Email lists are key assets for most businesses, any 4-year old knows. The bigger your list and the better your relationship with the list, the more money you make.
Growing your email list starts with a great lead magnet – without it no tactic mentioned here will work. You should also have a compelling call to action and a kickass email capture form – here’s how to design a good one.
MarketingSherpa study from 2010 says these are (were) the most effective ways to capture customer emails:
Capturing emails when they buy something or sign up? Yes of course. If you’re not doing it, please hit yourself.
However, most of your traffic is not buying or signing up right away, and we need to entice them to give their email in exchange for something. Here are 6 smart ways to present the offer:
#1 Give them an incentive to buy now
E-commerce stores often struggle with lead magnets. “Stay in the loop” – yawn! “Be the first to know” – you’ve got to be kidding me. Where’s the instant gratification!?
Matt Cimino, CEO of Exit Intel, agrees:
Just telling someone to “Join the newsletter” in a pop-up is almost worthless. If you’re getting any conversions that way, it must be that they love your content.
For everyone else, you’ve got to provide a clear value proposition.
In e-commerce, the bulk of your visitors are going to be “new”. If a person has never bought from you, they’re unsure whether they can trust you and if the experience will be good.
An instant coupon is a great way to reduce friction and give them a reason to join your list (i.e. a strong value proposition). Number of purchases on their first visit – up!
Made.com does a good job with this popup (yes, even though people say they hate them – they work well). The popup is also not instant – they give you some seconds to understand what site you’re on first, then give you the offer.
#2 Insert hooks into blog posts
“Subscribe to blog posts over email” is an easy one, and you should definitely offer this option. Here’s another good tactic: if you write an epic blog post (comprehensive, very thorough), offer to download the post in another format like pdf. Here’s how I do it:
Yes, it’s very simple. People entering their email here will be added to a dedicated list on the topic of the article (e.g. pricing). Next time I have something pricing related to say that might not be of interest to everybody, I can send a targeted email.
I have to say, thousands of people have opt-ed in to my list via this simple tactic.
New, free offers all the time
#3 Create new & free offers on a regular basis
All kinds of people come to your site, but they have different needs and interests. You will grow your list much faster if you produce new offers on a regular basis. Look at Hubspot – new whitepapers all the freaking time.
James Schramko from Super Fast Business is creating a new course every 2-3 months. He promotes them on his blog, and sends traffic to opt-in pages like this. People opt-in, get free valuable content and everybody wins.
The key to this tactic is putting out new offers on a regular basis.
#4 Scroll triggered boxes
It’s the popup-like box that appears when you scroll down some. I’ve yet to see a tactic that works better than this. I use it on this blog and recommend to all of my clients.
The reason it works so well is that
- It’s not there and then it appears – and human eyes react to movement, so it gets noticed (as opposed to the static offer you have on your sidebar).
- By the time it gets noticed, people have already scrolled down and hence gotten some value out of the site, or at least found it interesting enough to explore further. So when the box appears, people have already been sold by the content (unlike the case with the regular instant popup).
I personally use Dreamgrow Scroll Triggered Box plugin right now.
#5 Invite them to take a test
I’ve written about this in detail here before, and it continues to work superbly well. Figure out the burning question your prospects have and help them find an answer through a quiz or a test. Here’s the form I use on T1Q:
Target audience struggles with finding their life purpose, and the form talks to them directly. People love taking tests, Cosmo has trained them well. It’s a very effective form of email capture.
#6 Ask for it while waiting
Hipmunk is an awesome flight search engine. After you enter your desired dates and other flight info, you get this screen:
They ask for your email while you do nothing! You just wait for your search results. They’ve got 100% of your attention, as you’re looe king forward to seeing the cost of your flight. Hipmunk uses this empty slot to make you a relevant offer.
It works well because it’s contextual (offering alerts on great deals while I’m searching for a great deal), they’ve got full attention – users have nothing else to look at and it includes a friction-reducing message “This will not interfere with your search”.
Figure out where on your website is the place where they do nothing (e.g. confirmation pages, thank you pages) and plug for an opt-in.
Don’t just rely on your plain old static forms. Use a mix of ways to capture visitor emails. Your income statement will thank you for it.