It seems to be happening more and more these days. You cannot go to any site without getting a pop up box shoved in your face and some strange organization trying to harvest your e-mail. In the past I sometimes signed up just to be nice, but I get SO MUCH junk e-mail that I almost NEVER read any of it. Even though millions of marketers tout the e-mail list, I remain unconvinced! Just because they make money with it does not make it honest. Scammers make millions through their efforts, but that does not make it right. It is getting to the point where I will exit the site immediately if I get these pop up boxes thrown at me. It is a good way to make a bad impression on a first time visitor.
Would you walk up to a stranger on the street, shove a piece of paper in front of them and ask them to join your mailing list? I don't think so, because that would be rude. It is just as rude online, but since you are not face to face with people they think they can get away with more. I really dislike rude and intrusive sites who want to harvest your email address at all costs. People in business are not supposed to make it obvious that they cannot wait to get their hand into the purses or wallets of everyone they meet. You need to be respectful of the customer and think of their needs and how you can provide value to them. Focusing on how you can get the most money out of each customer is just wrong!
So I am firmly against pop up boxes and e-mail address harvesting. I refuse to use those scammy tactics! It is unethical in my book! I will treat my customers the way I want to be treated, with respect!
That being said, you still do want multiple ways of keeping in contact with those who are interested in your service or products. Facebook groups are popular as well as sites like Patreon. Some sites do have a sign up box, but do not throw one in your face. In the end you want people on your list who are REALLY interested in you and not just signing up to be nice or to get that box off the page. With this hit and miss strategy on strangers, you end up getting a mailing list with 98% who do not want to be there. So you built a poor quality list and now you justify spamming thousands of people for a few hundred who actually buy from you! That is going to hurt your brand in the long run!
My strategy may not be the most lucrative, but by my standards it is the most ethical. You need to build good will with strangers. Being pushy or being perceived as pushy is the worst way to come across. You need to build your brand in a positive way and as you get to know your customers. Then they will be glad to be on your list and you can begin to build a loyal following. It will take longer, but it will build a rock solid positive reputation for you brand.
Adele Celeste Smith