Tips for building your email list with a more effective website
Website success depends on providing incentives to encourage visitor email registration. Email registration permits the website to follow-up with visitors at a later date, using alerts or newsletters. If a website does not attempt to capture the visitor’s email address, visitors may never revisit.
Some websites are more oriented toward relationship building than others. For example, a simple brand-building website, where the purpose of the site is to deliver a message about the company or product, could have some level of success without doing a great job at relationship building.
On the other hand, blog or editorial websites that don’t do a good job of relationship building would be considered an utter failure. While every website should have an email capture method, for an editorial website, capturing opt-in email newsletter subscribers must be Job One.
Grabbing more email addresses with a free product
The key to getting more email addresses is offering something for free in exchange. People hold their email address as a sacred thing, so offering something in exchange is simply the polite way to start building a mutually beneficial relationship.
Not that often, but often enough, we’re asked why an email list is so important and why we don’t spend more of our time optimizing landing pages for paid products and PPC rather than free products and organic SEO.
Here’s why: driving traffic into a paid product is either black or white. Either a person buys or they don’t. If they don’t, they’re gone and you say farewell, maybe forever.
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However, when you’re giving something away, you can have a conversion rate of 30-60% simply because the product is free.
Obtaining an email address means that you will have plenty of opportunities in the future to sell a product, while the alternative—paying for PPC traffic to a paid product—only gives you one shot. And you’re paying for it whether the person buys or not.
A few tricks for getting those email addresses
I can tell you with 100% certainty that a landing page offering a free product will get a better conversion rate than a vague box on your homepage that asks for an email address. Nobody wakes up in the morning and says “I need more email newsletters!”
Any time you ask for an email address, let them know of the incentive.
Another way to get more email subscribers is to link to a free report in every article you publish. At Mequoda, we use “text ads”, which you probably saw above. We match our free reports to the categories we’re posting blogs in, so that the text ad is always relevant and matches the interest of the person reading.
One other trick is to create a free membership to your website. For example, America’s Test Kitchen simply asks for an email address is order to access their archive of recipes. You don’t have to pay for anything to view them, but you need to become a “member”.
You can do this plenty of ways, but America’s Test Kitchen does the almighty “blur” effect on their recipes:
This works effectively to tease the readers on the content that’s available once they log in. America’s Test Kitchen releases enough content on the page to please the search engines, just not enough to give away the whole cow.