A good portion of business development and lead generation is done through the gathering of email addresses. In fact, the two channels of conversion for many businesses is usually their main website and by email. And it’s easily justifiable – email is instantaneous, inexpensive, and can be tracked and measured through analytics. The feedback and knowledge you receive from an email campaign compounds upon itself as you tweak your copy, improve your call to actions and A/B test your content.
Here are some basic and creative ways to improve your email capture process.
An effective tool we’ve used to gather thousands of email addresses is this simple widget that pops up at the bottom of our website. It appears after the visitor is on the site for about 10 seconds.
Creating the delay gives the visitor time to quickly glance over and become oriented with the website. The small pop up and movement that occurs 10 seconds later grabs their attention and incentivizes them with a free 30-day course.
The beauty is that it’s quick, easy, and much less intrusive than a popup box that takes up the entire screen. Visitors can take 2 seconds to type in their email address, or simply close the box and continue browsing your site.
A variation of the standard pop-up box is the pop-up box that is activated when the visitor scrolls down the page below a certain point. This can useful if you don’t want distractions above the fold, or if you want to wait until the visitor finishes browsing a specified portion of your material.
I’ve seen this used on different blogs where the pop-up is inactive until you hit the comments section. If you are concerned more about the quality of your email list, this might be a good tool.
This wordpress plugin offers to do that (although I have not personally tested it out).
Whenever you ask for an email address, remember to offer a proper incentive! One incentive might beat out another less compelling incentive straight across the board. But you might also find that changing up your incentives may attract different people. Some people enjoy reading – offer them an ebook. I enjoy listening to podcasts since they are portable. Incentives may include:
Remember to keep it fresh and rotate your content regularly. Even if you find that one type of content converts better than the rest, take time once in a while to update the material. We’ve had our free 30 day landing page course for a while, and since it was doing so well we went ahead and updated the course material and worksheets (you can check it out here).
For more incentive and content ideas, also check out The Periodic Table of Content.
Blogging is tricky sometimes. If you’re picky about your content, you want each post to be comprehensive and to the point. Not too long and not too short. You also need to balance your SEO keywords and still come across naturally.
If you have a high level of expertise in the topic you’re writing about, chances are you can’t fit everything in one post. Instead of doing a 2 or 3 part post, consider doing a slightly longer post and ending with a hook. Write a packed and informative post, and leave them wanting more.
Tell the visitor there was some “extra content” that got cut out, but you’ll email it to them if they want. Kind of like how some movies contain a director’s cut or edited scenes that were “never released until now”.
A splash page welcomes a visitor to your website and collects opt-in information, such as an e-mail address from a visitor. It acts like a gate, to welcome the user, before they see the content on your web site.
This is a very aggressive technique in nature, as it forces visitors to give you their email before they continue. However, if used appropriately and under certain circumstances, it can be a powerful tool.
Are you using any of these techniques? Did we miss a good one? Tell us your favorite tip for capturing email addresses!
Great post I wasn’t aware of the Scroll Triggered Popup. I think having a pop up appear when some is reading you blog is much better than a pop up appearing straight away.
A much better title for this would be “How To Create a Terrible User Experience that Disrespects A Visitor’s Time.”
I immediately leave any site that pops something on top of their content. If you don’t care about your content enough to let me read it uninterrupted, why should I?
And don’t tell me “Just close the box.” I came to your site. I shouldn’t have to then do something else to accomplish the thing I went there to do in the first place.
If you’re watching TV and I stand in front of you with a paper asking you to write down your email address, that would be pretty annoying, right? Of course it would be. You’d be rightfully irritated. Pop-ups are the digital equivalent. They always have and always will suck.
This is nothing but annoyance-based marketing. It will eventually backfire on everyone who uses it and that will be a good day.
I totally agree with you. A pop up that completely interrupts the visitor is annoying and shouldn’t be used unless there’s a strong reason to. There are only a few companies (i.e. Groupon) that have gotten away from doing this. I included here mainly as a reference point and did note that it was a very aggressive technique. Apologies if I’ve miscommunicated the concept.
The other methods are much more friendly – and the focus is really on delivering something of high value. After all, I wouldn’t want to give my email address unless I was getting something valuable in return either!
Lastly…sometimes if you don’t ask for it, you’ll never get it. With average attention spans decreasing and bounce rates going up, sometimes you need to take a risk. That isn’t to say to it’s ok to be reckless, but you need to keep testing in order to improve. With our landing page service at KickoffLabs, we test all the time. And I admit, we often get it wrong! But that also allows us to learn and improve the service we have for our customers.
What are your thoughts?