In order to make the most of email marketing, there are some specific stars that must be aligned for the business or individual using it. Among those stars is a sign-up process that is designed to convert. This is a critical component because if people are not subscribing, then you have no ammunition to work with, which might tempt you to purchase a list, and that’s one of the worst ideas you can buy into.
If you are going to succeed as an email marketer, you need a sign-up process that compels prospective subscribers to take that next important step — there is no way around it. On the bright side, there are quite a few things you can do to optimize this process and in turn, dramatically improve your subscription rates.
Put It On Display
Very few people will subscribe to your list if they have a hard time getting to the process that allows them to join. Do both parties a favor by making your sign-up form easy to find. If you’re trying to convert subscriptions on a website, that place will always be on your web page, above the fold. When I say above the fold, I mean near the top where it can easily be seen without the visitor having to scroll the page. It also wouldn’t hurt to have your sign-up form on every single page. When it comes to conversions, visibility is crucial.
Don’t Ask for the World
People are interacting deeply with the web, but when it comes to handing out their personal details, some are still very reluctant. For this reason, the most effective sign-up process is usually the simple one that requests as little information as possible. All you really need to add a new subscriber to your mailing list is a name and email address, so get focus on getting that. Should you feel additional information is needed, try to obtain it later through a survey or profile they can use to add whatever details they feel comfortable sharing.
Answer the “Why?”
So you’ve got a great product your target audience must have in their lives. That’s fantastic, but is that product alone strong enough to convince people why they should subscribe to your list? If you’re not sure, then you should probably come up with a backup plan, one specifically focused on converting new subscriptions. Maybe you offer a free white paper. Maybe you offer a sample of that great product. The point is getting them on the list first, and worrying about selling later.
Let ‘Em Know What They Get
Someone who subscribes to a newsletter on freelance writing will probably be highly upset if they start receiving emails about buying server hardware from the marketer. Email marketing is about building relationships, and it all starts at the sign-up process. This is where you should inform the new subscriber on what to expect in terms of content, delivery platform, frequency, and so on. Be upfront about everything that needs to be known, and you’re on your way to building trust.
Experiment and Measure
What works for one email marketer may not work for the next, so when yo go to optimize your sign-up process, don’t hesitate to play around with a few different methods. Put the form in different spots on your pages and see how they perform. Throw in a couple of incentives and gauge the response. Test your sign-process to get a feel for what might be the most effective. Do this regularly, and you can discover what it takes to get good results on a consistent basis.
We hear it all the time: “the list is everything”. There is no disputing that, but without names, email addresses, and interest, there is no list. The efficiency of your sign-up process plays a huge role in determining the value of a list, or if there is a list at ll. Luckily, all it takes is a little fine tuning to take no subscribers to dozens of subscribers; dozens of subscribers to hundreds of subscribers; hundreds of subscribers to — you get the point.
Aidan Hijleh is a freelance copywriter and serves as the Non-Profit Partnership Liaison for Benchmark Email. Aidan advocates free email marketing services to assist with the flourishing of grassroots organizations.