Collecting email addresses is essential in order to run a successful business online. Your own in-house email list allows you to contact the people interested in your business or industry whenever you wish. Some marketers compare email marketing to an ATM machine, because every time they send an email, they make money through their offers.
But the secret to this level of success is getting them onto your list in the first place. There are a number of ways to do this.
Offer valuable resources
In the olden days of email marketing, a free newsletter with information and special offers used to be enough to build your list. These days, people are choosier about who they hand out their email address to, so valuable ebooks and ecourses about important topics related to your niche or industry will be essential for getting people to sign up.
Where and when to ask for their email address
Most email marketing platforms allow you to create a range of different sign-up forms. They usually offer templates that will allow you to integrate the form in a variety of ways, ranging from subtle to “in your face.” Here are a few types to consider:
Some people put a sign-up form/banner at the top of every page. While this may make the site look uniform, a lot of internet users have “banner blindness” and won’t notice the form. It also might not give you enough space to explain the advantages of the item on offer.
Similar to the header, this might give you limited space. Because it is below the fold, rather than at the top of the page, it will also rarely get seen.
Popover or Popunder
Both of these will be more obvious to the user and can be quite annoying. In many cases, a visitor’s browser might block them, so they will never be viewed by your target audience.
These both cover the content. It can be frustrating for users when they want to read the content, and these get in their way. However, they are hard to miss and are a good opportunity to present your offer and get them excited about it.
Bottom of blog post
You could invite them to sign up at the bottom of a blog post, which is a good tactic because it entices them with an offer for similar content.
Within a blog post
The Optin Panda plugin for WordPress allows you to put a sign-up form anywhere you like on the page. The key difference is that it serves as a “locker,” so they can’t continue to read the rest of the article (your premium content) unless they fill out the form. This can be a turn off to the reader, so test to see if it helps or hurts in collecting email addresses.
A scroll box allows you to limit your offer to visitors that are engaged in or at least exploring your content. There are many plugins that offer the scroll box functionality, such as the Sumo suite of marketing tools. Basically, the scroll box only appears when a user gets to a certain point on your page.