Gathering email addresses is a task that’s much easier said than done. It’s often the case that people are unwilling to share contact info.

Here are 10 of the best “tricks of the trade” for quickly building email marketing lists.

Tricks for Building Email Marketing Lists Fast

Tricks for Building Email Marketing Lists Fast

  1. Building Email Marketing Lists (Run a Quiz)

Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it can earn you some email addies.

How so? Simply run a quiz that will reveal something about people who take it. Then, ask for an email address in exchange for the results.

For example, let’s say you’re running a dating website. Around the end of January, you could run a quiz with this headline: “What kind of Valentine are you?”

Unsurprisingly, there are lots of lonely hearts out there that would love to know the answer to that question. So they take the quiz.

Those folks answer a few simple questions (“What’s your ideal date?”, “What’s most important to you in a partner?”, etc.) Then, at the very end, they see a popup that says: “Enter your email address to see your results!”

Sure, some people will blow that off in frustration. However, many visitors won’t.

They’ll give you their email address just so they can see the results.

And you’ve just added people looking for love to one of your email marketing lists. Now, you can use that list to advertise promotions, offer a free weekend on your site, and share a few tips on finding true love in the 21st century.

Keep in mind: you can also use quizzes to easily segment your market.

In the example above, some people who took the quiz might have discovered that they’re an “Incurable Romantic.” Segment those people into a separate list and email them content that’s relevant to incurable romantics.

Likewise, segment other quiz-takers into separate lists based on their results. Have one list for “Hot Tinder Date”, another for “Amorous Adventurer”, and so on.

That’s precisely why quizzes are one of the best ways to collect email addresses. They don’t only help you build your email marketing lists, but they help you segment them as well.

  1. Show a Popup for a Free Download When Building Email Marketing Lists

If there’s one word that will help you gather emails, it’s this one: free.

People love free. Some cybernauts browse around online for hours looking for freebies.

In fact, plenty of folks in your target market would love free stuff.

Give them what they want. Offer a download that will interest them in exchange for an email address.

Offer your visitors a free download that will interest them in exchange for an email address

Offer your visitors a free download that will interest them in exchange for an email address

For example, let’s say you’re running a digital marketing company like me. You use content marketing to reach people online.

When visitors read your blog, show them a popup that says: “Learn the Best-Kept SEO Secrets That High-Profile Digital Marketers Don’t Want You to Know About!” On the same popup, you ask for an email address where you can send those secrets in PDF format. 

Some folks will happily share their email address in exchange for that kind of info. When they do that, you email them a link to the document.

Boom. You’ve not only kept your promise, you’ve also collected additional email addresses.

Keep in mind, though: your freebie must be relevant to people in your target market.

In the example above, what kind of response would you expect if the popup offered a free document about dog grooming? Very few takers, if any.

Write a PDF that people in your target market will love. Then offer it to them for free if they’ll provide an email address.

  1. Capture an Email Address When They Abandon the Cart

Abandoned shopping carts are the bane of eCommerce site owners everywhere. However, you can use them to your advantage.

When someone shows an exit intent during the checkout process, display a popup asking for an email address.

Now, you might be wondering to yourself: “Why would somebody volunteer an email address if they’re planning on abandoning the shopping cart?”

And the answer to that is: you’ll have to give people a reason to provide an email address.

How about a coupon code? An offer for free shipping? A free complementary item?

When someone shows an exit intent during the checkout process, display a popup asking for an email address.

When someone shows an exit intent during the checkout process, display a popup asking for an email address.

Yes, it will cost you some money. But ask yourself this question: is it worth it to keep a customer?

Remember: as a rule of thumb, it costs much less money to keep a customer than it does to find a new customer. That’s why you should always pull out all the stops when you find someone who’s almost at the bottom of the sales funnel but doesn’t quite want to make the commitment to purchase.

People in the checkout process are as close to the bottom of the sales funnel as possible. Do everything you can to turn them into lifelong loyal customers.

Collect their email addresses as well.

  1. Give Away an eBook

Another way that you can collect some email addresses is to write a great eBook that people in your target market will want to read. Then, offer it to them in exchange for an email address.

Remember the keyword, though: free.

I’ve tried it both ways. I have a book for sale on Amazon (read about how I sell thousands of copies here) and also often create eBooks.

Here is my Amazon book.

When it comes to free eBooks, you’re producing unique content that will appeal to people in your market. Then, you tell them that you’ll send it to them via email.

Of course, in order to do that, you need an email address.

Just make sure that the info in your book is valuable. People won’t take to kindly to getting ripped off even if the “price” they paid was only an email address.

Also, you really need to establish yourself as an authority in your space before trying this strategy. People generally won’t be tempted to share an email address in exchange for an eBook from somebody they’ve never heard about.

  1. Building Email Marketing Lists (Offer a Coupon Code)

As an incentive for collecting an email address from people who abandon the shopping cart, we suggested offering a coupon code. Of course, you don’t have to wait until people are bailing on the checkout process before tempting them with a discount.

Why not offer a coupon code to everybody who volunteers an email address?

As you’ve probably noticed, there’s a recurring theme here. People are getting something of value in exchange for surrendering their email address.

In this case, the item of value is a coupon code. It’s an especially sweet offer for ecommerce sites. People are always looking for ways to save money online.

You can also use it if you’re running a service, though. Offer a coupon code that gives free access to your service for a month.

That strategy won’t just get you an email address. It will also enable people to “try before they buy” your service. That’s a great way to reel in more business.

  1. Offer a Free Webinar

You can use webinars to promote your brand, establish yourself as an expert in your domain, and generate sales. You can also use them to build email marketing lists.

How so? Remember the keyword: free.

Offer a free webinar in exchange for an email address.

Of course, this strategy will absolutely not work if you’re just a young sprout in your niche. If that’s the case, then nobody recognizes you as an established authority.

On the other hand, if you’ve “been doing this for a while,” then you likely have some street cred. Use that to your advantage by offering a free webinar.

Just tell people they can attend your webinar for free. All they have to do is provide an email address.

Offer a free webinar in exchange for an email address.

Offer a free webinar in exchange for an email address.

  1. Share a Free Tool For Building Email Marketing Lists

As a rule of thumb, people are overworked. They’re always looking for ways to simplify their lives.

If you’re a tech-geek who’s found a way to build a better mousetrap with a tool you’ve created, you might be tempted to sell that tool online.

That’s not necessarily a bad idea. Some people might be willing to part with their cash for your awesome software.

Unfortunately, though, unless you have a really great tool, it’s not likely that too many people will pay for it. That doesn’t mean it’s worthless.

Offer people your tool for free in exchange for an email address.

Again, though, this is a strategy that will only work if the tool is something that people in your target market will find valuable.

If you can’t create a tool on your own but you have a great idea for something that your customers will love, all is not lost. Just visit Upwork and hire a development team on the cheap.

Yes, that will cost some money, but you’ll also build your email marketing lists.

  1. Make Popups Relevant For Email Marketing Lists

As we’ve seen, people love personalized email marketing. That’s why your email request popups should relate to the section of your website that people are visiting.

Here is an example pop up we run on our Amazon pages.

Let’s say you’re running a digital marketing agency. On your blog, articles fall under one of several categories, such as “SEO,” “Social Media Marketing,” “Copywriting,” and so on.

When people visit your blog and read an article, show those people a popup relevant to the category of the blog post they’re reading.

For example, visitors who read a blog post categorized under “SEO,” should see a popup advertising SEO secrets in exchange for an email address. Visitors who read a blog post categorized under “Copywriting,” should see a popup that offers the latest copywriting tricks.

And so on. Make your popups relevant so that you’ll increase your conversion rate.

  1. Ask for Email First During Checkout To Build Email Marketing Lists

We’ve already seen how you can use an abandoned cart to your advantage when it comes to collecting email addresses. But wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to?

You don’t have to.

Create a checkout process that involves a few different steps. At the very beginning of that process ask for an email address.

That’s a nifty little trick because if a shopper abandons the cart later on (perish the thought), you already have the email address.

Then, you can use your marketing automation software to email the folks who bailed a coupon code. That might be just they incentive they need to complete the checkout process.

Even better, though: you have the email address for marketing purposes.

Perhaps best of all: you can segment customers into separate lists based on what they were purchasing.

For example, let’s say you’re running an ecommerce shop that sells clothing. A visitor comes along and buys men’s khakis.

During the checkout process, you would collect that person’s email address. You would also put the address into a list that includes people who are interested in men’s casual wear.

  1. Use an Exit Popup

You’ve probably visited more than a few sites in your day that use an exit popup. That’s a popup that appears when it looks like you’re about to leave the site.

Usually, you’ll see it when you hover the mouse cursor over the URL address bar in your browser. You can also see it when you hover the mouse cursor over the “Back” button.

You should use an exit intent popup, too.

Why? Because it’s less disruptive.

Think about it. How do you feel when you’re reading an article online and then a popup appears that covers the text you’re trying to read?

It’s pretty frustrating, isn’t it?

On the other hand, when you show a popup to people who were planning on leaving anyway, you’re not disrupting their attempt to read your awesome content.

Again though, you’re going to need to give people a great reason to volunteer an email address.

So think about what you can offer visitors in that exit popup. A coupon code? A free PDF? An eBook? A Webinar?

The correct answer is: whatever resonates the most with people in your target market.

An exit intent popup is one last chance to catch a customer before he or she gets away. Don’t overlook it.

Get Started Building Your Email Marketing List

If this seems like too much to you, you can always use a email marketing service provider to help you. But whether or not you use someone or do it yourself, this information will steer you in the right direction when creating your email marketing list.