The kind of email signup box you need depends on what you are going to do with the emails. If you use a newsletter service like MailChimp (my favorite), there is a plugin for WordPress that will hook right into your MailChimp account. Other services like ConstantContact provide a bit of code that you can place in a widget or in a post.
If you want to collect email addresses for your own internal mailing list then you will need a plugin like Contact 7 or Ninja Forms. These plugins let you create a form, place it on your site, and mail you the responses from the form.
Detailed instructions for installing the MailChimp for WordPress plugin are here.
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