Most of us are perpetually looking for new contacts to add to our subscriber lists. It’s part of life as a modern marketer. The average email list churns by about 30 percent every year, so we have to constantly be on the lookout for new and innovative ways to fill that funnel.
The good news is, every page on your site is full of opportunities to engage your visitors and convince them to join your list. The bad news is, most visitors don’t spend much time on a web page – in fact, 55% spend 15 seconds or less on your site.
So, how can you make the most of those 15 seconds? Here are five simple tweaks to optimize your signup form – and convert more clicks.
Tweak #1: Shine a spotlight on your call to action.
Keep the call to action in the visitor’s line of sight as long as possible. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use a lightbox to add the form to a sticky header or footer and keep it on screen at all times.
I know – lightboxes (also known as pop-ups) aren’t universally loved. Some marketers believe they degrade the brand. Others feel they degrade the user experience. Others just think they’re ugly.
Fact is, when it comes to attracting new subscribers, lightboxes are a tried-and-true tactic. They work because they make it easy for visitors to find your form – and to join your list.
If you’re still on the fence, consider this: Amazon uses a similar method to keep the “Add to Cart” button on screen. By keeping the button on screen at all times, the visitor can add the product to their cart at any time without having to scroll all the way back to the top of the page, making it far more likely that the visitor will make a purchase.
Also: Be specific. A generic “contact us” message isn’t going to yield the same results as a more specific CTA. Think about your key messages. If you’re trying to raise funds for your food pantry, your CTA might be, “Help feed the hungry.” If you are pushing a new ebook, try “Get the inside scoop now.” A CTA directly related to the content you’re offering will always generate better results.
Tweak #2: Pique visitor interest by adding video.
Video is a must-have for marketers for many reasons. First, it boosts awareness: Videos increase people’s understanding of your product or service by 74%. It also is a powerful conversion tool. Website visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product on an online retail site after watching a video.
Video’s also one of the best ways to keep guests on your site for longer than the aforementioned 15 seconds. If you have a video on your page, position your opt-in right under it. Or, use a lightbox to ask people to join before they view. By tying your signup to a video that already has the visitor’s attention, you’ll increase the chances that they’ll sign up for your list.
Tweak #3: Relocate your form to prime real estate.
Many company websites corral links in footers for the sake of design. It looks clean – but it can lead to many missed opt-in opportunities. Put your signup form at the top of your home page alongside some other engaging content. You’ll get the most eyeballs possible on your form without requiring site visitors to scroll all the way down to the bottom.
Tweak #4: Encourage engagement with interactive elements.
Keep your audience captivated by adding engaging elements to your form, like an animated gif.
Another tactic? Switch up the look and feel of your opt-in to make it look more like a live chat box. Ask the user a question like, “Hi, I’m Emily – want to learn more about our product?” This also provides a great opportunity for A/B testing. Craft several copy options, and rotate various questions until you find the one that best resonates with your target audience.
Tweak #5: Modify it for mobile.
Today, it’s absolutely critical to optimize your forms for mobile – 80% of Internet searches are made on a smartphone, and 47% are logged from a tablet. With that in mind, your sign-up forms should be built with a smaller screen and ease of scrolling in mind. Instead of putting a bunch of fields on your form, limit it to one or two fields and add a big call to action button. This allows visitors to join your list with the tap of a button.
Christopher Lester is the vice president of sales at Emma where he leads the team of experts who provide strategic and tactical services to all Emma clients, as well as specialized support to large senders and significant brands.