The Foolproof Guide to Email List Building

21 surefire ways to grow your email list with detailed explanations on how to make the most of each of them. How-to’s and thoroughly picked examples. Backed by research and 10+ years Unisender team experience. Bonus: a cheat sheet to see the big picture.

What is it and why is it important?

We believe in quality email lists. We also believe that you can grow a quality email list from scratch, even if you’re just starting out. That’s why we decided to put together all quality ways to grow your list in this Foolproof Guide.

We don’t just list the ways — we explain how to make the most of them. We add short instructions for the less obvious ways.

Too long to read.. Just tell me what’s the best way!

That’s the trick — there is no “best” way. We strongly recommend experimenting and combining several methods to figure out which combo is the one that skyrockets your list.

Why can I not just buy a list, to start with?

If you buy a list, people on this list did not give consent to receive emails from you. It’s illegal to send emails to somebody who didn’t give their consent to this. Even if you still do, they will most likely mark you as spam. Too much spam marking leads to extremely poor deliverability. We bet that’s not the way you want to start your business.

Ok, let’s dig in 😉.

Subscription forms

Embedded signup forms

An embedded subscription form on your website’s home page is one of the most convenient ways to get leads, as a home page is usually the page that attracts the most traffic.

We recommend putting a signup form in the upper part of your page, as this is where you have the attention of the maximum number of potential clients. The lower you put it, the less the chance they will see it.

The most converting embedded signup form examples

Floating bar. A small but very noticeable signup form that stays in view as the visitor scrolls. It may be located either at the very top of the page or at the bottom of the page. It’s great when you don’t want to distract your website visitor from the main content.

floating bar example

Sidebar. A vertical signup form box. You can place it next to your blog article, so your website visitors will always have a chance to snag your giveaway when they visit a blog post of any kind.

sidebar example

Inline forms. This style of form is embedded into the content of the webpage where you want it to appear.

inline form example
This inline subscription form looks like a part of the article.

Slide-in scroll box. It’s like a pop-up, but a more polite one. Instead of a giant box popping up in front of you as you read the page, a scroll box slides out and doesn’t interfere with your reading.

slide-in scroll box example
A slide-in scroll box signup form at Shein website.

Here’s how to make the most of your embedded signup forms

  • Limit the number of fields to a minimum. An example: ImageScape reduced the number of fields in their subscription form from 11 to 4, thus increasing the conversion rate to 120%.
  • Keep your text as short as possible. Users do not really read, they “scan”. When decisions are made in 1-2 seconds, you’d better keep it short and stick to the point.
  • Provide a good reason for signing up. Offer a lead magnet or a free trial for a limited amount of days.
  • Show social proof. For example, how many clients you already have.

If you want to go deeper into the subject, we recommend a great article in CXL marketing blog, which describes in detail 14 ways to increase conversions of your sign-up forms.

Embedded signup forms we love (and why)

A great embedded sign-up form example 1
Signup form with social proof from Basecamp. It shows the exact number of clients they have — this creates trust. It also not only gives a couple of great reviews but highlights the most compelling stuff (how good the work feels now with Basecamp).
A great embedded sign-up form example 2
Signup form from Wynter.com. It gives you a tempting reason to sign up (free trial), short and to the point (explains exactly what you will get in the most concise way possible), just one field to fill in (it’s perfect, right?).

Pop-ups

Pop-ups have long been considered as something annoying. This focus group study even showed that 82% of users (USA) hate pop-ups. Surprisingly, they perform 3 times better compared to embedded subscription forms on your website.

6 rules of a great pop-up

(Research data provided by 1 billion+ pop-ups performance research by Sleeknote)

  1. Show what you will give in exchange for an email. Even if you can’t offer a discount or a free guide/trial, do tell why people need that info you’re going to send them.
  2. Make sure it shows great on mobile devices. 60% of worldwide internet users surf content on their mobile devices. Give them a great experience so they choose to stick with you.
  3. Include an image. Pop-ups with images convert better than pop-ups without images by 83.57%.
  4. Include a countdown timer. Pop-ups with a countdown timer convert better than campaigns without a countdown timer by 112.93%.
  5. The 8 seconds rule. For those who use a time trigger: (it triggers the pop-up when the timer reaches the seconds you choose in the settings), pop-ups that are shown after eight seconds convert better than pop-ups shown before or after.
  6. The 35% scroll rule. For those who use a scroll trigger: pop-ups that are shown after a visitor scrolled 35% of a page convert better than pop-ups that are shown before or after.

The most converting pop-up types

Lightbox pop-up. When a lightbox form pops up, the rest of the screen becomes darker. This removes all other distractions and 100% of the user’s attention will be directed to your message. Nielsen Norman Group says that simplicity wins over abundance of choice. This is exactly what a lightbox pop-up does: it removes distraction so making that choice becomes the easiest it can get.

lightbox pop-up example
We love this lightbox pop-up from Blog Tyrant for its minimalistic design (only 4 colors are used), the short and very concrete lead-magnet description, and an arrow pointing right where you should type.

Welcome mat pop-up. This type of pop-up appears several seconds after a visitor lands on your site and grabs their full attention, as it takes 100% of the screen. This could be the reason why in many cases they perform much better than other types of pop-ups.

NatureTTL boosted conversions from 0,5% to 4.54% with this welcome mat opt-in form — an increase of 808%. They also added 30-40 new subscribers a week, which makes at least 400% more than before.

welcome mat pop-up example
In their welcome mat signup form, they offered a free eBook, providing 10 top tips to instantly improve your photos.

Spin-to-win pop-up. This type of pop-up is the most converting one — it gives from 5 to 20% conversion and performs 3 times better than a regular pop-up. Well, everybody loves to play a little game, right? That’s exactly what a spin-to-win is about.

spin-to-win pop-up example
A spin-to-win for Black Friday.

Tips for a great spin-to-win

Make it look like it’s a part of your brand. We know there are so many great templates out there. However, if you make sure you choose the colors and fonts in line with your brand, your pop-up will stand out.

Create a separate email sequence for your spin-to-win only. As you can guess, many would just opt in for a prize. When the fun is over, they might mark your emails as spam. To avoid it, you can send a special series of emails that aims at creating even more interest in your product.

Don’t give prizes that are too valuable. Yes, all spin-to-win plugins can be hacked, especially by those with some technical background. You can also use Recaptcha or Cloudflare’s IP reputation system.

Website

Purchase/registration on the website

The easiest way to grow your email list is to use contacts from the customers you already have.

Those who made a purchase are the most loyal audience you can have and they will be much more ready for a second purchase with you than any other cold contact on your email list.

If you ask people to register to use your product (for example, to access your blog) or to leave comments under your articles, you can use these emails for sales purposes. The quality of this email list is quite high, as these people are already interested in your brand/blog/service.

It’s a good idea to make a separate list of emails from existing customers, even if there are just a few of them, and to create a special email series for them. You can share secret deals “only for customers” and offer accompanying products to nurture them for more purchases.

Tips

Put a consent checkbox at the step where they leave their emails, to get consent from them to receive your newsletter.

registration form consent checkbox

Do not just confirm the purchase/registration show your best. Explain how the client can benefit from staying with your brand. Transactional emails have the highest open rate out of all other types of emails – use this to show your best in that order confirmation email.

Set the expectations. Communicate the frequency of your future emails to not be the source of unpleasant surprises later on.

An example of promising a certain frequency of your campaigns
This is a part of a “thank you for purchase” email from Perfect Grid. They go an extra mile about setting the expectations for those who just made a purchase.

Online chats

Online chats are often the fastest way for people to get more information about your product. Writing an email and waiting for an answer takes too much time so they click that button on the bottom-right corner of your website to start a conversation.

Make sure you show your best when engaging with a potential customer as this is exactly where your high quality leads may come from. Here’s how not to spoil that first impression people get from interacting with your brand.

Tips

Set up a message autoresponder. When website visitors send you a question via online chat, they might sometimes have to wait while your operators go online. The autoresponder will ask them to leave an email so you can send the answer later.

online chat example
Intercom live chat has an option of setting up email notifications for users who prefer not to wait, but to check their email later to find an answer.

Use online chat software to save time. You don’t need coding skills to launch a professional online chat on your website. It’s easier than you might think. Check this list of the best online chat software to use in 2021.

Chat-bots

Userlike study showed that 68% of consumers like chatbots because they provide quick answers. Seems like chat-bots are indeed that one miracle solution, that will magically grow your email list, right? Yes and no.

Tips

Offer an incentive. Offer a useful guide, a study, or a popular article — something that your user will be happy to share an email for.

chat-bot example, step 1
Drift.com chat bot asks a question which is hard to say no to. It also contains a hint that they are about to offer something valuable.
chat-bot example, step 2
And here it is. They ask for an email to which they can send their ebook.

Don’t ask for an email immediately. Set it up in such a way that a user is first engaged in a conversation and is asked to leave an email only later.

a chat-bot engaging visitors
A great example of engaging new visitors.

Unisender is integrated with ManyChat — a platform for building personalized chat-bots. You can set up a chat-bot, and integrate it with Unisender via Zapier to make sure all the emails you get via chat-bot are automatically added to a special email list.

Social Media

Sign-Up Buttons/Tabs on Facebook

Your most loyal subscribers may be found right under your very nose — on your brand’s Facebook page. The users will more likely give you their emails if they are already following you on social media. Facebook sign-up buttons are fast and easy to set up.

HuffPost Facebook sign-up button
A sign-up button on Huffington post Facebook page.

Tips

A button or a tab choose what’s best for you. On Facebook, there are two options: a sign-up button, or a custom page tab. Important: A custom page tab option requires a minimum number of 2000 Facebook followers.

Add a cal to action to join your list on your cover photo to make the sign-up button harder to miss.

Offer a freebie to give a valuable reason for signing up.

a Facebook sign-up button backed up by a freebie
This Facebook page doesn’t just use a lead magnet to attract more leads, but also has a very visible red arrow pointing in the direction of the sign-up button. Perfect combo!

Come up with a catchy description when using the tab option and explaining what to expect after signing up.

BuzzFeed Facebook sign-up tab description
BuzzFeed custom Facebook tab has an option of subscribing to their newsletter without leaving Facebook.

To link the button to your Subscribe form:

  1. On your Facebook Page, click + Add a Button below your Page’s cover photo.
  2. Select a button from the menu that appears (e.g. the Sign-Up button) and follow the on-screen instructions. The website link that you’ll paste into Facebook should be the URL of your subscription page. Done!

To set up a custom page tab:

  1. Choose Window > Integrations from the menu bar at the top of the screen.
  2. Select the Facebook Pages integration from the list on the left.
  3. Use the Add Form to Facebook Page drop-down menu to select your Subscribe form and follow the on-screen instructions in your browser.

If it gets too tricky, this detailed instruction from HubSpot might help you with custom tab installation.

Facebook Closed Groups

Facebook Сlosed Groups provide engagement at a personal level and boost trust, increasing the potential for conversion. Besides, Facebook’s algorithm is designed to prioritize content from Facebook Groups with high engagement. The more you and your group members are posting and interacting, the bigger your reach in the newsfeed will be.

Make providing an email a prerequisite to joining your group. This way, only users who are genuinely interested in the content of the group will join, enhancing your odds of conversion. Don’t forget to mention that by signing up the user gives their consent to receiving the newsletter and special offers.

Tips

Give something valuable in exchange for a valid email. For example, an e-book or a free course.

Be more specific about what you can offer in your questions. For example, instead of asking: “Would you like a free trial?”, ask “Provide an email address if you’d like to receive a free training (worth $59) from us”.

a specific offer with value in exchange for an email
This closed group offers a great gift (with indicated value) in exchange for an email.

Facebook Lead Ads

Facebook Lead Ads is an ad type that allows you to collect contact information such as name, email address, phone number, and more. They appear in Facebook News Feed, Facebook Stories, Instant Articles, In-Stream Videos, Marketplace, Instagram Feed, and Instagram Stories.

With Facebook Lead Ads, your potential clients fill in the signup form right on Facebook, without leaving the service. It spares their time and effort. Facebook automatically prefills the fields, so the user just needs to make a click — done!

Facebook Lead Ads example
One click — and you see your data prefilled. You just need to click Submit. Source: Facebook

Tips

Use a carousel ad type to allow people to get more information about what they are signing up for before submitting the form.

Facebook Lead Ads, a carousel type example
This lead ad by Airstream promotes the product by showing more than just one feature.

Use emojis. It turns out, 51% of respondents said they’re likely to engage with a brand’s posts if it includes emojis — it boosts engagement and trust.

Set up one placement for one ad group. For example, configure your ads separately for PC — Facebook — Feed (Group 1) and Mobile devices — Instagram — Stories (Group 2). It will allow you to turn off inefficient placements separately.

Connect Facebook Lead Ads to your email service provider. This tool will automatically upload every contact you got through Facebook Lead Ads to your email list. That’s tons of manual work saved!

Most major marketing platforms are integrated with Facebook Lead Ads through Zapier. This means you need a paid Zapier account for the integration to work. Unisender offers direct integration with Facebook Lead Ads (no Zapier account needed). It’s free for any pricing plan.

Pinterest

The most straightforward way to grow your list with Pinterest is to create a pin that leads to a signup page. Here are some tips on how you can make the most of a pin like this.

Tips

Add value to your pin with a lead magnet to attract more leads.

a pin with added value example
You can get this Free Crochet Planner by leaving an email at the next step.

Promote your lead magnet in your bio. People will start to look to you as a continual source of inspiration, and Pinterest will show your content to more people who might also be interested in your Pins.

an example of promoting a lead magnet in Pinterest bio
Though it’s not a clickable link, Melyssa Griffin has over 60,000 email subscribers, and part of her success is from promoting her lead magnets in her Pinterest bio.

Link multiple pins to the same destination. Create more than one pin with your lead magnet. Try different types of pins that appeal to different types of pinners.

Carefully consider the timing of your pins. Pins take months to engage but create long-term tracking. For example, summer-themed pins gain traction in early spring, and winter holiday pinning starts in June.

Join Pinterest Group Boards. Group boards expand your reach, with every pinner adding their followers to the total number of the board’s following. The easiest way to find your niche groups is to look at another blogger’s Pinterest profile who’s in a similar niche and see what group boards they belong to. You can also search on a Pinterest group board directory, like PinGroupie.

YouTube Cards

Everyone knows how to promote your service/product by adding your subscription page link to the video annotation. Here’s something more exciting.

One of the easiest ways to add a call-to-action to your YouTube videos is by adding clickable call-to-action cards. The cards can appear at any point in your video (you can add up to 5 cards at a time!) and can include a link to an external website (your signup page, your lead magnet, etc.) encouraging your viewers to opt- in.

YouTube card example
Quite a small card (with a big red arrow, though, which makes it hard to miss) on Video Creators YouTube channel with a free e-book as a lead-magnet.

To add a card to your video: 

  1. Click on the Edit button next to the video in YouTube Video Manager (in YouTube Creator Studio)
  2. Click on the Cards tab in the top navigation bar.
  3. Choose the Link card option to add a call-to-action to visit your opt-in landing page (you’ll have to associate your website with your account first before you’ll be able to link to it).

That’s it! The viewers will see an overlay with your call-to-action right on your YouTube videos. You will also be able to view your cards report to get data on how well your call-to-action cards are converting.

Check out this YouTube short video guide for more details.

Tips

Place your card on a relevant video. If the video isn’t relevant to the landing page, send users to a second video that is relevant, bridging the gap.

Add more than 1 card to be able to see which one performs best.

Twitter Chat

A Twitter chat is a public Twitter conversation around one unique hashtag connecting you with your target market, and helping establish you as an industry expert. The hashtag allows people to follow the discussion and participate in it. This leads to a dedicated, interested group of potential email leads.

Tips

Put your Twitter chat hashtag in the bio to highlight it and reach out to more people.

Twitter bio with the upcoming chat info
This bio has a clear indication of the future Twitter chat hashtag and the exact timing.

Create a relevant lead-magnet that you can give away during a Twitter Chat that you host. You can tweet out the link (at appropriate times during the chat) using the chat hashtag. Users would then sign up for your email list to download the lead magnet.

Tweeting about a freebie that you promise to give away during the chat
Tweeting about the fact that you will give away a freebie during the chat can attract even more participants.

Use Twitter chat tools. They will allow you to only see tweets related to the topic, and to easily identify tweets from the chat hosts and guests. Thus, you will be able to timely share your sign-up form.

Webinars

Webinars are especially great for growing your list if you have an educational or a B2B project. GoToWebinar says that 20% to 40% of webinar attendees eventually turn into qualified leads.

Tips

Partner up with another company or an influencer within your target audience to get access to a similar audience.

Record your webinar and use it as an evergreen lead magnet. This will bring you constant traction.

Lead Magnets

The concept of lead magnets is simple: you draw people in with something valuable (hence, magnet) in return for something also valuable  —  in this case, an email address. This valuable bonus — lead magnet — can be a product discount, some expertise, a free audit, a collection of useful materials, a video tutorial, etc.

a lead magnet example

Tips

Create more than one lead magnet for different audiences. For example, if you offer SEO courses, make 2 separate lead magnets for bloggers and online course creators. You never know which one will bring more audience.

Share the value of your lead magnet, so people understand the worth of what they are receiving. Compare these two: “Get my free course (worth 59$)” and “Get my free course”. Yes, you guessed it right, the first one will attract more leads as people get the feeling they will actually save 59$ by getting access to that course, and that’s quite some motivation.

Think further than just another ebook. Anything can be a lead magnet. When deciding on the format, take your audience into account. If your product is for stay-at-home moms — a podcast could be a great idea. If it’s for teens — a cool YouTube video is what you probably need.

Getresponse gathered advice from 14 marketers and published a detailed study about how lead magnets should be aligned with your target audience’s needs.

a free font can also be a lead magnet
Hewitt Avenue offers an instantly applicable free font as a lead magnet.
a small part of an online course can also be a lead magnet
Growth Tools offers a free 15-minute training as an incentive to sign up.

Spread your lead magnet over a series of emails. The biggest issue with lead magnets is that many only subscribe to get it, after which they unsubscribe. You could potentially create more interest and face less unsubscribes by spreading your valuable content over a series of emails, rather than sending that standard ebook in your welcome email. That’s more work, but it is also more rewarding: the ones who will stay until the end are very high quality leads.

a 7-day email course lead magnet keeps people from instantly unsubscribing
GMP created a free 7-day email course and had the audience wait for the next lesson to come out the next day. A great way to keep people from instantly unsubscribing.

Partner newsletters

You can grow your audience using a partner’s newsletter on a swapping or commercial basis.

Even if you’re just starting out and cannot team up with bigger brands, think of your friends/acquaintances who run a business and think of ways you could be useful to each other. This way, you will get qualified subscribers who are already used to receiving newsletters and are most loyal to new offers. As a bonus, you won’t have to set up an additional subscription form or a special ad campaign to get new subscribers, because the traffic will come from your partner.

Tips

Choose a partner with a similar audience. It is important that the audience following your partner is potentially interested in your product. For example, if you organize sports competitions, you could team up with a sports clothes/fitness food brand.

Mention a freebie in the partner’s newsletter. A freebie is always a good idea, so make it your lead magnet when being mentioned in your partner’s newsletter.

a partner newsletter example
Meal delivery service Blue Apron partnered with influencer Chrissy Teigen — an influencer — to grow both audiences. In Blue Apron’s newsletter, they offered 2 bonuses — a free cookbook and a $50 discount.

Giveaways

Instead of asking your followers simply to tag a friend or follow other accounts, you can have them become subscribers by adding an opt-in step to navigate them to your independent subscription page. This way, you’re generating more quality leads  —  not just temporary ones who are only in it for the giveaway.

a giveaway example

By the way, KnivesShipFree.com boosted its revenue by more than $10,000 using giveaways.

Tips

Make the prize relevant to your topic to attract those who are genuinely interested. Don’t offer an iPad just because it’s cool. It will only bring you those who are there just to win and leave. Do offer your a free copywriting course subscription, if copywriting courses are what you do. You will have fewer participants than in the case of an iPad, but the ones who participate will be quality ones.

Offer a complimentary bonus to your main prize, which will boost its value.

Mention the value of your prize in the title to grab the attention.

a giveaway example with clearly indicated value
Wishpond stated the value of their prize which immediately grabs the attention.

Use giveaway building tools like RafflePress, OptinMonster, ShortStack, etc. It will make your giveaway look professional and smart and let you easily cross-promote your contest to other platforms.

a giveaway example with multiple ways to sign up
RafflePress giveaway setup menu asking the user to log in with the Facebook profile or the email address.

Add a sense of urgency. It’s a good idea to add a countdown timer. It will give viewers the fear of missing out so they’re more likely to click to enter then and there.

an example of creating a sense of urgency in the giveaway
Curology giveaway pop-up form has a timer that adds a sense of urgency.

Follow-up after the giveaway. It will help you keep the participants from unsubscribing after the giveaway is over. For instance, you could start sending a welcome series of emails to nurture your new subscribers to become customers.

Free Challenge / Training

Free Challenge is one of the best ways to quickly grow your list of subscribers and later up-sell yourself. Done through all sorts of lessons, tutorials, and assignments, it definitely is motivating, encouraging, and engaging — all this creates momentum within your community, with you becoming that expert people tend to turn to and become your paying clients.

Tips

Make sure your challenge goal is realistic and provides measurable results so that by the end of the challenge you don’t only have people’s emails but their trust, too.

a giveaway with a realistic goal
From this SPI challenge opt-in page, it is pretty clear how much time it will take, what you will achieve, and how many people have already tried it.
a consent box to receive a newsletter on the first step of the challenge sign up
The subscription form at the next step includes a consent checkbox for participants to agree to receive a newsletter from the company.

Start collecting sign-ups about one week before the challenge. If you start earlier, you lose the sense of urgency that will get people to sign up right away. If you start later, you may not have enough time to get people registered and excited about the challenge.

a challenge start time example
The date the challenge starts is given right in the subscription/landing page mentioned in Pinterest. It triggers the subscriber to sign up right away not to miss the chance.

Set up a thank you page for the participants. Even if you have a great opt-in page, don’t leave people discouraged by an automated message “Your email is submitted” after they leave their contacts. Add some useful content and links to your brand’s social media pages to get additional traction.

an example of a challenge thank you page
This thank you message contains additional information on what to expect next.

Collaborate with those who have a similar audience to you but offer a different/complementary product or service. For example, there was a 30-Day Walking Challenge that was promoted by Reebok — a win-win combination for both parties. Don’t hesitate to make your perfect match!

You can either run your challenges once in a while or have evergreens — challenges always available for your audience. In this case, you will be able to grow your list unceasingly.

Consider offering a bonus as an additional trigger to opt in. Mention it straight away — for example, on your landing page next to the subscription form.

a challenge with multiple bonuses
There are several bonuses mentioned in the subscription form, which attracts more subscribers.

Quizzes and surveys

A quiz is a fun way to grow your email list. The trick here is to ask for an email address to access quiz results. Seems too easy, right? Yes, however, like with all similar fun ways to ask for an email, a quiz might end up attracting the wrong audience — those who are interested in the actual result of the quiz, not your product.

A survey is a great way to take a very personalized approach to grow your email list and to show that you care about your potential clients’ needs and preferences, too. Create a survey where you ask people about their preferences, difficulties, and needs and offer them a solution (a lead-magnet): for example, a set of recommendations or a personalized strategy. With such surveys, people will know that they will get a piece of content customized around them, not just something general, in exchange for answering your questions.

The best part about both quizzes and surveys is that you will get both quality leads and precious insights into your potential customers.

Here are a couple of things to take into account to make sure your efforts to create, launch and promote a quiz or a survey don’t go down the drain and you end up with quality subscribers.

Tips

Make it about your customers, not something general. With personality quizzes, you don’t only get an email, but also tons of insights on your potential customers.

quiz example, step 1
This fun quiz from Erika Holmes’ copywriting course brand asks users a series of questions to figure out what their brand’s celebrity personality is. A fun way to connect the topic of your business to entertaining content.
quiz example, results page
At the end of the quiz, Erika asks users for their email in order for them to get their results.

Make sure the topic of the quiz is related to your business. If you sell scented candles, a pop star quiz is probably not something you need. The good news is that you can make your topic and entertaining content work together! You can find cool ideas on how to adapt cool quiz topics to your business on Buzzfeed or Zimbio.

Include a special bonus that fits the results. Asking for an email to give access to results is great. But you can go much further. If you offer a valuable freebie (an e-book, a personalized strategy, etc.) together with the results, users will have much less doubt if they should actually leave that email. Keep in mind that your freebie should be related to your quiz.

quiz example 2, entry page
Tonic (customizable website templates shop) has a quiz where you can compare your brand to a drink type. Sounds fun! They went even further by suggesting a personalized brand strategy based on every drink (business) type in exchange for taking the quiz.
quiz example 2, results page
… and, believe it or not, a cocktail recipe:). Yes, that cocktail which reflects the type of your business according to the quiz. It adds even more fun to the matter!

One of the greatest examples of a survey is the one from Neil Patel. He suggests answering a few questions in order to get a personalized action plan. By gathering this information for the business, the quiz can then recommend the right products, services, or strategies to help that specific user.

survey from Neil Patel, entry page
survey from Neil Patel, results page
A user needs to submit an email to access their personalized lead magnet

Top quiz/survey makers for lead generation

You do not need coding/design skills to build and launch a quiz. Here are the most popular tools. All of them include goal-oriented templates and the possibility to customize them to your liking. Most of them offer a free trial (except for Qzzr, which offers a free demo).

Retargeting

Sometimes old school ways are cool. Retargeting is one of them. It works pretty straightforward: retargeted ads are shown on Facebook/Instagram to those who have already visited your website and remind them to take an action (to make a purchase, for example).

In most cases, brands use retargeting to remind you about the items you looked at but didn’t buy. If your goal is to make users subscribe (and nurture them further with your email series), you might want to use your subscription page as a landing page for the retargeted ads.

A retargeted ad with a subscription link is a way to aim for longer-term relationships with your website’s visitors. Instead of trying to convert immediately (and eventually giving up), try to keep in touch with your potential customers until they’re ready to convert. That is especially true for expensive products.

Imagine you’ve just spent a few minutes browsing through some cool audio systems for your home. You’re not ready to buy yet, but you already see a small push to make a purchase on your Facebook feed:

An example of retargeting focused on selling

You probably forget about it a second after you scroll down, as you’re not ready to buy it yet anyway. And what if you see this:

an example of retargeting focused on email list growing
“Did you just say special sales…? Maybe one day that sound system will come with a 50% off!”

Even if you’re not ready for a purchase, you’re definitely interested in getting those special deals. It’s free to subscribe, too.

Tips

Set up and automate a relevant email drip campaign for those who came via retargeting. Make sure you automate a welcome series of emails for these subscribers. An automatic welcome mail will be sent out immediately after a user has subscribed, while manual sending might delay things and lower the interest of subscribers.

Test and tweak until you have good results. Test out different images, copy, CTAs to see what your audience responds to best. We recommend launching several ads at a time (with different copy, images, and CTAs), monitor how they work, identify the best-performing ones and switch off the rest.

Use a lead magnet to boost motivation to opt in.

Use Facebook Lead Ads to allow people to subscribe right from the newsfeed.

QR-codes in presentations

If you frequently make presentations at conferences and webinars, you can use it as an additional channel to grow your email list. Though it won’t be massive, the quality of the subscribers you will get via this channel is extremely high. Just think of it: they listened to/read your presentation and got so interested in your stuff that they decided to subscribe.

Tips

Put your presentation on your website and share it on social media to make an evergreen lead magnet and never stop getting subscribers from it.

Answering Quora questions

Answering Quora questions with a lead magnet, which will get you quality subscribers, seems easy. But how do you know which questions will get more traction and are worth writing a good answer? And how do you make your answer stand out so that it actually gets clicks? Here’s how.

Tips

Find the right questions in a smart way. It’s hard to find the lead-generating questions in the ocean of questions Quora has to offer. To find them, start reading as many answers as possible in relevant topics. When reading, identify a few of your favorite Quora writers in these niches. Once you’ve found your favorites, bookmark the topics they follow. Then, bookmark good questions on these topics.

Make your bio work for you. Those who see your answers are very likely to check your Quora profile. Even if you didn’t manage to get them subscribed right from your answer, you might still have a chance at the step where they will check your page, Describe what you do, and include a link to your lead magnet in your bio.

an example of promoting lead magnets in the Quora bio.
Josh Fechter put his eBook in his Quora bio to never stop collecting emails.

Include pictures in your answers. A study by Xerox indicated that visuals in color increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.

Sean Bestor, a top Quora writer of 2017, shares detailed practical tips on how to get massive traffic from Quora. We do recommend checking it out to fine-tune (or to give a great start to) your Quora marketing.

Offline events

If you organize events like industry conferences or trade shows, it’s a great opportunity to grow your list. And if you don’t, you can try and partner up with those who do.

Tips

Before the event. Promote it with the QR code leading to your sign-up page.

an event flyer with a qr code
The QR code on this flyer leads to their event registration page.

During the event. Set up the registration via a tablet on the day of the event. Even if you didn’t ask for an email to register for your event, you can still ask participants to leave their contacts on arrival. Make sure you send them an email immediately asking to confirm their registration.

registration via tablets
Registration via tablets is usually good for big-scale events.

Resend your email a bit later (30 minutes later or in a day), if the users failed to confirm their subscription. Those who do confirm will be your quality subscribers.

After the event. Ask for an email to send a survey to assess the event experience. It’s usually a good idea to accompany that with a small bonus, like an e-book with the event highlights or a physical gift (a pen, a cup, etc).

About Unisender

Unisender is an easy-to-use email marketing service. We build products that turn professional email marketing into a simple and exciting journey. Even for total beginners.

We started our service in 2008. Since then we delivered 65 billion emails straight to inboxes and helped 700 000 + clients to do email marketing.

Guide contributors

Evgenia Budrina — Unisender blog editor and inspirational leader. Email marketing addict. Former obstacle race company CMO.

Tatiana Zotina — University professor, copywriter and email marketing aficionado. Keen on learning new things and exploring the world.

Cheat sheet

To help you see the big picture better and to access each way faster, we put together a short and concise Email List Building Cheat Sheet in Notion. You will still have access to the Guide’s more advanced tips, how-to’s and examples: each section has a link to the corresponding part in the guide.

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