List Building on Steroids: Get 200% More Subscribers With These 6+1 Simple Tricks

Looking to grow your email list faster, but find your email popups converting below 5%? Not sure how to improve them?

You’re not alone. Popups offering enticing discounts in exchange for an email subscription have become the norm. With users already subscribed to an array of email lists, convincing them to add yours to the mix can be a challenge.

Many visitors instinctively close these popups, which poses a considerable obstacle for ecommerce store owners and marketers who want to grow their subscriber list.

However, the path to success is not impossible. In this article, we’ll share 6 (+1) simple tricks that you can effortlessly apply to get 200% more email subscribers.

Let’s dive right in! 

1. Use mystery and FOMO in your offers

Most website visitors are used to the standard 10% discounts, and these boring offers are simply not enough to convince them to sign up for your email list. 

To stand out, try offering a “mystery discount” instead of a straightforward discount offer (like 10% off or $10 off). 

This strategy adds a sense of intrigue to your offer, piques your visitor’s curiosity, and creates a sense of FOMO since ignoring the offer might mean that they never get a chance to find out how much the discount actually is.  

These psychological factors will help to increase your conversion rates without increasing the discount you’re offering. 

How to set it up? 

  1. Create a new version of your existing email popup and update your offer to a “mystery discount.” 
  2. Update your thank you page to reveal the discount. 
  3. If you’d like to make sure that it outperformed your original “10% off” discount, start an A/B test.

2. Use a teaser

Sometimes, visitors aren’t ready to sign up for an email list immediately when they arrive on your website, so they simply close the sign-up popup. The sooner you show your popup, the higher the chances are that this will happen. 

This is usually because they need to investigate further before deciding whether they’re interested enough to sign up for your list. But people also frequently close popups just out of habit, without even reading the offer. 

Displaying a teaser after a visitor closes your popup gives them a second chance to convert later.

Our Smart Teaser feature not only appears after the popup is closed, but also follows the visitor through the website. 

This means that visitors who weren’t ready to sign up when they saw your popup always have the option to reconsider if they discover they’re really interested in your brand. 

Implementing this strategy can easily increase your conversion rate by up to 50%.

How to set it up? 

  1. Open your email popup campaign. To get the best results, use the one with the mystery discount. 
  2. In the Campaign Editor, select the Teaser page at the bottom to edit it.
  3. Change the copy on the teaser and update the style so it matches your popup. 
  4. Set up when to show the teaser: turn on the “when the popup is closed” setting. You can also decide to show it before the popup is displayed.

3. Delay the appearance of the “X” button

As mentioned above, online shoppers are so used to seeing popups that they click “X” by force of habit, without even absorbing the actual content of your popup. 

If they’d taken a couple of extra seconds to really think about your offer, they might have found that they were actually interested!

You can solve this problem by simply delaying the appearance of the “X” button by two or three seconds. This way, your audience is forced to read your offer. 

If you’re worried that visitors will get pissed, you shouldn’t be! Their mind is already primed to read your offer, and if your offer is great then these few extra seconds can convince them to engage. If they don’t like the offer, the “X” button will show up before they realize it’s missing.

How to set it up? 

  1. Open your email popup campaign and click on the “X” element in the corner.
  2. Go to Advanced settings and set the “Visibility delay” for 2 sec or 3 sec—whichever you prefer.

4. Start with a question

Starting with a typical offer and asking a visitor to sign up for your newsletter a few seconds after they arrive on your site might not work best with everyone in your target audience. Instead, you can begin by asking a simple question on the first page, where you only expect a single click. This feels more like offering help, rather than asking for a signup. You can ask your customers questions about why they’re shopping or what types of products they’re interested in. 

But that doesn’t mean you won’t ask for their email addresses—you can do that right on the second page of the popup! 

This will help you start building a connection with your customers, and they’re more likely to be open to signing up for your email list once some kind of “relationship” is established. 

Clicking is much easier than typing an email address, and by enticing users with an offer before they click, they’re more likely to be invested enough to provide their email address.  

A conversational popup, which is a combination of a traditional discount welcome popup and a quiz, will not only help you collect more email addresses but also enhance the user experience and help you get to know more about your audience.  

Gathering data about your customer’s interests and preferences can also aid your segmentation efforts in the future. 

How to set it up?

  1. Get started with one of our pre-made conversational popup templates
  2. Customize each page of your popup: the main page with the survey element, the email signup page, and the product recommendations page.

Here you can find a detailed guide.

5. Want to build your SMS list, too? Ask for email first!

Many ecommerce stores have realized that collecting phone numbers from their customers can lead to revenue growth. After all, it’s a whole new channel that you can use to nurture your leads.

However, trying to collect both emails and phone numbers can kill conversion rates.

This is certainly the case if you ask for both pieces of information at once, since very few people are willing to take the time to fill out long forms to sign up for marketing lists.

The solution? Try Jason K. Williamson’s Trojan Horse method, which involves breaking your popup into multiple steps. 

First, ask for the visitor’s email address. Once they’ve provided it, offer an extra incentive in return for their phone number. Depending on how big your discount offer is, you can expect to convert between 30-80% of email subscribers into SMS subscribers as well.

How to set it up?

  1. Choose from our pre-made Trojan Horse templates
  2. Customize each page of the popup: the main page with email signup, the second page with the SMS offering, the third page with SMS signup, and both thank you pages. 

For a detailed guide on how to set it up, click here.

6. Personalize your popups for different audiences

Ecommerce stores often cater to diverse audiences, offering products like fashion items for both men and women or homeware stores that sell furniture and lighting. However, many of these stores use generalized welcome messages that lack personalization. You can increase popup conversions effectively by greeting visitors with a personalized message from the outset, which is much more engaging than a generic message.

Popular methods of personalizing lead generation campaigns include adapting content based on interest:

… geographic location:

… and traffic source:

How to set it up? 

Explore our guides to personalizing your popups through the links below.

+1. Follow up on your discount codes

Growing your email list is one thing, but it’s also important to make sure that those subscribers become customers!

It’s a common challenge for ecommerce store owners: even as their email lists grow, their sales don’t. In fact, close to 80% of their subscribed users do not end up using the coupons they receive.

A gentle reminder sticky bar can help to keep the coupon code fresh in your subscribers’ minds, and it also creates a sense of FOMO, encouraging them to commit to making a purchase. 

This sticky bar can actually increase coupon redemption by 10.5% on average!

How to set it up?

  1. Choose one of our Discount Code Reminder sticky bar templates
  2. Change the discount code type. If you have a Shopify store, simply choose “Reminder” from the dropdown menu. If you don’t have a Shopify store, choose “Fixed code” and type in the coupon code that you want to remind users about.
  3. If you have a Shopify store, you’re all set, no further setups are needed!
  4. If you don’t have a Shopify store, you’ll need to connect your sticky bar with the campaign where the coupon code was first distributed. Use the “Engaged with OptiMonk Campaigns” rule, choose “converted in” from the dropdown menu, and choose the original campaign.

Click here for a more detailed setup guide

Wrapping up

Growing your email list can be challenging nowadays, since users are so used to email popups and 10% off discount codes. But luckily, it’s not impossible… 

The strategies we shared today not only have the potential to boost your results but are also easy to apply, with most taking just five minutes to set up. 

As a short summary, let’s review all the strategies we covered:

  • Use Mystery and FOMO: Offer a “mystery discount” to pique curiosity and create a fear of missing out.
  • Use a teaser: Display a teaser after the popup has been closed to give visitors a second chance to convert.
  • Delay the appearance of the “X” button: Delay the closing “X” button by a few seconds to ensure visitors engage with your offer.
  • Start with a question: Begin with a question to build a relationship with visitors and encourage email sign ups.
  • Want to build your SMS, too? Ask for email first!: Collect email addresses first and then offer incentives for phone numbers to increase SMS subscribers.
  • Personalize your popups for different audiences: Tailor popups to different audiences based on interests, location, and traffic source.
  • (+1) Follow up on discount codes: Use sticky bar campaigns to remind subscribers about their coupon codes, increasing redemption rates.

Start optimizing your list-building campaigns today by creating a free OptiMonk account!