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Below are 21 ideas for offers that can help dramatically increase the size of your email list and lead conversion volume.

Educational / Informational Offers

These types of offers tend to be a sweet spot for B2B businesses, because B2B sales tend to be highly considered purchases. However, educational offers can also be useful for high-ticket B2C or enthusiast markets like fly fishing, racing, or technology. In other words, if your consumers think before they buy, you should think about these types of offers.

  1. eBooks – “Download our comprehensive guide to inbound marketing and ecommerce
  2. Whitepapers – “Understand how to nurture your email list”
  3. Buyer's Guides – “Which LED underbody kit is right for you?”
  4. Fact Sheets – “10 facts you need to know before purchasing a used car”
  5. Checklists – “The 5 key steps to preparing your IT department for the iPhone 4”

Free Stuff Offers

Everyone loves free stuff. If you sell products on your site, have excess books in a dusty office storeroom, or can purchase a new iPad to give away, "Free Stuff" offers can provide a time-efficient way to harvest emails from your site visitors. Remember the key with these offers: "many will enter, but few will win".

  1. Contests - “Send us your cutest dog picture; cutest picture wins free doggy day care!”
  2. Sweepstakes – “Enter for a chance to win a free copy of the book!”
  3. Giveaways – “Register for your free welcome gift of a free keychain!”
  4. Quizzes –“Who was Warren G. Harding’s dog? Let us know and two lucky history buffs gets a free dog bowl!”
  5. Surveys – “Take our survey and get $10 off your first order!”

Coupons and Deals

Like with the free stuff offers above, everyone likes to feel as though they are getting a good deal. Small incentives can create a large impression of value in your potential customers. Some of the below are more applicable to growing an email list for an ecommerce site, but could apply to consulting, software, or any sort of business with a touch of marketing creativity:

  1. Coupons for dollars or percentage off – “Sign up for future offers and savings to receive 10% off your next order today!”
  2. Free shipping – “Create an account today and get free 2-day shipping through March 1st!”
  3. Time-sensitive discounts – “Save 20% on flower arrangements through February 14 th – order soon, roses are going fast this year!”
  4. Bundled deals – “Fill out the form to get a free iPad if you sign up for our service in the next 2 weeks!”


Events can create huge engagement from your interested prospects and customers. Because events require your prospects to physically show up at a certain place at a certain time – even if that “place” is online – event registrations indicate serious fans of your brand, products, and services. Think creatively about what constitutes an "event" for you: consider sponsoring charity events, conducting in-house mini-events, and use your site to collect registrations with names, emails, and other pertinent information.

  1. Webinars – “Power-user tips and tricks for eCommerce Inbound Marketing”
  2. Off-site events – “Meet us at the museum of modern art for a charity event on Tuesday”
  3. On-site / in-store events – “Come in every Friday for free drinks, snacks, and hubspot.tv !”

Programming Required

If you have the resources in-house or can work with a creative, marketing-oriented programmer who you can trust , the sky is the limit on your ability to haul in email addresses from your content. Mini-games, compelling tools (see HubSpot's suite of free Grader tools) , and value-added product configurators are excellent programmatic offers. Consider what would be most appealing to you customer and prospect base, too, before investing:

  1. Calculators – “Calculate your retirement savings and plan for a bright future”
  2. Product configurators – “Configure your custom-made wallet today, and send to a friend for review!”
  3. Your own "Grader" app - "Learn your home's energy efficiency grade before you install new windows!"
  4. ??? - Wildly creative, value-delivering apps you dream up!

Use These Ideas to Start Getting More from your Site Traffic

Spin up a few new landing pages on your site and start experimenting. You will quickly find which have the best traction among your traffic and customer base if you keep an eye on your offer's performance metrics. Encourage your new email signups to share your offers on social media, email the offer to a friend, and get the word out to exponentially increase your offer's reach.

Which offers do you love for growing your leads and email list? Tell us about them, and let us know what we missed!

Photo Credit: Esparta

Originally published Jan 27, 2011 1:00:00 PM, updated July 03 2013


Ecommerce Lead Generation Calls to Action Content Marketing