Email marketing is one of the most powerful and effective ways to increase traffic, revenue, and growth. While content creation is the core focus for many online businesses and brands, it’s the email marketing and mailing lists that drive the majority of revenue and repeat traffic back into the business.
However, why are some sites so good at email marketing while other’s aren’t?
The common theme among underperforming mailers and marketers is that they aren’t fully utilizing all of the tools at hand and definitely not split-testing to see where improvements can be made.
It’s easy to start a mailing list, throw an opt-in form on your site and send out a blast to your audience, but if that’s all your are doing, then you are leaving a ton of money and opportunity on the table.
GetResponse is one of the top email marketing platforms available today. Unlike other list hosting solutions where they simply store your data and make it easy for you to send out mailings to your audience, GetResponse has a whole tracking, marketing, and management platform built into their system. In short, as a customer of GetResponse, you are essentially gaining access to the same tools and features that huge email marketing companies are using at a fraction of the cost.
In addition to the many features provided by GetResponse, they also offer a wide range of methods to get people to join your mailing list. The days of simply adding a subscribe form to your site and asking users to “Join My Newsletter” are over! Now it’s all about engagement, providing value and split testing headlines and call-to-actions to see what’s working best.
Using everything GetResponse currently has in place for their customers, let’s take a look at ten of the most effective ways to increase signups to your mailing list.
10 Opt-in Form Methods to Increase Your Mailing List
Depending on the content of your site and how you provide value to your audience, each of these opt-in forms might be used differently. No matter how you are collecting leads online, any or all of these methods should be split tested against what you currently have in place.
To see a full breakdown of each opt-in method used before, be sure to check out this infographic. We’ve provided a quick description of each opt-in method below, along with value pros, cons and tips from GetResponse as well.
Imagine if you had the ability to make one last call-to-action attempt before a user clicks away from your site? That’s exactly what happens with ‘exit-intent’ popup forms. As the user is looking to click away or close out your browser tab, you are getting one last chance to grab their email address before they leave forever. You can see a list of how top bloggers are currently using this method on their sites here.
- Pros: Grabs attention and might give you a last chance to convince your visitors to stay connected, in the long run could help you improve your churn rate
- Cons: Similarly to light-boxes, can be overused and cause annoyance especially if difficult to close
- Pro tip: Make sure that the presented benefit is something they are truly interested in and is worth their time.
A pop-up light-box subscribe form is a great way to engage with your audience as they are browsing through your site. One of the many benefits of using a light-box form is that you can set when you would like the popup to display. This also means you can split test how well the form might perform if it pops up after 1, 5 or even 10 seconds.
- Pros: Instantly grabs attention and drives user action, thus helping to maximize conversions
- Cons: Easy to become overly used and can cause annoyance
- Pro tip: Test the amount of time before the light-box appears and try using funny/clever, graphic elements to motivate sign-ups.
Embedded email sign-up form
The classic and most traditional way to get users to sign up to your mailing list is to simply ask them to join. The problem with this method is that many users will see your subscribe form every time they visit, even if they’ve already joined your mailing list. If you are going to use this method for newsletter signups, be sure to have a call-to-action, otherwise you will likely see very low conversion rates.
- Pros: If designed well i.e. fits the overall design, good copy, clear benefits and CTA – can motivate to sign up
- Cons: May not be enough to catch attention unless your visitor is looking for a newsletter sign-up
- Pro tip: Should be visible on all the major pages of your website.
Testing different locations on your site for mailing list signup forms is key to maximizing conversions. Bar signup forms are great for testing performance at the top, middle or bottom of your site. A bar signup in the top middle portion of your main page might be the perfect spot when trying to make that first impression, while offering something of value.
- Pros: Instantly visible yet subtle
- Cons: Limited space, but can be part of a two-step sign-up process
- Pro tip: Use contrasting color and a catchy line to quickly grab users’ attention.
If you want to increase email signups on your site, you are going to need to use a form that grabs your audience’s attention. If you don’t want to use popups or exit intent forms, you may find slide-in forms work just as well. As a user is browsing through your site, a popup for your newsletter form will come scrolling up in the bottom corner of your site. Easy to sign up, easy to close out. A win-win situation for the site owner and the site visitor.
- Pros: Shows up only to users that are engaged and have scrolled down the page or blog post
- Cons: Appears only to users that are engaged in your web page
- Pro tip: Make sure to include it next to your best articles or high-traffic websites in addition to your other sign-up forms.
Getting site visitors to take action is all about incentivization and giving them a reason to want to enter their email. One of the most effective ways to do this is through the use of a free gift or offering something to download. Such downloads can be a PDF of the article they are reading, an educational course, whitepaper, or free report.
- Pros: Great way to generate leads with valuable content
- Cons: Easy to overuse – not all content is worth gating,/em>
- Pro tip: Make sure that what you’re gating is valuable and unique.
We’ve already covered popup windows and exit intent subscribe forms while also seeing how effective they can be on user engagement. If you want to step up your call-to-action a little bit more, why not implement a simple “shake box” to grab their extra attention?
- Pros: Engaging and attention grabbing. Hasn’t been used too often yet!
- Cons: May not fit all target audiences
- Pro tip: Choose it instead of your regular light-box and test its effectiveness. The element of surprise may improve your conversions vastly.
Webinars are one of the best ways to build a massive mailing in a short period of time. When trying to get people to attend your next webinar, you should send a mailing out to your existing newsletter subscribers and also try to connect with other audiences as well. A perfect example of this would be if you wanted to co-host a webinar with another popular site. This would be considered a joint-venture or revenue-sharing project, where you would split the earnings from your webinar. However, the person running the webinar will end up with a much larger mailing list as a result of it.
- Pros: A great way to attract new subscribers who are already interested in your topic
- Cons: Visitors may be reluctant as they might assume that they’ll receive purely sales-oriented communication
- Pro tip: Clearly communicate the frequency and the content of messages that your visitors are likely to receive if they sign up.
Twitter Lead Generation Cards
With over 300 million users on Twitter wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to get them to join your mailing list with a simple click of a button? Good news — there is! It’s called Twitter lead generation cards and millions of brands and websites are using it right now to massively grow their mailing lists. If you aren’t already using Twitter cards, get started with that today!
- Pros: The easiest way to attract leads from Twitter other than redirecting your traffic to dedicated landing pages
- Cons: You have to pay for the generated leads, which means you need to devote additional financial resources
- Pro tip: Select your audience carefully and design your ad with their personas and preferences in mind to make the best use of your budget.
Bring your opt-in form to live by having a video built right into the subscribe form. Not only is video a great way to show who you are, it’s also something people will instantly see and not be as reluctant to close it out in once the subscribe form shows.
- Pros: A growing number of users prefer to watch videos and if you can entertain and educate them, building a list won’t be a problem
- Cons: Users may be annoyed by ads and other similar elements that prevent them from watching the video
- Pro tip: Great videos are worth waiting for. Serve them enough content to gain their interest and convince to leave their details with you.
Building Your Mailing List with GetResponse
Now that you’ve seen some of the best ways to gain new subscribers through creative opt-in forms on your site, which are you going to use?
GetResponse has all of the necessary tools and tracking in place to make it easy for site owners to implement any of the form types above, while also split testing which work best.
5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Writing Blogs Right Now
Blogging is a great way to get your website noticed and generate more traffic and sales. 86% of companies use a blog on their websites, so you can’t afford to miss out.
You may think that blogs aren’t that important, or that they don’t make a lot of difference to your business. But they are a lot more effective than you may think.
Blogging can increase your lead generation by 67%. Whether you’re a new or established business, this can prove invaluable. Here are 5 reasons your business needs to start writing blogs now.
1. Generate Traffic
Blog posts add more content to your website and thus attract more people to visit your site. Creating web content means that you can direct your readers to other parts of your website.
This means you can write a post about one of your products or services and use yours as an example. When readers discover this, you have a greater chance of boosting sales.
2. Boost SEO
When it comes to marketing your business, SEO is king. SEO determines where your website ranks on search engine results. In turn, it impacts how many people find you.
There are a lot of things that affect your SEO. Things like a fully optimized website and using the right links can make a real difference. Hook Agency says that having the right SEO can double or even triple your traffic from search engines.
Once you have your website sorted, blog content is next. The more blogs you write, the better the SEO. Use popular keywords and terms that your audience would search for. This will make your posts rank higher on search engines and get customers your way.
3. Create a Brand Voice
There are a lot of company blogs out there which may be interesting, but they have no distinctive voice. When they have no voice, they all blend into one.
But if you write blogs with a specific voice, you make an impression. When people can recognise your writing style, they recognise your company.
Set featured imageTry to give your posts a personality. They are more fun to read and will keep people coming back to read for more. They make your brand more trustworthy and encourage people to choose your brand.
4. Showcase Your Services
When it comes to your business, you’re the expert. You know all about your own products and services, so use your blog to show off this knowledge!
Explain what you offer and what you can do for your customers. People want brands to know exactly what they’re selling and it makes you more reliable.
It also serves as a free way to advertise your business. You can write as much or as little as you want on the services you’re offering.
5. You Stay Ahead of the Curve
When you give your website a blog, you’re also future proofing your business. Those who don’t have blogs are lagging behind and missing out on a lot of great opportunities.
It gives you the chance to be creative and boost your business in a whole new way. You can also add other media like videos and photos to your posts to boost your SEO even further.
Chances are, you’ll find blogging very fun. Regular content on your site gives your business a firm presence and will keep you on the SEO map for longer.
Your Business Needs to Start Writing Blogs Now
Now that you know how important it is to start writing blogs for your business, it’s time to get started. It’s a fun creative challenge which can lead to more traffic and more sales.
Want to start a blog on your website? Check out our services and see how we can help you set it up.
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Quick and Effective Tips to Maximize Speed of your Website or Blog
Few things are worse than when you click over to a new website or blog, and then it’s loading slow as anything. With everyone having an extremely short attention span, and so many options for other websites and entertainment online, a fast loading website is a must for every blogger, brand, or business on the internet.
There are also many benefits associated with a fast loading site, beyond just user experience. Google is now penalizing sites that take too long to load, and boosting up other sites that a mobile-optimized and running super fast.
Depending on how technical your design or WordPress skills might be, the process of speeding up your site and maximizing it’s optimization might vary. To help with this process, I’ve listed a few of the best working methods below.
Optimize your Homepage to Load Quickly
With the homepage being one of the most vital parts of your website or blog, you should be doing everything possible to make sure it loads quickly. Different things can be done to speed up your homepage such as lowering the number of posts on the main page, minimizing applications and widgets from third-party sites, and also optimizing your images so they are either loading as a smaller sized file or through a CDN service. It’s also a good idea to use an SEO friendly theme or template, as these are more often cleaner with their coding and already optimized right out of the box.
Use an Effective Caching Plugin
If you are using a CMS like WordPress or blogger, then using an effective cashing plugin can contribute nicely in the process of making sure your site is loading as fast as possible. Since caching is an apparatus for a temporary storage of web pages to diminish bandwidth and to improve page loading performance as well, it saves the server’s time to make web pages load faster. Caching plugins are easy to install and use. All you need to do is perform some research online to see which plugin is best for your site, then click a few buttons to have it installed right within WordPress. Once this is done, it’s usually just a matter of copying the account number of your CDN and letting the hosting provider and WordPress plugin do its work.
Use CDN (content delivery network)
We’ve already referenced content delivery networks or CDNs, a few times now. The way these solutions work is that they host a version of your site on their server, and then loads the content from another server that is closest to that individual’s location. More and more site owners and bloggers are using CDNs not only to improve page load speed but to provide users with a great experience to make them stay longer on the website. Also mentioned earlier, this can help with how well a site ranks in Google, while also moving your site above the competition. Moreover, if one of your server locations is overloaded due to huge traffic and visitors, then users can automatically be switched to a new server location to enjoy fast loading website experience.
Improve Your Hosting Plan
If you have a slow loading website or blog, it’s likely due to your hosting plan. If you are pushing a lot of traffic through your site and making money in the process, you should definitely upgrade from a shared server. Shared hosting is often fine for new site owners and bloggers, but as your site gains more attention, backlinks, and traffic, it will also likely be using more server resource. On a shared server, your site is also sharing the server resources with many other sites — sometimes hundreds, or even thousands! Upgrading your hosting plan to a VPS or dedicated hosting package can greatly improve the performance of your site as well. So, if you are still using a cheap web hosting plan with an average price below $5/mo and receiving massive traffic from search engines, then it would be the right time for you to upgrade your hosting plan with a better one to speed up your website loading speed.
Use Optimized Images
Big images take up a lot of space and resources when it comes to loading data from your site. This is especially true with very high-quality images. While these images are going to play a big role in the beauty and engagement on your site, there are still ways to optimize such large images so they load faster and put less stress on your server. There are many plugins are available that can drastically reduce the file size of an image without reducing the quality. Image optimization will not only help you boost website load time but will also save disk space for more files and media. If you really don’t want to overload your website with plugins, then you can also use online image reducer apps and software to optimize image before uploading to the media library of the site.
Minimize HTTP Redirects Requests
How and where content is being loaded on your site can also affect its overall performance. You may need to use redirect requests to redirect the web browser from one URL to another. There are a variety of reasons as to why you might want to do this, such as to specify a new URL location, to track visits and clicks on the site or to connect different elements of the website with each other. Since redirects might be necessary to enhance overall UX of the website, you should only be using the redirect requests that are most important because excessive redirect requests can have an ultimate impact on the loading speed of your website/blog.
Don’t Leave Your Audience Hanging
When browsing the internet, few things are more annoying than accessing a slow loading website. It’s hard enough to get someone to visit your site, let alone stay for a few seconds. Don’t give them a reason to leave right away because your site isn’t loading as fast as it should be.
Follow each of the simple and effective site speed optimization tips above to make sure your site loads as fast as possible, ranks higher than the competition and also doesn’t disappoint your audience when they hit your site.
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