When people want to increase their email opt-in rates, they usually start by trying to drive more traffic.
Of course, you need traffic to grow your list, but it’s better to start with the low-hanging fruit.
Focusing on conversions will boost your opt-in rate and grow your email list faster.
Adding traffic to a site that doesn’t convert is like trying to fill a leaky bucket.
This article will teach you how you can triple your email conversions in only 7 days.
Growing your email list
If you’ve been in the marketing space for any amount of time, you’ve heard that building an email list is essential to growing a business online.
For example, data compiled by Litmus shows the effectiveness of email vs. other marketing mediums.
The first thing people want to do is drive traffic to their websites. Your site needs traffic but focusing on conversions can get you to your email list goals faster.
Consider this scenario: You’re paying $.10 per click for PPC traffic to your site. Would you rather have 2,000 visitors with a 1% conversion rate or 1,000 visitors with a 2% conversion rate?
If you focus on conversions over paying for more traffic, you’ll get the same amount of visitors at half the cost.
Acquiring customers is one of the most expensive things in business. This post will show you several ways in which you can improve your conversions and make the most of your existing traffic.
Five strategies for tripling your conversions
Have you ever wanted to see why your visitors leave your site without converting, fill their shopping cart and bail, or get stuck on a certain page?
Heat maps can show you how and why your website visitors behave the way that they do. A heat map is a visual graph that represents data using colors.
Here’s a heatmap from Clicktale.com that shows user mouse movements within their signup form.
Heatmaps can show click tracking, eye tracking, scroll tracking, and mouse movement.
If your visitors spend more time in a certain location, the map will change color — most often from blue (cold) to red (hot).
A heat map will tell you what you need to remove, add, or move to increase the conversion rate of your page.
Knowing where people spend time on your page is extremely important.
People stay above the fold.
In 2010, researcher Jakob Nielsen conducted an eye-tracking study in which he tracked the eye movements of website visitors across a large variety of websites.
Nielsen looked at 57,453 eye fixations (looking at something on the page for less than half a second).
The graph below shows user fixation distribution along stripes that were over 100 pixels high.
The bars represent the total amount of time that someone was fixated in milliseconds (rather than the number of fixations).
Nielsen found that users spent 80.3% of their time above the fold and 19.7% of their time below the fold.
Above-the-fold content refers to everything you can see on a page before you have to scroll.
It makes sense that putting a call to action above the fold would have a higher conversion rate than one below it.
People don’t look at banners.
Niesen also conducted a study on the efficacy of display advertisements on websites. He found that users rarely fixated on or engaged with ads.
This phenomenon is known as banner blindness. Banner blindness occurs when website visitors ignore the parts of your page that look like ads.
As people have been hammered with ads for years on the web, we’ve learned to ignore them.
The image below shows where users looked most on one site. The green boxes highlight the advertisements on the page.
As you can see, users rarely looked at or interacted with any of the ads.
How to use heatmaps
Penny auction software provider Softmedia used CrazyEgg, a heat mapping software, to boost their conversions by 51%.
In a short 12 days of using CrazyEgg, Softmedia generated a heatmap report of data from over 10,000 page views.
They noticed that a “do not click here” button and a video demo button were distracting users from requesting a quote. The image below shows the heatmap results.
Softmedia then created an overlay report to identify which fields were not being completed.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the report:
Since all the fields weren’t mandatory, they removed the fields that users weren’t completing to improve conversions.
After Softmedia’s development team implemented Crazy Egg’s recommendations in 10 minutes, they immediately saw a conversion rate increase of over 51%!
2. Create an irresistible offer.
One of the most common marketing techniques online is to offer a freebie in exchange for someone’s email address.
Also known as a lead magnet, this content can be in the form of an e-book, report, video series, MP3, plugin, or just about anything that can be delivered over the web.
However, your visitors have more choices of where they can go online than ever before. That means more competition for you.
To stand out from the crowd and make visitors convert, your lead magnet needs to include an irresistible offer.
Most lead magnets are too broad and don’t offer any tangible benefits for the reader. To create an irresistible offer, your lead magnet must be valuable to your reader.
A valuable offer is one that solves a specific problem for your reader. Most opt-in offers are too vague.
For example, if you owned a bakery and wanted your business to bring in more money, which lead magnet would you rather have?:
- 7 Tips for a Better Small Business
- How to add $1,000 of Profit to Your Bakery in Less Than 30 Days
You would hands-down select option B because it’s targeted and solves a specific pain point.
Look at this webinar freebie for Michael Hyatt’s “Get Published” course.
His lead magnet is solving a specific problem for a specific person and they know exactly what they’re getting, what benefit they’ll receive, how long it will take them to get the benefit, and that the lead magnet will help them minimize the pain associated with achieving their goal.
How to create a lead magnet
- Figure out a specific pain that your readers want to solve
The best way to discover a pain that your readers have is to talk to your customers and prospects. What are the most common questions that you get?
What things do your customers routinely need help with? You can also look through online forums and message boards like Reddit to see what problems your potential customers have and what questions they are asking.
You can also look through online forums and message boards like Reddit to see what problems your potential customers have and what questions they are asking.
- Create your lead magnet
Determine the best format for your lead magnet by considering how your audience likes to consume content.
Do they like to watch videos, listen to audio recordings, or read e-books?
A good way to find this out is to look at what your competitors are doing and reverse-engineer them.
Find out how the top five players in your niche are delivering their lead magnets and use that to guide your decision.
- Write your headline copy
Here’s a simple formula for creating an irresistible headline:
How to [Benefit] in [Time Period] Without [Pain]
- How to Lose 10 Pounds in 2 Months Without Crash Dieting
- How to Jump 5 Inches Higher in 30 Days Without Brutal Workouts
You’ll have to do some research on your audience to figure out their triggers and what makes them tick. Once you do, plug those into the formula.
3. Create content upgrades
The more targeted a lead magnet is, the better. One of the most effective lead magnets that you can make is the content upgrade.
It’s important to make sure your lead magnet provides value by solving a specific, painful problem for a particular person.
But how do you boost conversions even further? The answer is the content upgrade.
A content upgrade is a bonus piece of content that people can get in exchange for their email addresses.
A regular lead magnet is offered to almost all the visitors of your site, but a content upgrade is offered to visitors who have consumed a specific piece of content.
A content upgrade complements a piece of content on your site by giving the user a way to take action on a specific piece of content immediately. or is offered as an additional piece of content or tool that builds on the original.
It can also involve an offer of an additional piece of content or a tool that builds on the original.
Brian Dean of Backlinko was able to improve his conversion rate by 785% by using a content upgrade.
Brian decided to upgrade his post “Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List”.
Before the upgrade, this page was converting at .54%.
Then Brian created a checklist to provide his readers with instructions on how to take advantage of the 10 most important Google ranking factors and added two CTA’s on the page.
The first one:
A month later, the page was converting at 4.82% — a 785% boost in conversions after tracking 4,700 unique visitors.
In fact, this upgrade accounted for 30% of all of his new subscribers sitewide at the time he wrote his case study.
That’s more subscribers than 16 of his other opt-in forms combined. This shows you how powerful the content upgrade can be.
How to make a content upgrade
To make your first content upgrade, you’ll first want to find a piece of content that you’re going to improve.
For most marketers, this will be a blog post. To make your first content upgrade successful, you’ll want to go after the low-hanging fruit first.
Go into your Google Analytics and find the top blog posts on your website. These posts will be the ones that get the most traffic and that users spend the most time on.
Choose your content and format
Once you’ve found the post that you want to upgrade, you’ll need to figure out how you’ll deliver your upgrade.
Popular content upgrades include e-books, reports, and case studies. But the easiest content upgrade to make by far is the checklist.
A checklist is a great content upgrade to add to a long-form blog post. Long-form blog posts are a great way to drive traffic and add value to readers, but not all readers like reading long posts.
A checklist is a great way to give the same amount of value to readers in a more digestible format.
You can use tools like Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat to make a PDF checklist, but those are clunky to use.
Try using a tool like Beacon.by to create a checklist in 10 minutes. Use your post’s headers, sub-headers, and main points to create your checklist.
Add your opt-ins
Once you have your checklist created, you’ll need to add CTAs to your existing blog post.
You can add your CTAs wherever you like, but your best bet is to add CTAs to the beginning, middle, and end of your blog post.
4. Optimize for mobile
One of the biggest mistakes I see when people are trying to build an email list is not optimizing their website for mobile.
According to analytics company StatCounter, mobile and tablet devices equaled 51.3% of all internet usage worldwide in October 2016, compared to 48.7% of desktop usage.
Mobile is quickly becoming the preferred method for people to access the Internet.
If you’re looking to boost your conversions, you have to format your landing pages for mobile users. The best way to do this is through responsive design — web design that fits the user’s device.
Online retailer Offspring was able to increase their mobile and tablet conversion rate by 15.19% and grow their mobile and tablet revenue by 102.58% year over year.
Walmart.ca saw a 98% increase in mobile orders and a 20% boost in conversions after implementing a responsive design on their website.
UK debt solutions provider Baines & Ernst saw a 51% increase in mobile conversions after launching a mobile-optimized site.
You can see the difference when you view Baines & Ernst’s responsive website on desktop and on mobile:
How to make your website responsive
If your website is built on WordPress, you’re in luck because there are several plugins you can use to make your website mobile friendly.
Consider WPtouch Mobile Plugin, for example. This plugin has its own WPTouch Pro theme and caching system that makes your website load faster on mobile devices.
You could also try Touchy. This plugin will give your site a flawless mobile header and menu on your mobile phone.
Then there’s Jetpack. This lightweight plugin is great for those on a tight budget and is a great gateway for those just getting started with mobile.
5. Use an exit-intent popup
According to HubSpot, 64% of Internet users take advantage of ad blockers because they find ads annoying and intrusive.
Hubspot also found that 63% of internet users say that popup ads have created a negative experience for them online.
With the majority of Internet users disliking ads and popup ads specifically, you would think that this type of advertising wouldn’t be effective.
Instead of bombarding your visitor with a popup ad as soon as they get to your site, you want to delay the popup for at least 20 to 30 seconds.
I’ve seen great success with using exit-intent popups. An exit-intent popup will only show when your visitor is about to leave the site.
The popup will track the visitor’s mouse movements and trigger as soon as they hover toward the “X” or the navigation buttons of your browser.
If done correctly, you can get a huge boost in conversions from exit-intent popups.
WPBeginner boosted their conversions by 600%, going from 70-80 subscribers per day to 445-470.
Digital Marketer added 2,689 leads to their list in only 14 days using a combination of on-site retargeting and exit-intent popups.
Using an exit-intent popup
Coding your own exit-intent popup would be a pain. Luckily, there are several different software solutions that make creating popups a breeze.
The following tools will allow you to set up popups in minutes — stress-free.
Optimonk uses on-site retargeting technology to recover visitors who attempt to abandon your site.
Optimonk tracks a user’s behavior on your site, detects when a visitor is leaving, and displays a targeted offer via a popup.
Rather than delivering the same popup to every visitor, Optimonk delivers a more relevant offer. This targeted delivery will boost your conversions.
If you’re just looking for exit-intent popup software, Leadpages may be too robust of a solution.
But, if you’re looking for the total package, you can’t go wrong with this tool.
Leadpages has one of the simplest landing-page builders in the industry.
You can create beautiful landing pages in minutes (100% mobile-responsive) with their drag-and-drop builder.
You can also track conversions using analytics and create both timed and exit-intent popups.
Optinmonster allows you to create regular opt-in forms as well as exit-intent popups.
You can also send targeted messages to people on a specific page, conduct A/B split tests, and receive analytics reports to see which of your forms are performing the best.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it serves as a great start for someone looking to get started with exit-intent popup software.
There are some great resources out there that can help you boost your conversion rate.
Founded by Peep Laja, ConversionXL is one of the most popular conversion optimization blogs on the web.
ConversionXL uses knowledge about user experience, analytics, and optimization to educate their readers on the most cutting-edge conversion optimization methods in the marketing space.
KISSmetrics is an analytics platform that uses person-based analytics to improve conversion rates.
KISSmetrics uses behavioral analytics and customer engagement automation to help your business achieve its conversion goals.
The blog has a wealth of information on conversion optimization and information about how to turn more website visitors into subscribers.
Conversion Rate Experts
Conversion Rate Experts is a top-tier conversion rate optimization agency and has worked with some of the world’s most recognizable brands.
These include Amazon, Google, Dropbox, Facebook, and Apple.
With over 55 video and written testimonials, this company has a long track record of improving conversions for their clients.
On their website you will find a wealth of educational content including reports, articles, and even a podcast.
The cornerstone of any successful online business is a responsive email list.
Growing your list and filling it with better prospects should always be toward the top of your list of priorities.
You also want to make sure that you’re not wasting your time with list-building strategies that don’t work.
Like I mentioned earlier, it makes no sense trying to fill up a leaky bucket.
Working on improving your conversion rates over increasing traffic can lead to faster list growth with more qualified subscribers.
There are some great resources out there that can help you boost your conversion rate.
When you’re growing your online business, it’s easy to get caught up with bright, shiny objects and fly-by-night tactics.
You should always look for the best leverage points in your business where you can spark the most growth.
Improving your conversion rate is one of the first things you should look to do when you’re trying to grow your business.
What techniques do you use to boost your email conversion rates?