Email Capture: 7 Surefire Ways to Acquire Email Leads in 2022 [+Tools]

As a marketer, one of your top priorities is building an engaged email list that you can nurture into customers and evangelists of your brand. But with inbox competition fiercer than ever, how do you convince casual website visitors to hand over their precious email address?

The answer lies in email capture – providing an enticing, friction-free signup experience that clearly communicates the value of subscribing. By using proven email capture methods that are continually tested and refined, you can rapidly grow your list with high-quality leads eager to hear from you.

In this guide, I‘ll share 10 of the most effective email capture examples and tools for 2024, along with best practices and case studies to inspire your own irresistible opt-in offers and forms. But first, let‘s cover some email capture fundamentals.

What is Email Capture?
Email capture is the process of collecting email addresses from website visitors, usually in exchange for a valuable offer, with the goal of building an email list that you can market to. Common email capture techniques include web forms, pop-ups, surveys, quizzes, live chat, chatbots, giveaways, and content upgrades.

Why is Email Capture Important?
Email remains one of the most effective channels for engaging leads and driving sales. Consider these email marketing stats:

  • There will be 4.6 billion email users by 2025 (Statista)
  • Email generates $36 for every $1 spent (Litmus)
  • 37% of brands are increasing their email budget (Litmus)
  • 77% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months (HubSpot)

To take advantage of the power of email, you need a way to consistently capture email addresses from your website traffic. A healthy, growing email list is key to reaching more prospects with targeted messages that move them down your marketing funnel.

Essential Elements of High-Converting Email Capture
Not all email capture is created equal. To maximize conversions while providing a great user experience, your email capture needs to nail four key elements:

  1. Clear, Compelling Value Proposition
    Your signup offer needs to provide instant value and be so good that visitors would gladly pay for it. It must be specific to your audience‘s goals and communicated concisely. Consider using social proof like number of subscribers or testimonials.

  2. Attractive, Professional Design
    Your email capture visuals should grab attention, support your brand, and make the next step crystal clear. Use contrasting colors, directional cues, and whitespace to highlight your call-to-action (CTA).

  3. Friction-Free Signup
    Reduce form fields to the bare minimum (usually just name and email) and leverage social sign-in. Make it easy to submit on any device. Consider multi-step forms to ease users in.

  4. Enticing Follow-Up
    Deliver on your promise with an automated welcome email and nurture sequence that thanks subscribers, shares your best content, and makes an offer. Segment leads based on their signup source and behavior to send ultra-relevant emails.

With these elements in mind, let‘s explore some of the most effective email capture examples and tools you can implement in 2024.

Top 10 Email Capture Examples for 2024

  1. Contextual Inline Forms
    Inline forms are embedded directly into your website or blog content, making them a natural extension of the user experience. In 2024, the key is to make them hyper-relevant to the exact content the user is engaging with.

For example, Ahrefs includes a simple inline form on their list of top Google searches, inviting users to get the full list in exchange for their email. The form is unobtrusive, quick to complete, and perfectly matches the intent of searchers landing on this page.

Service provider Housecall Pro takes it a step further by dynamically personalizing their inline form based on the service page the visitor is on. So the form on their plumbing page asks for a plumbing business name, while their cleaning page asks for a cleaning business name.

Tips:

  • Place inline forms in high-traffic, high-intent pages like your blog, resources section, and service pages
  • Experiment with form placement – top of post for awareness, middle or end of post for higher intent
  • Succinctly reiterate the value of signing up and use a contrasting CTA button
  • Bonus: Dynamically change form fields based on page context for greater personalization
  1. Multi-Step Pop-Ups
    Pop-ups have a reputation for being interruptive, but when done right they are still one of the most effective email capture tools. In 2024, multi-step pop-ups that gradually engage users are a big trend for boosting conversions while respecting the user experience.

Check out this example from Webflow. Instead of immediately asking for an email, the first "step" offers three clear benefits of signing up. Only clicking "Get Started" triggers the actual form in step two. This micro-commitment makes users more likely to complete the process.

Sephora combines a multi-step approach with gamification in their pop-up, which starts with a spin-to-win wheel. After the spin, it shows the prize and then asks for email to send the offer – a much more engaging experience than a standard pop-up.

Tips:

  • For list growth, use entry pop-ups; for abandoning visitors, use exit intent pop-ups
  • Limit form fields in the final step to just email to reduce friction
  • Provide 2-3 clear benefits or bullet points before asking for any info
  • Make it fun and interactive with gamification, progress bars, or quizzes
  • Use frequency capping and cookie targeting to avoid annoying repeat visitors
  1. Chatbots
    Conversational marketing with chatbots is on the rise, and for good reason. Chatbots can engage web visitors 24/7, answer questions, provide support, and guide users to key actions like email signup. The key is to balance automation with a human touch.

Sycamore Creek, an apartmenting provider, uses a friendly chatbot Character on key pages like floor plans and amenities to answer questions and ask for visitor info when the time is right. It even has a name and avatar to make the experience more personal.

MasterClass welcomes visitors with a chatbot that helps recommend classes and learn more about the user before inviting them to create a free account. By the time the email capture form shows up, the user has a much clearer idea of the platform‘s value.

Tips:

  • Use a catchy greeting and give your chatbot a bit of personality
  • Start with common queries/buttons to guide users vs. open-ended questions
  • Collect email after providing a relevant piece of info or answer
  • Integrate your chatbot with your email platform to trigger personalized sequences
  • Provide an easy way to chat with a human for more complex issues
  1. Interactive Quizzes
    People love to learn about themselves – and share the results. That‘s why interactive quizzes are such a powerful email capture tool. Quizzes pique curiosity, create an engaging experience, and provide personalized results that naturally lead to a tailored call-to-action.

Skincare brand Versed has a "Skin Decoder Quiz" that asks visitors a few simple questions about their skin goals and type. After showing their recommended products, it invites quiz takers to sign up for 10% off their first order – an offer that‘s hard to pass up after investing time in the process.

Similarly, supplement brand HUM Nutrition has a quiz to help users "Find their perfect vitamins." After the results, a popup offers a discount or product giveaway for subscribing to their email list.

Tips:

  • Make the title specific and benefit-driven; avoid generic quizzes
  • Ask 5-10 engaging questions that tie into your products/services
  • Use a progress bar or question counter to set expectations and boost completions
  • Provide a shareable results page with a tailored lead magnet for email signup
  • Sync data with your email platform to personalize messaging based on quiz answers
  1. Gated Video Content
    Video is one of the most consumed content formats today, making it a great opportunity for email capture. By gating your video content behind a simple email capture form, you can quickly grow your list while providing valuable education and entertainment.

Influencer marketing platform Mavrck uses gated videos to capture emails on their resources page, offering expert training videos and guides in exchange for contact info. Because the content is highly relevant to their audience‘s goals, visitors have a strong incentive to sign up.

Wellness app Asana Rebel takes an alternate approach and embeds an email capture form right within their workout videos. Viewers must enter their email to keep watching past a certain point, increasing the conversion rate.

Tips:

  • Offer genuinely useful video content, not just promotional material
  • Include a clear title, description, and thumbnail to generate interest
  • Ask for email either on a landing page or directly within the video
  • Test gating different parts of the video (beginning vs. middle)
  • Include a strong CTA in the video itself for viewers to subscribe
  1. Social Giveaways
    Social media contests and giveaways are a proven way to quickly capture emails at scale. By offering an enticing prize and making email signup a requirement to enter, you can rapidly grow your list while also generating buzz and engagement on social.

Athletic apparel brand Vuori recently ran a giveaway on Instagram, offering a free outfit to 5 winners who followed their account and signed up on the linked landing page. By promoting across multiple channels, they were able to drive a high volume of entries and email signups.

Bearaby, a sustainable weighted blanket brand, took a similar approach with their "12 Days of Giveaways" campaign. Promoted on their website and social accounts, the campaign required an email address to enter for the chance to win a free blanket.

Tips:

  • Choose a prize that aligns with your brand and target audience
  • Make the entry process as simple as possible, ideally just an email field
  • Clearly state contest rules, restrictions, and selection process for transparency
  • Promote across all your marketing channels, including email, social, website, and ads
  • Follow up with a welcome email to establish a relationship with new subscribers
  1. Live Event Registration
    Live events, both virtual and in-person, are a great way to provide value to your audience while capturing emails for lead nurturing. By gating your event registration behind an email capture form, you can quickly build a list of engaged prospects interested in your expertise.

HubSpot, the CRM and marketing automation platform, regularly hosts live webinars on topics like lead generation, content marketing, and sales strategies. The webinar registration page has a simple email capture form, along with key event details and social proof in the form of speaker bios and company logos.

On the B2C side, home decor brand West Elm offers free DIY workshops and classes in its stores. Visitors must provide their email to RSVP, which West Elm can then use to promote relevant products and events in the future.

Tips:

  • Choose an event topic that solves a real problem for your audience
  • Clearly communicate the key benefits and takeaways of attending
  • Include an agenda, speaker bios, and social proof where applicable
  • Keep the registration form short – just ask for essential info like name and email
  • Send registrants a confirmation email with event logistics and an add-to-calendar link
  1. Browser-Based Push Notifications
    Browser push notifications are clickable messages that appear on a user‘s desktop or mobile device, even when they‘re not actively browsing your website. By requesting permission to send these notifications, you can capture visitor interest and bring them back to your site for email signup.

E-commerce brand BeardBrand uses push notifications to alert shoppers of new content, product restocks, and special promotions. When a visitor opts in, BeardBrand can send targeted campaigns encouraging them to create an account or sign up for email alerts.

Similarly, newsletter platform SubStack allows writers to enable browser notifications for their publication. Visitors who aren‘t ready to pay for a subscription can opt in for notifications about new free posts, building interest over time.

Tips:

  • Set expectations for what type of notifications users will receive
  • Use clear, direct copy on the opt-in prompt
  • Offer an incentive for opting in, like a discount code or free resource
  • Keep notification copy short and include a strong CTA to come back to your site
  • Segment your subscribers to send highly targeted, relevant notifications
  1. Progressive Profiling
    Progressive profiling is a technique where you gradually gather more information about a lead over time, rather than asking for everything upfront. By capturing just an email at first and then requesting additional details later, you can improve conversion rates while still building a rich lead profile.

Sales CRM Pipedrive uses progressive profiling on their signup flow. The initial form asks for just an email and password to create an account. Then, once a user is in the app, they are prompted to provide additional info like company size, use case, and role to personalize their experience.

Asana, a project management tool, takes a similar approach. Their free trial signup requests minimal info like name and email. Then, as the user explores the product, Asana will occasionally ask for more details to tailor the user experience and send relevant email campaigns.

Tips:

  • Request only the bare minimum to start (usually just email)
  • Save progressive fields for after a user has signed up or converted
  • Use conditional logic to avoid asking for info you already have
  • Provide context for why you‘re asking for each additional piece of info
  • Use progressive data to create highly targeted email automation flows
  1. Interactive Tools and Calculators
    Interactive tools and calculators are a type of content that both engages visitors and captures their information. By providing a useful, personalized result in exchange for an email address, tools can be a powerful lead generation asset.

Fundraising platform GoFundMe offers a free donation calculator on their website. After entering a few details about their campaigns, users see a report with suggested goal amounts and timelines, along with an email capture form to save the results and get more tips.

Another example comes from moving company Updater, which has a free moving cost calculator on their site. Visitors input basic details about their move and see an instant quote, with the option to provide an email to be connected with a moving specialist.

Tips:

  • Solve a real problem or answer a burning question with your tool
  • Keep the input fields simple and use smart defaults where possible
  • Provide both instant results and a more detailed takeaway for email access
  • Test the tool with users to optimize the experience and outputs
  • Follow up with a sequence of personalized emails with additional tips and offers

Conclusion
Email capture is essential for growing an engaged list of leads and customers for your business. By providing a relevant, valuable incentive and making signup as easy as possible, you can turn casual browsers into loyal subscribers hungry for your emails.

As you implement these email capture examples and tools, remember to continually test and optimize your approach. The best email capture strategy will vary based on your unique audience, offer, and goals.

Looking for even more ways to grow your email list? Check out our roundup of the Top 25 Lead Generation Tools and Tactics for 2024.

So what are you waiting for? Go implement these email capture examples and watch your list growth take off.

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