Most of the time it would seem logical that if you want to get more subscribers you would drive more traffic to your site. But there is a point where you have to step back and analyze the traffic you already have to see if you can get more leads.
There are two main reasons why you need to investigate converting more of your existing traffic. The first is it cost you way more time and money to bring in new traffic then it does to increase your conversion rate. The second, and more necessary reason is you don’t have any new traffic sources and you have or will reach the limit of your current sources. This will cause your growth to plateau. In either case, it is in your best interest to raise your conversion rate.
- New traffic is time consuming and costly
- Traffic sources run out and have an upper limit
There are several ways to increase your conversion rate. Some are more obvious than others. And some are more controversial than others.
A clear offer is a must
The first thing to do is make sure you have a clear, desirable offer. Just offering to give updates about your blog may get some visitors to put their email address in, but many will opt to just come back. The problem is many will not come back because they will forget.
The offer must be obvious
Second, you need to make sure your offer is obvious and easy to find. You need to place opt-in forms in the areas of your site that will get the most views. Almost every site I go to has an opt-in box in the sidebar. This is a good place to start, but it is one of the lowest converting spots on you blog.
There are instances where the sidebar offer can be effective. Indra Chandon, Director of Research and Internet Marketing Strategies, Semantia Pty Ltd, says that adding a 300 x 100 button to the right sidebar immediately increased the number of people visiting their quote form. This, though, is the case when the visitor is eager to get an answer to a pressing need. The better positions are in your page header, under your main menu, in your post, and at the end of your post.
Don’t neglect the sidebar, but also, don’t stop there either
Popups put your offer right in front of them
The third thing you should do is put a popup opt-in form on you site. Some “experts” feel this is too intrusive. They admit that it increases a sites conversion rate, but that the annoyance has a far more detrimental effect than the value gained from getting more subscribers. Statistics, though, prove the opposite when the popup is used correctly.
When a visitor comes to your site for the first time or any time after that and has not subscribed to your email, it should be your top goal to get them to join your list. This doesn’t mean you should be so aggresive that you drive them away. But you also don’t want to be too passive that you miss out on subscribers. Once you have them subscribed, you can cookie them to avoid showing the popup to them any longer.
When using a popup you should set your popup to pop after a delayed period after the page has loaded. Also effective, is using an exit pop. A good exit pop is not one that pops up when the user hits the back button. That will annoy almost anyone. A good exit pop measures the users mouse movements. It gauges the user’s intent to exit; popping the form at just the right time. It also never impedes the user from leaving the page. Once they hit the back button, they should be allowed to leave.
Floating bars and slide outs
The fourth thing you can do to get more of you visitors subscribing is to use a floating header bar, footer bar, or use slide out opt-in forms. Each of these could be loaded when the page loads. They can also be set to slide out at a certain time interval or after the user has taken some action; like scrolling down 500px. They should also give the visitor the option to close or hide them at will.
Use landing pages to get their undivided attention
The fifth technique you should use is to have dedicated landing pages. Whenever you control the link or have any influence over the inbound link to your site, you should send the traffic to a dedicated landing page. The landing page should have a clear offer to opt-in or take some other specific action. This is one of the most under utilized mechanisms for building a list. The landing page should be focused and free of any distractions. This is not the place to put a list of blog post or a bunch of social media icons.
Split test to figure out what works
The sixth, and final thing you should do, is split test your offers. Try different things and see what your audience reacts to. Just be sure to measure with analytics. Keep the test in place long enough to get meaningful results.
Increasing your conversion rate is not something you can master overnight. But deciding to do it, using just one of these techniques on your site, can put you on the road to more success. Remember, if you don’t give your readers the option to signup in the right place, they won’t. And just because that sidebar sign up form my seem obvious to you, they may be blind to it. So give them more options. You will be pleasantly surprised by the results