How to capture email leads and build your email list
What are email leads? It’s simply turning traffic into email contacts to then convert to customers.
Email lists are for many people, the lifeblood of their business. Emails = opportunity. The more emails you have the more opportunities you have to convert those emails into customers and ultimately produce revenue.
So, how exactly do you build an email list? Are there certain techniques that work better than others? There is a myriad of ways businesses build their databases, but ultimately, it comes down to the value you give a consumer in order for them to feel it’s worth it to hand you their valuable information.
One thing to take into consideration before diving headfirst into these 10 ways, is that email marketing and capturing leads is more saturated than it used to be. But don’t let that scare you!
People are much more aware nowadays of when they are being advertised to and do not want to give up their email to just anyone. With the heightened awareness, you just need to be a little more clever, give even more value and don’t give up!
When you do it right and provide them real value, your email audience will listen to what you have to say. It may sound uncommon, but we regularly receive open rates over 40% because our audience trusts us and know we aren’t trying to take advantage of them.
Here are the best ways to capture email leads:
1. Sticky top bar
What the heck is a sticky top bar anyways? Well, It looks something like this:
This is a simple way to add a CTA (call-to-action) to any page on your website.
The very best Sticky Bar that I know of is called HelloBar. What makes it so amazing is that you can customize the bar for different pages, which allows you to fine-tune your message to the content your traffic is reading.
If for example, you have a blog post about how to make the best pineapple upside-down cake in the world and then at the top of the page you had a sticky bar that said something like “download our top 5 cake recipes for free” that would probably convert better than a sticky bar that just said “sign up for our newsletter.”
One thing consistent through all of these email capture methods is providing value. If you put the audience first, you will win.
>>> Checkout HelloBar. <<<
They have a free plan that is actually free.
2. Exit-intent popup method
You may or may not have known this but there are popup tools available that are only triggered to popup when the person on your website is starting to exit out of the page. A little creepy, but I mean, we are marketers, right?
HelloBar actually offers this exact tool too. They explain exit-intent popups really well in this blog.
The exit-intent strategy is a guaranteed way to get your viewer’s attention. As they go to exit the page, they get a popup that can look like a variety of things, but I personally like that one that takes over the whole page. It looks like this.
This exit-intent popup is actually from neilpatel.com, the founder of HelloBar. He designed a very clever exit-intent that brings them to a quiz and at the end of the quiz, you have to provide your email in order to see your results. Clever, right?
This strategy is most effective when you have specific popups for specific web pages.
If I write a blog on landing pages, for example, it makes a lot more sense to have an exit-intent popup that has something about landing pages like “download our top 5 best converting landing page templates.”
As you can imagine, that would likely convert a lot higher than a generic exit-intent that just says “sign up for our newsletter.”
HelloBar has the best software to build high converting lead capture popups.
3. Built-in website builder pop-up form
Many of the website builders have a tool like this that is a very easy drag-n-drop email capture popup.
Some of the website builders that offer this:
These can be amazing tools to have right out of the gate when you don’t have a budget for additional email capture tools. Since you are already paying for these lead capture systems with your website builder, it’s smart to go ahead and use it.
With most of the website builders, it’s a simple integration with your favorite email marketing systems such as MailChimp or my personal favorite, ConvertKit.
4. Landing page software
This is the root of most of my personal email capture success.
The thing with landing pages is that they are specifically designed for one purpose. In this case, we are trying to capture an email address as a lead but landing pages can be to sell a service, set consultations, etc.
According to this Hubspot Blog, with over 650 dedicated and custom-built landing pages, they convert on average over 35% of their traffic! That’s about 4x higher than the average regular webpage conversion rate.
I have years of experience using landing page softwares, using everything from Clickfunnels, Leadpages, Instapage and Unbounce. I have 2 favorites for 2 reasons…
My favorites: Instapage & Unbounce
Instapage is my favorite if you don’t plan on attaching this to a website at all. In other words, you won’t want to put this on your primary domain, but rather use a different domain that is custom to your offering.
Instapage offers an incredible amount of templates that are super easy drag and drop and can literally customize the site to anything you want.
>>> Instapage Free Trial <<<
Unbounce is my other favorite for when you want to add a landing page to an existing website. Unbounce has a WordPress plugin that takes 2 seconds to install and allows you seamless integration with your landing pages and your website.
Essentially, you just create your landing page how you want in the Unbounce builder, then you connect it to your WordPress website and it makes that landing one of the pages on your website. Pretty slick, right?
>>> Unbounce Free Trial <<<
So, which one for you?
With whatever landing page software you should decide to go with, they all give you the ability to create a dedicated page to your offering. Designed correctly, it can be the email capture magic you are seeking.
5. Lead Magnets
Remember when I said there was one thing consistent with all of these different methods? Value is the biggest tool to lead capture.
A lead magnet is a free piece of content you offer in exchange for their info. You can be infinitely creative with what kind of content you decide to giveaway, but there are a few pretty typical offerings that are proven to work:
- Excel templates
Once you create your lead magnet and presumably create it on a landing page, you’ll need to let the world know about it!
I suggest exploring all the different channels to market your lead magnet. I’ve found Instagram ads and YouTube ads, particularly successful channels to advertise on. If you’ve never advertised on YouTube before, I wrote a short e-Book launching your first YouTube ad campaign.
I suggest using a tool like Instapage to create your lead magnet landing page.
6. Homepage capture form
This is one of the most effective ways for me personally to capture email leads for free.
These blogs bring a lot of traffic to TGM just through the power of SEO. Once a reader finishes reading the blog that brought them here, they tend to do some snooping around and investigate what TGM is all about.
They, of course, check out the homepage where my very first CTA is an email capture form.
As you can see, it’s not just any old “join my newsletter” capture form.
I know my audience is here to grow their business in some shape or form. With knowing who the bulk of my audience is, I purposefully design the content around that.
“Ready to grow your business?” Obviously the answer is yes. Not only do I grab their attention with something that they want but I create curiosity about what kind of email they will get by filling out that form.
You can do the same thing.
How do you do it?
- Define who your ideal customer is.
- What is a problem that your ideal customer has?
- Make that question the title of your form.
- Have an email followup system to answer their question.
Make sure you have an email sequence to followup on the form they fill out. If you just capture their email and then don’t deliver the value you promised afterward, you will completely lose their trust.
I build all of my email sequences with ConvertKit.
It’s seriously the best email marketing platform I’ve ever used. I will never go back to MailChimp after using it.
7. Facebook Lead Ads
The same concepts from earlier still apply to this method. You’ll need to have an offer of some kind (e-Book, checklist, etc.) but it’s even more important to nail down your offer on this method since you are paying for the traffic.
Facebook Lead Ads look like regular Facebook Ads with one key difference; you aren’t taking the traffic off of Facebook to another website.
Instead of sending your ad traffic to a landing page, you can have a built-in form right into your ad.
Pros and Cons:
Pros of Facebook Lead Ads:
- Very simple to build
- Great for fast testing
- Keeps traffic on Facebook
- Autofills their information in the form
- You can set up with Zapier to send leads into your CRM
- You don’t need to pay for a 3rd party landing page service
Cons of Facebook Lead Ads:
- Not very customizable
- Traffic info might be bad quality from people not updating their Facebook info
- You can’t edit the form. You have to duplicate and modify the new form.
- No upselling features.
- You have to download leads manually by CSV file unless you add a 3rd party integration.
I personally love Lead Ads, but only for fast testing.
I can run a couple of split tests using the Lead Ad Forms and then based on whichever ad performs the best, I can build my landing page with Unbounce.
This has proven to be the most effective way to capture leads and not blow my advertising budget.
8. Facebook Messenger Chatbots
With this method, you would actually obtain their information in 2 ways. First, you would get their Facebook profile and have a chatbot that could talk to them through Facebook messenger.
Next, you would use the chatbot as a tool to obtain their email address. It always goes back to providing value. I’ll say it till I’m blue in the face…
Even with a chatbot, you should offer something for free in exchange for their information. With chatbots, you set everything to be completely automatic and can literally watch the conversation happen live through your facebook messenger app or through the chatbot software you are using.
I like to use Mobile Monkey. It’s the easiest to use and learn and their customer service is amazing.
Truthfully, I started using Mobile Monkey because of their free account. Of course, they have paid for accounts but the free account is actually super robust and gives you a chance to really understand how it works.
After you build your Chatbot, you’ll need to focus on how to grab their email address.
Kevin David does an excellent job of doing this. Once he gets you into his Facebook Messenger list, he starts offering value that you need to put your email address in to get that value.
It’s a perfect example of how you can use chatbots to start producing you some results and doing it all automatically.
I recommend at least signing up for Mobile Monkey to see what it’s all about.
9. WordPress Plugins
Some website platforms such as WordPress, don’t include any kind of lead capture tool. But you do have a nearly endless amount of plugins to choose from that are easy to install and customize to your lead gen needs.
I personally have this whole site built with Elementor, which has very customizable options for lead generation.
10. LinkedIn Content
Remember what Facebook looked like in 2011? You could share anything and everyone would see it. Nowadays it’s less than 1% of your audience sees your post from your business page.
LinkedIn is starting to look a lot like Facebook did in 2011.
Think about the opportunity that could bring you right now! There are tons of different pieces of content you can be producing for LinkedIn that would could be generating you leads.
- You can share blogs and write a short synopsis on why someone should read it.
- You can write and share your own blog.
- You can make short 1-2 minute videos on how to do something or sharing a valuable opinion.
- You can share an ebook you wrote and send people to a landing page.
The thing with doing all of this, is that people will share it.
Take a day to look through LinkedIn and see what kind of content is doing well. Look at the content that is actually being shared.
Once you see what is performing well, start producing very sharable content that can drive people to your page and ultimately bring them into your email funnel.
I know this sounds daunting, but this opportunity will not be around forever. NOW is the time to do LInkedIn. I highly recommend giving it a try.
How was that for a firehose of options? As you can see there are a lot of different things you can do to capture email leads. You certainly don’t need to do all of them, especially all at once.
Ultimately, building your email list is about understanding your audience really well and helping them answer their questions. If you can help them, they will listen to you and gladly be a part of your list.
Choose a method and go for it. Provide unbelievable value and your list will grow.
Let me know how your list building is going. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (Yes, you’ll be added to my email list and yes, I will email you back.)
Thanks for reading,
Alex at TGM