Developing an email marketing list enables business to make frequent efforts to reach out to customers and clients. You can send them exclusive offers or coupons not available to the public at large and potentially gain loyal sources of profit. Building such a list, however, requires persistence and patience on your part.
One tactic for helping you attract a following is to create opt-in forms in strategic places on your website, prompting visitors to fill in easy-to-use forms and offering them benefits for doing so. An opt-in form should have five elements:
- An attention-grabbing headline
- A brief explanation of the benefits
- An explicit call to action
- The form itself
- Proof of why it’s a good idea, such as a quote from a testimonial or media mention
It’s a good idea to offer visitors some kind of incentive for signing up, such as a free report or access to a subscriber-only webinar. Your description of the benefits of subscribing and your call to action should be brief and to the point, but you should also give enough information about yourself so as to attract your target audience.
The less information you require in your opt-in form, the more likely it is that visitors will sign up. An opt-in form that requires only an email address will generate more sign-ups than one that also requires people to submit their names. If your ultimate goal is also to obtain addresses and phone numbers, consider offering an additional incentive later via email for submitting that information to you directly.
Now that you have an idea of what goes into an opt-in form, where should you put it on your site?
- The home page: The home page is one of the most common places to position an opt-in form. In order to attract the most subscribers through your home page, your opt-in form should be located above the fold, where people will see it immediately without having to scroll down.
- The shopping cart: Many sites include opt-in options with the checkout process. Often this is a box that customers click on to receive special offers from you. Given that the consumer is already investing their money in your product or service, this is a logical place to extend an offer.
- Pop-up windows I know, I know. Pop-up windows can be irritating. Yet their continuing use points to their effectiveness as a marketing tool. I don’t suggest you include a pop-up window on your landing page, but you can put them in other locations on your site and test them to gauge their effect. If you find that they are prompting a high bounce rate from your site, you can discontinue using them. But for some retailers, they can be very useful.
Building an effective email marketing list will require that you test different strategies to see what works best for you. Tweaking headlines, calls to action, and button colors can all make a difference in who signs up. Be patient and trust the process.