Checklists Provide a Never-Ending Source of Content

As an online publisher, part of your job is to make information easier to manage for your subscribers

The majority of membership websites and email newsletters are instructional. Members join or subscribe in order to access content that is not available to non-subscribers. Much of this proprietary information is of the how-to variety.

If you’re a publisher of an email newsletter, and you’re stuck for a story idea, think checklist. You’ll almost never run out of ideas and you’ll provide your subscribers with valuable tools that increase your credibility as an expert.

Your members like lists. They appreciate order. They want step-by-step instructions that help them through the previously uncharted waters of technical details.

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A checklist for better landing page design

As part of your online publishing strategy, you can use the following checklist to increase landing page conversion rates.

Rapid Conversion Landing Page

[ ] The rapid conversion landing page invites the user to enter into a low-risk transaction by offering a free email newsletter, report, online event, or participation in an online survey.

[ ] The rapid conversion landing page requests an email address and permission to send additional offers.

[ ] The rapid conversion landing page provides an option of text or HTML-formatted email.

Data Collection Page

[ ] The data collection landing page looks professionally designed.

[ ] The data collection landing page is arranged in a way that makes sense to the user.

[ ] The data collection landing page is friendly and unintimidating.

[ ] The data collection landing page makes the signup process simple and inviting.

[ ] In order to encourage task completion, the data collection landing page asks the user only information that is essential to the transaction. If a postal address is not necessary, it asks only for an email address. If a first and last name are not really necessary, it asks only for a first name. It does not ask for a company name, job title, phone number, password, forums username, or any other data unless absolutely necessary.

[ ] The data collection landing page offers reassurance.

[ ] The data collection landing page lists the organization’s physical address.

[ ] The data collection landing page provides a toll-free number for phone orders.

[ ] The data collection landing page provides a contact email address for questions.

[ ] The data collection landing page displays or links to the email privacy policy or promise.

[ ] The data collection landing page uses a secure https:// transaction protocol and displays gold security key.

[ ] The data collection landing page displays an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate with 256-bit encryption.

[ ] The data collection landing page includes or repeats customer testimonials.

Thank you/Upsell landing page

[ ] The thank you/upsell page confirms the transaction.

[ ] The thank you/upsell page includes a stick letter. A “stick” letter is a term used by direct mail copywriters for the confirmation letter the buyer receives that congratulates her for making a purchase. It reminds her why she decided to buy in the first place. It flatters her wise decision. And it does everything possible to dissuade her from changing her mind.

[ ] The thank you/upsell page explains how to “white list” or enable the email newsletter from the publisher to get past a S*P*A*M filter.

[ ] The thank you/upsell page explains how to download any product delivered online.

[ ] The thank you/upsell page has a hypertext link to a “Contact Us” form. The form enables customers to send email directly from an approved email address (the site’s URL), helping to assure it will get through to the publisher.

[ ] The thank you/upsell page lists the publisher’s physical address.

[ ] The thank you/upsell page lists a contact phone number.

[ ] The thank you/upsell page lists a customer service email address.

[ ] The thank you/upsell page includes a sales letter or other offer for an additional product.

[ ] The thank you/upsell page links to a Frequently Asked Questions page to head off routine inquiries that could be satisfied with the FAQs.

[ ] The thank you/upsell page asks the user for a referral or includes a tell-a-friend option.

Additional features increase sales and diminish email newsletter cancellations and refund requests

[ ] The publisher sends an email message confirming the transaction.

[ ] The publisher uses an appropriate floater to offer a freebie.

A checklist can be a product

Concise, easy-to-use checklists can be a welcomed addition to your content. Some checklists could be sufficiently extensive and valuable that they could be sold as standalone products. An example is a used car buying guide.

Print out this useful checklist to use and share with your colleagues.

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