Video: How to Use Your Website to Build Your Email List (and why you should)
- Wes McDowell
- April 15, 2016
If you have a website and you’re not getting your prospects e-mail addresses, you’re leaving money on the table. Lots of businesses don’t actually sell anything on their website so what’s the goal in that case? What do you want them to do when they get to your site if you’re not actually selling them anything? Maybe you want them to call you? Maybe you want them to make a reservation or schedule an appointment but what about for the more casual browser who’s not actually ready to do any of those things yet? If it isn’t your primary goal, it should at least be your secondary one and that’s to build your e-mail list.
This isn’t just for blogs, any business can benefit from these kinds of leads. These are people that were interested enough in your service or category to come to your site. By getting their e-mail address you can stay in front of them for as long as it takes them to make their decision using either e-mail marketing or Facebook re-targeting. Hopefully I’ve talked you into at least seeing the benefits. Now here’s a few tips to really grow it quickly.
You’re going to want to add an opt-in form in a very prominent spot, either in the header or down the page in a single column. You don’t want anything to the right or left of it that’ll be distracting from the form. Here’s the thing. You have to offer an incentive for people to sign up for it. People are not interested in signing up for your newsletter. Think about your business and what would be enticing enough to get people to give over their e-mail address. If you can afford to give away something for free, do it, especially if it’s going to get them in your door.
Let’s say you’re a restaurant. If you offer to give away a free dessert, you get their e-mail address and even better if they actually come in to use that offer, mission accomplished. You’ve got them right where you want them. Here’s an important point. A lot of people ask me why does it have to be free? Why not offer a discount? One very simple reason. People will never expect something for free twice. Having said that, that’s up to you. If you would rather offer some kind of a discount or even the promise of future discounts can often do the trick.
If you say, “We’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest specials every month by giving us your e-mail address,” a lot of times that works really well. All right. Here’s a little pro tip. You’re going to want to split test this to really hone in on a winner. You’re going to run different promotions for two to three weeks at a time and see which one gets the best conversion rate. For instance, back to our restaurant example. You might test the giving away of a free dessert versus the promise of exclusive happy hour specials every week.
After you’ve run all your different kinds of specials, you’ve got some data, with your Google analytics probably, so you can see how many people came to your page each week and how many people actually clicked through. Whichever is the higher percentage is the winner and that’s the one you might want to stick with for a while. The last tip is an easy one, kind of a no-brainer. Make sure you put your opt-in form in a very clean, distraction-free zone. I mentioned earlier about putting it in a single column versus in a side bar because you really want people to scroll down the page and see it right there with no distractions.
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