How do you build an email list fast? A catchy lead magnet will do the trick, right? Not exactly. You’ll need an email list building tool to get things off the ground.
Email list-building software is where you go to build a high-converting landing page, create a lead capture form, and then store those captured contacts. In other words, it makes or breaks a list-building campaign.
With that in mind, the quality of your list-building tool is essential. There are many solutions available, each quite different from the others. To help you choose, we’ve narrowed down the list to the eight best email list-building tools.
What Is the Best Way to Build an Email List?
First, set a clear objective — what do you need this list for? What are you going to do with the collected subscribers?
Do you want to capture leads in the early stages of their buyer journey, or are you looking to connect with people ready to make a purchase? Different goals require different list-building strategies.
Knowing your objectives also helps you set clear criteria for the list-building tool. If all you need is to collect contacts and send email newsletters, a basic software will do. But for automated ecommerce campaigns and multilist subscriber management, you’ll need a solution with advanced tracking capabilities and automation features.
Choosing an Email List-Building Tool
The following four features are vital for executing any list-building strategy.
Lead capture capabilities
First off, the email list-building software you choose should offer a range of helpful marketing tools for capturing new leads. This includes a landing page builder, customizable signup forms, and the ability to place those anywhere on your website or share them on social media or via a QR code.
Paradoxically, the functionality of an email list-building tool should not be limited to list-building. To set up targeted email marketing campaigns, you should be able to manage email subscribers — split them into groups (manually or automatically), apply filters, keep track of subscriber engagement, and clean the email list when needed.
Good list-building tools help you do all that with multi-list functionality. People can subscribe to more than one of your email lists from a single form and it all gets recorded in your CRM, which leads us to…
Full marketing integration
Your email list-building tool needs to integrate seamlessly with or be part of a comprehensive marketing platform. This way, leads go directly into the CRM, and are available for email marketing, SMS, and retargeting campaigns.
If you expect to target audiences in EU countries, your email list-building software should be GDPR compliant. How do you make sure it is?
GDPR-compliant software makes it easy to have opt-in checkboxes on forms for new subscribers to give their consent. It also lets you collect consent for different types of communication (e.g. marketing vs transactional) within one form and records the preferences so the contact really gets only the emails they subscribed for.
To be 100% safe from complaints, you might also want your email list-building tool to allow for setting up double opt-in confirmation emails.
8 Top Email List-Building Tools to Choose From
Some email list-building platforms are focused on just one feature — capturing users’ contact information. But most all-in-one email marketing services also offer list-building tools. Let’s see what both types have to offer.
Sendinblue is a complete email marketing solution with list-building capabilities. It helps small businesses grow their audience with simple yet powerful tools.
One feature that sets Sendinblue apart from other tools is that the price doesn’t go up with the size of your contact list. Grow your audience from zero to thousands of subscribers without upgrading your plan (even on the free plan!).
The platform provides you with all the necessary tools to build your email list from scratch:
- Drag-and-drop signup form builder and customization options
- Drag-and-drop landing page builder
- Double opt-in subscription workflows
- GDPR-compliant subscriber management
- Multilist subscriptions: different email lists, SMS, push notifications, WhatsApp updates
- Unlimited contact storage
- Integrations with other list-building tools
When you’re ready to proceed with email marketing campaigns, the following features will serve you well:
- Integrated CRM system
- Audience segmentation
- Lead scoring
- Website activity tracking
- Automation workflows
- Visual flow builder & if/then logic
- Email personalization & dynamic content
- A/B testing
- Email analytics & heat maps
- Facebook Ad management
- SMS marketing and push notifications
Sendinblue’s forever-free plan is perfect for small businesses looking to build a mailing list with customizable signup forms, manage contacts, and send up to 300 emails per day. It includes ready email templates to use, drag-and-drop editor, personalization, automation workflows (e.g. welcome email to new subscribers) to 2,000 contacts, and 500 push notifications.
Sendinblue offers unlimited contact storage on all plans — including Free — at no additional cost.
Wisepops is an intuitive website popup builder. Wisepops is not a complete email marketing service, but it’s a good option if you only need list-building tools like embedded forms and popups.
With Wisepops, you have a variety of tools to grab user’s attention:
- Lightbox popups
- Exit-intent popups
- Pop-up surveys
- Spin-to-win popups
- Video popups
- Mobile-optimized popups
All types of popups can be built with the help of a drag-and-drop builder or custom CSS editor.
Most importantly, you don’t need to be tech-savvy to create pop-ups for different customer segments. Target users by traffic source, device, session history, geolocation, and other criteria.
You can also choose from six different triggers to display pop-ups where and when you want them.
As your mailing list starts to take shape, you can connect Wisepops to an email marketing platform like Sendinblue and reach your contacts with targeted email campaigns.
Wisepops doesn’t offer a free plan. Plans start at $49/month, including unlimited campaigns and collecting an unlimited number of leads. Pricing tiers are based on pageviews and the number of websites you can connect to the plan. For instance, the cheapest plan includes 100,000 pageviews per month and two websites.
Outgrow is an interactive content software, but it doesn’t have email marketing capabilities. To help you acquire qualified leads, the platform offers no-code tools like quizzes, calculators, assessments, polls, online forms, and giveaways.
These are some of Outgrow’s top functionalities:
- Lead generation
- Lead qualification
- Customer analytics
- Gamified content
All content formats are easily customizable with Outgrow’s smart builder. The surveys and quizzes work for qualifying leads as they enter your funnel. Lastly, Outgrow offers interactive content templates for small businesses across every possible niche – from automotive to marketing and advertising.
Outgrow has no free plan. For $22/month, you can create three content types (assessment, outcome quiz, and forms & surveys), capture 1,000 leads, and build up to five content elements. As you scale lead generation, Outgrow becomes pricey – to generate up to 50,000 leads, you’ll have to pay $720/month.
HubSpot is a complete marketing automation platform with list-building, contact management, and automatic email sending features.
It’s likely you’ve heard of HubSpot before. But how does it work for email list-building?
As an all-in-one email marketing platform, HubSpot is a comprehensive tool for generating, qualifying, and nurturing leads from within a single interface. The features for growing a mailing list HubSpot provides are:
- Online form builder
- Pop-up forms
- Landing page builder
- CRM system
- Lead management
- Chatbot builder
Most of these tools are available for free unless you’re looking to scale your campaigns and access customization capabilities. Once you need to go beyond the free tools, HubSpot gets expensive fast.
HubSpot’s Free toolkit includes forms, landing pages, list segmentation, live chat, basic bots, and a few other limited features. Pricing plans start at $50/month.
Related: 7 Best HubSpot Competitors for 2022
MailMunch is lead generation and email marketing software. It has all the tools for you to grab the audience’s attention, add them to your mailing list, and re-engage them with targeted emails:
- Landing pages
- Exit pop-ups
- Sidebar widgets
- Embeddable forms
- Fullscreen covers
- Spin-to-win pop-ups
- Abandoned cart pop-ups
MailMunch offers advanced display rules to trigger forms and pop-ups. And here are the tools it gives you to stay in touch with your leads:
- Customizable email templates
- Automated campaigns
- Email analytics
MailMunch has only one pricing plan, starting at $19.99/month. The actual price depends on the number of subscribers on your mailing list. The plan includes unlimited forms and landing pages, unlimited campaigns, email automation, advanced analytics, and reporting.
OptiMonk is a conversion optimization and lead generation platform. It lets you collect users’ email addresses with interactive content formats like surveys, ‘pick a gift’ games, and various forms of pop-ups.
OptiMonk offers following tools to build your email list:
- Multi-step opt-in forms
- Side messages
- Sticky bars
- Fullscreen covers
OptiMonk’s forever-free plan includes up to 15,000 monthly pageviews and one domain. The Essential plan costs $29/month and includes 30,000 pageviews, two domains, and the A/B testing functionality.
Sumo is a dedicated email capture tool for ecommerce companies. Once a WordPress plugin, Sumo has developed into list-building software offering lead capture tools, including floating bars, lightbox pop-ups, and full-screen takeovers.
You can create custom designs, A/B test your forms, and set up advanced display rules to optimize for conversions and generate qualified leads. Sumo’s popups are 100% mobile optimized.
The drawbacks? Customers say that you shouldn’t expect excellent customer service when using Sumo’s free plan.
Sumo is forever-free unless you need advanced visitor targeting, A/B testing, and analytics functionality. The only paid plan is $49/month. Both free and paid plans allow for unlimited contact storage without extra costs.
OptinMonster is lead generation software for marketing agencies, publishers, ecommerce companies, and small businesses.
Its lead-gen toolkit includes:
- Lightbox pop-ups
- Floating bars
- Scroll boxes
- Gamified pop-ups
- Advanced display rules
You can build high-converting lead capture forms, set up custom display rules, and design A/B tests — all through an intuitive interface, no coding skills required.
OptinMonster integrates with Sendinblue, transferring all the contacts captured with interactive content right into the email marketing service’s CRM.
Plans start at $9/month billed annually. Keep in mind that the cheapest plan includes only 2,500 monthly pageviews. More expensive plans include more pageview credits and cover features like countdown timers, yes/no multi-step forms, and advanced display rules.
Free list-building tool from Sendinblue
Customizable signup forms, subscriber management, unlimited contact storage, integrated CRM and email marketing.