Email lead capture continues to increase in importance for publishers and bloggers. This is for good reason. Email is the most direct marketing channel drastically outperforms social media channels, and can accurately be tested and improved through the use of data.
So why are so many publishers and bloggers still settling for low traffic conversion rates and slow email opt-in rates? That answer is beyond me.
The goal of this article is to provide you with some answers to your most common email capture questions along with actionable tips that will improve your marketing efforts within hours of implementation.
Here are six email capture tips to help you increase conversion rates and build your email list for your blog or publishing site!
1) Use a Lead Magnet! Gated Content Works.
Gating valuable content, such as e-books, content guides, or whitepapers, is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to increase email leads; and for a simple reason. Engaging website visitors with a relevant piece of content (lead magnet) is highly effective in capturing email leads. For negligible effort and cost, you can repurpose current marketing content into a lead magnet which can be used for lead capture campaigns.
For example, though Bacon Today already offers a variety of recipes on their site, their “Free Recipe Book” email pop up has led to over 1000 emails per month for an Email Capture Rate of approximately 2.38%, well above the 0.1% industry standard.
This lead magnet is simple, relevant to the typical reader of Bacon Today, and provides value.
A more featured version of this concept exists on Fluentin3Months.com which offers a Speak in a Week email course on their homepage. I’m a big fan of email courses for two key reasons. First, when executed correctly, the marketing content is relevant and allows for multiple conversion opportunities because of multiple marketing touches. Second, an email course or series conditions subscribers to expect multiple emails over a period of time.
By using “Select your language” as an additional form field, Fluentin3Months can ensure they’re sending relevant emails to leads based on the language the prospect wanted to learn.
The content of this lead magnet is incredibly strong as well. “Have confident conversations in weeks instead of years” is such a powerful headline which speaks to the time value of the email course.
2) Target Audiences based on Geo-Location
As personalized content plays an increasingly larger role in engaging prospects and leads, targeting based on geographic location has picked up traction. Geo-targeting can be used in a variety of ways and is especially great for increasing signups for live events or webinars.
Here’s an example from Search Engine Land which provides a call-to-action for registering for a local event in San Jose.
Geo-targeting can also be used in tandem with gated content. For example, “Guide to New York coffee shops” vs “Guide to SF coffee shops” would be a great way to market to each geographical audience with relevant content. This also provides two segmented lists providing the opportunity to deliver catered marketing emails. Here’s a helpful guide on email marketing for media and publishing.
3) Create a sweepstakes/giveaway
An oldie but a goodie, sweepstakes, and giveaways continue to be a popular way to quickly capture leads. Just ask ISLE Surf and SUP, who used a simple paddleboard giveaway that led to a 660% increase in email opt-ins and directly lead to a 200% increase in online orders.
While the example above is an e-commerce brand, there’s no denying the power of a giveaway and how it still applies to publishers and bloggers. The one recommendation I would give when running a giveaway is to pick an item that your ideal readers would be interested in. This ensures that the people who do opt-in will ultimately have an interest in your future content, not just the freebie.
4) Keep it fresh – Rotate Opt-Ins
While most sites have a newsletter opt-in, many make the mistake of using the same template day in and day out. Regardless of what opt-in you use, continually changing your newsletter signup ensures increased engagement.
For example, Momentum Mag cycles their gated content based on seasonality which increases the relevancy of their offering; keeps things fresh; and provides a better opportunity for a marketing conversion. For more information on leveraging seasonality and holidays to boost conversion rates, check out this blog post on seasonal and holiday promotions.
An enticing seasonal promotion for autumn by Momentum Mag.
As on-site marketing increases in importance, a variety of research has become available on what makes an engaging opt-in. While your onsite marketing should always fit your brand, a recent study from Georgia Tech in color trends found that Red, Purple, and Pink stimulate the most on-site engagement while Green, Black, and Yellow reduce engagement. Keep this in mind when designing your email pop-ups, forms, and CTA’s. If you can make your CTA button stand out visually, it should increase conversion rates.
5) Easy Site Navigation
Improving navigation on your website will improve your website experience and lead to higher conversion rates. Why you may ask? In simplest terms, you’re allowing your visitors to reach desired content in an efficient manner. This can save time, eliminate frustration, and drive a higher number of conversions.
An easy way to improve navigation and increase exposure for key landing pages is to use a website pop up or website notification bar. This allows you to deliver your marketing message effectively while providing a call-to-action to your visitors.
Here’s an excellent example from MindBodyGreen. The use of a notification bar makes it easy to find and sign up for classes:
But it doesn’t stop there. MindBodyGreen uses a notification bar to direct interested visitors to their yoga teacher training course landing page. This is a great example of how to provide different conversion opportunities throughout the website experience.
Raywenderlich.com, a site that provides high-quality tutorials for developers, directs visitors to their tutorials (and revenue generating section) with a non-invasive banner at the top of the browser window.
6) Convert Social Traffic into Email Addresses
Social media channels are absolutely necessary for promoting your business and broadcasting your content. However, there are a few problems with social when it comes to marketing:
- Your marketing message gets lost in the mix. You’re competing against messages from other businesses, personal posts, memes, sponsored posts, and so on.
- Social channel behavior is passive. People scroll and skim but don’t necessarily take action.
- It’s not a direct marketing channel.
Fortunately, the list of techniques covered in this article can be used to engage and convert traffic into email subscribers coming from your social media channels.
Why is email a better channel than social? Email converts at a 4X higher rate than social media channels.
So how do you go about converting social traffic into email signups? Present your social following with a call-to-action of some fashion. This could be a recent blog post, advertisement or a lead magnet. Once a visitor clicks through, present an email pop-up or signup form aimed at converting the visitor. Once the email is acquired, you can now reach them more effectively via email!
Here’s a lead magnet for a Holiday calendar e-book we’ve been using to convert our Facebook followers:
Additionally, sweepstakes provide a terrific way to convert your social media following to email addresses. A Nielsen survey showed that: 52% of people who follow brands on Twitter do it to learn about offers and 38% follow to take part in competitions. By promoting your sweepstakes on social media, you can drive your social media following to lead capture points.
Plan to market to specific visitors with unique messaging? you can always target different audiences based on certain criteria like traffic source, on-site behavior, current URL, and much more. This means that you can market to traffic from Facebook differently than you would for traffic coming from marketing emails. This is just one example of how to personalize the marketing experience for your visitors.
Increase Email List Growth Today!
Hopefully, these six email capture tips have provided you with some direction for implementing an effective traffic conversion strategy for your content marketing campaigns. There are tons of conversion opportunities and by focusing on lead capture, you can capitalize on these opportunities.
Want to implement email lead capture solutions on your website but don’t know where to start? Start with a free trial of Justuno, a complete conversion platform with everything you need to build your email list from 100 to 100,000 subscribers!