You obviously need an email signup option on the home page of your website. But if you think that’s enough, you’re wrong. There is a lot more to explore. I have written about increasing sign-ups base and will do it again, because it is such an important part of email marketing. But often companies leave money on the table by not using their sign up potential, so what are some of the biggest sign-up misconceptions?
You don’t need a sign-up page
No matter what you’ve heard, an email sign-up page is crucial. It is a misconception that you won’t need one as long as you have a sign-up box somewhere in your sidebar or footer. A separate sign-up page makes it possible to directly link to it from other places, like your social media channels. Think of it as a sign-up landing page.
We can’t be smarter
Many websites are now using lightboxes for email sign-up. These “pop-ups” appear upon arrival at the site’s home page. However, they typically only ask for an email address for sign-up. This example from Astley Clarke is a bit smarter and already captures gender information upon subscribing:
What i like about this pop-in is that the headline gives the visitor a hint of what’s to come: LUXURY ESCAPISM. Sounds great.
After “we got ‘em”, we’re done
Think about the whole process of subscribing. Once the email sign-up is complete, you should take the subscriber to a confirmation page. Here’s a chance to offer some promotional content and keep the subscriber on your site. Astley Clarke immediately offers a 10% discount on the first order, and includes links to its Facebook and Twitter pages.
The imagery on this confirmation page is interesting, I had to look twice, but it is a rainbow of jewelry. Anyway, it looks great, too bad it draws in all the attention from the page.
A confirmation email that’s ONLY a confirmation is again a wasted opportunity. If you’re going to send a confirmation email, make it an amazing welcome email one of my favorite event driven emails. Show a little of your brand’s personality… and make the new subscriber feel truly welcome.
Astley Clark’s confirmation email comes across as a personal message, thanks to both visuals and copy. And, in case you missed the 10 percent offer on the confirmation page, they follow up with this confirmation email:
Now that we know you, we still don’t know anything
With only a simple signup, anyone can enter an email address and automatically be added to your email list. Who is that person? One of the first misconceptions is that you will never know anything if you don’t ask.
But once your new subscriber starts interacting with your emails, clicking on their favorite topics or products or even making purchases on your site, you’ll have solid clues as to their interests and preferences. Use that data, for instance to send upsell emails on products they already bought or highlighting categories they have shown interest in.
Social media doesn’t work
It is said that when people subscribe by themselves on your website, they are the most responsive and prone to buy. But nowadays, your website is no longer the only outpost of your brand, you can also use all your social media channels to encourage email signups. It is a way to play with and even cash in on your social currency.
A while ago Twitter announced that it’s now possible to add sign-up functionality within tweets:
Again, a word of caution: If an email address is all you capture initially, be sure to follow up with an email seeking additional information.
You don’t have to be a big business to show you’re email marketing savvy. Even mommy CEOs like Kelly Lester of Easy Lunchboxes know where the sign-up magic happens. She uses Facebook to build her email list, the image in the header is a bit too happy and role-model confirming for my taste, but she does include an option for newsletter sign-up on her Facebook page.
Her email sign-up page on Facebook is colorful, but certainly inviting:
And, while I’d have preferred a more seamless transaction, this takes me to her website, where I’m asked to give both my email address and first name – giving me the impression that I’ll receive personalized emails.
By the way, it also works the other way around. You can also use email to grow fans and followers.
The point is that you should want more than to just capture email addresses. You want to get to know your subscribers, their interests and preferences. Only then will you be able to effectively market to them.
What have you been doing to capture email addresses? Please share your comments and questions below.