Wouldn’t it be nice to send an email to every single customer that lands on your site? You know that great email provides a guaranteed ROI which is why building an email subscribers list is one of your top priorities.

The good news is that building a quality list is pretty simple. The following article outlines 4 ways that can help you do it. 

Using a Gated Site to Gain More Email Subscribers

So what is a gated site? In order to receive access to your store, a visitor must enter their email address.

Now I know this may seem a bit counterintuitive, but really, you might be surprised by how well this can work.

Over the last few years, stores such as Huckberry have been testing the gated approach and are seeing great success. Sure, you may be turning some visitors away, but you’ll ultimately be weaning out the browsers from the buyers.

You can safely assume those entering through your store’s figurative “pearly gates” are serious about shopping at your store. Even if they don’t end up buying on the spot, you’ve captured their address and can start sending follow up emails.

One thing to keep in mind though, if you choose to test the “members-only” approach, you’ve got to make sure you’re offering something pretty great to visitors in exchange for their email address, besides your awesome products.

When you think of something gated what comes to mind? A castle, treasure, or perhaps an exclusive restaurant or nightclub? The point is, it’s probably something of value. Something that people really, really want.

Your customers are likewise thinking the same thing when they hand you their prized email address. So how can you properly implement this?

Just take a look at Huckberry.


More than just an eCommerce store, they’re basically an exclusive online club for men. They have an online journal featuring articles ranging from traveling to music and even history lessons. Really, anything their ideal customer would be interested in. By doing this they’re offering their customer something more than just access to their products.

Huckberry Journey

So, if you’ve got the resources to offer up something of value to your customers–think Huckberry content–a gated eCommerce store may be one of the smartest ways for you to gain email subscribers.

Using Lead Magnets to Capture More Email Addresses

You may have heard of the great lead magnet, pop-up or opt-in debate. Some digital marketers love them, others loathe them, which may have you confused as to how you should feel about them.

This may have you wondering, if lead magnets are supposed to attract sign-ups, why are so many repelled by the thought of using them? Simply put, most online stores don’t utilize them correctly. Many of these stores are guilty of at least one of the following offenses:

  • Don’t offer anything of real value
  • Don’t clearly communicate the value of the offer
  • Make it difficult to close the pop-up window
  • Pop-ups appear repeatedly and way too often
  • Pop-ups shown on every page
  • Multiple pop-ups appear at one time

If you avoid these pitfalls, pop-ups can be a wonderful tool for collecting email subscribers. Although there are many different kinds of pop-ups, the following 4 types are easy to implement and are quite effective at building an email subscriber list.

  • Newsletter

If you’re going to offer a Newsletter, make it sound exciting. The value that your customers will be receiving should be clearly stated. “Join Our Newsletter” is not going to cut it.

Remember, customers receive dozens of emails every day. Most of those email blasts with little value, so consumers are understandably skeptical of signing up to yet another newsletter that they’ll have to send to the trash. Instead, take a page from Nasty Gal.

Nasty Gal join the party

There’s actually not even a mention of a newsletter here, but in reality this is what they’re offering. Nasty Gal has used this pop up for a while, which most likely means it’s probably converting pretty well. The simple copywriting and eye-catching detail make this pop up on par with their brand.

Another example is from Plenty, a fashion retailer for women and men. They do a bang up job of utilizing the newsletter pop up by using visually appealing elements and a friendly tone to capture their customer’s email address.

Plenty Exit Intent example

  • Incentive

You can use an incentive offer for just about any occasion, however, they work best when used specifically. For example, instead of offering something such as “free shipping” to every visitor that lands on your store, why not offer a discount on a new product. Or, for a first time customer, offer a dollar or percent discount.

By presenting specific types of offers you’ll get to know what your customers respond to best, giving you a better idea of what to use in the future.

To give you an idea of what a great incentive offer looks like, here is what H&M is currently running on their website.

H & M example

First of all, notice how they’ve faded out the rest of their website? This is so that a visitors attention is solely on the pop up. They’ve also come up with an attractive image to place behind the offer; an often overlooked detail that can have a big impact on capturing a visitors attention. H&M nails it.

As for the offer itself, consumers are pretty used to either free shipping or a discount so by offering both 20% off and free shipping they’re strengthening the offer.

  • Exit

When a customer hasn’t purchased from you, and is about to leave your site, you have one last chance to continue the conversation with an exit pop up.

Related posts:  How 7-Figure eCommerce Owners are Crushing it With Shopping on Instagram

This occurs when the pop-up software you’re using recognizes that a visitors mouse has moved away from the screen, prompting an exit pop-up.

Now’s your chance to offer them a discount, free shipping, a 2 for 1 deal or any special offer that may garner your visitors attention long enough to capture their email address.

Offering a big discount, like the below example, may just be the nudge your visitors need to prompt a faster decision. Alas, even if the offer doesn’t drive a purchase, you now have a name add to your list of email subscribers.

Busted Tees

  • Abandoned Cart Pop-Up

With shopping cart abandonment at an average of 68%, why more eCommerce stores don’t take advantage of this type of pop-up, I don’t know. Whatever the reason, if you’re not using this type of pop up to capture emails, start now.

How does it work? As you’ve probably guessed, when a visitor has placed a product in their cart but has opted against going through with their purchase and is about to leave, an abandoned cart pop up appears.

Don't go popup

This is your last chance to convert the prospect into a buyer and capture their email address to add to your list of email subscribers. If they don’t convert right then and there, you can still follow up with abandoned cart email reminders.

Get More Email Subscribers with Pre-Submit Tracking

Often times a potential customer will come to your store, add products to their cart, get to the checkout area and start entering their information but won’t actually go through with the purchase. Frustrating, we know!

This exact situation was happening to Liftopia, a business that operates the largest online and mobile marketplace as well as the largest technology platform serving the ski and mountain activity industry. Liftopia allows skiers and boarders to buy date-specific lift tickets and on-mountain activities in advance via Liftopia.com and the Liftopia mobile app.

Liftopia knew that 51% of customers that began the checkout process were abandoning the cart prior to completion. But, by using pre-submit tracking they were able to identify 24% more of those abandoners, totaling 8,000 potential customers. And, even though the customers didn’t click submit, Liftopia now had their email address and could remarket to them and recover lost revenue. It’s very important to remember that even though you’re able to identify these “hidden” customers, they still need to be opted into your in-house email list before you send them any campaigns.

You can’t stop cart abandonment but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it. By implementing pre-submit tracking you’ll be collecting a bigger list of email subscribers that have shown the greatest amount of interest in your products and you can start remarketing to them. However, do your due diligence here and ensure your country’s email marketing laws allow this practice.

Gain Email Subscribers Through User Registration

Even if your checkout process is as seamless as possible, there are still going to be potential customers that bounce. However, this does not mean that those customers are a lost cause. User registration can be used as another way to build your email subscribers list and remarket to those bouncers.  

Upon doing research for this post, I visited about 5 different stores to test their checkout process before finally stumbling upon a store utilizing the user registration: Nasty Gal. No matter what method of checking out their customers opt for, Nasty Gal always makes sure to collect their customer’s email.

First off, they state the benefits of signing up for an account with them right away, as seen in the photo below.

Nasty Gal checkout

If a customer chooses to then create an account, they are asked to fill out only 3 fields: email address, password and password confirm. It’s fast and simple for the customer and Nasty Gal collects their email in return.

Nasty Gal checkout 2

Seeing as many of their first-time customers would prefer to checkout as a guest, Nasty Gal has this option available as well, but they don’t allow this to hinder collecting email addresses.  Notice below the first thing they ask for…their customer’s email.

Nasty Gal Checkout 3

By making it a goal to collect your customer’s email right away during user registration you’ll be able to grow your email subscribers list and start sending emails in no time.

Start Collecting Email Subscribers!

Always remember that just because a customer doesn’t buy from you on the first or second visit to your store does not mean they aren’t interested; especially if they’ve added products to their cart.

Email remains one of the most effective ways of turning visitors on your store into customers with only a little bit of effort. So go forth, grow your email list and watch your sales increase!