Someone voluntarily signing up to your email list is future money in your pocket. It's been proven that email is the most effective way to acquire online customers.
So when someone subscribes, it's pretty awesome, right?
It's also a really important thing to focus on.
But how do you get more people to sign up? Obviously, you need to start with a compelling offer. Give them a reason to subscribe.
Instead of spending more money driving more people to your site, try testing a few things.
Here are four list building tricks worth testing:
This one is obvious, so it doesn't make this list. But it's worth reviewing.
Use content offers
Content offers — also known as lead magnets, carrot content, or bribe-to-subscribe offers — provide immediate, tangible, and concrete value to your subscriber. This free content could be how-to guides, reports, webinars, white papers, e-courses, or even discounts and coupons.
The ultimate goal of your opt-in content is to improve your subscriber’s life by solving a problem.
1. Use pleasure buttons
What makes a seductive, click-worthy button? Two things: happiness and fear. Let’s look at happiness first.
Using the word “subscribe” is notoriously lame. “Submit” and “sign up” also suck. Instead, you should:
- Use first-person language – at least try “sign me up” or “send me updates.”
- Use active language – “give me access” or “start discovering today.”
- Detail the payoff – “Make me a better marketer.
Create button copy that shows the value of your offer. My favorite formula is Joanna Wiebe’s “I-want” strategy:
Write button/CTA copy that completes this phrase: I want to ________________. The underlined part becomes the button copy.
2. Use pain buttons
At the opposite end of the emotional spectrum is fear — the most dominant human emotion. The key is to create an opt-out button (basically a close-the-pop-up button) that hurts.
Again, Joanna Weibe explains:
“When a visitor is presented with an opt-in form, it’s so often the case that said opt-in form has just one button, and that button is there to be clicked if you choose to opt in. If you choose not to opt in, you do not have to click a button to state your preference; you simply X out, click out, or otherwise ignore the opt-in button.
“Most of our opt-ins are active and opt-outs are passive.”
A pain button eliminates the passivity of opting out by giving the viewer a clear choice. Here’s a fabulous example from Joanna herself that catapulted her site from daily double-digit sign-ups to triple-digit subscriptions:
3. Scroll boxes
Scroll boxes are the polite form of pop-ups. Instead of consuming the screen they appear unobtrusively.
Not all scroll boxes are created equal. Not by a long shot. Sean Bestor’s articlemakes the data-driven case that the top 1% of scroll boxes are responsible for 25% of all emails collected. Sean also shares the common denominators from the top performing:
- Location – bottom right
- Appearance – 47% scroll depth
- Design – light with a picture
4. Try Non-content offers
The need to create content offers is passed around online like gospel. It’s one of those principles where repetition equals truth.
Except that … it doesn’t. Test for yourself. Some products and industries simply do not require gated content to get visitors to sign up.
We tested countless “bribe-to-subscribe” offers, mostly offering people entire courses for free. Then we made this offer:
To my surprise, the ‘plain’ test absolutely destroyed all the others.”
While the opt-in box says “get exclusive content and tools,” notice that no specific content tactic is being offered: no e-book, no checklist, no webinar, no white paper, no report.
Just a generic “we’ll send you information in the future.”
That’s why it fits the no-content offer template. The lesson? The only way to find out if your audience will respond to content versus non-content offers is to test them.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
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