Every successful entrepreneur leverages the internet to market themselves as an email list. Your list is your business, so it makes total sense to put your efforts into how to capture email leads.
This is meant to be a truly helpful guide for you, so, unlike most of the posts out there, we’re not going to talk about copy optimization, mobile optimization, or scarcity marketing.
Those are important for all your digital marketing strategies, and we’ve already mentioned them in tons of posts. Today we want to focus on what matters purely to email marketing, though.
In this post, you’ll learn why exactly emails are important, 11 ways to capture email leads, and the biggest mistake you can make with email capture.
Why is it important to capture email leads?
Email marketing remains one of the best digital marketing strategies out there.
We’re not talking about that pile of unsolicited communication emails you might be still getting offering you car alarms even if you are a ten-year-old child. Luckily, spam has been illegal since the early 2000s, even though some companies don’t seem to be aware of it.
When we praise the value of email marketing, we’re referring to relevant content that your audience will be actually interested in. These sorts of emails are super effective at driving sales because they let you build ongoing customer relationships.
According to Hubspot, 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months. Crazy, right?
But it makes total sense if you look at the statistics. Adobe reported that people over 35 spend around 5 hours a day checking their emails.
And those between ages 25 and 34 spend 6 HOURS. Imagine the impact on your business if you start focusing on that channel of communication.
What should be in your email marketing?
Sure, you know why you should send people emails, but what will they contain? Fear not. It’s really no rocket science. Here are some of the basics to include in your emails:
- Clean and attractive design.
- Content that users will appreciate.
- Introduction, middle, and end.
- An obvious call to action.
- Social media share buttons.
- A photo of yourself!
Needless to say, if you tick all the boxes but don’t avoid the spam filter, it will be all for nothing. To evade it, make sure you refrain from the overuse of URL links and words like “buy,” “free,” or “win,” and you’ll be fine.
If you want more powerful email marketing software, take a look at our top picks of email automation platforms.
11 Ways to capture email leads
Before we continue, it’s good noting these strategies depend a lot on landing pages. Lead pages or landing pages are special pages, built around one purpose – generating leads. If you don’t know a lot about them, this article is a great starter.
Now to what concerns us, how are you going to capture those emails?
1. Explain how you handle communications
As we mentioned earlier, spam still happens, and that’s why most of the time, people are reluctant to deliver their email addresses. Or they do give you an address, but it’s their “throwaway” email instead of their primary one.
To avoid any of these two scenarios, trust is key. Explaining to people how you handle communications and what type of emails you are going to send them makes a big change. They know what they are getting into, and you are giving them your word that they will be treated fairly and nicely.
However, technical communications are helpful through all the email marketing processes. That’s why it’s great if you also:
- Offer the option to unsubscribe or change email preferences always.
- Ask every once in a while if they would like to update their information and their preferences.
- Before getting rid of inactive subscribers, send one more email trying to re-engage them.
Putting these strategies in practice is part of reducing friction, something we’ll talk more about later.
2. Stay updated button
Give people the chance to receive your latest content over email.
Instead of regularly entering your website or a social media platform to never lose your updates, some visitors will truly appreciate receiving all the important stuff on email. It saves them a lot of time, and it assures you they will be reading your content.
Usually, update emails will contain the latest and most relevant content. Just look at Think with Google’s copy:
Some brands post content on social media throughout the week and then email a summary of it to subscribers. Instead of checking Instagram every day, they receive it all at once on their emails.
Additionally, if you have killer blog posts, offer your audience to get the pdf content in exchange for their emails.
The format is more readable, doesn’t require an Internet connection, and it’s easier to access. I myself happily gave my email for some impressive cheat sheets.
3. Run surveys or Quizzes
Companies are just starting to pay proper attention to the power of surveys. They don’t only increase engagement but help you capture email leads.
How, you might think? Easy: humans are curious by nature, so getting their hands on survey results is something they practically need.
Here’s how to do it:
- Create a survey. A simple survey is really a piece of cake with tools like Google Forms or SurveyMonkey.
- Promote it on your website and social media.
- Once you compile the results, offer them a free report.
An alternative is to offer people the chance to win a gift card or a discount at the end of the survey in exchange for their emails.
Other websites use test or quiz results which are also pretty good for collecting emails. I mean, who doesn’t like quizzes?
Diane knows people want to learn about their attachment style and uses that:
4. Ask for it while they are waiting
You know those small spaces of time when visitors do nothing?
Depending on your website, that moment might be on confirmation pages, thank you pages, or waiting to finish a process. Use that empty slot when you have their 100% attention to offer alerts or great deals and capture email leads.
What’s great about this strategy is you already gave visitors something valuable (some content or a product). They are aware of the significance of your offer and thus more eager to give you their emails.
Moreover, it also means you didn’t force them to give you their emails in order to make the purchase. You are just asking. Actually, giving your visitors the option to check with a third-party signup service to buy from you helps your conversion rates a lot.
5. Show an interested-based offer
This point might be the most important one. If you are not making sure there’s something in it for your visitors, email marketing won’t work. Think of it like an exchange: what are you giving to receive emails?
It can be a content upgrade, a discount, a downloadable resource, sneak-peeks, anything related to your niche, and valuable. Whatever it is, that thing you exchange is called a lead magnet or ethical bribe.
Here you have our lead magnet:
However, lead magnets aren’t always digital goods.
Although they are very cool because you can access them instantly, they aren’t for everyone. Some customers value things like donations to charity in their name instead. People have managed to come up with tons of different lead magnet options, so you can get very creative. To get a detailed insight into lead magnets and learn more, go to this post.
6. Place optin forms wisely
OK, but where exactly should you put the optin form to capture email leads?
There are a plethora of places and optin form options for you to choose from. I mean, the possibilities are endless. You can:
- set pop-ups to appear the instant someone lands on your page,
- cover the full screen at a certain moment with a scroll mat,
- lock your content when they are getting just to the juicy part
- stop them before they leave with an exit overlay
- display a top bar that sticks in your header
- or a bottom floating bar
- create a sliding request as users scroll on your site
- ask for their emails when they finish reading like Buzzfeed does:
And I’m going to stop here because you got the point. Figure out which ones work for you and implement them.
7. Reduce friction
Reducing friction is the main goal of optimizing user experience, and it contemplates a number of elements.
For example, communication. We already went through the importance of being clear with your intentions. Another aspect of it is what you ask visitors. It’s key that you ask only for the information you need. We’re giving our personal information on a daily basis to a bunch of people and websites. It’s a bit annoying they know so much about us. Do you really need to know the number of pets they had as a kid? Ask less.
Or use progressive fields in forms. Let users initiate with a 2-step optin.
You also want to make sure there’s no usability or accessibility issue with forms to diminish friction. A good way of making sure of it is to run tests like A/B testing or do a CRO audit.
Target the right segments of your audience.
This point is important when you have a lot of traffic coming to your website, and you need to think about who you’re targeting. Don’t deliver the same message to everyone. That will leave you talking to no one.
Consider what stage of the funnel your visitors are in. Don’t set your lightbox popup to show the first time someone comes to your website. Unless you are an ecommerce and you are offering a coupon, wait until the second-page view. Otherwise, it will annoy people. Especially if you have a blog and people are mainly there to read and learn something new.
But also have in mind which device they are using. The user experience isn’t the same on a desktop as on mobile, so the approach should also be different (see BforBloggers optin for mobile). Develop multiple CTAs, lead magnets, and forms to match multiple search intents and contexts.
9. Use tools
Don’t drive yourself mad. If automation is possible, use it.
Facebook ads, for example, are an email collection tool very popular among small businesses. That’s because it requires very little investment but can generate big returns. It offers extremely targeted adoptions and a usable format, it targets people who are ready to buy from you, and it’s trackable, so you can see what you make based on what you spend.
Other useful tools are ThriveLeads, a WordPress plugin that lets you create different email optin forms, and OptinMonster, a software that helps you convert abandoning visitors into email subscribers. Read Best Email Marketing Services in 2021 to learn about Mailchimp, GetResponse, ConvertKid, and more.
10. Partner with other people in your industry
Consider establishing a partnership with another company in your industry. These sorts of agreements work great with complementary businesses because both sides end up benefiting. If you’d like to see an example, you can check Best 2021 Valentine’s Day Marketing ideas (with examples).
With email marketing, in particular, the agreement typically involves the promotion and distribution of each other’s emails. Some ways to structure the partnership are:
- Offering your subscribers a package deal
- Linking to each other’s content where appropriate
- Promoting each other’s free info products
A partnership doesn’t necessarily have to be between two companies with established audiences, though. If you can create incredible content but are just starting out, you might want to piggyback on another platform. Consider crafting great content and engaging with an influencer. But don’t promote yourself the first time you reach out. That’s, you guessed it, spam.
11. Connect in every digital way possible
Finally, craft great content that encourages people to sign up for more and share it in different formats and platforms.
Remember to have social media buttons visible in your emails.
Start a blog, upload videos on Youtube, open a Twitch account, etc. Being present on social media helps build trust with your audience, and as we said, trust is key for collecting emails.
This also allows you to run contests and make your followers share their love for your product with other people, thus reaching new audiences.
But be careful not to put all your energy into social media. Instagram can be great, but it’s not your business, and it doesn’t convert. Email does. Don’t lose sight of that.
The worst mistake you can make with email capture.
Now that we’ve gone through all the best practices to capture email leads, a warning. Give personalization the attention it deserves.
If you already have someone’s email but that someone goes to your website and again sees the optin form asking them to sign up as if they never did, you have a problem. We like to be listened to and remembered, so if you are talking to me like we never met, I’m going to be a bit pissed off.
Make sure your personalization strategy is up to the task, and your subscribers don’t continue to see optin forms. You can use OptinMonster or Thrive Leads for that. Or better yet, use a web personalization tool like RightMessage and pair it with Drip or Keap (CRM).
So there you have it: all the essentials to capture email leads and the one thing to avoid at all costs.
We hope this post helped you, and you’ll use some, if not all, the strategies we share with you!
If you have any doubts or want to share something with us, we’ll be replying in the comments.