By Amanda MacArthur • 07/09/2008
How to build top level conversion architecture that will increase conversion rates and boost sales
Many successful online publishers, like The Daily Reckoning, Better Homes & Gardens and FDA News tell us that the majority of their page views either occur in their email newsletters or begin with the user clicking a link in one of their email newsletters that brings the reader back to the publisher’s website. Email newsletters drive page views for both product-driven websites like The Daily Reckoning and advertising-driven websites like Forbes.com.
Many publishers use email circulation as a primary metric for measuring their online success. We’ve seen revenue per email subscriber vary from $10 per year for B2C publishers to as high as $80 per year for the incredibly successful Daily Reckoning.
This is why it’s important to have the strongest conversion architecture possible.
Using the six types of conversion architecture, you will get the highest converstion rate. These conversion architecture page elements are called OFIEs, OFINs, floater order forms, display ads, text ads, and simple text links. If you are using all six, you could be seeing a conversion rate as high as 12%.
Most publishers we’ve studied are only implementing one basic email capture. Thus, they are only seeing a 0.1 to 0.2% conversion rate.
In order to find out your site-wide conversion rate, use this equation:
Divide the total number of new email subscribers you acquired via your website in one month by the total number of unique visitors you received in that month. This will give you your site-wide conversion rate.
We have several examples of successful Mequoda publishers using the most efficient array of conversion architecture. Here are some of the top performers:
CeramicArtsDaily.org – see how Ceramic Arts Daily uses conversion architecture.
Ceramic Arts Daily uses several types of conversion architecture. They have a floater that appears upon first entry featuring a free handbook in exchange for your email address. Behind that, they have an OFIE for their free email newsletter at the top of the page. They also sometimes feature text ads in their articles for free reports (as you will see by clicking the link above), and always Text Links to their free reports in the right-hand navigation. Ceramic Arts Daily also has a Free Gifts tab in their network navigation (found at the very top of the screen) where users can see all the free reports they offer. At the bottom of each page, they feature a large OFIE that advertises their magazine.
FlightBliss.com – see how Flight Bliss uses conversion architecture.
FlightBliss features a text ad in the welcome message from Matt Bennett on the left hand side of the page. They then have an OFIE in the middle of the page that allows users to select which “Upgrade Alerts” they prefer. In the right-hand navigation, they offer Text Links to their free special reports, and at the bottom of the page they have another larger OFIE for a free trial to their paid newsletter. FlightBliss also features a Free Gifts tab in the network navigation. On top of all this, they have a floater that appears upon first entry.
fuelNet.com – see how FuelNet uses conversion architecture.
fuelNet uses two OFIE’s on their Home page, a smaller one at the top, and a larger one at the bottom of the page. OFIE’s were invented at Meredith, publishers of Better Homes and Gardens. OFIE’s displace part of the editorial subject matter of your website with an ad/order form for free email newsletters. Sometimes it is at top of the column, and sometimes in the middle of the column of editorial, but in any case the OFIE can double conversion rates. fuelNet also features a floater and an OFIN in the right side navigation of the page.
GolfVacationInsider.com – see how Golf Vacation Insider uses conversion architecture. Golf Vacation Insider first greets you with a Floater that invites you read one of their many free special reports in exchange for your email address. If the user chooses to close the Floater, he’ll receive an OFIE for another report right behind it. At the top of the page is a Display Ad that directly asks if you want to sign up for their “Insider Newsletter” and on the right hand navigation you will find dozens of Text Links to their free special reports. The Text Links on this site are especially important to its well-being. They all lead to individual Rapid Conversion Landing Pages for each report, which generally produce the maximum conversion rate. Everyone who comes to your website from a specific source hits this page first. The page is designed to convert them into email newsletter subscribers, right off the bat, before they browse the rest of your site. If done well, these pages can produce a conversion rate of up to 16%!
HRDailyAdvisor.BLR.com – see how HR Daily Advisor uses conversion architecture. HR Daily Advisor offers “2 Valuable HR Tools” (a free report and the email newsletter) in their Floater. Behind the floater is an OFIE for the same report. In all of their articles, HR Daily Advisor features Text Ads, and in the left hand navigation they feature a Display Ad. At the bottom of the page, they have another OFIE for their membership website.
Sekada-Daily.de – see how Sekada Daily uses conversion architecture.
Sekada Daily uses a floater, two OFIE’s and an OFIN on its Home page. The OFIE at the bottom of the page takes up much of the Home Page and does not redirect to any type of data collection page. All information is taken on the spot.
Simplify.de – see how Simplify uses conversion architecture.
Simplify uses a floater, an OFIE and an OFIN on its Home page. Floaters were invented in answer to the fact that about half of all “pop-ups” are blocked. If you did not know what they are you might see them as a pop-up, but physically they are part of the page on top of which they lie, so they are not blocked. Floaters can produce another doubling of conversion rate, up to 8% of those who are exposed.
As you might be able to guess, all of these sites are seeing substantial conversion rates. What’s yours?
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