A permission-based email marketing program drives traffic to the website or store, increases sales, reinforces brand position, and (ultimately) is a stepping stone toward long-term customer loyalty.
Onsite registration-the steps taken to opt-in to an email list, and the messages received during the process-is arguably the most important aspect of any successful email program. It’s during this process that companies have a chance to stand out from their competitors by communicating value proposition, establishing sincere concern for subscriber privacy, and showing respect for users by providing control over the type and frequency of the emails received.
If you’re ready to turn your website into an email opt-in machine, consider implementing some of the following enhancements.
- Include an abbreviated registration form or prominent sign up graphic on every page of your website to increase newsletter visibility. Many companies rely on a small link in the footer of their site to promote their email newsletter. The problem is, unless users actively search for this link, most will never see it. Worse yet, some online companies provide access to email registration only when a customer makes a purchase. That’s a big mistake. If you’re spending marketing and production money to create, code and send emails, it only makes sense to maximize the number of people who have access to the final product.
- Explain the benefits of becoming an email subscriber. It’s no secret that people respond to offers at a higher rate when you give them a reason to do so. Will you be sending new product updates, pre-sale announcements, product tips or other relevant and useful content to your email subscribers? Whatever your particular emails will offer, make sure to use benefits-focused copy to effectively communicate the value add.
- Allow subscribers to choose the frequency of email delivery. The verdict is still out on how often is too often to email your subscribers. The fact is, “too often” is subjective-some users like daily emails while others want weekly, and still others expect that you’ll email them no more than once per month. Giving the subscriber control over delivery frequency allows you to stop guessing and start listening to your customer’s preferences.
- Thank your customers for their registration. It may sound incredibly obvious, but we still come across websites that don’t provide a “thank you” page at the end of the email registration process. And we all know that a simple “thank you” can do a whole lot for your reputation. Also, make sure to include links to any pages that you would like users to visit after they register as a way to direct traffic through to the most valuable parts of your website.
Following these best practices as you redesign your website email registration process will very likely result in higher email opt-in rates. Of course, as your list grows, you’ll have numerous opportunities to optimize your email program through list segmentation, personalization, sequential messaging, and landing-page testing. That’s where the real fun begins.
Kenny Van Beeck