5 Website Tips to Build Your Email List in 2013

Whether you manage a website that’s geared towards lead generation or eCommerce, building your email list should be a top priority. Why? Because according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the average Return on Investment (ROI) for email marketing between now and 2016 is projected to land between $36-40 for every dollar spent, officially crowning it ‘King in the land of Internet marketing’. With that in mind, how will you take advantage of this powerful marketing channel and supercharge the growth of your own email list? Well sit back, relax, and let me walk you through a few options that you can consider: 

#1: The Power of the Pop-Up

We’ve all been in the situation: casually surfing the web, minding our own business, when BAM! We’re hit with a pop-up box as soon as we enter a site. Sure, they can sometimes be obtrusive, but do they work for capturing email addresses? Yes! The majority of my research on the subject has yielded favorable results across the board. In fact, Marketer and Speaker Christopher Penn found that he was able to increase the amount of subscribers to his email by 733% shortly after configuring a welcome popup on his professional blog – that’s a lot! Similarly, Listrak, a leader in eCommerce email marketing solutions, claims that they’ve seen as much as a 30x increase in email acquisition with their popular “Modal Acquisition” solution with a laundry list of testimonials to back it.

That said, not all welcome pop-ups are created equal. If you’re opting to add one of these to your website, try not to skimp on the design or clever copy, and even consider adding some type of promotion. Great example below via South Moon Under: 

 

5 Website Tips to Build Your Email List in 2013

#2: Get Social, with Sign On! 

Let’s be honest here: filling out registration forms and creating new accounts on websites is about as much fun as a Kenny G concert. Ask yourself: have you ever left a website or opted against making a purchase simply because you didn’t feel like creating a new account? I’ll bet the house that you answer with a “yes”; I know that I have. So, why would you expect your visitors to put up with the same internal struggle? 

Thankfully, there’s Social Login, also referred to as social sign-in, which offers your site visitors the option to use their social media credentials to sign in quickly (typically single click sign on) to your website. This in turn dismisses the need for the visitor to go through a new account creation process while you, the site owner, are provided with uniform demographic information including (queue the drum roll) the visitor’s email address as provided by the social networking service. Great example below via my client Dormify: 

5 Website Tips to Build Your Email List in 2013

#3: The Quality Content Trade-Off

Does your website already offer valuable information for visitors such as eBooks, webinars, worksheets, or other types of more structured content?  If not, is there an opportunity for you to share an element of your business expertise in the form of downloadable content? If you can answer “yes” to either of the above, consider prompting visitors to share their email addresses as a trade off in order to receive this content – after all, why give the house away for free? Great example below of how we do this internally at Groove Commerce using HubSpot: 

5 Website Tips to Build Your Email List in 2013

#4: Rewarding Customer Engagement 

The concept of a Customer Loyalty Program is nothing new – brick and mortar retailers like Starbucks and Best Buy have been championing this concept for years, and odds are that you’ve cashed in some frequent flyer miles with an airline in the past. And with the emergence of mobile usage and social media over the past few years, it should be no surprise that these programs have become more popular over the web. According to her article in Forbes in December of this past year, digital media guru Kelly Clay wrote that 2013 could in fact be the year of customer loyalty programs because by providing rewards around engagement online, “companies [of all sizes] can encourage users to come back to their sites without the need for additional advertising, which benefits both the business beyond a tangible purchase as well as the customer with a tangible reward.” Needless to say, having a visitor engage your customer loyalty program will require that they create an account, thus allowing you to garner a new email address.

While there’s now an abundance of companies touting their solutions as the ‘consummate customer loyalty programs’, two that have definitely been on my radar lately are 500Friends and Sweet Tooth (surprise surprise they support Magento), both of which are California-based and were founded in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Why do I like them? They both offer streamlined technical integration, an impressive list of testimonials, and have a ton of data backing their programs. Great example of a Sweet Tooth program below from one of their clients:

5 Website Tips to Build Your Email List in 2013

#5: A Good Ol’ Fashioned Sign-Up Box

I’ve talked a lot about emerging trends with website email capture, but lets not forget about the power of a simple, well-placed, and enticing newsletter sign up box on the homepage. After all, the amount of real estate typically required to house such a feature can be extremely minimal compared to the return that you can expect to see with your email marketing campaigns (remembering those previously mentioned stats from the DMA now?), so why not include this with your own site? Yet as the chronic web surfer that I find myself to be, I’m amazed by how many websites have poorly placed newsletter sign up boxes that are buried in content or, even worse, simply say “Sign Up to Receive Emails.” Why would I sign up for that? What’s in it for me? There’s zero visitor incentive and unless I really really enjoy the company brand, odds are I’m skipping right past this box and not looking back. 

Ask yourself: is your newsletter sign-up placed somewhere that’s easy to find? Do you actually incentivize visitors to sign up? If not, you may want to consider redesigning this small yet powerful element of your homepage. Great example from Brain Pickings below: 

5 Website Tips to Build Your Email List in 2013

Recap

While this is not a complete list of possible ways to capture email addresses through strategies implemented on your website, hopefully it has provided you with some new ideas and inspiration to explore this year. Happen to have specific positive results for one or more of the above mentioned tactics? Make sure you share your experiences below. Of course, please also comment if you have any questions – I love questions!

Need help with your overall online marketing strategy? Feel free to give us a shout at the Groove office and we’d be happy to help out!

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