Providing new subscribers with explicit expectations on what, when and why they will receive email after opting in is a sure way to maximize the opt-in rates on your forms. Here are the four things every prospect wants to know before they turn over their email address to you:
What will I get from you?
The focus here is on the incentive to register, and not the value of the content. Let the subscriber know what type of communications you are going to send them, and to quietly promote the content, display a sample email or newsletter with evergreen content that will be relevant to the subscriber.
When will I get it?
This one is easy — just let the subscriber know how often you will be sending messages. A better idea is to allow that new subscriber set their own frequency preference for your email.
Why should I sign up?
You want to answer two subscriber questions: “Why should I care?” and “What’s in it for me?”
Explicitly spell out the features and benefits the subscriber will receive in detail. Be descriptive and fact-based with this copy.
What you want to avoid is simply saying, “Sign up for our FREE newsletter.” Write from the subscriber’s point of view and explain how the opt-in for your email program will help the new subscriber solve challenges and eliminate pain points.
Privacy – how will you handle the data I give you?
Be sure to explain that the subscriber can hit the link to the full policy, but providing the basic information in a very easy to digest form can help reduce anxiety about sharing personal information in the opt-in fields.
Designing your registration page
Obviously part of the design and content of the registration page involves answering the four questions just highlighted in this blog post. Here are a few more tips to make the most of that click that landed a potential new email program subscriber on your registration page.
Make sure the landing registration page looks similar to the ad or email that earned that click. This means using a consistent brand image, language in the copy, and tone so the new subscriber knows they are at the correct place.
Getting the sign-up is the only call-to-action
Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, makes it a point to emphasize that there is no place for “unsupervised thinking.”
Your registration page has one goal – to capture an email address. This means:
- Don’t sell your products or services on the page
- Don’t promote events
- Don’t provide links that navigate away from the registration page.
You should, however, do that type of promotion on the “thank you” page new subscribers are sent to after a successful opt-in.
Third-party validation works
Third-party endorsements can go a long way in reducing a potential opt-in’s anxiety and apprehensions in sharing their email address. A well-written endorsement from a satisfied customer can evoke confidence and trust in your brand. A video testimonial can be even more effective as people cannot resist hitting the play button.
A softer and more low-key endorsement tool is a subscriber counter. Seeing how many other people are benefiting from your email communications can establish you as a reputable source of information in the minds of potential email members.
Comprehensive pictures of the actual incentive gifts or newsletters can bolster the credibility of your brand and message. Conversely, consumers may interpret stock photos and generic sketches as insincere and hurt your brand’s integrity.
Keep your form fields short and simple
Research from MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report found that 65% of marketers reported new subscribers filled out forms with one to five fields.
Consumer marketers often only asked for a name and email address. B2B marketers usually wanted a job title and company name as well.
One exception to this, for companies with limited sales resources, is that adding more required fields provides both Marketing and Sales with more information to immediately begin the lead qualification process. This particular tactic applies more to B2B marketers than consumer marketers.
For more information, check out this video of Dr. Flint McGlaughlin speaking about how to craft an email and match the message to the decision patterns of the recipient of the email:
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