How To Capture Email On UniFi

Capture Email on UniFi: Build Your Marketing Database with Ease

So you’ve got your UniFi network up and running, and someone in marketing or sales is asking if you can collect guest emails. Or maybe you’re setting up a new UniFi network, and guest email capture is part of the requirements. Either way, you need to find a way to collect guest emails. Lucky for you, there are a bunch of ways to do this, which I’ll explain below. But if you just want to get started collecting emails ASAP, check out our UniFi guest portal page. The idea is to grab those guest email addresses so you can build up your marketing database for your brand or venue. And with Ubiquiti WiFi and the guest WiFi logins, capturing those emails is super easy.

Table of Contents

Why Capture Email on UniFi?

In the hospitality and retail industries, competition is fierce. With a limited pool of potential customers and a high failure rate among businesses, it’s essential to have any advantage possible. Data is often touted as the key to success, and physical hospitality locations should strive to maximize its value. Capturing email on UniFi is one way to do this. By collecting data, businesses can improve their digital presence, such as getting more Google reviews. To learn more about the benefits of capturing email on UniFi, check out our WiFi Hotspot page. The Ubiquiti guest WiFi network and external portal services can streamline email collection and help your brand succeed. UniFi is particularly well matched to hospitality businesses.

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Capturing Guest Email Addresses on Your UniFi WiFi: Exploring Your Options

So you want to grab guest email addresses on your UniFi WiFi network? No problem, you’ve got a bunch of options to choose from. Some might require extra hardware, while others require your UniFi controllers to be online. Some options might work best for specific situations, while others might not be a good fit for what you’ve already got set up. But don’t worry, I’ll break down all the details for you in the following paragraphs.

External Portal Server: Best Option to collect guest emails on UniFi

Capturing email on UniFi WiFi has never been easier with this method. You can build your own application that authenticates users through the UniFi API. This is done in the Guest Control section, where all traffic is directed to your app to collect data. Your app acts as the captive portal or external portal service and requires separate hosting. Building or buying a UniFi external portal server is an option, and you can read more about the pros and cons of both here. You can use any gateway for this method, as long as your UniFi controller is publicly accessible for the API to function correctly.

With the guest WiFi functionality of the Ubiquiti WiFi network, you can easily capture guest email addresses. This will add to your marketing arsenal and complement your other venue or brand marketing tools.

Third Party Gateway: Pretty Good backup option

Capturing email on UniFi is easy with a third-party gateway. By installing a gateway at the base of your network, you can direct guest traffic to an external captive portal and radius server. While many enterprise gateway devices have this capability, you’ll need to set up and manage your own captive portal web server and radius server to handle AAA services and data capture forms/database.

Mikrotik routers are an affordable option that can handle this functionality very nicely. Additionally, you can buy third-party gateway devices off the shelf to capture email on UniFi Access Points. Keep in mind that this option may affect the guest isolation element of the UniFi guest WiFi network, so you’ll need to manage it in other ways.


UniFi Native Hotspot Option: Has potential but limited

UniFi offers a variety of ways to provide guest access to your WiFi network. One option is their native hotspot module, which allows you to use vouchers, payments, or a portal for access. They have also integrated with social media platforms such as Facebook, Google, and WeChat, with an option to capture users’ email addresses. However, we have not been able to test this feature thoroughly, and it may not be a practical solution for collecting email addresses on UniFi at scale. This method requires developer accounts with Facebook and Google, and it doesn’t offer simple email registration, which could be a barrier for some users.

It’s important to note that if you’re looking to capture email addresses and optimize guest data, this may not be the best solution. While there is an option to “request user email” in the settings, we were not able to verify its effectiveness. As of now, UniFi’s native hotspot module and social media integration may not be the best options for effectively collecting email addresses and optimizing guest data.

Hotspot 2.0 as a guest email capture option

Optionally, you can collect email on UniFi by using the Hotspot 2.0 process, but it’s quite different from the standard captive portal model. When users initially sign up for their Hotspot 2.0 certificate, you have the opportunity to capture their emails. However, the scope may be limited, depending on how it’s implemented.

Hotspot 2.0 requires installing a certificate on each client device and providing a separate SSID for autoconnection. While it’s possible to capture email using this method, it’s difficult to implement and has a limited return. Compared to the external 3rd party captive portal, Hotspot 2.0 doesn’t provide as good an outcome for email collection and the quantity of guest data it can deliver.

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Balancing Accessibility and User Data Capture on WiFi

Capturing data and managing users can be two distinct challenges. One issue that can arise is when people enter fake email addresses. To ensure authenticity, you might consider sending out a verification email before passing on the information for marketing purposes. Additionally, you’ll need to consider how to manage returning users who have already provided their email address. You would also need to consider navigating the captive network assistant. It’s important to create a smooth user experience to avoid frustration.

Another challenge to keep in mind is high bounce rates on email marketing platforms. This can lead to penalties and even account suspension. Additionally, your application must be able to handle users who have multiple devices and the same email address or social registration. At MyPlace Connect, we prioritize WiFi access first and data capture second, striking a balance between accessibility and user data capture.

Why Capturing Email on UniFi Requires Careful Guest Permission Management

Capturing email on UniFi requires careful attention to guest permissions. This is a required practice for most email marketing platforms, such as Mailchimp, and must include opt-out options in all correspondence. However, it’s even more critical if you’re collecting and managing data, as you’ll need to comply with the local data regulations. Failure to do so can result in penalties of up to a percentage of a business’s annual revenue, which can have serious consequences.

As a hospitality business, it’s crucial to consider data regulations when capturing user data for marketing purposes. In this scenario, email collection must be handled correctly, and email addresses must be collected in compliance with data regulations. By doing so, you can avoid any potential legal issues and build a valuable marketing database for your business.

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Going Beyond Email: How to Get More Value from Your UniFi Guest Data

If you’re only collecting email addresses, you’re missing out on some important info. By pairing email with other key indicators, you can really beef up your data and gain valuable context.

Some things to consider:

  • When did the user sign up?
  • How many times have they visited,
  • Which part of the location did they use?
  • When were they last here?


If you’re planning on capturing guest emails on UniFi, it’s essential to also collect and display this other important data.

Unlocking the full potential of UniFi

The UniFi WiFi guest portal and UniFi networks are constantly improving. They are a great option for providing WiFi to guests on your network. To capture guest email addresses for WiFi marketing and to grow your guest database, you’ll need to use the UniFi WiFi external portal. This portal allows you to capture guest email addresses and mobile phone numbers. It’s important to make the guest external portal as easy to use as possible for your guests. By using the right WiFi marketing product, you can capture a lot of guest email addresses and build your guest database. Every guest email address you capture will make it easier for your marketing team to run better campaigns.

Guest email addresses aren’t the only valuable information you can get from the UniFi guest external portal. You can also use the external portal to capture guest feedback. After email verification, you can send your guests a post-visit survey. They’ll be able to give direct feedback and score your business, which can help you identify your net promoter score.

In summary, the UniFi WiFi guest portal is a powerful tool that can help you capture guest email addresses and feedback. By utilizing this portal, you can grow your guest database and improve your marketing campaigns. Also, guest feedback can help you identify areas for improvement and track your business’s performance over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

On balance, the external portal server is the best option. It offers more flexibility and control with the added advantage that no additional hardware is required

It depends on which of the methods you select from above. The external portal server option utilises a REST API which would be typical of how most enterprise WiFi networks manage guest authentication

It would be difficult to achieve this. Possibly using the Hotspot 2.0 option above with pre-registration. It would be much simpler to onboard users through the captive portal 

The best way to incentivize guests to provide their email is by providing fast free WiFi. It is best not to put too many barriers in the guests way by adding additional questions. Keep it super simple and easy to use.

Yes it is possible. Any UniFi network for guests will have guest policies applied. When guest policy is applied to a network all clients are isolated. This means that although they cannot communicate with other devices on the same network. Guest networks should have their own subnet and vlan for added security

If your UniFi network is consistently collecting guest email then it does not need to be updated regularly. If you feel there is more value you can get you should update regularly. Reviewing, but not necessarily changing your strategy once a year is sufficient

Yes you can and should. Using a service like MyPlace Connect will allow you to connect to a multitude of marketing tools.  

The most important technical factor when capturing email on UniFi is having a good quality https connection to the UniFi controller or console. The controller host should have enough resources to quickly process API requests. 

You can measure how effective your email capture on UniFi is by how many emails you capture. Measuring the effectiveness on your marketing efforts requires strong metrics and attribution stats linked to your desired outcomes

Yes, you can use UniFi to manage access for users. You could have an LDAP protocol or Google account access protocol linked via the UniFi external portal or radius

Optimizing Your Email Collection Strategy on UniFi Networks

Looking to capture email on UniFi? Our blog piece has outlined several options, but on balance, using the external portal server is the most effective and value-adding way of achieving this objective. Third Party Gateway is also worth considering. However, if you’re aiming to capture a significant volume of email on WiFi, then UniFi Social Media registration and Hotspot 2.0 are not the best options. The external portal service offers the best way to capture your guests’ email addresses in real-time, providing ample opportunities for email collection.

If you’re looking for the best WiFi hotspot and external portal service available, check out our product here. For those with a cloud controller, signing up for a free trial package is easy. Don’t miss out on the chance to capture email on UniFi and build your marketing database with ease

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