3 Creative Ways to Get More Email Opt-Ins


Email opt-in lists are highly valuable to online marketers, but too often are resigned to header or footer menus — out of sight and out of mind.

The following 3 examples are creative ways to give email sign up more attention.


Sephora’s currently presenting visitors with a Plinko-style game where entering an email address releases an animated ball, which drops down into one of 5 slots and reveals a discount, free shipping or free gift with purchase offer code.


The offer is emailed to the player, and while this may be a separate marketing list to its Beauty Insider program, it enables Sephora to build a unique list that can be targeted with different offers and content than its BI list (the fine print mentions personal information will be stored in Sephora’s database as per its Privacy Policy)

Making a statement

Content site Upworthy takes a very creative approach to attracting opt-ins. This approach taps into the shared values of its readers, simply asking for agreement with the statement “It’s nice to be reminded of the good in the world.”


If you click Agree, you’re presented with an email opt-in call.


While Upworthy isn’t traditional retail commerce, this approach could work very well with subscription content sites, software and any product that taps into social values. For example Jessica Alba’s Honest brand could ask for agreement to “There’s no need for toxic ingredients in baby products” and use call to action “Join Us” (subscription), “Subscribe to our Blog”).

A condition for coupons

Presenting a coupon box in checkout is a trigger for customers to hit Google, sniping affiliate offers. Office Max prevents this behavior while building its email list by telling customers they can get offers by signing up for them by email.



Even though Office Max may offer affiliate codes, this presentation suggests the email list is the only way, and saves commissions to affiliates that had nothing to do with the sale.

Have you spotted (or are you using) creative ways to build your email list? We want to hear about it!

Reprinted by permission.

About the author: Linda Bustos

As Director of Ecommerce Research at Elastic Path, Linda Bustos works with some of the world’s largest companies to help improve conversion rates and profitability on the Web. In addition to writing the Get Elastic blog since 2007, Linda’s articles have appeared in Mobile Marketer, CMO Magazine, E-Marketing + Commerce, and Search Marketing Standard. She is a frequent speaker at industry events, including XCommerce, Conversion Conference, and Affiliate Management Days.

In 2010, Linda earned a spot on the DMNews Top 30 Direct Marketers Under 30 list. She has served as faculty for the Banff New Media Institute’s Career Accelerator Program and Marketing Profs University, and has appeared as one of the Top 100 Influential Marketers of the year in 2008 and 2009. Prior to joining Elastic Path, Linda worked agency-side, specializing in usability and SEO.

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