5 Ways To Increase Email Opt-Ins

Ever wondered how to increase your email subscribers? Social media is an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to marketing.

The thing is, it is just one piece of the marketing puzzle. If you want to maximise the results you attract, you need an integrated marketing mix. This means taking advantage of a number of different communication channels both online and offline.

That brings us to email.

Having access to your target audience’s email addresses is incredibly valuable. Sometimes even more valuable than a one-off sale… no, really!

Email offers a direct communication with individual members of your community in a far more intimate setting. Email counts as personal space, not just anybody is getting in there. It takes a deeper level of trust.

For that reason, those that do choose to trust you with their email address are one step closer to becoming a customer. I’m not just talking any kind of customer. I’m talking about a lifetime customer, someone who buys over and over again because you deliver consistently.

Think about this as a customer yourself. After all, we are all customers too.

You wouldn’t just give up your email to anyone would you? It could lead to some pretty strange emails… In fact, if you check your spam folder, you will know exactly what I mean…

The point is your email subscribers are the second stage of your sales funnel. While we can’t call them all prospects, they are people of interest. People we care about and people we need to build a relationship with. When they reach out to us, it’s important that we reach back.

The other BIG benefit of email marketing is the fact you own your email address. We don’t own social media platforms. We use them but they are rented property. If Facebook or Twitter was to shut down tomorrow, how could we keep in touch with our community?

Of course, this is very unlikely to happen but it does bring up an important point. Email addresses are like phone numbers, they are our way of keeping in touch with the people that matter regardless of the social media changes.

With that in mind, here are five ways you can increase your email opt-ins today!

One: Pop Ups and Overlays

People tend to either be completely for or completely against Pop up boxes and overlays.  These are the little boxes that pop up in the middle of your screen asking you to sign up. I’m sure you’ll have seen them.

These can be really annoying and invasive to visitors so the risk here is that you can turn potential visitors away from your site. On the other hand, they do convert really well. In fact, Econsultancy (2013) stated that the research shows an average overlay can increase email opt-ins by 400%.

You see the dilemma.

My perspective on this is that if it’s done in a tasteful, respectful way and the focus is on providing value up front then this could one of the most effective way to convert your visitors intro sales.

So what do I mean by that?

Think strategically about the placement and timing of your pop up box appearing. If you land on a site and within a few seconds this box appears without giving you a chance to read the content, it is likely to put them off. They won’t know if they are interested in signing up for your updates and you’ve disrupted their attempts to find out.

Not only that but the quality of subscribers you will receive from those who do choose to sign up is going to be limited. Unless they are returning visitors, the chances are that they are filling in the subscription box to get rid of it.

Your goal is to increase the number of quality subscribers. These are people that are interested in you, are interested in your content and are interested in potentially becoming a customer of yours one day. Your visitor needs the opportunity to find that out and decide for themselves. So instead of timing your pop up box to enter immediately, why not have it pop up after a visitor has been on your site for a set length of time? If they have been around for a while, there is a high probability they do like your content and are would open to receiving more valuable information from you.

Popular pop-up plugins for Wordpress include Ninja Popups, Optin Monster and Pop Up Domination. However there are others so do a search and ensure you have found the right one for you.  All of the examples provided allow you to edit these settings relatively easily.

If you don’t use or know your way around Wordpress, you can ask your developer to do this for you.

Two: Personalise Your Opt-Ins

Personalise your website and your varies opt-in boxes. When a visitor lands on your website, you want them to feel as though this site was designed specifically with them in mind. Talk with them, not at them. Show personality and eliminate the corporate formality. People trust other people they can relate too, not traditional ‘corporate’ brands.

If you show you are a real person and talk like a real person, people will connect with you. The best way to know the exact format and phrasing you should use is to understand your audience. How do they speak? What are their pain points? What will reassure and influence them?

If you can figure out a way to personalise your site and your opt-in box, signing up for email updates will no longer be such an issue. They get you! They will trust you and know that you wont invade their privacy. In fact, if you do this right and provide value up front (See Four) then they will be excited to join your list and receive more.

When people trust you, they are open to learning more from you. 

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Three: Place Your Opt In Above The Fold

We’re going old school! Above the fold is the term used in the newspaper business to describe the top half of the newspaper. This is where the important news items would go.

This same rule applies to our websites. We want to keep important items like social icons and email subscriptions situated above the fold. Let’s make it easy for our visitors and avoid them having to scroll all the way down in order to find the sign up form.

As we read from left to right, keep it in the right hand sidebar and use an attractive image to catch the eye.

Four: Provide Value Up Front

When you ask your readers to share their email address, you are asking for permission to enter their private email account. They have to be able to trust you. That’s a big deal! The least you can do is offer something in return. This is not only an incentive; it’s your way of saying thanks. It shows you care and reiterates your intentions and your respect their privacy by sending value, not spam.

This could be something as simple as a discount code or a downloadable e-book. Try to think of something that is relevant, provides an opportunity to showcase your business and is valuable to your audience.

Side Note: Use positive words when letting your readers know you respect their privacy. ‘We won’t spam you!’ is not quite as effective as ‘You’re safe with us’.

Five: Clear CTA

If you want visitors coming to your website to sign up to your newsletter, it’s crucial that you let them know that. People are far more likely to take the desired action if they know what it is.  No fluff required! When you add fluff it is neither clear to the audience what you want them to do and your indirect approach instils a lack of trust.

Keep it simple, short and straight to the point.

This will ensure your visitor is aware that they are not only signing up for a free e-book or discount code but are signing up for regular email updates. You will see higher opt-ins and higher opening rates from your audience because they expect to receive your mail.

#Winning

So what do you think? Will you be adding an opt in to your website?

Let me know in the comments below.

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