Email is still the most cost-effective marketing channel out there; year-over-year it gives the biggest return on investment. Having a robust and engaged email list should be an essential component of any digital content strategy, but getting opt-ins and maintaining growth can be difficult without planning.
Follow these best practices so you can make the most of your email program and increase your email sign ups.
Maximize opportunities to acquire sign-ups
You can add sign up forms to areas other than just your homepages. Landing pages, social media, and even partner websites can serve as great hosts for your signup form.
Make it as easy as possible to sign-up
Long forms or lots of required information are likely to put people off and reduce your sign-ups – don’t put barriers in the way.
Offer a value exchange
What will somebody get for signing up? E.g. latest news, tips, special offers, a free download or promotion. Always make the benefits of signing up super clear! Other ideas for added value could be a free download, discount, free gift, etc.
Capture the right information
When collecting emails through widgets/sign-up boxes, consider capturing email address only, then take user to a Preference Centre or request further info later. Keep your sign-up forms short and only ask for information you can use and act on.
Remember data protection
Always obtain a positive or explicit opt-in. Make it clear what people are signing up to and follow up with an acknowledgement or welcome email as soon as possible (ideally in real-time).
It is also a smart idea to periodically audit how you are acquiring new email addresses. Here are some potential touchpoints for acquisition.
Ask yourself: Is there a data capture process in place at each of these touchpoints? Can we optimise existing processes?
Email Growth and Acquisition Capture
You can grow your audience through on-site acquisition using a sign-up box or widget. When adding your sign-up box to your website, think about how people typically read which is typically a Z, S, or U pattern. This makes the top of the page a great spot for the email sign up with the top-right sidebar being the most popular – eyes are drawn there naturally. You also want to keep the sign-up box above the fold. Sign up boxes can get lost if they are lower on the page or in the footer.
Dynamic capture is another avenue for email growth and acquisition. Pop-ups, Light Boxes, Preferences Centers and Landing Pages are all examples of Audience Development using Dynamic capture. Audience development refers to the process of reaching new audiences and deepening connections with existing ones. It involves identifying audience behaviour, optimizing content discovery and promotion, and converting one-off visitors into loyal followers. Reach out to your CSM if you would like to learn more about Audience Development and Dynamic Capture.
Promotions are an engaging way for email growth and acquisition and mobile database and create a steady stream of new email addresses, but promotions also gather more 1st Party Data from your audience. Second Street, an Upland Product, is Audience Engagement Software that allows you to run contests, competitions, and interactive content on your websites. They key to Second Street is that everything you do is collecting data through forms on these competitions and contests– email addresses, demographic information, and asking permission to email or text. This can be a part of your strategy. Please reach out to your CSM if you would like to learn more about Second Street.
Social Media is a great way to increase subscribes for your lists. On Facebook you should have a CTA on your business page asking for people to sing up for your emails or you can create a tab specifically for email sign ups. Post ads that ask people to sign up and focus on the right content for the audience you want to reach. Twitter has the same concept. Ask people to sign up for you emails using enticing visuals to make sure your tweet stands out. Use clear to call to actions and a one click sign-up process that will capture the user’s email address, name, and twitter handle.
Website and mobile push notifications can help you gather more email sign-ups as well. Character limits for push notifications fall in the range of 40-120 characters. Because of these character limits, the copywriting becomes that much more important.
- Create a clear, action-oriented message
- Timing is imperative (pay attention to time zones)
- Don’t’ send too frequently (no more than 3-5 a week)
- Personalize through behavioural segmentation i.e. putting subscribers into different segments based on their on-page activities like type of pages viewed, number of views of a particular page etc.
Overall, Email Growth and Acquisition is not a one size fits all, and you should be taking these tips and making them work for you. However, Email Acquisition should still be top of mind and should have set growth objectives by source.
Some last notes:
- At Upland, we believe as a guide, you should aim to achieve 5-10% of new visitors to your website signing up.
- Make sure your sign-up box or form stands out by using contrasting colors and placing it in the top right corner of your site.
- Be sure you have optimized your user experience and that you are staying true to the expectations you have set for the user (getting a welcome email or discount code sent immediately after filling out the sign-up)
- TEST! Test one thing at a time like colors, button shapes, different types of copy, etc.