Whenever someone new visits your website, your #1 goal is to get them on your email list. That way you have a method of keeping them up-to-date on your latest offerings, so when they're ready to hire you or buy your product, you're right there in their inbox.
And having a way for them to join your list that is both simple and effective will dramatically increase both your list numbers and your sales.
Here are the three biggest mistakes I see regularly on business websites:
1. Not having a way to capture your visitors. Most people don't bite on the first pass, and once they click away, it's unlikely they'll be back. Don't lose them by not having a way for them to sign up for your list.
2. The opt-in box is buried. If your visitor can't find the form to sign up, then how can they?
TIP: Testing shows that the upper right-hand corner of your webpage is one of the best spots for your opt-in box.
3. The sign-up form says something unenticing like "click here for mailing list" – ugh!
So, here are 5 proven ways that you can instantly increase your opt-in rates:
1. Give your visitor only one choice.
You may have heard of a 1-banana website, or single action website, or what I call an Invite Site, which is exactly that. You're giving your visitor only one option – the invitation to sign up for your list via your free ezine, special report, checklist, ebook, etc. They get their freebie in exchange for giving you their email address.
One of my clients recently implemented this idea for her coaching business, which was a big leap of faith for her. I just got a joyful email from her saying that she's noticed a substantial increase in her opt-ins since!
It works, so don't be afraid to try it. And by the way, a testimonial or two on your Invite Site doesn't hurt either.
2. Write enticing copy.
Remember that people tend to skim what they read online, so make sure you have an attention-getting headline and some additional brief copy describing the benefits your visitor will receive by signing up for your list. As always, make sure it answers the most prominent question in your visitor's mind, "what's in it for me?"
3. Have only two form fields: First Name and Primary Email
If you capture someone's name along with their email address, you can easily personalize any future correspondence with them, which is proven to increase open and response rates. In other words, if you address something to someone individually, they feel more connected and are more likely to respond well to your mailings.
If you ask for a Primary Email address, many people will give it to you, as opposed to a back-up email address that they hardly ever check. And you'll get higher quality email addresses simply by asking them to give you their primary one, which means you'll have less bounce-backs and your emails will actually get through to the people who asked to receive them.
Only having these two form fields makes it a snap for someone to sign up, so you've made it as simple as possible for your visitor to do so.
4. Have a clear submit button.
Like having a single action website, you want to make it very clear what it is that you want your visitor to do. Have your submit button say something like, "subscribe" or "sign me up now" or "send me the ecourse".
Follow these 5 easy-to-implement strategies and you will dramatically increase the number of websites visitors who sign up for your list!