16 Ways to Capture Email Leads Without Disturbing Your Visitors

Are you afraid to annoy visitors with your optin offers? Popups, slide-ins, welcome gates, and other types of optins convert really well, but you may still be hesitant to try them on your site. Don’t worry– in this guide, we’ll share 16 ways to capture email leads, without disturbing your visitors.

Each of the strategies we are about to share with you can be implemented on any site with a developer’s help. However, if you don’t have a developer–or if you simply want an easier way–we’ll share how to set each of these up quickly and easily with OptinMonster.

Here at OptinMonster, we are all about helping small businesses to create an unparalleled user experience on their site, while also increasing their conversions.

Here’s what Michael Hyatt had to say about OptinMonster:

“I hate popups, so I was hesitant to try one on my site. But the results from OptinMonster exit-intent popup speak for themselves. I doubled my subscription rate immediately without annoying my users. I haven’t had a single complaint. My only regret is that I didn’t start using OptinMonster sooner.”

User-friendly popups and other optin forms are not a pipe dream. You just have to know how to do them the right way.

Are you ready to learn how? Let’s dive in to the 16 ways to capture email leads without disturbing your visitors…

1. Wait Until 2nd Page View

One of the biggest complaints that people have about lightbox popups is when they appear the instant that you visit a website for the first time. And for good reason.

In many cases, the people landing on your site for the first time are coming from Google search. In other words, they are looking to get some specific information from a blog post, or another piece of content.

This is not the time to interrupt them! They just want to get the answer that they were searching for, and aren’t looking to join your email list… at least not yet (not unless you have a very compelling offer that is tailored specifically to them).

Fortunately, there is a very quick and simple fix for this. All you have to do is set your popup (or any other type of optin form) to appear only after the 2nd page view. That way, you don’t disturb visitors when they first discover your site.

How to Wait Until 2nd Page View with OptinMonster

With OptinMonster, you can set this up in a matter of seconds. All you have to do is go to the Display Rules tab for your optin, and activate “Visitor has viewed ‘X’ pages”.

Then, set it to show when the number of pages the visitor has viewed is at least 2.

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That’s it! Now you won’t disturb visitors who are just landing on your site.

2. Turn Off Immediate Popup for Blog Posts

In some cases, popups that appear immediately on the first page view actually convert really well. For example, if you are an eCommerce site, and your popup offers a coupon code, you may want to test an immediate trigger.

The reason this works is because the people visiting your eCommerce site are usually going there with the intent to buy. They would love to see your coupon code right away, because that’s perfectly aligned with their immediate goals.

However, if you also have a blog on your eCommerce site, you should turn off the immediate popup for those blog posts. That way, it won’t disturb visitors who just want to read and aren’t ready to buy.

How to Turn Off Immediate Popups for Blog Posts with OptinMonster

Turning off an immediate popup on all your blog posts is easy with OptinMonster. All you have to do is go to the Display Rules for your popup and activate “Visitors browsing specific pages”.

Then set it to show when the URL path does not contain “blog” (or whatever slug you use for your blog post pages). This way, your popup will not be displayed on any pages that contain “http://www.yourdomain.com/blog” in the URL.

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That’s it! Now you can still leverage the power of immediate popups on eCommerce pages, without annoying your blog readers.

3. Use a Polite Slide-in

Boxes that appear in the bottom corner of the screen as the user scrolls down are some of the most polite optin forms you can use.

Slide-in optins don’t appear until the user has already consumed some of your content. And when they do appear, they don’t take over the screen, so the user has a completely uninterrupted experience.

Particularly if you have a lot of content on your site, there is no reason not to leverage this type of optin form!

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How to Set Up Slide-ins with OptinMonster

OptinMonster has several beautiful themes that you can choose from. All you have to do is go to create a new optin, and then select the “Slide-in” type.

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Then, go to the Display Rules > “After scrolling down ‘X’ amount”, and enter the percentage or the number of pixels that you want the user to scroll before they see the slide-in.

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That’s it! Now you can politely ask for the reader’s email address, without interrupting their reading.

4. Load a Floating Bar on Scroll

Floating bars are highly visible optins that “stick” to the top or the bottom of the user’s screen, and scroll along with them. This ensures that your optin offer always remains in view, without obstructing the user’s experience.

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To make your floating bars even more polite, you can set them to appear only after the user scrolls down a certain length of the page.

How to Load a Floating Bar on Scroll with OptinMonster

To load a floating bar on scroll in OptinMonster, just choose from one of our floating bar themes.

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Then go to the Display Rules tab and activate, “After scrolling down ‘X’ amount”.

Finally, enter the percentage or the number of pixels that you want the user to scroll before the floating bar appears.

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That’s it! Now your visitors will see your highly visible floating bar only after they’ve had a chance to consume your content.

5. Use Exit-Intent

Exit-intent is when a lightbox popup appears at the precise moment that a user is about to abandon your site. This is a no-brainer optin type to use, and every site should have one!

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Remember, this is your last chance to convert a visitor before they leave your site forever. Take this opportunity to present them with your best offer.

If they don’t like it, they probably weren’t your target customer anyway, so you have nothing to lose. However, you have everything to gain.

In fact, our publishers are seeing an average 200-600% increase in email signups when using exit-intent along with their content marketing efforts! (See our case studies.)

How to Use OptinMonster’s Exit-Intent Technology

To set this up with OptinMonster, simply create a lightbox optin form. Then, go to the Display Rules tab and set “On Exit-Intent” to active.

From there, you can also adjust the sensitivity to low, medium or high.

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6. Allow the User to Initiate

One of the most effective ways to capture email leads–and keep your users happy!–is to allow them to initiate the process of signing up.

This is a psychological principle known as the Zeigarnik Effect, which states that those who initiate are more likely to finish the process.

So how do you allow the user to initiate the optin process? Simple: just don’t show the optin form until after they click on a link or an image. Once they do, they will be much more likely to complete the action (subscribe).

If you want to boost your conversions even more, use this two-step optin process in combination with a content upgrade.

Here’s an example from one of our blog posts on Google Search Operators.

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After the user clicks on the link, they will see a lightbox popup with the optin form.

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Because this is a very specific offer to this particular blog post, and we’ve used a two-step optin, it converts really well.

You can also use two-step optins to increase conversions on your landing pages. Here is an example from ActiveGrowth.

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When you click on the “Click Here to Get Started” button, a lightbox with the optin form pops up.

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How to Set Up 2-Step Optins with OptinMonster

Setting this up in OptinMonster is simple with our MonsterLinks. All you have to do is go to the Display Rules for your lightbox optin form and activate “MonsterLink (On Click)”.

Then copy the MonsterLink code to embed it on your site.

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We have a complete tutorial on boosting optins with content upgrades + 2-step optins here.

7. Show an Interest-Based Offer

Creating an excellent user experience is all about showing the right thing, to the right people, at the right time. Unfortunately, this is where most websites fall short.

To make your popups (or any type of optin) infinitely better for your users, display a specific offer based on their interest.

For example, the CountryLiving website displays different fullscreen optins on exit-intent based on the specific pages that you are browsing.

If you were reading a blog post from the Home Design category, then you would see an optin related to home decorating.

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However, if you were reading a blog post from the Food & Drinks category, then you would see an optin related to cooking.

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How to Show Interest-Based Offers with OptinMonster

To show optins based on the page your visitor is viewing (or abandoning), all you have to do is go to Display Rules and activate “Visitors browsing specific pages”.

If you want the optin to display for any blog post in a particular category, simply set it to show when the URL path “contains” “[your category slug]”.

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Now, anyone who visits blog posts that contain “food-drink” in the URL will see our optin.

8. Use Yes/No Buttons

A great way to give the user more control over their experience is by using yes/no buttons on your optin.

With yes/no buttons, the user won’t see the actual optin form until after they hit the “yes” button. Of course, they also have the choice to select the “no” button, which will close out the optin. This allows the user to self-identify as being interested in your offer, or not.

Here’s an example of a yes/no optin form that is working for Social Media Examiner.

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Here’s another example of a very unique yes/no optin (source unknown).

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How to Set Up Yes/No Buttons in OptinMonster

To set up yes/no buttons in OptinMonster, go to the edit screen for your optin and select the Yes/No tab. Then slide “Enable Yes/No Buttons?” to the ON postition.

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You can also change the theme of your yes/no buttons by clicking on the “Switch Theme” button and choosing from one of our beautiful templates.

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9. Offer While They’re Reading

Showing your optin form at the right time is crucial: if the user isn’t ready for your offer yet, it may annoy them.

A perfect time to present a lead magnet offer is while the user is reading a blog post. By reading your post, they have expressed an interest in what you have to say, so they are probably open to learning more from you at this time.

However, you don’t want the offer to disrupt their reading. To avoid this, you can place the offer within the blog post itself. Here’s an example from Neil Patel, who has sprinkled lead magnet “ads” throughout his blog posts. Here’s one.

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And later on, here’s another.

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Although each of these ads are slightly different, they are all linked to the same optin landing page. This way, a reader will have multiple opportunities to subscribe, whenever they are ready.

Also, because Neil doesn’t ask for the email address right away, he can take advantage of the Zeigarnik effect by asking for a lower committment first (clicking on the “Learn More” button). Once the user goes to his landing page, he’ll have a better chance of converting them.

How to Set Up Inline Optin Forms in OptinMonster

To set up an inline optin form like Neil’s in OptinMonster, create a new optin and select the After Post/In-Line optin type. Then choose from any of our inline themes.

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To create a “learn more” button, go to the Yes/No tab to enable yes/no buttons. Type “Learn More” into the Yes Text and set the Yes Action to “Redirect to a new page”. In the Yes Redirect URL field, type the address for your optin landing page.

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Then, scroll down to the No Button section and turn off “Display No Button?”.

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Finally, you can adjust your copy, colors, etc. to suit your needs and embed the optin inside your blog post.

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That’s it! Now you can make offers while the user is reading a blog post, and use the Zeigarnik effect at the same time to increase conversions.

10. Offer After They’ve Finished Reading

Visitors who have read an entire blog post are even more interested, so don’t forget to make an offer at the very bottom!

At the bottom of a blog post is the perfect time to offer a content upgrade. Here’s an example from our post on search operators.

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When you click on the image, you’ll see the lightbox optin form.

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(Note: We also included a link to this content upgrade optin form towards the beginning of the blog post, explained in #6 above. Whenever you do a content upgrade, you should offer it towards the beginning of the post and at the very end.)

How to Make After-Post Offers with OptinMonster

There are a few different ways to make after-post offers with OptinMonster.

The first way is with a content upgrade + MonsterLink, just like in the example above. All you have to do is create an image that advertises the content upgrade, and then hyperlink it to your MonsterLink (you can follow the complete tutorial here).

OR, if you want to embed an entire optin form below a blog post, you can do that too. Just choose from one of our inline/after-post themes, and then you can either embed it with the embed code, or use our WordPress plugin to embed it automatically.

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11. Wow Them with Fullscreen

Fullscreen optins give you a tremendous amount of flexibility in your design, and you can take the space to really wow your visitors with your offer.

For example, if you have several benefits to your offer, you can use a fullscreen offer to display those benefits as a list of bullet points.

Here’s a great example from Mariah Coz. Here, she is using a fullscreen welcome gate to ask visitors whether they would like to enter her giveaway, or just read the blog.

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(Read the case study here.)

How to Use Fullscreen Optins with OptinMonster

OptinMonster has a variety of fullscreen themes for you to choose from, or you can choose the Canvas theme to create any design you want from scratch.

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To give users two choices, simply enable Yes/No buttons. Then, set the No Action to “Redirect to a new page” and enter the URL for your second choice (e.g. your blog).

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That’s it! Now you have plenty of space to really wow visitors with your offer, and they can either optin, or read your blog instead.

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12. Add a Feature Box

A feature box is a prominent optin form that is embedded inside in your header area. This is a great way to make sure your optin offer gets seen, without at all interrupting your visitors.

Here’s an example from Chris Lema

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…and another example from Social Media Examiner.

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How to Create a Feature Box with OptinMonster

To learn how to set this up with OptinMonster, check out our step-by-step feature box tutorial here.

13. Show Each Optin at the Right Time with Multiple Triggers

Let’s face it: not every user is going to browse your website in the same way. While one person may browse long enough to see a timed lightbox popup, another may abandon your site before it has a chance to trigger. So how do you make sure that your site is set up with every user in mind?

It’s actually a lot easier than you might think. All you have to do is utilize multiple triggers for a single optin.

What does that mean? Well, let’s say your OptinMonster popup is set to be displayed on 2nd pageview, OR on exit-intent. If a user browses your site long enough, they will see the popup on their 2nd pageview, and they won’t see that same popup again. However, if they start to abandon your site before the 2nd pageview trigger, then they will see the popup at that moment.

This way, users will only see your optin once, at the exact right moment for them.

How to Set Up Multiple Triggers in OptinMonster

Setting up multiple triggers in OptinMonster is easy. Just go to the Display Rules tab to set your first trigger. (We’ll set our popup to appear when the user has scrolled down 50% of the page.)

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Then, add a second trigger by clicking on the + Add Ruleset link at the top of the screen.

You will be prompted to give this new ruleset a name. We’ll call ours “Exit-Intent”. Hit the green Save button to add your new ruleset.

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From here, enable exit-intent by setting the “On-Exit-Intent” option to Active.

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Hit the green Save button at the top of the screen to save your new settings.

Now, if a user scrolls down 50%, your popup will appear, and they won’t see it again. But– if the user starts to leave your site before scrolling, the popup will appear, and they won’t see it again after that.

That’s it!

14. Give Them a Second Chance with a Different Optin Type

You also need to be prepared for the fact that not all users will be interested in your offer the first time they see it. However, they might still convert later on, if given the chance.

While you shouldn’t annoy your visitors by showing them the exact same optin over and over again, you can give users a second chance to subscribe by switching up the optin type.

Here’s an excellent example from SEJ. Depending on your browsing behavior, you might see a timed popup first, with the offer to join their next webinar.

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If you close out of this popup without opting in, but continue to browse the site, then you might see this slide-in advertising the same webinar.

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If you still haven’t opted in, but you decide to read a blog post, you may see this inline ad (again advertising the same webinar).

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Remember: some users need several touch points before they will convert.

How to Set Up “Second Chances” with OptinMonster

First, you’ll need to create the first optin type. For the purpose of this example, we’ll create a popup using one of our lightbox templates.

Then, go to the Display Rules tab and set it to appear after a certain number of seconds (we’ll use 5).

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Next, you’ll need to create a second optin by choosing from one of our other templates, such as a slide-in or a floating bar.

Then, go to the Display Rules tab for that optin and activate “Visitor has interacted with a campaign”. Set it to show when “the visitor has closed”, and select the first optin form you created from the dropdown menu.

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You’ll also need to activate “Visitor has viewed ‘X’ pages” and set “Show when the number of pages the visitor has viewed is at least” to 2.

This way, they won’t see two optin forms on the same pageview. You only want the second chance offer to appear once they navigate to the next page on your site.

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That’s it! Now you can give visitors a second chance to convert, without showing them the same exact ad over and over again.

15. Give Them Another Choice with a “Backup” Offer

Another scenario you should be prepared for is if a user simply doesn’t want your offer. Then what?

If you have other offers that might interest them, but you aren’t showing them those offers, then you are doing your users a disservice. You should have an “backup” optin in case they don’t like your first offer.

For example, let’s say you are in the fitness industry and one of your offers is a 30-day weight loss challenge. Well, what if someone simply isn’t interested in that because they don’t need to lose weight, they just want to build more muscle? You could display a second challenge tailored towards that demographic that wants to build muscle.

How to Create “Backup” Optins with OptinMonster

Creating “backup” optins is easy with OptinMonster. Simply go to the Display Rules for your second optin and activate “Visitor has interacted with a campaign”. Then, set it to show when “the visitor has closed [your first optin]”.

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You’ll also need to activate “Visitor has viewed ‘X’ pages” and set “Show when the number of pages the visitor has viewed is at least” to 2. (Just like the last example, we don’t want them to see two optin forms on the same pageview.)

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That’s it! This strategy is particularly useful if your first optin uses yes/no buttons. When someone actively says “no thanks” to your first offer, you’ll know that it’s a good time to offer the backup.

16. Use Personalization

As you have seen from all of the above strategies, creating an excellent user experience is all about customization.

We’ve customized our timing and our offers by presenting specific offers at specific times to specific people. But there is yet another way to customize your offers: by personalizing the offer copy.

By detecting where a user is coming from, you can customize the copy of your offer specifically to those users. Here’s an example of a personalized offer that is tailored to visitors referred by WPBeginner.

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By welcoming those users specifically, you will really impress them, and they’ll be much more likely to convert.

How to Personalize Offers in OptinMonster

To personalize your offer based on where the user is coming from, you’ll want to first create an optin specifically for them. Then, go to the Display Rules tab, and activate “Visitors from a specific traffic source (Referrer Detection)”.

From there, you can adjust the settings to detect specific sources of traffic. For this example, we’ll set it to show when the referrer URL contains the WPBeginner domain.

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Now your users will feel extra special when they see your personalized offers.

That’s it! We showed you 16 user-friendly ways to capture email leads. As you can see, keeping users happy and increasing your conversions is all about showing the right offers, to the right people, at the right time.

Now it’s your turn. Get started with OptinMonster today to convert more visitors into subscribers and customers.

Mary Fernandez
Mary Fernandez is the Content Marketing Manager for OptinMonster. When she's not creating content, she loves to help experts get booked on popular podcasts.

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