18 Easy Ways to Capture Email Leads Without Being Pushy

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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 18 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’re all about helping small businesses 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 optins 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 into the 18 ways to capture email leads without disturbing your visitors…

1. Wait Until Second Pageview

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, first-time visitors 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 with an email capture popup! 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!

And not unless you have a very compelling offer that is tailored specifically to them.

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

How to Wait Until Second Pageview with OptinMonster

With OptinMonster, you can set this up in a matter of seconds.

  • Go to the Display Rules tab for your optin and select If… pages viewed
  • Choose the operator you want from the dropdown (equals, more/less than, at least/no more than)
  • Select the number of pages you want

display-rules-pages-viewed

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 pageview actually convert really well. For example, if you’re an eCommerce site, and your popup offers a coupon code, you may want to test an immediate trigger.

The reason this works is that 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. All you have to do is:

  • Go to the Display Rules for your popup and set a condition that If… 
  • 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.

display-rules-current-path-does-not-contain

Now you can still leverage the power of immediate email capture popup 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 politest 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. That way, the reader has a completely uninterrupted experience.

There’s no reason not to leverage this type of optin form! Particularly if you have a lot of content on your site.

best email capture is non-invasive

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.

select inline campaign type

Then, go to the Display Rules » If… distance scrolled, and enter a percentage or the number of pixels. That’s how far the user will scroll before they see the slide-in.

set display rules to show optin when user scrolls 70% of the way down the page

Now you can politely capture email addresses of your readers without interrupting them.

4. Load a Floating Bar on Scroll

Floating bars are highly visible email capture tools that “stick” to the top or the bottom of the user’s screen, and scroll along with them. This keeps your optin offer in view without obstructing the reader’s experience.

capture email addresses with floating bar

But what if you want to be unobtrusive?

To make your floating bars polite, 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 scrolling floating bar, choose from one of our floating bar themes.

optinmonster floating bar campaign templates

Then go to the Display Rules tab and set up your distance scrolled display rule.

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!

capture email leads before they leave

Remember, this is your last chance to capture email addresses before visitors 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!

Case Study: How Fastrack Recovers 53% of Visitors Using Exit-Intent®!

How to Use OptinMonster’s Exit-Intent® Technology

To set this up with OptinMonster, simply:

  • Create a lightbox optin form.
  • Go to the Display Rules tab and add the exit detected condition.

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

6. Allow the User to Initiate

Want to know one of the most effective ways to capture email leads and keep your users happy? Allow them to initiate the registration process.

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 optins? Simple! 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 their action.

If you want to boost your conversions even more, use this 2-step optin process in combination with a content upgrade.

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

get users to sign up

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

capture email with popup

Because this is a very specific offer to this particular blog post, and we’ve used a 2-step optin, it converts really well.

You can also use 2-step optins to increase conversions on your landing pages. Here’s an example from ActiveGrowth.

using 2-step email capture

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

how to get email signup without phone number

How to Set Up 2-Step Optins with OptinMonster

Setting this up in OptinMonster is simple with our MonsterLinksâ„¢. All you have to do is:

  • Go to the Display Rules for your lightbox optin form and add the visitor clicked MonsterLinkâ„¢ condition.
  • Copy the MonsterLinkâ„¢ code to embed it on your site.

add-monsterlink-display-rule

We have a complete tutorial on boosting optins with content upgrades 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 optin better for your users, display a specific offer based on their interest.

For example, the CountryLiving website displays different fullscreen optins with Exit-Intent®. Which popup you see is based on the pages you’re browsing.

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

grab optin email leads with the right popup

However, if you were reading “Food & Drinks,” then you’d see a cooking-related optin.

capture email address popup - optinmonster

How to Show Interest-Based Offers with OptinMonster

To show optins based on the page your visitor is viewing or abandoning, go to Display Rules and add the current URL path condition.

If you want the optin to display on any blog post in a particular category, set it to show when the URL path contains combined with your category slug.

display-rules-current-path-contains

Now, anyone who visits blog posts that contain the “food-drink” slug will see your 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 on Social Media Examiner.

how to capture email addresses - yes/no optin

How to Set Up Yes /No Buttons in OptinMonster

To set up Yes/No buttons in OptinMonster:

  • In the campaign builder, select the Yes/No view.
  • Click the Activate View button.

activate yes/no view

9. Offer While They’re Reading

Showing your optin form at the right time is crucial. If the reader 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. As such, they’re probably open to learning more.

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:

when to capture email

And here’s another, displayed a little further down:

when to capture email

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

Also, Neil doesn’t ask for the email address right away. This means he can take advantage of the Zeigarnik effect by asking for a lower commitment first. This is something small, like asking the reader to click on the “Learn More” button.

Once the user goes to his landing page, Neil will have a better chance of converting them.

How to Set Up Inline Optins in OptinMonster

Want to set up an inline optin like Neil’s? With OptinMonster, you can!

Create a new optin and select the Inline optin type. Then choose from any of our inline themes. We’re using Metro in this example.

create an inline campaign

To create a “Learn More” button, add a new button block to your optin by click Add Blocks and clicking and dragging the Button Element to where you want it to appear on your campaign.

You’re also going to want to delete the optin field so your inline campaign just has the Learn More button available.

learn-more-add-button-delete-optin-fields

  • Type “Learn More” into the Button text.
  • Set the Button Action to Redirect to a url.
  • Type the address of your optin landing page in the Redirect URL box.

learn-more-edit-button

Once you’re finished with that, it’s time to customize. Feel free to adjust your copy, colors, and anything else to suit your needs preferred style.

learn more inline campaign

That’s it! Now you can make offers while the user is reading a blog post. Even better, you can use the Zeigarnik effect to capture email addresses of website visitors.

10. Make an Offer After They’ve Finished Reading

Generally speaking, visitors who’ve read an entire blog post are more interested. For this reason, we don’t want to annoy them with popups as they’re reading our content. Instead, make your offer at the end of your page! That way, they’ll come across it after they’ve finished reading.

The bottom of your post is a great place to offer things like content upgrades. In fact, you can use it to offer any additional perks that keep the reader engaged.

Here’s an example from our post on Search Operators:

capture website visitor information with an offer

Great, but how to capture email addresses with a “Download Now” button?

Surprise! When the reader clicks the image, they immediately see a lightbox optin.

best email capture tools - lightbox

Note: We also included content upgrade optins above, in point number 6 of this post. We recommend doing content upgrades near the beginning of the post and at the very end.

11. Wow Them With Fullscreen

Fullscreen optins give you a lot of flexibility in your design. You can use that space to really wow your visitors with your offer.

For example, say you have several benefits to your offer. Try using a fullscreen offer to show more. This is a great time to improve scanability and list them as bullet points.

Check out this example from Mariah Coz. Here, she uses a fullscreen welcome gate to ask visitors whether they would like to enter her giveaway, or just read the blog.

best email capture tools - fullscreen optin

How to Use Fullscreen Optins With OptinMonster

OptinMonster has a variety of fullscreen themes for you to choose from. Or you can choose a blank canvas and create your design from scratch.

Select Fullscreen

To give users 2 choices, simply:

  • Enable the Yes/No view.
  • Set the No Action to Redirect to a new page.
  • Enter the No Redirect URL for your second choice (e.g. your blog).

fullscreen-yes-no-example

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

fullscreen-yes-no-optin

12. Add a Feature Box

Feature boxes are prominent optins embedded inside in your header area. They’re a great way to make sure your optin offer gets seen without at all interrupting your visitors.

Here’s an example from Chris Lema:

capture email addresses with a featurebox

…and another example from Social Media Examiner:

capture email addresses by offering exclusive content

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.

One person may browse long enough to see a timed lightbox popup. Another may abandon your site before it’s had 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 think. You utilize multiple triggers for a single optin.

Wait! What does that mean? Well, let’s say your OptinMonster popup is set to be displayed on the second pageview, or on Exit-Intent®. If a user browses your site long enough, they will see the popup on their second pageview, and they won’t see that same popup again. However, if they start to abandon your site before the second pageview trigger, then they’ll see your popup at that moment.

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

How to Set Up Multiple Triggers in OptinMonster

Setting up multiple triggers in OptinMonster is easy. Go to the Display Rules tab to set your first trigger.

We’ll set our popup to appear when the user has scrolled down 70% of the page.

set display rules to show optin when user scrolls 70% of the way down the page

  • Add a second ruleset by clicking on the Add New Ruleset.
  • You’ll be prompted to give this new ruleset a name. Let’s call ours “Exit-Intent.”
  • Hit the Save button to add your new ruleset.

add a new ruleset

From here, enable Exit-Intent® by adding a new condition for exit intent.

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

Now, when a reader scrolls more than halfway down the site, your popup will appear. And the popup will also appear when they try to leave your site without scrolling.

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

You need to be prepared for the fact that not all users are interested in your offer. Not the first time they see it, at least.

However, they might still convert later on if given the chance. So, don’t be pushy.

Instead, give your readers a second chance to subscribe by switching up the optin type. Make it something different than before.

Here’s an excellent example from SEJ:

email capture form - part 1

The first engagement is a timed popup with the offer to join their next webinar. You can set it to choose popups based on the reader’s browsing behavior.

If they exit the popup without opting in but continue to browse the site, they receive a slide-in optin.

email capture form - part 2

If they still haven’t opted in, but haven’t bounced yet, it’s time for stage three – the inline ad.

email capture - part 3

While not for every lead generation campaign, some readers need several optins before converting.

How to Set Up “Second Chances” With OptinMonster

  • Create the first optin type. For the purpose of this example, we’ll create a popup using one of our lightbox templates.
  • Go to the Display Rules tab and add a condition of time on page.
  • Choose how long you want to wait before the reader is engaged. The default is 5 seconds.

add time on page rule

  • Create a second optin using another template, like a slide-in or a floating bar.
  • Go to the Display Rules tab for your second optin and add the visitor has closed condition.
  • Choose the campaign you’re targeting in the dropdown.

display-rules-visitor-has-closed

  • Then add the pages viewed condition and set the number of pages viewed to is at least 2. This way, the reader won’t see 2 optins on the same pageview. After all, you only want the second chance offer to appear once they navigate to the next page on your site.

display-rules-pages-viewed

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

Here’s another scenario you should be prepared for. What if the reader doesn’t want your offer? Then what?

You need a backup optin.

Let’s say you’re in the fitness industry and offering a 30-day weight loss challenge. What if someone simply isn’t interested in that because they want to build muscle?

Here’s what you do: Build a second challenge tailored towards the demographic wanting to build muscle. Let’s look at how.

How to Create “Backup” Optins With OptinMonster

Creating “backup” optins is easy with OptinMonster.

  • Go to the Display Rules for your second optin
  • Add the visitor has closed condition.
  • Choose the campaign you’re targeting in the dropdown.

display-rules-visitor-has-closed

You’ll also need to add the pages viewed condition and set the number of pages viewed to is at least 2.

Just like the last example, we don’t want visitors to see 2 optins on the same pageview.

display-rules-pages-viewed

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 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 what about getting personal? Let’s look at how you can personalize your optins.

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.

email capture popup with personalization

Personally welcoming visitors will really impress them. And impressed people are more likely to convert.

How to Personalize Offers in OptinMonster

To personalize your offer based on where the user is coming from…

  • Create an optin specifically for the reader.
  • Go to the Display Rules tab, and add the referrer URL condition.

From there, you can adjust the settings to detect specific sources of traffic.

For this example, let’s set ours to show when the referrer URL contains the WPBeginner domain.

display-rules-referrer-url

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

Cool, isn’t it?

17. Give the Reader a Taste With Content Locks

This may sound cliche, but the best email capture technique is good content. Create something visitors want to read and draw them in. Then, once they reach the good part, hit them with your optin.

Except, this isn’t an ordinary optin. It’s a content lock. That means they have to optin if they want to continue reading.

Here’s an example of a content lock on Photowebo’s website:

opt in email leads - gated content

Case Study: See How Photowebo Increased Conversions 3806% With a Content Lock!

How to Create a Content Lock in OptinMonster

Content Lock is a cool feature and a great way to increase optins. And best of all, you can gate off your content in seconds with OptinMonster.

  • Choose “Inline Campaign” from the “Create a New Campaign” menu.
  • Once you’ve begun your Inline Campaign, click the “Inline Settings” panel.
  • Switch on “Lock Content Below Campaign?” setting.

content lock capture email popup - optinmonster

You’ll notice there are two selections under the “Content Locking Style” menu:

  • Obfuscation: Blurs out the locked text.
  • Removal: Hides the locked text.

Both of them lock away your gated content. Choose the one that goes best with your style.

18. Perfectly Time Your Optins

Visitors don’t like being annoyed. You don’t like losing conversions. Is there a solution where everyone wins?

Believe it or not, yes, there is – timed optins. This gives your readers a chance to take in some of your content before getting bombarded with optins. And by the time you deliver your popup, they’re already engaged. And engaged readers are more likely to convert.

Let’s look at how you can capture email leads using a timer.

Creating Timed Display Controls With OptinMonster

Guess what. If you’ve made it this far down the list, you probably already know how to create timers. We covered a similar process using time delays earlier in this list. Nevertheless, here’s how you can add a delay to a new popup:

  • Choose “Popup” from the “Create a New Drag & Drop Campaign” menu.
  • Select “Display Rules” tab.

OptinMonster - Time Delay

You’ll see a menu under the “Conditions” tab.

  • Select “time on page” for the first box.
  • Select “is at least” for the second box.
  • On the third box, choose how long you want the delay to be. If you choose 5 seconds, the reader will see your optin after being on your page for 5 seconds.

time delay - optinmonster

Once you’ve set conditions, hit the blue “Next Step” button below. You’ll be taken to step 2, the actions tab.

In the “show the campaign view” box, choose “Optin” then hit the “Next Step” button.

best email capture - time delay

You’ll then be taken to the third and final step, the summary. It’s just a page that shows you what rule you created. For us, that rule is a 5-second delay on showing optins.

how to capture email addresses - time delay

That’s it! We showed you 18 user-friendly ways to capture email leads. And they’re all pretty easy thanks to OptinMonster’s intuitive design.

As you can see, keeping readers 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.

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Mary Fernandez
Mary Fernandez is a professional blogger. When she’s not at her desk, you can usually find Mary exploring sunny San Diego, CA with her laptop, husband, and three kids in tow.

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