Making an effective opt-in pages is a vital step to get more email subscribers, leading to an increase in your membership base and a boost to your profits. The design and presentation of your opt-in pages can influence the number of people willing to join your email lists and learn more about your products.
The basic idea towards maximizing the opt-in pages is to get and steer people’s attention to the ways that your product can help them, and then persuade them to sign up. The prep-work for this involves the design of your opt-in page.
Drawing visitors into the company’s website is an important goal (part one: get their attention) but once there, visitors should be persuaded to sign up leading them to the opt-in page (part 2: get them to join). So the path to your opt-in page must be clear, attractive and prominent. If it doesn’t interfere in the overall appearance of your site, links to that opt-in should be placed on the home page as well as the other pages on your website.
Your website has to offer an easy and user-friendly experience; show your promotional boxes in side bars so they won’t distract from the main focus of the home page’s current content. Make sure the newsletter sign-up links and navigation links are clearly visible — but not overpowering.
A knowledge base and resource center would be a welcome tool for your members, as well as a lure for potential sign-ups. Even better, past articles and back issues of e-newsletters will be a great place for visitors to come back to in case they’re looking for specific information. The link to the opt-in page should be included here as well.
Since the sole purpose of the opt-in page is to convert as many casual readers as it can into subscribers, the design, structure and layout of your opt-in page should relay the message that signing up would guarantee added value, helpfulness and improvement in the life of the subscriber.
- You can display links to past e-newsletters so that the interested reader will get an idea what he can expect. As we are visual creatures, small screen shots that show the e-newsletter can be even more convincing.
- Positive testimonials from other subscribers of the e-newsletter can give the extra push needed to tip the reading into signing up.
Privacy is an increasingly valuable commodity these days, so it’s important to remember that when readers finally decide to sign up and type in their email addresses, they expect two things: 1) they get information that is helpful and valuable, and 2) they won’t be spammed.
In addition, a confirming and welcoming email should be issued as soon as an opt-in page is submitted.
Balancing Privacy and Marketing Needs
In designing and structuring your opt-in page, it is very important that your form does not ask for too much personal information, and it is equally important that it asks for as much information as needed for the company’s present as well as future marketing and sales strategies.
It’s best to distinguish between mandatory information and optional information and mark those distinctions beside every field by using different colors, asterisk or actually spelling it out. A programmed script should be included within the opt-in page to check for syntax errors.
To reduce possibilities of making typing errors while entering the email address, two consecutive but separate fields should be provided.
The minimum required fields should include first name, last name, email address (twice) and format preference, while the optional fields could ask for secondary email addresses (also entered in two consecutive but separate fields) and various demographic details.
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