When email marketing is almost 40 times better than Facebook and Twitter at acquiring customers, this is one strategy you don’t want to ignore. The only trouble is you have to get people to sign up to your mailing list – which means you need an action plan to get visitors handing over those precious email addresses.
There are a number of ways to go about this and each approach comes with its pros and cons. So let’s take a look at some of your options, along with their strengths and weaknesses, to help you choose the method for you.
First Of All, Clean Up Your Website
No matter which approach you take to getting signups there’s a golden rule that applies to all of them. Cluttered websites don’t win subscriptions so the first thing you need to do is make sure your website is clean and tidy. Your sign-up prompts have to be both eye catching and unobtrusive, which calls for plenty of whitespace, good use of colour and absolutely no clutter.
Method 1: The Pop-Up Box
Okay, so let’s get this one out of the way because it’s the most debatable. You can’t argue the effectiveness of pop-ups in terms of getting conversions – which is why you find so many of them around the web. The problem is they’re annoying and, while you’ll probably increase signups, you have to ask how many visitors you’ll lose in the process.
Pro: Pop-ups are possibly the most effective way to generate email signups.
Con: This is the first impression users get of your website; upset them now and you could lose them forever.
Method 2: The Top Bar
A newer trend that aims to combine the benefits of pop-up boxes, without the UX concerns, is the top bar. All you need to do is sign up to something like Hello Bar and you have a sticky banner at the top of your website to prompt signups. These are great for homepages and blogs, because they sit right at the top of the browser, without interrupting user experience.
Pro: A much less annoying approach for users – no need to click ‘x’ to access your website.
Con: Not as obvious as a pop-up, which can mean less overall signups.
Method 3: BounceExchange
Even fresher than the top bar approach, we have a new technology from BounceExchange that displays an overlay when visitors move their cursor towards the back or exit button. This way you don’t interrupt user sessions until they’re about to leave and it gives you a final shot at converting traffic on its way out the door. Better yet, you can combine this with a top bar if you don’t want to wait until the final moment to prompt for a sign-up.
Pro: Users get an uninterrupted experience until they show signs of leaving.
Con: Just because a user reaches for the top of the browser, it doesn’t mean they’re trying to leave (they could be about to bookmark your site, for example).
Method 4: The Feature Box
A feature box can sit where your hero space would normally be (assuming you have one) or you could even stick one above the posts on your blog page. First of all, this is a trusted way to increase your email signups, but it’s also the most lightweight in terms of code. It’s a bold, unmissable option that has minimal impact on UX and the performance of your site.
Pro: Effective, lightweight and trusted method for grabbing email signups.
Con: Can be a challenge to fit them into modern designs intuitively.
So Which Is The Best Method?
The best approach for you depends on a number of things: your industry, number of visitors and especially your audience. The only way to find the best method for your site is to test the options and see which grabs the most conversions.
How To Enhance The Above Strategies
To maximise your email signups you don’t want to rely on one of the above methods alone and we’ll be back soon to look at how you can enhance your strategy in other parts of your website.