This is a guest post by Ricardo Bueno.
We all want more email subscribers. The question is, how do you get them?
Aside from creating high quality, compelling content, you need to promote your email sign-up form so readers know where to go to sign up.
The easier you make it to sign up, the more likely readers are to subscribe. This means, doing the following:
- Displaying your email sign up forms prominently on your site.
- Designing your form so that it stands out (compelling headline & contrasting color scheme).
- Using social proof to persuade readers to subscribe.
- Making it easy to subscribe (the fewer the fields, the better).
A good email sign-up form will possess each of those qualities.
Once you’ve done that, all that’s left to do is promote your email sign-up form so first-time site visitors and readers know where to subscribe. Here’s a list of high-converting places to add your email sign-up form on your website…
1. The Feature Box
The feature box is a great way to explain what your website is about to new site visitors and build your email list at the same time. It’s essentially an area above your primary blog content, just below the site header, where you can place your email sign-up form and a brief description of what people can expect by subscribing.
Here’s what the “feature box” looks like on Derek’s website:
As you can see, it’s the first thing people will see when they come to your website. It’s also designed to persuade you to subscribe by communicating what the site is all about with a Call To Action to subscribe.
Simple, and effective!
If you don’t have your own widgeted area to insert a “feature box” into your theme, you’ll have to design your own and hook it in above the blog content on the home page. Otherwise, here are a few WordPress themes that have the feature box built in the following child themes from StudioPress.
2. The Top of Your Blog’s Sidebar
If building your email list is important to you, you should always prominently display your sign-up form on every page of your website. You can do that easily by placing your email sign-up form at the top of your blog’s sidebar at all times.
What’s great about the sign-up form on Copyblogger for example, is that:
- It’s easy to see. By using a darker color and big text, they ensure that the email sign-up form stands out.
- It’s simple. It asks for the email only. The more information you ask for, the less likely people are to sign up.
- Great social proof. The announcement tab just above it displays how many other people subscribe to the blog already which tells other readers, “wow, this content must be good!”
If your sign up form is below the fold, and the color blends in with the rest of the site, I’m less likely to see it and you’re missing an opportunity to get new site visitors to subscribe.
3. The Blog Post Footer
When someone’s done reading your blog post, there’s that “what next?” moment.
- Leave a comment.
- Share your article via a Tweet, a Facebook Share, a +1, et cetera. Or,
- They can subscribe to get future blog updates by email.
But in order for them to subscribe, you need to give them a quick and easy way to do so!
This sample email sign-up form from Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income has a nice, simple call to action, offers great social proof (“Join over 25,000 people”), and even offers an incentive by way of a free book download. It’s embedded at the end of every blog post so first-time readers can subscribe to the blog quickly and easily.
This sign-up form from Pat Flynn really stands out. If I’ve read his post and I liked it, I’m very likely to sign-up right then and there.
Really, putting a sign-up form at the end of your posts is all about convenience. You’re making it easier for people to subscribe at a moment when they’re wondering what to do next. You have their attention, and you want to keep it, so ask them to sign up!
4. Your About Page
Your About page will often times be one of the most visited pages of your website. It’s where people click to learn more about who you are and what you do.
It makes sense. They’ve read a blog post, now they want to learn more about you.
Which means it’s also an opportunity to convert them into a reader now that you have their attention.
In this example, writer Jeff Goins places an email sign-up form prominently on his About page. He tells you what his site is about, places his Call To Action to subscribe, and backs it up with testimonials that showcase what other prominent writers have to say about his writing.
The format is simple:
- This is who I am.
- This is what this site is about.
- Here’s what you can expect by subscribing (with a simple capture form to subscribe). And,
- In case I haven’t convinced you yet, here’s what other people have to say about my writing.
It’s like a sales funnel for building your email list.
How does your About page compare? Are you using it as an opportunity to capture new readers?
5. The Website Footer
I’ve written about website footer designs before. They’ve evolved from a simple place where you host your copyright information to a section where you can host an extended set of navigation items, links, sources of contact information and in this case, a Call To Action to subscribe by email.
Personally, I know that the form on the footer of my website converts fairly well. When someone scrolls down there to look at the site footer, it’s yet another reminder to subscribe to blog updates by email.
6. The Dreaded Pop-Up Form
Last but not least, we have the dreaded pop-up form.
Most people (including myself) find this annoying, but it converts exceedingly well.
This pop-up has all the elements of a great, persuasive design:
- A captivating headline with a description of what you can expect.
- Clearly displayed social proof by way of the various corporate logos that are displayed.
- A simple sign-up form with the Call To Action: “Yes! Send my free report!”
Most pop-up forms are poorly designed, and the site’s content is mediocre at best which is why we hate them. A well designed form on the other hand is going to capture someone’s attention and if the content is relevant, it’s going to persuade them to subscribe.
How many of these strategies are you using to build your email list? Which area is converting best for you?
If you’re not using any of these techniques, which one will you implement?