In this guide, I’ll show you how to collect emails using 11 ways.
The ideas I'll propose are backed up by examples that businesses are using even as you read this.
And there’s more:
I’ll show you what ways work best for collecting emails from specific groups of website visitors. That will save you tons of time because you’ll know how to achieve results faster.
With that, dive in:
1. Opt-in popups
Website popups are the lifeblood of any email collecting strategy for websites.
Although most people don’t exactly like popups, they still convert well. If your popup has something your visitors want (like a discount), the chances of conversions will be good. In fact, in our study, we found that popups captured 19 million emails in 2022.
So, let’s see how businesses are capturing emails from website visitors with three kinds of popups: welcome, discounts, and exit-intent.
Get a head start on designing website pop-ups. Browse our library of designer-made popup templates. Start converting your traffic.
Welcome popups “greet” website visitors and offer them something in exchange for their emails. They are often displayed shortly after visitors land on a website.
The idea here is simple:
Get the email of a new visitor by offering them something, like:
First access to sales
Here’s an example of a welcome popup from PRESS Healthfoods:
See how simple it is to sign up?
Visitors just need to enter their email (which should be easy, their browser’s autofill feature should help with that) and get on the list.
And the promised goodies are pretty nice: weekly content updates (PRESS Healthfoods’ blog on healthy nutrition is amazing), discounts, and even giveaways. This is very important—the more valuable your offer is, the more website visitors it will convert.
This business got 3,492 emails with a welcome popup:
Discounts are what deal hunters are after, so they are key to collecting emails from website visitors in ecommerce.
If you add discounts to popups, you can maximize their visibility. Which could mean a lot of signups.
Blume, a self-care brand, converts 5% of visitors with this discount popup 👇
The deal is good, indeed!
Just like that, Blume captures thousands of emails from both window shoppers and deal hunters. And, of course, their customer list is growing, too.
But maximizing the visibility of discounts is just one piece of the puzzle. Another one: showing those discounts to the right people.
Here’s what I mean—
In most popup software, you can choose a group of visitors to show your popups to. This is extremely helpful because it helps you make relevant and valuable campaigns instead of popups that “attack” every visitor.
Here’s how this option looks like in Wisepops, our own popup builder 👇 When creating a popup, you just need to click on the visitors you want to target.
Did you know…
Besides using these visitor targeting options, you can also create and share unique Shopify discounts with Wisepops. You can use these to make personalized, high-converting campaigns and collect more emails.
When Brian Dean ran a little experiment with popups, he found something he didn’t expect.
Despite being one of the world’s best marketing strategists, he didn’t expect that one type of popup would increase his website’s conversion rate by 72% 👇
Yep, that was an exit popup.
The one that shows right when visitors move to close your website.
Why do they work?
Let’s imagine the scenario—
A visitor lands on your homepage, clicks a category in the main menu, and views one product. There’s a great chance their next action will be leaving.
You give them a reason to stick around.
Free shipping, discounts, coupons, special offers, and content could be those reasons. Art of Play, an online store, chose a 10% discount:
Art of Play used Wisepops to make this exit popup ☝️
If you’d like to see more examples of Wisepops in action:
2. Embedded signup forms
Embeds are email signup forms you can place almost anywhere on your website.
That means you can have them in places where the chance of collecting emails from website visitors is great.
All that, without coding. Just design the form, customize it to fit the design of your website, and add in a place you want.
Let me illustrate—
Rise Bar, an online store has this welcome popup. See how its design resembles the website’s, resulting in a natural look?
Now, if we scroll to the bottom of Rise Bar’s website—
We see this signup form 👇
Doesn’t it look similar to the popup above?
The first one was a popup form and the second one was an embedded form. The brand did not do a great job at making the latter look natural (in my opinion), but the point here is that you can take a form and add it where you want.
You can add embeds to:
The most important thing is to customize them to resemble your website (colors, fonts, images, etc.)
In case you’re interested in trying this—
Here’s how to create and customize an embed in less than two minutes:
3. Onsite notifications
This is a unique way to collect email addresses. And I’m not exaggerating when I say “unique”—onsite notifications are a fresh addition to email collecting tools.
Let me show you—
Have you seen a lot of websites with a social media-like feed like this? 👇
The feed is non-intrusive, easy to use, and familiar.
Although onsite notifications are a new kid on the block, many websites have already achieved impressive results with them.
Soi Paris, a fashion brand, promoted a time-limited offer with the feed and collected over 1,000 emails in just 10 days.
Elodie Trébuchet, the head of digital marketing at Soi Paris, said she was able to significantly speed up email collecting thanks to onsite notifications.
“We are really satisfied with the results of this campaign, it exceeded our expectations. In three days, it helped generate 42% of our revenue (month to date) with a nice average order value.”
If you ask me, I’d say the feed is a must-do for online stores.
Want to learn more? Check out Soi Paris’s onsite campaign.
4. Personalized landing pages
A landing page is a page created to convert visitors—in many cases, that means collecting emails for marketing.
To be effective, a landing page must be personalized to meet the needs of a specific client or customer.
Zapier is a platform that can be used by anyone who uses apps for business. To collect emails, the company narrowed down the offer to a few target users: marketers, IT specialists, business owners, and sales professionals.
Here’s the landing page for business owners 👇 Note how it offers visitors to help “move your business forward.” That should speak to business owners, agree?
The landing page for sales teams.
This time, the landing page describes “automation that scales your sales” as the main value of the product.
The offers and personalization would be different for every business, of course.
But the point is: personalize your landing pages.
This email collection tip works: businesses that personalize their marketing well get up to 40% more revenue than others.
5. Free product demos
Product demos are one of the best ways to capture emails on websites for SaaS businesses. The point is to show what your product can do to potential customers.
To generate demo requests (which equals capturing emails), consider multiple strategies on your website: popups, signup forms, dedicated landing pages, etc.
That does not mean using all email collection strategies—rather trying a few, checking their performance, and choosing what works.
One way to capture emails is a combination of a landing page and an email popup. This is actually the strategy we’re using at Wisepops.
The visitor browses our homepage (which is essentially a landing page) and decides to check out a demo. After they click “Book a demo,” a popup appears with the signup form.
The popup serves as a backup to the landing page and makes it easy to get emails for marketing.
Here’s a closer look at the popup signup form.
Just like that—
You can collect emails and generate demo signups easily.
Did you know?
The product demo popup above is called “on-click.” That is, it appears only when visitors click on a predetermined button on a page. An easy way to convert visitors on websites.
6. Lead magnets
A lead magnet is a downloadable file you give away in exchange for emails.
This is a classic way to capture emails from website visitors. That’s why many businesses are using them.
A B2B example:
Gorgias, a customer service platform, offers this ebook on using support as a way to generate revenues for ecommerce businesses:
A B2C example:
SFuels, a company selling training drinks, uses this Racing Fuel Guide, a helpful resource for athletes:
But here’s the thing:
Lead magnets sometimes get a bad rap.
Well, because some folks don’t invest enough into the value of the content they’re putting out there. So people don’t find them helpful and choose to ignore a lead magnet the next time they come across one (unless it comes from a reputable website).
To collect emails with lead magnets:
Focus them on a real problem(s) of your audience
Place lead magnets only on contextually relevant web pages
Promise a real benefit to convince to convert
7. Product giveaways
Shoppers love free stuff.
(Well, who doesn’t?)
That’s why giveaways are effective (here are 10 giveaway ideas for you).
Faguo, a fashion brand, captured 48,146 emails with a weekly sneaker giveaway.
WP Standard, one of Shopify success stories, has been running giveaways for over a year now 👇 (This email collection project must be really successful!)
I mean, who wouldn’t want a cool tote worth $228 for free?
By the way—
Here’s what Ryan Barr, the founder of WP Standard, said about his focus on email list building as a business growth strategy:
“Email is the only channel you really own. Facebook, Instagram, and Google search are all very fickle and those companies will make you pay for access to the people on those platforms.”
If yes, here’s how to make a similar campaign:
Pick a valuable product (priced at $100 or more)
Get a popup tool, create, and publish a campaign
Promote your giveaway on your social media
And it gets better:
You can try this effective email collection project quickly even without any advanced technical skills.
Example: Here’s how I recreated WP Standard’s campaign in Wisepops. The whole thing took me about three minutes 👇
Want to try, too?
You can totally do it. Grab an account in Wisepops and get started!
8. Interactive quizzes
Quizzes can be a goldmine of new emails for you.
They are engaging, interactive, and help people get personalized content or products.
So, everybody wins.
Beardbrand, one of the most successful Shopify stores, gives us an awesome example of how quizzes can help collect emails from customers.
Their “‘What type of beardsman are you?’ quiz asks 10 questions about the respondent’s personality and matches them with products based on their answers:
At the end of the questionnaire, the quiz offers to subscribe to Beardbrand’s newsletter. Here’s how this looks:
And now the big number—
The brand has generated 150,000 emails with this quiz:
“We’ve had nearly 150k people take the quiz, and it’s helped us build our second most successful email list… If you’re willing to put in the hard work, you can see tremendous results and separate your brand from the generic marketing of other companies.”
Bandholz says they used Typeform to create the quiz. Typeform also integrates with Wisepops, so you can add a survey to a popup for maximum visibility.
9. Spin-to-win wheel campaigns
Spin-to-win popups are a great way to collect emails with time-limited promo offers and giveaways.
As I’ve mentioned in the seventh section here, you can collect thousands of emails from visitors (the number depends on how much traffic you get, though).
Let’s see an example.
Martin, the head of marketing at Faguo, created this wheel to collect emails and build an email list continuously (the same tactic as WP Standard does, remember?)
What I love about it:
Additional prize. Besides the main gift, there’s also free shipping to be won—so the brand gives extra motivation to buy
Beautiful background image. It was relevant, too—Faguo plants a tree for every product they sell
Mention of a recent winner. That gives the campaign more credibility
And as we know—
This campaign performed beautifully, collecting about 5,000 emails for Faguo every month on average—exactly what Martin was looking for.
Read the full story: Faguo email collection project.
10. Back-in-stock notifications
This is the “Notify me when available” kind of deal.
If a product is sold out, your customers can click a special button and sign up to get notified when it’s back in stock.
Here's what it looks like:
If we click that button, we get a popup asking us to sign up.
The form is simple and has only one field:
Just like that, you can start capturing some extra emails on your website.
Those emails will come from high-intent visitors (why would someone sign up to get notified about something they don’t want, agree?).
Setting up back-in-stock alerts is quite easy: get an app like Notify Me! (4.9 rating on Shopify and a free plan). The app sends the notifications automatically.
11. Loyalty or reward programs
If you want to capture emails from website visitors and turn some of them into repeat customers, start a loyalty program.
This means adding a program signup form to your website.
For example, BAR-U-EAT has this “Rewards” widget.
If you click it, you’ll see an invitation to join the brand’s community and get rewards with every order.
Here’s what it looks like:
And guess what—
Visitors don’t have to make a purchase right away to get points.
They can earn them by following the brand on social media, sharing your birthday, and subscribing to their newsletter.
Consider mentioning these perks when you promote your customer loyalty programs. That should help capture more emails from visitors, even from those who aren’t ready to buy right away.
Did you know?
About 59% of shoppers say they stay loyal to brands because they feel a personal connection with them. This often means sharing the same mission or values. Here’s how businesses take a different approach to marketing to establish that connection:
💡 Examples of ethical marketing (feat. Patagonia, Warby Parker, and Allbirds)
Tips on how to collect emails from different visitors
When visitors come to your website, they have different goals.
Some are just browsing, others already know something about your products, and others can even buy right away (but have not made that yet).
Given that the average website visitor conversion rate is about 2%, we need to try to capture emails from the 98% who leave.
Let’s name those visitors window shoppers, deal hunters, and repeat visitors.
How to collect emails from window shoppers
Window shoppers are often the first-time visitors: arrive at your website, check out your products and offers, and leave.
Use these tactics:
Opt-in popups (welcome popups)
How to collect emails from deal hunters
Deal hunters are looking for the best deal possible. Could visit your site one or two times, often after clicking online ads or visiting other stores.
Use these tactics:
Opt-in popups (especially discount popups)
Spin-to-win wheel campaigns
Personalized landing pages
How to collect emails from repeat visitors
Repeat visitors have visited your website multiple times but have not purchased anything yet. They could be interested in your products but need some extra push to buy.
Use these tactics:
Embedded signup forms
Loyalty program signups
Free product demos
And now, let’s talk about those best ways to capture emails in more detail.
Here you go, the best ways to collect emails on your website.
Consider trying a few different tactics at the same time (say, welcome popups, onsite notifications, and landing pages) to diversify your strategy. Watch their performance, tweak them, and see what gets you the most emails.
Oleksii Kovalenko is a digital marketing expert and a writer with a degree in international marketing. He has seven years of experience helping ecommerce store owners promote their businesses.