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 how you build a high-converting landing page, create a lead capture form, and store those captured contacts. It is the first step to finding your high-potential customers and building long-term relationships with them.
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, along with the essential features you need for growth.
9 top email list-building tools with pricing and features
Some email list-building platforms are focused on just one feature — capturing users’ contact information. But most all-in-one email marketing platforms also offer list-building tools. Let’s see what both types have to offer.
Brevo is a complete CRM suite with an advanced email marketing solution with list-building capabilities. It helps small businesses grow their audience with simple yet powerful tools.
One feature that sets Brevo 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 contact database
- Audience segmentation (+ ready segments to use in one click)
- Lead scoring
- Website activity tracking
- Automation workflows, ready templates available
- 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
Brevo’s forever-free plan is perfect for small businesses looking to build a mailing list, manage contacts, and send up to 300 emails per day. If you want to remove the daily sending limit and access A/B testing functionality, you can upgrade to a paid plan starting at $25/month. A landing page builder is accessible in the Premium plan for $65/month.
Brevo offers unlimited contact storage on all plans — including Free — at no additional cost and is one of the best email list builders.
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 editor 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 Brevo 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 page views 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 $20/month, but only if you stay under 1,000 contacts. Every additional 1,000 contacts is another $20 a month
Related: 7 Best HubSpot Competitors for 2023
MailMunch is a 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, 1,000 contacts, 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 the 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 $39/month and includes 30,000 pageviews, two domains, and 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 targeting, A/B testing, and advanced analytics functionality. The only paid plan is $39/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 a user-friendly interface, no coding skills required.
OptinMonster integrates with Brevo, 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.
Poptin is a lead-collecting resource for agencies, bloggers, and ecommerce stores alike. They focus on popups and forms that are easy to build, no coding necessary. Their specialized tools include:
- Popup builders
- Embedded forms
- Autoresponders (paid plan)
- Triggered messages
Popup options include slide-ins, full-screen takeovers, gamified popups, and social widgets. Their paid plan allows you to set autoresponders, so you can do things like send a welcome email if someone subscribes.
Poptin offers a free plan with limited capabilities. It’s good if you just need to create popups and forms to integrate into your website. Their basic plan unlocks autoresponders and is $25/month. Poptin is best as a list-building add-on for those who already have marketing software and need some extra tools.
Choosing an email list-building tool
If you want to encourage long-term customer relationships and ensure your emails don’t land in spam, choose a software that is a little more advanced. It is worth it in the long run. The following four features are vital for executing a healthy 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 and customizable signup forms. The ability to place those anywhere on your website or share them on social media or via a QR code is also helpful.
Ironically, 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 with triggers and 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 (customer relationship management), 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 only gets the emails they subscribed for.
Pro tip: If you want to focus only on serious subscribers, look for an email list-building tool that provides double opt-in confirmation emails.
What is the best way to build an email list?
- Set a clear objective
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.
- Make a list-building strategy
Will you use pop-ups, slide-ins, or contact forms? Whatever the strategy, keep it simple and direct. Let people know what value they get out of joining your list (recipes, early sale access, insider tips, and so forth), and use a clear call to action that matches your goal.
- Choose an email list builder that fits your strategy
If all you need is to collect contacts and send email newsletters, a basic list-building tool will do. But for automated ecommerce campaigns, segmentation, and multi-list subscriber management, you’ll need a solution with advanced tracking capabilities and automation features.
- Deploy your strategy and start growing your list
Once you have your list-building software, start turning website visitors into contacts!
Get started with the all-around best email list-building tool
Brevo’s user-friendly, drag-and-drop builder allows you to easily create signup forms and landing pages to collect contacts. Advanced targeting options and user segmentation help you make customized user experiences for your email lists. With further email capabilities and generous free starting plans, it’s an all-around winner for email marketing.
Free email list-building tool from Brevo
Customizable signup forms, subscriber management, unlimited contact storage, integrated Sales Platform and email marketing.