Ask any successful course creator, and they’ll tell you that email subscribers are their biggest business asset.
Why? Because an email list allows you to build trust with your audience, share your marketing message, and drive repeat sales.
This is why email marketing has an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent.
But you can’t build an email list without the right list-building tools. The best list-building tools offer creative ways to engage your website visitors and persuade them to sign-up for your email list.
In this article, I’ll share some of the best list-building tools to help you convert your site’s cold traffic into subscribers and leads.
Let’s get started.
Before we dive into the best list-building tools, you need to understand that using these tools is only one part of the list-building equation.
Even the best tools won’t be able to attract many subscribers and leads if you don’t offer visitors something valuable to sign up for.
This is where lead magnets come in.
A lead magnet is a free resource like an eBook, video training, free course, templates, checklists, or anything valuable that your visitors can access by giving you their email addresses.
Here’s an example of a lead magnet.
The best lead magnets offer immediate gratification and are valuable enough to attract your audience’s attention.
This is exactly why “Subscribe to our newsletter” is NOT an effective lead magnet.
So, if you want to get the maximum ROI from the tools I’m about to share in this article, make sure to use an attractive lead magnet on your site.
Let’s now take a close look at some of my favorite tools for converting your site’s cold traffic into email subscribers and leads.
Sumo is among the world’s most popular list-building tools, powering almost a million websites. It is a robust suite of list building and traffic generation tools that includes features such as pop-ups, welcome mats, scroll boxes, embed forms, social media sharing, email automation, etc.
Sumo is ideal for beginners because of its intuitive user interface and easy-to-use features. Its pop-ups are fully customizable and come in various types. For example, you can set up
- Regular pop-ups that show up immediately when a page loads
- Pop-ups delayed for a specific time
- Exit-intent pop-ups
- CTA pop-ups
Its welcome mats and scroll boxes also give you the option to use forms or CTA buttons to capture leads.
In addition, Sumo easily integrates with all the leading email marketing tools, lead generation apps, and website platforms such as WordPress and Shopify.
The best thing about Sumo is that it’s free forever. However, the free version has certain limitations and comes with Sumo’s branding.
Sumo Pro – $39/month
The premium plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
|Various types of pop-ups, forms, and welcome mats in one tool.||Can slow down your website|
|Highly-customizable pop-ups and opt-in forms||Limited pop-up and form designs|
|Easily integrates with all leading email marketing tools and CMS platforms|
OptinMonster is among the most well-known lead generation and list-building tools in the world with close to 1.3 million active users.
It started as a simple WordPress pop-up plugin a few years ago but has evolved into a complete set of lead generation tools that allow website visitors to convert cold traffic into subscribers.
OptinMonster provides you several types of pop-ups, opt-in forms, CTAs, and other lead generation tools. For example, you can create sticky bars, welcome mats, slide-in forms, scrolling boxes, etc.
OptinMonster helps you fully customize the look & feel of your pop-ups and optin forms by allowing you to add different design elements such as countdowns, arrows, annotations, and images using its drag & drop form builder.
You can use exit-intent technology, apply scroll triggers or configure fixed timers to display your pop-ups and optin forms.
Apart from the conventional forms and pop-ups, OptinMonster also allows you to create spin wheels and content lockers to gather more email addresses.
In short, if you’re looking for a robust list-building tool that allows you to create forms, pop-ups, and lead generation campaigns for various business goals, OptinMonster is an excellent tool to consider.
Basic – $9/month
Plus – $19/month
Pro – $29/month
Growth – $49/month
All plans come with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
|A robust pop-up creator and list building tool||No free plan|
|100+ pop-up and form templates||The user interface isn’t very intuitive|
|A/B testing and page-level campaign targeting||Can slow down your website|
|Advanced integrations with all the leading marketing applications|
Push notifications might seem annoying, but they’re incredibly effective in generating leads and subscribers. PushEngage is one of the top push notification software that allows website owners to drive repeat traffic, generate leads, and increase time on-site using push notifications
It is a sophisticated tool that enables you to run personalized campaigns, automate notifications based on the visitor’s behavior, configure drip campaigns, segment subscribers on various factors, and run A/B tests to find the best performing notifications.
It allows you to show notifications in your browser address bar, or as regular website popups, sticky bars, and scrolling boxes.
Once a user signs up to your list using PushEngage’s notifications, you can send them personalized messages, product updates, special offers, or any other communication.
PushEngage efficiently works with all the leading browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, etc., and integrates with WordPress, Shopify, and numerous other applications.
In short, if you’re looking for an innovative way to gather leads and subscribers, PushEngage can be an excellent choice.
Free – $0
Business – $9/month
Premium – $29/month
All plans come with a 14-day money-back guarantee
|Advanced subscriber segmentation||Has a learning curve for non-technical users|
|In-depth analytics||The pricing isn’t beginner-friendly|
|Automated drip campaigns|
Interact is one of my favorite list-building tools because it provides you with a unique and highly engaging way to convert your website visitors into subscribers and leads.
Instead of using the conventional lead magnets like eBooks and courses, Interact allows you to create online quizzes that not only generate leads but also help you understand your audience needs and personalize their experience.
Here’s how it works.
Your website visitors see a CTA on your site asking them to answer a quiz.
When they complete the quiz, they’re required to enter their email address to get the results by email (plus sign up to your list).
Here’s an example of an Interact quiz from Lewis Howes’s site.
Interact is an ideal list-building tool for online course creators for several reasons.
- Its quizzes are engaging and immediately catch the reader’s attention.
- The quizzes are interactive and easy to answer
- They help you identify different subscriber segments to create tailored eLearning solutions.
The third point is critical for your business.
For example, if you’re an email marketing strategist, your site usually gets multiple visitor types such as prospective clients, freelancers looking to learn email strategy from you, and random visitors with no clear goal.
You can’t offer the same solution to all three.
Quizzes allow you to segment them at the list-building stage and offer them different solutions that satisfy their needs.
Lite – $17/month
Growth – $53/month
Pro – $125/month
All plans come with a 14-day free trial.
|100+ quiz templates||Pricing is not beginner-friendly|
|Intuitive quiz builder||Limited integrations in the Lite plan|
|Lots of live examples to learn from|
Typeform is an excellent list-building tool for creating attractive surveys, forms, and quizzes to convert traffic into leads and subscribers. It is primarily known as a survey tool but is equally effective for getting email subscribers.
It stands out because of its beautiful form designs and highly interactive quizzes that keep the users engaged till the end and maximize the ROI of your list-building campaigns.
It allows you to create quizzes and surveys with multiple-choice questions designed for various scenarios. For example, you can create different survey paths based on user responses.
This allows you to create highly personalized quizzes and surveys that not only keep the users engaged but also help you gather in-depth information about your subscribers. As a result, you can improve your list segmentation and deliver more accurate messaging.
Here’s an example of a quiz created with Typeform.
Typeform offers dozens of templates for creating forms, surveys, and quizzes to save your time. In addition, all templates are customizable so you can modify them according to your brand’s colors and identity.
Typeform also integrates with all the leading CMS platforms, business apps, and email marketing tools which means you won’t have trouble using it with your existing tools.
Basic – $25/month
Plus – $50/month
Business – $83/month
|Attractive and intuitive user interface||Very expensive for small businesses|
|Robust survey and quiz features||The free plan offers very limited features|
|Multiple user tracks in quizzes|
|Numerous templates and integrations|
LeadPages is among the most popular tools for creating landing pages, squeeze pages, opt-in forms, sticky bars, etc.
It is a robust tool that gives you everything you need to create highly effective lead generation campaigns. For example, you can use its drag & drop page builder to create landing pages with your lead magnet and opt-in forms.
Similarly, you can design eye-catching pop-ups and configure them to appear immediately or when a visitor is about to exit your site. You can also use LeadPages to configure content upgrades, click triggers, and alert bars to convert your traffic into subscribers.
Since LeadPages has been around for a while, it easily integrates with almost every mainstream email marketing tool, business application, and online course platform.
In addition, it also integrates with PayPal, Stripe, and Gumroad allowing you to collect payment from your customers.
In short, if you’re looking for a comprehensive lead generation tool, LeadPages is worth trying.
Standard – $37/month
Pro – $74/month
Both plans come with a 14-day free trial.
|Offers landing pages, pop-ups, forms, and alert bars in the same tool||Offers limited pop-up and list building features|
|Supports a wide range of integrations||Not ideal for users looking for a dedicated list building tool|
|Highly customizable||Expensive compared other list-building tools|
|Easy to use|
Digioh is a multi-purpose lead generation and audience engagement tool for eCommerce stores, publishers, and digital product sellers.
It is a robust product suite that allows you to create highly engaging and personalized quizzes, surveys, opt-in forms, pop-ups, and landing pages to convert cold traffic into subscribers and leads.
Digioh’s quizzes are perfect for segmenting your email subscribers as soon as they join your list. You can develop multiple quiz tracks and assign tags to users based on their responses.
Digioh is ideal for online course creators and digital product sellers since it allows you to ask specific questions to help you understand what your subscribers expect from you.
Based on their responses, you can offer tailored product recommendations and customized solutions that meet your audience’s needs.
Digioh comes with a robust drag & drop builder to help you design pop-ups, landing pages, forms, and quizzes for your audience.
In addition, Digioh supports a wide range of third-party integrations including email marketing software, lead generation tools, CMS platforms, eCommerce tools, etc.
Digioh offers three subscription plans with different usage limits. But doesn’t reveal the pricing on its website. However, after exploring different forum discussions and review sites, I believe it’s a pricey tool that costs several hundred dollars per year.
|An advanced lead generation tool backed by AI.||Not designed for beginners|
|Multiple quizzes, surveys, and forms||Has a learning curve|
|Drag & drop page builder||Expensive for small businesses and course creators|
|Wide range of integrations||No free plan|
Privy is an eCommerce marketing platform designed to help online stores and digital product sellers attract more subscribers, convert more leads, and drive more sales.
It comes with a wide range of list-building and engagement features, along with the most common eCommerce email automations.
With Privy, you can convert your website traffic into subscribers using regular pop-ups, opt-in forms, exit intent pop-ups etc.
Spin to win wheels, in particular, are an excellent way to engage your website visitors and turn them into subscribers.
In addition, Privy also supports sticky bars and allows you to customize your pop-ups and opt-in forms according to your brand identity.
Privy easily integrates with all the leading email marketing solutions and has dedicated integrations for Shopify, Wix, and WordPress.
Free – $0
Starter – $15/month
Growth – $45/month
|Specialized AI-powered list building solution for eCommerce and digital product sellers||Expensive compared to other tools offering similar features|
|Fully customizable pop-ups with advanced display configurations||Records duplicate contacts and counts them towards your plan’s limits.|
|Upsell and cross-sell features|
|Free email and live chat support|
OptiMonk is among the most powerful and feature-rich list-building tools on this list. It appears to be a simple pop-up designer from the outside.
But when you start exploring its features, you realize the control it provides you over the appearance, timing, and nature of your pop-ups and opt-in forms.
With OptiMonk, you can create regular pop-ups, exit intent pop-ups, pop-ups with embedded forms and CTAs, feedback pop-ups, product recommendation pop-ups, and so many other options.
In addition, it allows you to gamify your lead generation strategy by using spin a wheel pop-ups, sticky bars, welcome mats, scrolling opt-ins, etc.
OptiMonk also provides control over your pop-up appearance and display configurations. For example, you can customize pop-ups for visitors coming from specific countries and regions, or display personalized messages to returning visitors. In addition, you can run page-level lead generation campaigns and analyze your campaign performance with in-depth analytics.
In short, OptiMonk offers everything you need to turn your website into a lead generation machine.
Free – $0
Essential – $29/month
Growth – $79/month
Premium – $199/month
|Specialized tool for creating highly effective pop-ups and optin forms||The form editor is a bit clunky|
|Allows page level targeting||Using multiple forms can slow down your website.|
|Offers numerous templates for all kinds of use cases|
10. Hello Bar
Hello Bar started a few years ago as a simple sticky bar app. However, it has evolved into a robust lead generation and conversion optimization tool.
Today, it offers sticky bars, welcome mats, regular and exit-intent pop-ups, opt-in forms, scroll boxes, and product recommendation boxes.
Used by 600K+ customers worldwide, Hello Bar stands out because of its user-friendliness and ease of use. It provides you with advanced targeting features using which you can run page-level campaigns and display pop-ups and opt-ins to users from specific traffic sources or locations.
Hello Bar comes with a wide range of professionally designed responsive pop-up themes. Plus, it allows you to customize your designs using its drag & drop pop-up builder.
Overall, Hello Bar covers most bases when it comes to lead generation and is an ideal tool for beginners course creators looking to grow their email lists.
Hello Bar Pricing
Starter – $0
Growth – $29/month
Premium – $49/month
Elite – $99/month
Hello Bar Pros And Cons
|A robust and easy to use list building tool ideal for beginners||Slows down your website|
|Offers a generous free plan||Has several software glitches|
|Easily works with third-party apps||The drag & drop designer can be very slow at times.|
Adoric is an eCommerce conversion optimization platform that helps online stores and digital product sellers attract traffic, generate leads, and drive sales.
It offers a variety of list-building and lead generation tools such as pop-ups, sticky bars, welcome mats, scrolling boxes, embedded forms, click triggers, etc.
In addition, it allows you to display personalized product recommendations and messages with call-to-action buttons. Adoric also includes the spin-to-win feature which allows you to gamify your list-building campaigns and drive greater engagement.
Other valuable features include exit-intent technology, in-depth analytics, page-specific campaigns, and personalization for specific traffic sources and geographic locations.
Free – $0
Essentials – $29/month
Standard – $79/month
Pro – $199/month
The paid plans come with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
|A generous free plan with all the essential list building features||No customer support for free plans|
|Geo-targeting and page level targeting||Analytics only available for Pro users|
|A gigantic graphic library|
Wisepops is built specifically to help content publishers and online store owners convert cold traffic into email subscribers and leads using eye-catching pop-ups.
It’s an easy-to-use product that focuses solely on helping users build high-conversion pop-ups. Its pop-up designer allows you to customize your pop-ups and add various content elements such as headlines, images, videos, social icons, CTA buttons, etc.
Wisepops also gives you complete control over the appearance of your pop-ups. For example, you can use exit-intent pop-ups, display pop-ups immediately when a user lands on your page, set a specific time, or define a specific scroll percentage to show pop-ups.
In addition, it comes with detailed audience segmentation options using which you can easily sort your subscribers according to their preferences, locations, and various other factors.
In short, if you’re looking for a specialized tool for creating highly effective pop-ups, Wisepops is an excellent option
Wisepops has a simple pricing structure based on the number of page views of your site.
100K pageviews – $49/month
250K page views – $99/month
500K page views – $149/month
All plans include the core Wisepops features.
|A specialized pop-up tool that gives you full control over your pop-up’s appearance and behavior.||The pricing plans aren’t flexible which makes the tool expensive for beginners and small website owners|
|Supports a wide range of third-party integrations||Lacks gamification features|
|Advanced segmentation and targeting features|
The list-building tools I’ve shared in this article help you convert your site’s visitors into subscribers and leads. However, as I said at the start, you’ll need to offer a valuable free resource, lead magnet, or sign-up incentive to convince users to sign up.
Which one of these list-building tools should you go for?
If you’re a complete beginner, I’d suggest starting with a free option like Sumo that gives you the necessary features to grow an email list.
As your business grows, and you’re prepared to try new list-building strategies, you can choose any tool that fits your needs.
By Jawad Khan for Learning Revolution
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