A website can be a powerful marketing tool when used efficiently. As e-mail communications are one of the most direct connections to customers, one of the best uses of a company website is to make every effort to collect prospects’ e-mail addresses.
The challenge is convincing someone to give their e-mail address away when they know in the back of their mind that your communications will be one additional thing to read and organize in an already crowded e-mail inbox.
You can’t just ask for a prospect’s e-mail and expect to get it—instead, you have to present a compelling reason as to why they should share it.
But before talking about the content associated with a high-converting e-mail opt-in, it’s necessary to first discuss the geography of where to put e-mail opt-in forms on a website for the best chances of conversion.
Bar at the Top of the Page
Hello Bar is an easily customizable code snippet that displays an opt-in bar at the top (or bottom) of a website that stays with users as they scroll. It’s a constant reminder for people to sign up for e-mail updates that doesn’t get lost in the chaos of the rest of the webpage. Hello Bar offers free and paid plans, but it’s important to know that the free plan serves their own advertising for every 10 visitors and may result in a lost conversion opportunity when ads are served instead of your message.
Sidebar Signup Form
Another popular e-mail opt-in spot is on the sidebar of a website. Depending on your layout, a sidebar is more or less constant on every page. It’s a great place to put an opt-in form, as someone can easily access it at any time, which is important if the decision to sign up takes them some time and exploring of your website.
A best practice in digital marketing when it comes to websites is to put the most important elements (like e-mail opt-in forms) above the fold. “Above the fold” is a reference to content that appears before scrolling, and is hard to miss.
E-mail popups are another popular method for e-mail opt-in, though they’re not without controversy. Conversion XL explores this controversy with several useful data and psychology insights.
E-mail popups often occur before someone has had the chance to take a good look at your website and may be considered annoying. However, correctly utilized with a compelling incentive, these opt-ins convert with greater success than any other opt-in.
A best practice to bridge the gap between annoying and useful is to either delay the popup for several seconds or to create a popup that only triggers when visitors act is if they’re going to leave the page.
At the End of Blog Posts
A newer but effective method of getting prospect e-mail addresses is to introduce e-mail opt-in forms at the end of specific pages and blog posts on your website. These are sometimes known as content upgrades.
Consider a situation where you’ve made an in-depth guide on some subject and created a PDF with some supportive bonus material. You can turn the effort you’ve already put towards content creation into a sales tool and offer it as a content upgrade in exchange for a customer’s e-mail address.
Test, Test, Test
As with anything else in digital marketing, it’s important to always test your methods to see what’s working and what isn’t. Take note of what methods are converting, and consider getting rid of the ones that aren’t.
Make sure that whatever e-mail opt-in methods you use, they’re mobile-friendly. Having multiple popups triggering when a customer lands on a page can be really frustrating. It’s a great way to make sure that person never comes back.
In tomorrow’s Advisor, we’ll continue the discussion of e-mail opt-ins on a company website. The topic will change from different areas on a website to encourage an opt-in, to lead magnets, which are compelling freebies or bonuses to exchange for a prospect’s e-mail address.