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Article first published May 2015, updated February 2019

Building your email list should be a top priority for all marketers. With public trust in Facebook declining and restrictive social media algorithms, email is becoming an increasingly important channel for marketers.

There are a number of different ways you can build your email list, but none more effective than through your website. But what is email capture? An email capture app allows you to grow your subscriber list by collecting email addresses legally.

In this post, we wanted to share with you a couple of different ways you can use your website to build your list, as well as a few tools that can help you make it happen.

Popups and slide-ins

Popups & slide-ins are separate boxes that either pop up or slide in somewhere on your website to collect people’s email addresses.

They are undoubtedly the most effective method of building your email list.

When popular SEO blog Backlinko added an exit-intent popup (a popup that only shows when people leave your site), they doubled their email subscribe rate overnight. They calculated that this little change made them an extra $82,125 in just 1 year.

The key is balancing the results you’ll get from popups with the negative effect they have on the user experience on your site. While we have our own opinions on this balance, it’s really up to each and every business to work out how far they are willing to go here.

Once you’ve decided that, you can use the following tools to implement popups and slide-ins on your website:

1. Sleeknote

Sleeknote is a great tool for adding popups & slide-ins to your website for collecting email addresses legally. Their visual popup builder is one of the best around and makes it really easy to create a customized design that suits your brand.

As an email capture app, Sleeknote also has some great targeting abilities that let you determine where and when your popup or slide-in appears. It works with any website and includes built-in analytics along with Google Analytics integration for more advanced analysis. They recently launched A/B testing as well, which makes it easy to optimize your popup or slide-in for best results.

Sleeknote integrates directly with Campaign Monitor, so you can simply pick what list you want to add your subscribers to, and they’ll automatically be added. It’s on the more expensive side with plans starting at $69 per month, but worth it if you’re serious about building your email list.

Sleeknote integrates directly with Campaign Monitor, so you can simply pick what list you want to add your subscribers to, and they’ll automatically be added.

2. List Builder by SumoMe.

List Builder is a free tool for adding popups to your website and is part of the broader SumoMe set of tools.

It’s super easy to get started and allows you to do basic customization of the popup, including text, font, and colors.

While the free version works great, if you’re willing to pay a little extra, then the paid version also features A/B testing and advanced targeting rules that enable you to create different popups for different people (like those coming from Twitter for instance).

List Builder integrates directly with Campaign Monitor, so you can simply pick what list you want to add your subscribers to, and they’ll automatically be added.

List Builder integrates directly with Campaign Monitor, so you can simply pick what list you want to add your subscribers to, and they’ll automatically be added.

3. Pippity

Pippity is a WordPress plugin that enables you to add popups to your WordPress-based website to collect email addresses legally.

It has a number of advanced customization options that allow you to change almost everything about the popup, including text, fonts, colors, layout, background images and more.

The Pippity email capture app also includes a number of highly advanced options for controlling the behavior of the popup. You can determine the time or number of page views before it appears, show only on certain pages, show only to people from specific sources like social networks or search engines, or show only as visitors exit your site. You can also create powerful filters that combine all these different elements to ensure your popup only shows to the right people and doesn’t sacrifice the user experience of your website.

Pippity integrates directly with Campaign Monitor so any new subscribers you capture can be added to your list and you can easily send them autoresponders, newsletter & campaigns. Pippity is offered as a one-time purchase rather than a recurring monthly subscription and starts at $49.

Pippity integrates directly with Campaign Monitor so any new subscribers you capture can be added to your list and you can easily send them autoresponders, newsletter & campaigns.

4. Opt-in Popup by Elegant Themes

Opt-in Popup is part of the Bloom plugin from Elegant Themes. It’s exclusive to WordPress and enables you to add popups to your website.

This email capture app comes pre-loaded with a range of templates that you can choose from, and then you can customize colors, text, and fonts from there.

It has all the basic targeting functionality, as well as some advanced options we haven’t seen anywhere else, like only showing when a visitor reaches the end of a post or after they’ve left a comment.

It integrates directly with Campaign Monitor, so you can simply pick what list you want to add your subscribers to, and they’ll automatically be added. The plugin is available as part of a subscription to Elegant Themes (which also includes WordPress themes and other plugins) and will cost you around $89 per year.

Elegant Themes integrates directly with Campaign Monitor, so you can simply pick what list you want to add your subscribers to, and they’ll automatically be added.

5. Optin Monster

Optin Monster is one of the most powerful options when it comes to creating popups and slide-ins on your website for collecting email addresses legally

It comes pre-loaded with a number of different themes you can customize, or you can use their intuitive builder to design your popup or slide-in from scratch with Custom HTML and CSS.

Optin Monster also has advanced targeting features, enabling you to show your popup whenever and wherever you choose. You can also add various animations to your popups & slide-ins that grab people’s attention and increase conversions.

The Optin Monster email capture app integrates directly with Campaign Monitor, so your subscribers are automatically added to your chosen list. Prices for Optin Monster start at $9 per month for the basic version and go up to $29 per month for the premium version with all the features.

The Optin Monster email capture app integrates directly with Campaign Monitor, so your subscribers are automatically added to your chosen list.

6. Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads offers some sweet advanced features that help it stand out from a lot of other standard pop-ups for collecting email addresses legally.

For one thing, Thrive Leads allows you to customize your pop-ups with relevant, targeted content based on categories, specific posts, tags, and more. With this feature, you can ensure your readers are viewing a pop-up that’s most relevant to them.

Thrive Leads also includes a built-in A/B testing feature so you can test directly within the plugin to optimize your conversion rate.

This plugin also offers advanced yet very user-friendly analytics, so you’re always in control of your data.

Thrive Leads includes a built-in A/B testing feature so you can test directly within the plugin to optimize your conversion rate.

Source: Thrive Themes

7. Layered Popups

Most plugins and other email captures give you some level of customization control. However, you’re usually limited to color, copy, and a few other standard factors.

Layered Popup has completely changed the game. With this plugin, you can create beautiful popups to capture email that flow with the rest of your website’s branding and imagery.

The real treat you get with Layered Popups is the visual editor where you can view live changes as you create your design similar to WordPress’s live customization feature.

The Layered Popups email capture app integrates with Campaign Monitor and includes built-in A/B testing as well as detailed analytics tracking for collecting email addresses legally.

The Layered Popups email capture app integrates with Campaign Monitor and includes built-in A/B testing as well as detailed analytics tracking for collecting email addresses legally.

Source: Layered Popups

Header bars

If you’re looking for something that’s still super effective but perhaps a little less intrusive, then header bars may be the way to go.

Header bars are small bars that sit at the top of your website. As users scroll down the page, they often remain ‘stuck’ to the top of the browser window to ensure they are always in sight.

Buffer, the social media scheduling app that runs a popular blog, uses both a Header Bar and Slide-in on their blog to capture email addresses on a website. The header bar accounts for around 33.5% of their 1000+ new subscribers each week, just a little behind the slide-in which accounts for 36.7% of new subscribers.

If you think a header bar might be the right choice for your site, you can use the following tools to implement popups and slide-ins on your website:

8. Hello Bar

Hello Bar is a tool for adding scrolling header bars to your website. It works with any website regardless of the content management system behind it and is highly customizable, with the admin interface allowing you to change the text, colors & placement of the bar. It even has advanced targeting options so you can only show the bar to certain visitors.

Hello Bar integrates directly with Campaign Monitor, so when a person subscribes through the bar, they are automatically added to your chosen email list.

Hello Bar is free for websites with less than 25,000 views per month (though it will show a small logo in the top left corner). If you want some of the advanced functionality like A/B testing, targeting, and no branding, then paid plans start at $15 per month.

Hello Bar is free for websites with less than 25,000 views per month

9. Smart Bar by SumoMe

Smart Bar is another tool for adding scrolling header bars to your website and is part of the broader SumoMe set of tools.

It’s free to use and works on any website regardless of the technology behind it. The bar is optimized for display on mobile devices as well as a desktop but has limited customization options.

Smart Bar integrates directly with Campaign Monitor, so when a person subscribes through the bar, they are automatically added to your chosen email list.

Smart Bar is free to use, though it will show a small logo SumoMe logo on the top left corner of the bar when it’s live on your site.

Smart Bar is free to use, though it will show a small logo SumoMe logo on the top left corner of the bar when it’s live on your site.

Widgets and in-page options

Email capture app widgets and in-page email captures are a nice option when you don’t want to overwhelm your readers with popups or anything that blocks a large portion of the screen.

A lot of readers have developed an instinct for automatically closing any popup they see. In these cases, widgets can give them a second option to subscribe if readers decide they enjoy your content after some reading.

10. Opt-In Widget by Bloom

Opt-in Widget is a tool that makes it easy to add a beautifully designed subscribe box to the sidebar of your WordPress-based website for collecting email addresses legally.

It comes pre-loaded with a range of templates that you can choose from, and then you can customize colors, text, and fonts from there.

It integrates directly with Campaign Monitor, so you can simply pick what list you want to add your subscribers to, and they’ll automatically be added. The plugin is available as part of a subscription to Elegant Themes (which also includes WordPress themes and other plugins) and will cost you around $89 per year.

Bloom integrates directly with Campaign Monitor, so you can simply pick what list you want to add your subscribers to, and they’ll automatically be added.

11. Plugmatter

Plugmatter is a tool that allows you to add a Feature Box to your WordPress-based website to capture email addresses on a website from site visitors.

The tool is highly customizable and can be tweaked to match the design and branding of your website. It also includes advanced targeting functionality so you can show different content on the different pages of your site or to different types of visitors, such as returning users or visitors from different sources.

It also includes A/B testing functionality so you can split test different creative or copy and maximize your subscriber rates.

Plugmatter integrates directly with Campaign Monitor, so any email addresses captured are automatically added to your email list.

Plugmatter is sold as a one-time purchase and starts at $37 for a single-site license. It also includes a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are unhappy with it.

Plugmatter integrates directly with Campaign Monitor, so any email addresses captured are automatically added to your email list.

12. Inline Opt-In Forms by Bloom

Inline Opt-In Forms is another tool in the Bloom suite that enables you to add a pre-designed subscribe form wherever you’d like on your site.

You design the subscribe form using Bloom’s built-in templates and editing functionality, and then insert a special piece of code wherever you need the form to appear, such as in blog posts, on pages, etc.

Inline opt-in forms integrate directly with Campaign Monitor and allow you to easily pick what list you want to add your subscribers to, and they’ll automatically be added. Like the rest of the tools in the Bloom suite, the plugin is available as part of a subscription to Elegant Themes and will cost you around $89 per year.

Inline opt-in forms integrate directly with Campaign Monitor and allow you to easily pick what list you want to add your subscribers to, and they’ll automatically be added.

13. Leadpages

Leadpages is a vast plugin that allows you to easily collect emails with beautiful opt-in form widgets. The great thing about this plugin is that it integrates well across several platforms and other campaign tools including Facebook.

Leadpages also gives you the option to design your own unlimited amount of mobile-responsive landing pages and check-out pages—even if you don’t have a website. Their Facebook ad builder is an especially cool feature that makes it easy to instantly create compelling posts and choose your target audience.

The Standard version of Leadpages starts at $25 per month, but serious marketers may want to opt for the $48 per month Pro version.

Leadpages also gives you the option to design your own unlimited amount of mobile-responsive landing pages and check-out pages—even if you don’t have a website.

Source: Lead Pages

Contact forms

All of the above options make it easy for you to add new, dedicated email subscribe forms to your website that people can use to opt-in to your emails.

But what about collecting email addresses on your website from existing forms? Forms like quote requests, demo requests, and even generic contact forms are a great way to build your email list.

You need to be careful with permission and make sure there is a specific tickbox in the form that allows people to manually opt-in to your emails, but beyond that, it’s pretty straight forward.

Here are a few tools that can help you:

14. Leadin

If you’re using WordPress and already have various contact forms set up on your site, then Leadin is an awesome WordPress plugin that can add some extra functionality to those forms.

Leadin tracks the actions of visitors to your website & sends you a detailed report on the person’s activity once they complete a form. The reports include details like where they came from, what pages of your site they visited and more. It even queries social media networks and other databases to include extra information about the person, such as their Twitter and LinkedIn profiles and company information.

It then pushes all this information over to your Campaign Monitor account via a simple integration, meaning you can have all the leads & contacts from your website automatically added to your chosen list.

Leadin is completely free to use but only works on WordPress for the time being.

Leadin is completely free to use but only works on WordPress for the time being.

15. Gravity Forms

If your website runs on WordPress and you don’t yet have a series of forms set up, then Gravity Forms is worth checking out. It’s one of the most advanced WordPress form builders on the market and integrates with Campaign Monitor so that new leads & contacts are automatically added to your chosen list.

Gravity Forms is sold on a yearly license system and starts at $99 per year for the version that includes integration with Campaign Monitor.

Gravity Forms is sold on a yearly license system and starts at $99 per year for the version that includes integration with Campaign Monitor.

16. Formidable Forms

Formidable Forms makes it easy to design custom forms to capture email addresses on your website. This plugin includes tons of cool features you can integrate across your website such as instant estimate calculators and front-end posting.

When it comes to capturing email addresses through a contact form, you can use the drag-and-drop editor to create beautiful custom forms that match the design of your website.

With Formidable Forms, you can also collect data and save it in your WordPress account to easily filter and sort through as needed.

Formidable Forms starts at $49 for the Personal package and offers a 14-day money back guarantee.

With Formidable Forms, you can also collect data and save it in your WordPress account to easily filter and sort through as needed.

Source: Formidable Forms

Wrap up

Your website is a great place to focus your email list building efforts and the tools above make it easy to design, build and implement beautiful email subscribe forms that get results.

So, check out the marketing sites of some of the tools above to learn more about them, and start adding some well-designed subscribe forms to your website today.

Do you need an email service provider that plays nice with your email capture and other lead generating plugins? Check out our app store to see our full range of integration partners.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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