The Three ‘I’s to list growth

All that effort to get people to your website and 96% leave without transacting, 70% leave never to be seen again. Those are very typical numbers.

It’s no wonder capturing, and email address is so valuable. Email marketing to nurture prospects, bring them back and turn them into customers.

To get effective at capturing email addresses work on the three ‘I’s of list growth:

  • Impulse
  • Incentive
  • Integrated


Ask for an email address at a moment of maximum impulse – that’s when someone is curious and interested in your brand.

Popups or overlays have proved their effectiveness time and time again across a wide variety of industry sectors. Whatever your personal view of popups, try it.

Almost counter-intuitively, a popup just 5 seconds after arriving at your website is a great place to start testing. It’s likely to pull the most subscribers because many visitors don’t stay more than 20 seconds.

Even catching visitors as they are leaving is effective. Perhaps they are interested in your brand, your product, your offer. But weren’t quite ready to buy. People leave with the intention of coming back but when in research mode have many tabs open. Sadly, your site can all too quickly be forgotten. That makes exit intent a good moment.

Popups aren’t the only option.

Within the checkout process or when visitors are creating an account is another perfect moment. Do it the right way and compliance with GDPR isn’t an issue to getting permission.

If you’ve great content on your website add a subscription box at the end of all your articles. When someone reads the whole article that means they liked it. The end of the article is an ideal point to offer to provide more good content if they subscribe.

Consider all the moments when you’ve got strong customer engagement. They are likely good moments to ask.


A good incentive goes a long way to tempting a visitor to subscribe.

Many brands use a money off discount, it works well. But it may not be the best choice.

In the recent consumer research report, Email Addiction, Zettasphere and Jordie van Rijn of emailmonday was a question about subscribe incentives.

In the Email Addiction report the joint best incentive was free shipping or a low value gift card (67%). Better than a 10% discount (49%). If you’ve sufficient web traffic to allow split testing, then add to your test plans a split test of incentive.

Competitions and prize draws are way down the list of good incentives. The promise of clear instant and guaranteed value, like a gift card, is more powerful than he chances to win a vacation.

Surprisingly a competition might even have negative value. The possibility of receiving future promotions (39%) is a stronger incentive than a prize draw (31%). Just asking for email address with no incentive other than getting your email marketing promotions could be better than a prize draw!

The Email Addiction report has many more remarkable findings and 11 charts of consumer insight, it’s free for download.


Integrate the email address capture with all your customer touch points. Adding a sign-up form on the bottom of your website will miss a huge number of subscribers.

Include several different methods to capture email addresses on your website and add email capture to all your channels.

Online, instore, telesales, customer service, at events, social media. Take a look at this article with 30 ways to grow your list.