Five Ways to Collect Subscribers

This guest post comes to us from Csaba Zajdo. Csaba is the founder of OptiMonk, a powerful lead generation tool, and several other projects specializing in conversion.

Building your subscriber list is one of the most important ways to grow your ecommerce business. Your email list gives you a chance to test new products and offerings, get feedback from customers, and market to them over the long-run.

An email list keeps people coming back to your ecommerce site and gives you greater return on your marketing investment. The more subscribers you have, the more opportunities you have to make sales.

These five advanced ways of collecting subscribers take little effort and are some of the most effective ways to get people to sign up to your list.

1. Free Giveaway

People love FREE. Offering a free giveaway as an incentive is a great way to get people to sign up for your subscriber list.

A free giveaway can be something as simple as an ebook. Take a few hours and write an ebook on a topic that is relevant to your customers. Your customers will appreciate the effort — offering a free ebook can increase signup rates — and, an ebook helps establish you as a trusted source in your market.

2. Exit Intent Popups

Exit intent popups are designed to keep visitors on your website and boost your subscriber list.

The technology works like this: whenever a visitor tries to click back, close the active window, or click on a new website in their bookmarks bar, a popup appears with a message. This message gives you a final chance to get your visitors to sign up to your list before they leave your site.

exit intent popup
Exit-intent popup

In case you haven’t started using exit intent popups on your site, you’re missing a great opportunity to build your subscriber list. Our research shows exit intent popup technology can achieve signup rates between three and five percent. When you combine this with something like an ebook giveaway or coupon, you can get signup rates as high as 10 percent!

3. Coupon or Discount for Email Address on Cart Abandonment

One of the big struggles with ecommerce these days is cart abandonment. This is when a visitor has their cart loaded but leaves your site part way through the checkout process. Maybe they had a hot date, or, more likely — they were simply busy and the purchase wasn’t compelling enough to keep their attention.

You can get a second chance to market to visitors who abandon their carts when you collect their email address. If a visitor was one step away from making a purchase, they are likely interested enough to sign up to your list, and you can help them take that next step with follow-up marketing.

discount popup
Discount popup

Offering a discount at this time is a great way to get people to sign up for your list. They may continue their purchase with the discount, or they might hold onto the coupon for later. It’s a great way to say “thank you” and it gives your customers another reason to shop with you.

Cart abandonment is another example where exit intent popups can help. You can time the popups so they only show to people who are abandoning their cart. The discount shows up at just the right time and you can convert another visitor into a buyer or increase your subscriber list.

4. Start a Blog

Get the word out! Having a blog is a great way to promote your business and your brand. When you post relevant articles on your blog for your customers, they have a reason to visit your site, and you have content for your email newsletters.

Like the free giveaway, sharing your knowledge through a blog is a great way to show you care about your customers. You’re going an extra step to provide information that helps them in their daily lives or helps them make a better purchase decision.

A blog with timely articles gives your website visitors a reason to check your site on a regular basis. For your most dedicated customers, a blog gives them an opportunity to get special discounts and announcements about new products.

Having a blog gives people a good reason to signup to your email list and also drives more traffic to your ecommerce site; it’s a win-win.

5. Sticky Bars

Another popular option with marketers that makes use of the latest technology is having a colored bar that sits at the top of your website and asks visitors to take a specified action. These “sticky bars” usually stay or stick at the top or bottom of your website.

A sticky bar is a constant reminder to a visitor to take a selected action. The bar doesn’t cover the content on your site, but it’s always in view, reminding a visitor to sign up for your list.

sticky bar
Sticky bar

Two companies that offer this technology are HelloBar and ViperBar. Using a sticky bar is a great way to get your visitors attention without being too intrusive. Plus you can customize colors and text to make the bar fit in with the rest of your site as much as you want, (or don’t want).


Driving more repeat traffic to your website is the heart of ecommerce. Using one, or all five, of these methods will help you increase your subscriber list and make better use of your marketing resources.