You have had it drummed into your head over and over that, “The money is in the list.” And in the 21st century, if you are doing any kind of business online or off, you need a website to build that list.
To capture the information of prospective customers that you can email at any time to pitch a product or service you need an opt-in form somewhere on your website. And if you have done nothing more than add the traditional two-line form opt-in box on the upper right-hand side of your website, congratulations!
You have begun to build your list, and that is a worthwhile achievement. However, the Internet is always changing, and there may be particular strategies that can help you optimize list building on your website that you are unaware of. Check out these top 10 ways to boost email opt-ins on your website, put as many in action as you possibly can right away, and start getting the most out of your list building efforts.
1. Make it visible
This may sound like common sense, but make sure your opt-in box or form is visible. You could have an avalanche of traffic dying to subscribe to your e-mail list so they can receive special offers from you, as well as timely blog updates.
But if you do not tell them what action you want them to take in an opt-in form that is clearly visible and draws attention to itself, you are leaving money on the proverbial table.
One good tip here is to have your friends and family members look at your website for you. A fresh set of eyes is always going to spot things that you miss. Ask them if they feel drawn to opt in as soon as they hit your website. You look at your site all the time, and may take for granted that your opt-in box is visible and makes sense when in actuality it may be camouflaged to the average visitor.
2. Put it everywhere
Make sure that your opt-in form is located on every page of your site. Many times when websites are built, a highly effective opt-in form is placed on the homepage and then forgotten elsewhere.
Remember that Google and other search engines will send you generic traffic to every blog post and page of your website, not just your homepage. That is why it is extremely important to make sure that your opt-in form is present wherever you have content on your site.
3. Use pop-ups
Regardless of how you personally feel about them, they really work. So always use pop-up opt-in forms on your site. These can be in the form of an overlay, a side-sliding form or a traditional pop-up box.
And the truth is, you are going to frustrate or aggravate some of the readers or visitors to your website, but this is actually a very small percentage. Remember that you are an Internet marketer, and you look at the web differently than a surfer or potential customer.
Research from eConsultancy shows that a typical overlay pop-up can increase opt-ins by up to 400 percent, and most other Internet marketers will agree to the effectiveness of this opt-in strategy.
4. Try different types
Employ multiple opt-in boxes and forms of all different kinds and place them throughout your website.
You should always have an opt-in option located somewhere near the upper right-hand corner of each web page. This has over time consistently proven a great location for capturing e-mails and continues to work effectively, but don’t stop there.
Simple e-mail opt-in footers and headers can be used, there are opt-in forms which appear when a visitor to your website attempts to “X out” and leave your site, and current software technology means that just about wherever you desire an opt-in form, one can be placed there. Do not overdo it, but make sure your visitors have multiple opportunities to join your list.
5. Show visitors what you are giving them
If you have been online for any length of time, you should understand the powerful strategy of giving something away for free in return for an e-mail address. But this has been going on for years, and the best way to differentiate yourself from the competition, and also earn immediate trust from your website visitors, is to give something away of extreme value. That means no more chintzy little one-page reports or resell content that has been around for years.
If you have to pay someone to develop a quality piece of content, a video course, or in-depth MP3 report, then do it. The upside is you will always have a valuable report you can sell, and when that first e-mail from your autoresponder hits your potential customer’s inbox, they will be anxious to see what you have to say since you delivered such extreme value to them absolutely free when they signed up on your site.
6. Keep on testing
Every few years the highest converting opt-in boxes and forms change. That is because site builders begin using whatever opt-in form converts the highest, and before you know it, that same form is located throughout the web. Web surfers and site visitors eventually become immune to that particular opt-in box because they see it everywhere, and it basically becomes invisible to them.
Currently, using a pattern interrupt works very well and seems to drive opt-in rates higher than of those particular opt-in forms which blend in with a web page. Split test your efforts and try using text fonts, styles, and background colors, which harshly contrast those colors found on your website. The human brain craves order, and something out of place on a website that interrupts the regular pattern immediately draws your visitor’s attention.
7. Use in-text links
Recent technological advancements now allow for you to hook up a pop-up opt-in form to what appears to be a traditional text link. Web surfers for years have noticed that when the text in a piece of content is bright blue and/or is underlined, it is usually clickable, delivering your visitor to some subsequent web page or site.
These new opt-in links look exactly as a typical in-text link, but instead of taking you off-site, they trigger a pop-up opt-in form where you can then grab your visitor’s e-mail information. Try not to overdo it with this strategy, and limit using this opt-in technology to one link per page. Also, you will get better performance if this text linking opt-in form is located closer to the top of your web page than towards the bottom.
8. Ask for less information
As mentioned above, over time the strategies that work tend to slowly become less and less effective. It used to be that an opt-in form that asked for the first and last name and e-mail address, and also gave a declaration that information would never be used for spam, converted the best. But with the advent of mobile technology and smart phones, web surfers are on and off of most sites in record time. Do not expect your visitors to give you their life history if you expect them to opt into your list.
The best converting opt-in forms have simply space for your visitor to enter his or her e-mail address, and then a button below that box that says something like “Get your free report.” Ask for a minimal amount of information, e-mail address only, and you will find that your conversion rates across your website will go straight up.
9. Collect buyer emails
Also, any time that you sell anything, get an e-mail address. Business owners work so very hard to give away a valuable gift in return for a web surfers information, and it seems that they sometimes forget the best possible person to have on your list is someone who actually pulls out their wallet and spends money on your site. If you are selling products directly on your website, make sure that a part of the purchase includes recording the buyer’s e-mail information.
With today’s autoresponder technology, you can even segment these buyers from freebie seekers, and send them an entirely separate e-mail sequence. It is said that a list of buyers is worth 10 times the value of a list of freebie seekers, so make sure to grab your buyers’ e-mail information the next time someone makes a purchase on your site.
10. Let customers share your page
Finally, have your customers do your list building for you. There are plenty of opt-in forms which give your website visitors the option of sharing your information with Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. If you create a truly valuable freebie that raises your visitor’s eyebrows, the chances of them sharing this information with the web is extremely high.
We all know how pervasive Facebook is, and just think how rapidly your list could explode overnight if your opt-in page or form was to go viral on this Goliath of social networks. You can also bribe your visitors into action by rewarding an additional free gift if they Social Share your website with their friends.
Gone are the days when you could slap up a simple email capture somewhere on your website and build a qualified list overnight. Today’s web surfers are more tech-savvy than ever before, and it takes more effort on your part to get them to opt into your email list.
Offering a pattern interrupt, putting multiple opt-in opportunities on your site, and using in-line text in a traditional clickable link format which leads to an opt-in box are all great ways to ensure that you are getting the most out of your website traffic.
Make a promise to yourself that you will implement as many of these top 10 ways to boost email opt-ins on your website as soon as possible, and watch your profits grow right along side your email list.
This article was written by Andre W. Klein from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.