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10 Ways To Get More Email Opt-Ins

Cara Peppers Blog, Content and Creative

For all online marketing, a large email list is like gold. You’re looking at your web site stats. You like the numbers you see for visits to the page that has your email sign up form. However, the stat you don’t like is the number of people that actually sign up. Your email list isn’t growing. You’re left scratching your head wondering: “Why don’t they sign up?” The problem starts squarely with your sign up form and the value proposition on or around it on the page. This article will help you look for the different reasons people may not be enticed to sign up for your email newsletter. We’ll identify the most common problematic areas and offer you solutions to those problems.

10-Point Checklist for Email Forms and Sign Up Pages

1. What Do I Get?
“What’s in it for me?” That’s always the first question in the prospect’s mind. This is where you need to be extremely clear with your message. You need a headline that speaks to the visitor with clarity about what they will get. Be both direct and brief.

2. Clarity
Clarity is speaking the way people speak. Not using jargon or overly-clever made-up phrases. Don’t say: “Get the ultra-ripper 3.0 muscle max-plosion workout plan.” That’s a bunch of wordplay. A clear message is: “Learn How to Build More Muscle in Only 30 Days.”

3. Is It Right For Me?
Plainly said, are you offering what this viewer really needs or are you dumping off crap? Stand in the viewer’s shoes and see what their problems are and offer them the right solution. Offer value. This is an opportunity for you to position you, your company or product as the leader and the go-to-source to meet their needs.

4. Do I Want This? Why?
Remind the viewer that this is definitely something they want. The best way to do this is to tell or remind them why. Again, you must know the viewer to understand their needs. Think like they do, then tell them exactly what they want to hear.

5. How Does This Benefit Me?
The way to let the visitor understand the value of your offer is to show them the benefits. This could be a sub-headline, a sentence or two, or a bullet list. Don’t confuse benefits with features. “Comes in a variety of colors” is a feature. A benefit provides value and improves something for the customer. Your benefit should make their life easier. A discount is a benefit because it saves them money.

6. What Are Good Benefits?
Naturally, it will vary based on the types of products or services you are offering, but generally speaking it falls in this range: discounts, cash-value vouchers, downloadable products. eBooks can be good if the offer high-value content, but you’ll need explain what’s in it.

7. What Are Weak Benefits
Updates. Updates are more email. That’s spam and inbox clutter. Articles that are not “how-to’s” are clutter. A “How-to” is a benefit. Editorial or opinion-based articles may not offer benefits. eBooks that are light on content or without containing any valuable benefits can, in essence, simply be nothing more than long articles.

8. Do I Get It Now?
You know we live in a world that expects instant gratification. Your viewer needs to be assured that they’ll get whatever benefits you are offering immediately after they opt in.

9. The Call To Action Button
Far too often, the importance of the messaging on the call to action button gets ignored. First of all, if the most important thing to do on this page is to click this button – then don’t you think the message on the button and the button itself are of paramount importance? Yeah, duh! You want to use a call to action that not only speaks to the viewer directly, but reminds them of what benefit they get. Here’s how you do that.

9.A – Button Messages:
First, forget cliche, generic text messages like: Click here, Subscribe, Sign Up, Submit (horrible geek-speak!), Download, Learn more, etc. Instead, include the benefit: “Help Me Lose Weight,” “Send My Free Program,” “Show Me How To Earn More,” and so on.

9.B – Button Design
Number one: Make the button look like a button. Don’t be artsy-fartsy. Make it easy for the viewer.
Number two: use a contrasting color to make the button stand out from every other element on the page. There is no “magic color” that gets more clicks. It’s more important for the button to be noticed. If your page is green, don’t use a green button. Try red or any other color what will create significant contrast and draw the eye.
Number 3: Make it readable. If it’s hard to read, your message is lost.

10. Design
Now that you know from the above, what your content needs to communicate, you need to think about how you communicate it. That’s where design comes in. You have to carefully balance clarity with brevity. Clutter confuses. Trying to cram in too much information causes competition between messages. Figure out how to say what you need to say in the least amount of headlines, subheads, sentences and bullet points. Create a hierarchy of most important messages first. In a bullet list, most important up top, less important in middle, and 2nd or 3rd most important as last bullet. Use proximity between related messages to show their connection. Use whitespace equal to the amount of content to balance the area and to give the eye resting points. Use color to create contrast and draw attention to the most important messages.

You’ve learned that the most important thing to do in optimizing your email list / newsletter sign up pages and forms is to speak to the viewer directly and clearly. To stand in his or her shoes and have empathy for exactly what they need and want. Then communicate to the viewer with clarity and brevity about what they will get, why they want it and assure them they will get it instantly. Use a call to action that not only speaks to the viewer directly, but reminds them of what benefit they get. Design your button to stand out. Clean design should be utilized to aid in communicating your message without distraction of too many elements.

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About the Author
Cara Peppers

Cara Peppers