We often ask ourselves, “Why am I not getting more subscribers to my list?” Or, What am I doing wrong with list building?”
Before we dive into the why, let me start in with a brief explanation of what a list is. A list is simply an abbreviated way of talking about your contact list. Some will call it an email list, leads list or even a customer list. Actually, you should have each of those. It just depends on where you are in the relationship with your website visitor.
When someone first visits your site, they may not know anything about you, but they are looking for certain information that you are offering.
At that point, they are a lead or a potential customer. Your task after that first initial point of contact is to follow up and build a relationship with them.
What I’ve determined about list building is, generally:
- We’re Not Asking
- We’re Not Asking Enough
- They Can’t Find Where
- What Are They Getting
Let me explain each a bit more about these list building mistakes. The biggest issue with not building a list is that we just aren’t asking.
There is no place on your website where you are asking your web visitor for their name and email address. Many times people won’t buy on the first visit, so by asking for a name and email, you are getting permission from them to earn the possibility of starting a relationship with them that could result in getting the sale.
Also, we are not asking enough! Many times we have one spot on our site, maybe even one particular page that the visitor can opt-in. By only having it in one place, we are hoping that they find that one spot AND decide to opt-in.
One thing we don’t consider is that not everyone starts on the home page on our site. Think about all of the pages and posts you have on your website. Search engines such as Google finds all of those pages and indexes them to serve up the page your visitor is looking for. Keeping that in mind, we need to have multiple strategies in place to capture their information no matter where they enter our site.
A service I like to use is OptinMonster. This service allows me to add a pre-themed sidebar widget. You don’t have to worry about the design. You simply fill in a few spots and add it to your site. They also have a cool feature for a pop in form, which you may have seen when visiting this page. You can set this pop in site wide, so no matter what page the visitor visits, they will see that form.
Some suggested locations you could add an opt-in form are:
- Home Page
- Side Bar
- Drop In
- After Blog Post
- Comment Form (integrate with)
As you can see from that list, there are probably a few places you are not asking for the opt-in. As a site owner, we see every spot and think to ourselves “Man, this seems like begging. It’s everywhere!” but the visitor most likely will not see but one or two of these during a visit.
As a web guy myself, I notice that many of these opt-in forms blend into the site so the visitor can’t see where they’re supposed to opt-in. What I mean by that is, the text for the form isn’t boxed so it blends in with the site or the button looks like every other image or button on the site.
As you add opt-ins to your site, be sure the form stands out. Add instructions that tell them to type in their name and email address. Use a button color that is different than your order button. For example, if your order button on the page is orange, use a green button on your opt-in.
Add text to the button that gives them instruction. You need more than just “submit.” Utilize action words such as Join Now; Click To Join Now; Claim Yours Now; Click To Subscribe. You will see an increase just from these suggestions alone.
On the form, be sure to tell them briefly what they are going to get when they subscribe. Use the headline to grab their attention and then a brief description. The key is to be brief!
Offer something as simple as updates to your information or a monthly newsletter, free report, checklist or chapter of your book, but be sure to give them what you say you are going to give them.
One final tip, as you build your list be sure to stay in touch with them. Don’t squander the relationship by not staying in touch!