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7 Unique Ways to Collect Customer Emails

Collecting email addresses from your website visitors is key if you want to cultivate a community of life-long customers. But collecting customer emails is not always an easy task. It can be difficult because people are rarely willing to share their personal info... without a good reason.

No matter how many email subscription opportunities you give to customers, they usually will not act unless there is some value or incentive. And vice versa, no matter how valuable your incentive is, people will not subscribe unless it’s a simple and easy process. So the key is simple subscription + valuable incentive = a successful email list

While the #1 way to build your email list is to give customer the option to opt-in to your marketing when they make a purchase, there are quite a few other ways to build your email list - and therefore trust - with customers who haven't yet made a purchase.

Here are 7 unique ways to build your customer list with valuable incentives:


Offering discounts is one of the quickest and easiest ways to incentivize people to join your email list. There are multiple creative ways you can implement these discounts in exchange for an email. 

  • Discount at purchase — Offering customers a discount at the point of sale can be a great way to capture their email address and build your list. If they’re already about to make a purchase, they’ll be willing to give their email for a small discount of 5 to 15% off.  
  • Discount on next purchase — Another great incentive is to offer a future discount. In exchange for their email address, offer to send them a coupon for their next purchase. Not only do you get their email, but you’re also giving them another reason to return and shop. 
  • Discounts for birthdays — Who doesn’t love a birthday coupon? If you advertise that you give out special discounts or freebies for customer birthdays, people are more than willing to subscribe to your email list. 

Pop-Up Forms

Fun pop-up forms, opt-in forms, email capture pop-ups, whatever you want to to call them...they work, and there’s a ton of ways to implement them on to your website. 

  • Entry Pop-Ups — A pop-up that catches a visitor's attention as soon as they land on your website. The design can be super simple, and often will have some kind of incentive for the visitor’s email: a small discount, free shipping on their first purchase, a free gift, etc. 
  • Newsletter Sign Ups — Encourage your customers to sign up for an email newsletter. Convey that this is the perfect way for them to learn about upcoming sales, discounts, and giveaways. 
  • Spin The Wheel — Having a fun game that pops-up with different discounts as prizes is an interactive and captivating way to gather emails and draw people in.



It’s human nature for people to have a competitive urge and get motivated by winning prizes. Leverage this instinct to gather emails by promoting contests and giveaways. Be sure that your prize is unique and exclusive and let customers know that they have to enter by submitting their email address. You can do this via social media and/or promote it on your website. 

Free Downloads

Useful resources are another great way to get customers to part with their emails. It could be a style guide, tutorials, lessons, etc. — whatever it is, just make sure it’s something of value to your customers. Here are a few ideas:

  • Video Tutorial Series
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Style Guide

Use Your Social 

You can add a Call To Action button to your social media pages, like Facebook. The value in this list building technique is in the destination: Link your Facebook page's CTA button to a landing page that requires an email address for access to a special resource.


Create Valuable Content

People are more likely to subscribe to an email list if you’re creating content that they’ll be interested in. 

  • Create a Blog — If you don't already blog, you should consider it! Blog posts help you increase your ranking on search engines like Google and allow you to collect subscribers that you can then upgrade to more actionable email campaigns over time. If your blog content is useful and informational, people will want to stay up to date. 
  • Host a Webinar/Live Video If you host a live video or webinar, you can promote people to sign up to tune in. Make it exclusive so people will sign up with their email addresses at registration. The webinar can be an online style guide, release of a new line, online shopping event, etc. The best practice is to run your webinars for free to increase attendance and share the link to join the webinar in exchange for an email address.

Create a Quiz 

Everyone loves quizzes because they’re interactive, so creating one for your website can be rewarding. Here are a few examples for inspiration: 

  • Topshop Style Quiz — Topshop’s personal shopper quiz helps their customers find new clothing items to match their style. Not only does the Topshop quiz help collect email addresses, it also encourages you to shop!
  • Oh My Disney — This quiz by Disney is a way for them to engage with fans, promote products, and collect leads. Full of great visuals and well known quotes, the quizzes quickly connect with the Disney fan base.
  • Airbnb Trip Matcher — Customers can answer Airbnb’s quiz to find out their traveling personality and the cities they should be visiting this year.


No matter how you choose to collect customer emails - it's important that you start. For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average ROI of $38 - meaning no one can afford to not be collecting emails - they're too valuable!


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