engaging content.
You can also use slide-ins…
… or sticky bars that only take up a small portion of the screen at the top or bottom of a webpage.
In terms of popups, you can also implement exit-intent popups that only appear when users are trying to leave.
In other cases, you can trigger a popup when users press a button. In this situation, people asked to see the opt-in, so it makes sense to have this form appear even if you have other popup-style widgets.
Which type of opt-ins works best for capturing emails? Every audience responds differently, which is why it’s a good idea to have more than one type. Plus, if your visitors miss the first opt-in, they’ll have another chance to join your email list when they see the next!
3. Say no to boring email capture CTAs
No more ‘Submit’ buttons, please! The CTA (call-to-action), as the name suggests, is meant to call your visitors to action.
Every word on your website is an opportunity to increase your conversions. The same thing goes for your CTA buttons on email capture forms.
Tarzan Kay, who teaches service providers and course creators how to use email to boost their business, offers swipe files as a lead magnet. Her CTA is directly related to what people are getting: “Give me the swipes”.
Below is a slide-in form (remember what I said about using multiple opt-in types?), and although she’s offering a similar lead magnet, she mixes up the CTA copy to make it more interesting.
Using variations of ‘Get Access’ also works well. Below, BloggingWizard uses ‘Get Access Now!’:
Running out of inspiration? Check out these 12 CTA examples to help you boost your email capture conversion rates!
4. Personalize your opt-in forms
Even though most tools like Getsitecontrol allow you to create awesome-looking opt-in forms in minutes with popup templates, you don’t have to stick to pre-existing designs!
Solidify your branding with personalized opt-in forms that stand out. For instance, try using custom fonts (that fit with your brand, of course) and colors from your own palette.
Sage Polaris, a launch strategist, uses the same branding style throughout her entire website. Below, you can see two opt-in opportunities – a sticky banner at the top and a static form below – and both are just as personalized and on-brand as the rest of her site:
The more you can grab your visitors’ attention with your email capture forms, the more likely they will consider opting in!
5. Experiment with targeting
Did you know that you can display different opt-in forms to different people? Yup – you can use targeting to customize who sees what.
Showing everyone the same forms can work if your forms are optimized well, but creating a personalized experience is even better.
For instance, you could show different opt-ins depending on your visitors’ locations. Maybe you don’t have the same deals in the US as you have in Europe, for example.
You can also target users based on behaviors. Let’s say a visitor clicks on a specific product page or reads a blog post – you can set up an opt-in that only shows up for these people. This opt-in should, of course, be relevant to what your visitors checked out.
Targeting also enables you to prevent cart abandonment.
It wouldn’t make sense to show a cart abandonment form to visitors who have nothing in their cart, wouldn’t it? However, displayed at the right moment, it helps you kill two birds with one stone. You stop visitors from leaving your website too soon and capture emails to convert them later.
6. Create lead magnets – and unique landing pages for each one!
Lead magnets, also called opt-in bait, are resources offered in exchange for email addresses. Although you only really need popup widgets to offer a lead magnet, you may also want to create a targeted landing page for each lead magnet you have.
For ecommerce brands, discounts are always effective as lead magnets. Chapters Indigo offers this opt-in as soon as you land on their site:
Other types of lead magnets you can create include:
- Ebooks or white papers
- Webinars, workshops, or masterclasses
- Email courses
- Swipe files
- Free software
- Toolkits or resources
- Free consultations
Lead magnets aren’t one-size-fits-all, and not all audiences will respond equally positive to all of them. Try one or more types, and if one doesn’t work, try another option or run an A/B test.
7. Offer content upgrades
Content upgrades and lead magnets have a lot in common – both give away resources as an incentive for visitors to give you their email addresses.
With content upgrades, however, you are ‘upgrading’ an existing piece of content on your website, such as a blog post, podcast, video, or infographic. Your upgrade should be related to the subject matter of the original piece of content.
For example, Elna Cain, who teaches budding freelance writers how to make money writing, included this content upgrade in a blog post about finding copywriting jobs:
This is a different opt-in than the one you can usually find in-line on her posts, which I showcased above – the “Yes, you can get paid to write” email course. The list of niches is relevant to copywriters looking for jobs.
This works well since people who consume your content are already invested in that topic. By the time they reach the end of your content piece, they will likely be looking for more information on the subject.
So offer them a content upgrade on a silver platter, and they’ll be more receptive to it than when offered a random, unrelated lead magnet.
8. Use a quiz for capturing email leads
I’ve already covered a few lead magnet ideas you can use to capture email addresses. However, quizzes are a bit different!
A lead generation quiz walks your users through a series of questions and answers to help categorize them one way or another. When using software like Interact, you can ask for an email address in exchange for the quiz results, although you can make the opt-in optional only if you choose to do so.
So why should you try a quiz in addition to other lead magnets and opt-in methods?
First off, quizzes are fun! Unlike other opt-in methods, quizzes offer entertainment (the questions) packaged with insight (the results) in exchange for a short burst of time.
You can also use quizzes to capture email addresses the smart way – that is, by segmenting your subscribers.
When you segment your subscribers, you can choose to send them more relevant emails based on which segment they belong to.
With a quiz, you can segment your subscribers either based on the results they got, some of the answers they gave, or both. Most quiz software allows you to add tags to subscribers when they choose certain answers or get a specific result. These tags then show up in your email marketing tool.
Sending more relevant emails will mean your subscribers are more likely to enjoy the content of those emails. If a subscriber feels your emails are relevant and helpful, they are less likely to unsubscribe.
Additionally, if you offer products or services, you can use your quiz results to showcase curated offers based on which result subscribers got. For instance, check out this quiz on Blissoma’s website:
Blissoma sells plant-based health and beauty products. Each of the five different results you can get is an ingredient that is featured in many of their products.
In this case, it makes sense that the results suggest curated products that contain the relevant ingredient. For instance, I took the quiz and got ‘Rooibos’ as a result. Here’s what it says later down the results page:
Quizzes don’t just have to showcase Ecommerce products, either. Service providers and course creators can use quizzes too! Jenn Robbins, who writes conversion copy for sales funnels, has a quiz to help guide her confused website visitors on which funnel is best for them:
For a more in-depth explanation, check out our guide to creating your own lead generation quiz.
9. Run a giveaway
People love getting free stuff. That’s why giveaways can be a powerful email capture method!
Unlike quizzes, lead magnets, and evergreen coupons for newcomers, giveaways cannot go on forever – unless you give away free stuff every day or every week. So while they can be an effective way to grow your email list by a huge amount in a short time, it shouldn’t be your only method of capturing emails.
All you need to do is require visitors to provide their email address in order to enter the giveaway.
Of course, while your giveaway is ongoing, you should definitely add opt-in forms on your site that relate to this. But for best results, try expanding outside of your website.
For example, if you post about your giveaway on social media, you can get your audience to tag their friends if they want to enter. This will automatically give your giveaway more exposure than if site visitors were to enter alone.
Want your new subscribers to stay engaged even after they joined your giveaway? Here are a few tips:
Make sure the item or service being given away is related to your brand and what you offer, otherwise, you risk attracting people who are not interested in what you do
Create a targeted welcome sequence of emails specifically tailored to people who entered the giveaway, instead of using your usual welcome sequence
Follow up with email offers containing curated products or services that are related to what was offered in the giveaway
A quick disclaimer about giveaways – depending on where you are located (and where you want to run the giveaway), a variety of laws apply to giveaways. Make sure you check local guidelines before planning your own giveaway.
10. Capture email addresses using surveys
Before you ask – no, surveys are not quite the same as quizzes!
Quizzes are used to provide the user with a result. Surveys, on the other hand, don’t typically have results at the end.
While quizzes can be used to collect information about your new subscribers, that is not their number one goal. On the other hand, that’s exactly what surveys are for.
Because surveys don’t need to provide your site visitors with a result, they can also be much shorter than quizzes. With Getsitecontrol, you can even create one-question surveys.
Your survey can tackle several topics, including:
Getting opinions about the user experience of your website
Product or service suggestions
How likely visitors are to recommend your website to a friend
Why visitors are leaving your site (to be triggered on exit intent)
Any market research questions you need to answer
While surveys don’t have to include an email opt-in form, you can always add it as an option. Not everyone will subscribe, but those who are interested to know more about your brand will do so.
Increase your website’s retention with email capture
There you go – now you’re ready to retain more website visitors by converting them to email subscribers! While you don’t have to start using all of these methods at once, it’s a good idea to implement more than one and make your website leak-proof. Start with one method, and try more as you get more experience.
Start capturing emails on your website – no coding or design experience required – with Getsitecontrol! You can sign up for a free trial using the form below.
Charlene Boutin is a B2B writer for hire specialized in creating compelling case studies, blog posts, and converting copy for digital entrepreneurs and SaaS businesses. When not writing, she can be found prototyping weird games in Unity or playing on her Nintendo Switch.Subscribe to our newsletter → Main illustration by Icons8