Email is an extremely powerful marketing tool. It allows you to connect with your subscribers in a personalized way that can nurture them through their journey of transitioning from a lead to a customer. You can provide value to them in ways that aren’t possible through other channels.
While marketing through emails can be great, the challenge can be finding effective ways to encourage people to opt in to your mailing list.
Strategies to Get People on Your Email List
Opt-in email marketing allows your website visitors to make a personal and conscious decision to sign up for your email list. According to Hubspot, about 25% of your email list expires every year. This could be due to subscribers no longer needing your services, losing interest in your emails, or not using that specific email address anymore.
Because of this, continuously working to grow your list is really important. There are 3 main strategies we’re going to focus on that you can use to convert visitors to leads and encourage them to opt in to your mailing list:
- Landing pages
- Pop-up forms
- Calls-to-action on blog posts
Pop ups have been around since the 1990s, and they’re one of the more controversial email marketing opt-in strategies. A reason they can be seen as controversial is because, created incorrectly, they can instantly come off as spammy, desperate, and outright annoying.
It is so easy to make a pop-up the wrong way, especially if you’ve never created one before and don’t have the expertise of how they should work. One small mistake can result in viewers not clicking on it, losing trust in your company, and potentially choosing to not visit your site again depending on the experience they had with your pop-up.
Factors to Consider With Pop-Ups
When we create pop-up forms, we look for a way to provide instant value to viewers that results in conversions. On average, the conversion rate on pop-ups is 3.09%, so it’s critical that you take a very detailed and data-driven approach when building these. Here are a few items to think about when creating pop-ups:
- Where is the pop-up being served, and does that make sense? If someone saw your pop-up while reading your blog post, would they be confused about the offer in the pop-up and how it correlates to the content in the article?
- How frequently are you serving the pop-up to the same viewer? To put it simply, be respectful. If a visitor closes out of your pop-up, when is the next time they’ll see it again?
- Is your offer clear? You have seconds to grab a viewer’s attention, so the offer you want them to sign up for needs to be direct and clear. Don’t make people try to guess what they’re actually entering in their email address for.
- When will your pop-up display? For example, will it be served immediately, once a visitor scrolls halfway through a page, after 15 seconds, or upon exit intent? Determining the timing of this form can have a huge impact on a visitor’s overall experience and likelihood of entering in their email.
In the pop-up example below from Sumo, they’ve created a clear and direct pop-up that creates intrigue and allows visitors to know exactly what they’re getting.
A landing page is a page on your website that is specifically designed to help you convert. With regards to Email Marketing, it is more specifically a page that is designed to convert visitors into leads (and eventually customers). On average, landing pages have a conversion rate of 26%.
These can also be called opt-in pages or lead generation (lead gen) pages, and when a visitor fills out the form, it provides you with a powerful opportunity to serve valuable content to them through email marketing.
You can have multiple landing pages on your site, and they can each be designed to provide a different offer or lead magnet to visitors. Offers can range from a variety of things, such as e-books, templates, toolkits, webinars, or checklists.
According to studies, your pages have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression on viewers. In that short amount of time, someone will have already formed opinions about your site and whether or not they initially like it or not.
Because of this, it is crucial that your landing pages immediately impress. Take a look at the landing page example from Playbuzz below. They immediately capture your attention with their clean design, clear headline, and nice visual graphics.
Gather the Right Information
On the landing page, visitors should be required to enter in their email address, along with a few additional pieces of information that you can use to help personalize their email experience.
Knowing the proper balance of how much information to ask people for on landing pages is a key component to creating successful landing pages.
Ask too little, and it’s very hard to personalize emails and serve email content they’re actually looking for. On the other hand, if you ask too many questions, you risk having visitors bounce from your landing page before ever filling out the form.
Qualities of a Strong Landing Page
There are several factors to consider when building out landing pages, and each can greatly impact a visitor’s experience with the specific page and your brand as a whole. It’s not enough to just quickly write some copy, upload a header image, insert a form, and assume that people will sign up for your lead magnet.
With this potentially being the first time someone has seen your site and landing page, you need to design a page that is focused on providing immediate value. Here some components of a successful landing page to consider:
- Attention-grabbing headline
- Immediately provides value to visitors
- Compelling content above the fold
- Engaging and benefit-driven copy
- Clean design and nice visual elements
- Showcasing social proof to increase trust
- Enticing call to action
- Minimal exit links
Call to Action on Blog Posts
Strategically placed call to action (or CTA) buttons within blog posts on your site is a great way to direct people to a lead magnet in return for their email address.
Unlike landing pages and pop-ups that are generally created with the intent of converting someone instantly in that immediate location, a CTA button on a blog post typically navigates a user to another page to actually convert on.
Because of this, the experience that visitors have with the CTA is extremely important. If people are not clicking on your CTA within a blog post, they will not have the chance to convert on your landing page. This might sound obvious, but it should be a red flag when it comes to analyzing how your CTA is performing.
Here are two examples of how you can include calls to actions on blog articles:
Adding a CTA button is the simplest way to encourage clicks over to an opt-in page. This button should be clear, easy to read, and be a contrasting color compared to other elements on the page. This helps it to stand out and entice viewers to click. Experiment with the size of the button, along with the ideal placement in the article.
Static Banner With CTA on it
Rather than only doing a CTA button, static banners are a way to add an additional visual element to your article. It can include more text than the CTA button, such as a short heading or description above the button. Unlike a pop-up that appears over a portion of the page, a banner is integrated within the post, making it less obtrusive.
There are various places you can position the banner, including in the middle of a blog post, the blog footer, or even the blog sidebar.
Testing and Analyzing Results
If you are not testing and analyzing the data from your email marketing opt-in opportunities, you are missing out on a valuable way to increase your conversion rates.
While there are best practices on what landing pages should look like, how to craft an effective pop-up, and ways to create enticing calls to actions on blog posts, the #1 way to determine what works best is by testing and making changes based on the results.
When it comes to testing, it’s important you’re conducting tests that actually allow you to understand which factors are impacting your results. If you make too many changes at once, it can be unclear what truly led to your pages or pop-ups to perform differently. This is where A/B testing comes in.
For example, if you create a pop-up, and after one week of it being live you want to make changes to see if that increases conversions, here’s what not to do all at once:
- Change the background color
- Choose a new image
- Write a new headline
- Adjust the timing to have it pop-up upon exit intent
If you do all of this and the pop-up conversion rate goes from 3% down to 1.5%, determining the specific change that caused this drop is extremely difficult.
Instead, A/B test by making one change at a time and tracking the results. Knowing the proper way to A/B test can be challenging, and if you do it wrong, you can end up with data that is not conclusive.
Additionally, if you don’t test for a long enough time frame to achieve statistical significance, your results risk being inaccurate. But, done properly by experts, you will be able to make data driven decisions about which changes are working and which are negatively impacting your conversions.
If you’re data nerds like us, you love reviewing a spreadsheet full of numbers and results from tests you’re running. Whether we’re analyzing the results from a site wide audit or deep diving how a particular blog post is ranking, taking time to analyze how your pages and pop-ups are performing can reveal valuable insights to help you make optimizations that can skyrocket your conversion rate.
Knowing the specific data to report on is key, along with understanding how to interpret it. You might have all of the right data points to review, but if you misinterpret it, it can cause you to make incorrect (and potential costly) decisions.
Here are a few data points to consider for landing pages and pop-ups:
- Total number of visitors
- Submission rate
- New leads gained vs. current leads and customers that filled out the landing page
- Page views
- Pop-up views
- Submission rate
- New leads gained vs. current leads and customers that filled out the landing page
Pop-ups, landing pages, and calls to actions on blog posts are effective ways to encourage people to subscribe to your email list. As you try some of these methods, remember to carefully review the data so you can continuously improve your strategy.
If you’re ready to take your email marketing efforts to the next level, connect with us so we can help!