How to Capture Email Addresses

Today I want to talk about a scary reality.

Google search results suck right now.

The reliability of Google as a traffic source has significantly diminished.

Leaving many businesses that once thrived – dead.

Also, there seems to be no clear path to regain footing.

As Google traffic continues to decline, the urgency to diversify traffic sources has never been more critical.

Yet, the journey to find alternative platforms is filled with confusion.

With a plethora of options out there — YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, etc.

Making the right choice can seem like navigating a labyrinth without a map.

And, even if you do start getting traffic from Facebook or the likes, they can change their algorithm as well and wipe you out.

All this results in paralyzing indecision.

So what’s the best path forward?

As the old saying goes “the money is in the list”

Capturing Email Addresses

First, let me sell you on email marketing a bit.

I truly believe that building an email list is one of the best moves you can make in 2024 while building an online business.

We should have had more focus on this years ago but the recent algorithm updates have truly shown the need for it.

With an email list, no matter what algorithm update happens, you will always have a list of potential customers that you can sell too.

It’s the strongest moat you can build for your business, it creates another stream of revenue, and gets you a higher multiple when trying to sell your business.

My general strategy moving forward is, no matter what platform we’re marketing on – get your audience on the damn list.

Have a YouTube channel?

Create a lead magnet, call it out in the video, put a link to it in the description, and get them on your list.

Getting a lot of organic traffic?

Create a lead magnet, put several call to actions within your articles, put it as an exit-intent pop-up, and get them on your list.

The same goes for every other platform.

Get people off of third party platforms and onto your list.

Must I say it again?

Now - let’s talk about capturing emails.

The Old Way of Capturing Email Address

Back in the day, it was fairly easy to get people on your list.

No one was afraid of spam and opt-in rates were nice and high.

A simple “Sign Up for My Newsletter” would do the trick.

But this isn’t the case anymore.

These days, those forms will get a 0.5% opt-in rate, in my experience.

People are protective of their email addresses.

They get so much damn spam and marketing content they can’t breathe.

The New Way of Capturing Email Address

What I’m about to talk about is hardly new.

It’s been around for years – but it’s still highly underutilized.

The secret strategy?

Lead magnets.

You need to offer your audience something in return for giving you their email.

Remember, they don’t want to give it out because they don’t want more spam and marketing junk.

Give them something of value.

Now, not every business is going to have the same type of lead magnet, so let me give you a quick rundown of what I see working best.

1. E-commerce: The best thing you can offer someone is a discount on their first purchase. Yes, most e-commerce sites do this, and it works wonders.

2. B2B: The B2B crowd is going to be more focused on industry reports, templates, etc. If you ever want some inspiration, just go look at HubSpot’s blog. This is their bread and butter.

3. Content sites: Content sites are going to do amazing with cheat sheets & tutorials. You want these to be easily digestible and actionable – Paintable is amazing at this.

One caveat that I want to throw out there is that the strategy for content sites can be applicable to B2B and E-commerce businesses as well.

If you are getting a ton of traffic to your blog that has informational content, this makes them a great candidate for cheat sheets & tutorials.

Let’s say you’re Gym Shark and you have this blog post on the “best arm exercises

Within this article, I would have a lead magnet giving people a “Complete workout that emphasizes arm growth” – that copy is shit, but you get the point.

Notice how this is a different lead magnet than the discount that they offer on their product and category pages.

And that’s on purpose.

Just because someone is searching for the “best arm workouts” doesn’t mean they are in need of gym clothes.

They don’t care about your 10% discount – they want big arms.

Sure some people will sign up.

But the opt-in rate will be less than ideal.

Since they clearly want bigger arms, give them a solution to their problem.

They then like and trust your brand.

And now they are on your email list.

This is where email marketing begins.

They might not have been in search of gym clothes when they landed on your article, but they clearly go to the gym, and I bet they will be in the market for gym clothes later on.

Actionable Lead Magnet Advice

Alright let’s get into the action so you can start building those beautiful PDFs in Canva.

First Scenario

In this first scenario, let’s assume you already have an email list.

You’ve gotten 500 people to sign up thanks to your “receive my weekly emails” call to action.

Again, you’ve gotten people on your list, but your opt-in rate is less than 1%

That’s fine. Now it’s time to improve.

Start off by surveying your audience.

These people already like your content and I reckon they are your target demographic.

You want to get the thoughts and viewpoints of those which have already signed up.

Send something like this:

Hey Alex - I’m looking to put together a few free resources for all of our email subscribers and wanted to ask what you would find the most useful.

I can only start with one, so please take a look at the titles below and click on the one that sounds the most useful for you!

  • Option 1
  • Option 2
  • Option 3
  • Something else?

Use FeedLetter to create a newsletter survey and see what people vote for.

FeedLetter also allows your subscribers to leave additional comments once they click on an option, which can be an absolute gold mine.

I like leaving the last option as “Something else” because it’s open-ended.

It allows people to suggest something you haven’t thought of.

Once done, take a look at the results and boom – build it.

Second Scenario

This second scenario assumes you don’t have an email list at all.

Nothing. Nada.

There are two things I would do here:

  1. Review all the questions and comments on your website and see what people keep asking.
  2. Go and look at what the authorities in your space are offering.

If I were in the firearm niche, I would look at Pew Pew Tactical.

They get millions of visitors a month and looky there – they have a lead magnet at the bottom of their articles:

I have no idea how well this converts, but this site is huge and they know a thing or two about marketing.

This makes it a great starting point.

Input your email into that little box and get their lead magnet.

Note down everything along the way.

  1. What copy was on the opt-in form?
  2. What info did they ask for?
  3. What did their Thank You page look like?
  4. What does the email look like whenever the deliver the lead magnet?
  5. What does the lead magnet look like?
  6. How can you make it better?

Now, it’s important to mention that you won’t hit a home run right away.

Best case scenario, you get 3% out the gate.

Our goal is 10%

99.99% of you will not reach that 10% opt-in rate your first time.

It will take months to get it right.

You will have to continually tweak your copy, opt-in form, etc to get there.

But again, this is a heck of a lot better than the 0.5% that you’ll get asking people to subscribe to your updates that no one cares about.

I think that’s it for this edition.