How Big Brands Ask For Your Email Address

How Big Brands Ask For Your Email Address

We see this everywhere, every day. Businesses we use are always asking us for our email addresses, right? 

This is because our email addresses are very valuable to businesses. 

Once they have our email addresses, they have unlimited access to send us newsletters, stories, promotions, deals, and so much more. 

Email is a highly effective marketing channel to consistently reach an audience for engagement, branding, sales, and so much more. And, it's a very cost effective marketing channel. According to Hubspot's 2021 State of Marketing Report, email generates $42 for every $1 spent. WOW!!!

I find it interesting how each business handles email marketing in a slightly different way. I specifically pay attention to how they are growing their email lists. In other words, how are they asking for the email address?  In this article, I'm sharing how 10 big brands are doing this. 

Let's review where these brands have their email opt-in forms on their websites. How prominent are their opt-in forms? What are they offering as incentive? And, what information are they asking for in the opt-in forms? 

By the way, I included some examples of service-based businesses too. They use messaging that doesn't include a retail discount or promotion.    

Let's go through my list of TEN big brands now:

1. Bed, Bath, & Beyond

On the Bed, Bath, & Beyond website, they display a static banner along the bottom of the screen. So, as you scroll down the page, the banner stays in your view.

The banner seems to only appear on their homepage. They are offering their usual offer: 20% off any single item. That's interesting to me. They use their trademark offer they've used for 20+ years. EVERYONE has used this offer at one time...but the disclaimer on this form says it's only available to new subscribers. 

When you click off their home page to another page, the static banner along the bottom of the screen goes away. 

However, there is another form embedded on other pages with this headline: "We write really great emails." The sub-head says "We'll let you know about the latest deals & newest products. New subscribers get 20% off any single item. 

So this language is more of a "join our newsletter" approach.

2. Oakley

Oakley takes it a step further than a simple offer. In exchange for your email address, you can become an Oakley MVP. This MVP status gives a few exclusive benefits. This is a much bigger offer than you typically see.

The pop-up on their website takes up the entire page and shows this message below. 

They also show a second pop up with the same offer when your mouse goes in the direction of exiting the site.

And, Oakley's website also shows this newsletter approach at then bottom of each page. 

It's surprisingly basic. The general thinking about a newsletter is that no one wants another newsletter in their inbox. Oakley should give us a little more incentive. In other words, tell us why we should get excited about this to register. 

3. Groupon

Groupon knows your location and they aren't afraid to say it. This pop up says "Save up to 70% on the 1000s of awesome Tampa Bay area deals. Nice touch!

The layout of the offer within the circle is done nicely, but they use way more text than is typically recommended. But it seems to work well for them - they've used this same approach for more than a year.  

4. Nordstrom Rack

Last year, Nordstrom Rack had a pop-up message in the bottom-right corner of the screen with the headline “Always Know What’s New”. In my opinion it was too generic and not compelling enough. 

Now, they don't have a pop up at all but if you scroll to the bottom of each page, there's a special offer for new email subscribers. 


Last year, used a typical retail offer:  "Unlock 15% off today's order. Currently, the offer is "Unlock Exclusive Offers".

But It’s not the offer that makes this pop-up message unique — it’s how and why they chose to deliver it to me.

This company has decided that the pop-up message will only appear if the visitor is leaving the site. That is determined when the visitor moves their mouse in the direction of clicking off the website. This is a setting option for pop-up messages…and it’s a strategic decision. They only want to show this offer to people they are about to lose before a purchase.

6. Dick's Sporting Goods

This business doesn't have a pop up message to ask for the email address. They do ask for it, but it's buried at the bottom of each page by the footer. 

What's notable about this approach is that they also promote a second offer. You'll notice in the image below that the second offer is to encourage people to subscribe to SMS text alerts too. 

7. CLIF Kid Bar

This business is running Facebook ads to grow their email list. And, the ad offers 20% off discount and free shipping on orders over $40. 

This is the first example in this list where the business is spending money on ads to grow its email list. I'm a big believer in this approach - it works! If you plan an effective ad campaign, you may pay $3.00 per lead (per email address). Would that pay off for you in the end? Many businesses would find that worthwhile.

8. Samsung

This example is to show that even a manufacturer like Samsung makes the effort to grow an email list.  

Of all the big brands we've looked at so far, this is the most unique idea. 

First, Samsung's website shows a pop-up window that says "Don't miss out on our latest offers. Check out new ways to save on what you want most." When you click the button that says "See today's offers", you're redirected to an page with a list of Samsung's offers. 

Then, when you go to close that page, a new message appears in a pop-up window. See image below. In this message, they are offering access to future offers

They made this a two-pronged approach - and I love that.

9. Ballard Designs

Ballard Designs is a high-end furniture and home décor store that also offers interior design services.

On their website's footer, they have a very small request that asks for your email address. It's tiny and doesn't mention any particular offer. 

However, when you navigate to their Design Services page on their website, you'll get this pop-window shown below. 

They say "be the first to know..." which is an effective way to encourage action. Their messaging expresses value without any specific offer.  

10. Truly Nolan

This one is interesting... I'm not sure how many people are signing up to receive emails about pest control, but Truly Nolen Pest Control offers a good reason here. 

They chose to offer information in a newsletter, rather than a discount or promotion.  

And, this is the first big brand in our list that asks for your zip code too. 

Lastly, it's important to mention that the reCAPTCHA checkbox shown in this example is an effective way to avoid spambots on your website. 

Was this helpful?

I hope this list gave you some ideas. And, I hope you noticed that "the ask" doesn't have to be complicated. It can be a simple ask. 

Here's my ask below: