5 Creative Ways to Capture an Email Address

By Josiah Choy

A good portion of business development and lead generation is done through the gathering of email addresses. In fact, the two channels of conversion for many businesses is usually their main website and by email. And it’s easily justifiable – email is instantaneous, inexpensive, and can be tracked and measured through analytics. The feedback and knowledge you receive from an email campaign compounds upon itself as you tweak your copy, improve your call to actions and A/B test your content.

Here are some basic and creative ways to improve your email capture process.

1. The Widget

An effective tool we’ve used to gather thousands of email addresses is this simple widget that pops up at the bottom of our website. It appears after the visitor is on the site for about 10 seconds.

Creating the delay gives the visitor time to quickly glance over and become oriented with the website. The small pop up and movement that occurs 10 seconds later grabs their attention and incentivizes them with a free 30-day course.

The beauty is that it’s quick, easy, and much less intrusive than a popup box that takes up the entire screen. Visitors can take 2 seconds to type in their email address, or simply close the box and continue browsing your site.

Widget 1

2. Scroll Triggered Popup

A variation of the standard pop-up box is the pop-up box that is activated when the visitor scrolls down the page below a certain point. This can useful if you don’t want distractions above the fold, or if you want to wait until the visitor finishes browsing a specified portion of your material.

I’ve seen this used on different blogs where the pop-up is inactive until you hit the comments section. If you are concerned more about the quality of your email list, this might be a good tool.

This wordpress plugin offers to do that (although I have not personally tested it out).

3. Incentives

Whenever you ask for an email address, remember to offer a proper incentive! One incentive might beat out another less compelling incentive straight across the board. But you might also find that changing up your incentives may attract different people. Some people enjoy reading – offer them an ebook. I enjoy listening to podcasts since they are portable. Incentives may include:

  • A newsletter
  • An email drip course
  • An ebook
  • A webinar recording
  • Slides from a presentation
  • A video tutorial
  • A podcast

Remember to keep it fresh and rotate your content regularly. Even if you find that one type of content converts better than the rest, take time once in a while to update the material. We’ve had our free 30 day landing page course for a while, and since it was doing so well we went ahead and updated the course material and worksheets (you can check it out here).

For more incentive and content ideas, also check out The Periodic Table of Content.

4. Blogging – The Director’s Cut

Blogging is tricky sometimes. If you’re picky about your content, you want each post to be comprehensive and to the point. Not too long and not too short. You also need to balance your SEO keywords and still come across naturally.

If you have a high level of expertise in the topic you’re writing about, chances are you can’t fit everything in one post. Instead of doing a 2 or 3 part post, consider doing a slightly longer post and ending with a hook. Write a packed and informative post, and leave them wanting more.

Tell the visitor there was some “extra content” that got cut out, but you’ll email it to them if they want. Kind of like how some movies contain a director’s cut or edited scenes that were “never released until now”.

5. The Welcome Gate/Splash Page

A splash page welcomes a visitor to your website and collects opt-in information, such as an e-mail address from a visitor. It acts like a gate, to welcome the user, before they see the content on your web site.

This is a very aggressive technique in nature, as it forces visitors to give you their email before they continue. However, if used appropriately and under certain circumstances, it can be a powerful tool.

Are you using any of these techniques? Did we miss a good one? Tell us your favorite tip for capturing email addresses!

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