7 Email Capture Boxes That Will Make You Want a Fuller Inbox

Achieving inbox zero is a huge bragging right for some people. They’re the coworkers who walk to your desk, notice your 2,145 unread messages, and say, “How the hell do you manage that?” like you’re some kind of digital hoarder. But even if you’re not a digital neat freak, you probably don’t want more email overload.

That presents a problem for content marketers. How do you convince people to add another newsletter to their daily haul?

The answer: amazing capture boxes. Here are seven companies that are creative enough to persuade even the most fervent email cynic to subscribe.

1. The Skimm

It’s not surprising that the homepage for a daily email newsletter does a great job of convincing readers to sign up. After all, The Skimm, a snarky daily roundup of the news, depends on it. If the reader stays on the page for a few moments, this message pops up:

Come on, who wants to be miserable in the morning? And who doesn’t like it when the words “easy” and “smart” are so close together? According to Nieman Lab, the newsletter had over 1.5 million subscribers as of August 2015. Clearly, these appeals to basic human interests—happiness, laziness—are working.

2. The Daily Positive

This capture box for The Daily Positive, an inspirational lifestyle blog, does a lot of things right. First of all, it’s the biggest module on the homepage, which gets your attention. Next, there’s a pithy reminder about the purpose of the newsletter: “Actionable inspiration for a better life.” But the most interesting part is the live counter that shows how many users are subscribed to the newsletter at that moment. Ah, the magic of the bandwagon effect.



Before visitors even see the products offered on, a low-cost online furniture retailer, they’re offered a £10 discount in exchange for their email. Nothing motivates better than an opt-in that delivers free stuff and instant gratification. The only downside—for American readers, at least—is that the company doesn’t ship to the States just yet.

4. SumoMe

Here’s a meta example. SumoMe, a company that makes it easy for websites to produce custom capture boxes, immediately tells its homepage visitors why they should use the service: The company provides tools that grow website traffic, and almost 290,000 sites already use the service.

Yet if anyone isn’t completely convinced, this message pops up after a few minutes:

Since many people avoid subscriptions due to volume, this message disarms them by explaining that SumoMe will only send four emails. By telling people exactly what they’re agreeing to, the company increases the chances that people will proceed.

5. Blu Dot

The moment someone begins to scroll on the Blu Dot furniture website, this box pops up. Look, more free stuff! While Blu Dot asks for a lot more than an email, it also offers its customers something that’s tangible and useful— an actual coffee table catalogue to flip through. Although, if the customer needs to shop for a coffee table, that might be far less useful.

6. H&M

Some clothing brands like Banana Republic only promise future promotions to their email subscribers. But H&M one-ups them with, you guessed it, instant gratification. If someone is already on H&M’s website, chances are they’re looking to buy something. A lot of people will sign up for the company’s email list just to get an immediate discount on their purchase. If you’re eyeing the $349 leather pants, for example, a few extra emails could save you about $90.

7. Elle

Elle understands what its readers want. So instead of offering a generic sign-up module for the whole site, the publication gets specific, teasing a useful article that features expert insights on skin health. Elle also resorts to the passive-aggressive opt-out link in small print, which can be hit or miss depending on the company. But when you’re dealing with health issues—as opposed to topics like treadmills and the joys of gift wrapping—the style actually makes sense.

And if that’s the case, then the emails that follow won’t feel superfluous, unlike the other 2,145 messages you haven’t read yet.

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