If you own a store, whether it be a physical business or an internet website, one of the biggest challenges, and opportunities, facing you will be building a following of potential customers.
The key word here is potential, and it is important to understand that your website needs to be effective in attracting and holding the interest of leads who will come back to once you have established a relationship of trust. Not everyone realizes this, but first time visitors only convert into paying customers at that first visit at a very low rate. This marketing rule is not specific to online stores but generic across sales and marketing. A much more effective approach than going for the one – off sale is not to demand a purchase, but instead to offer access to a report, and the opportunity to subscribe to a newsletter covering the updates and offers related to your website.
If the procedure is kept simple, there is a very good chance of turning that visitor into a subscriber, and then you can build trust and reliability into your ongoing relationship, and soon he or she will not hesitate to buy from your store! Above rule is not very specific to online/offline stores but is very generic and it can also be the case for sites which are not selling anything.
So lets start with few quick tips which I follow. The Screenshot is for feedburner RSS subscribers combined with Aweber Email Subscribers.
Most Prominent Position
This is one of the most simple ploy, yet not followed by majority of us. Allow your leads to register with you quickly and easily! No one is going to sign up if they have to search for the Sign Up link! Make sure there is a nice little box near the top of the page tempting your lead in with product related Free offer! Do not hide the link at the bottom of the page, as if you really just want to sell a product, and have no interest in sign ups. Remember they are as important to you as sales! Promote them…..
Make it Short and Easy
The shorter your sign-up form the better. For marketing purposes, all you need is a valid name and email address. These days, asking for any more details than that can lose you a lot of opt -ins. Other details that you need can be done in step 2 and that too if he wants to. Its of no use making a user fill more fields even if he is not willing to.
I remember one site where the link for the sign-up was a pop up which I could not use unless I blocked the pop up blocker globally! ( I have many of them like FireFox, Google Toolbar … ) The site had one sign-up for multiple sites…..the idea was good, but the implementation was terrible!
Give Something Away for Free
This really has to be there, to provide the incentive for the visitor to sign-up. To opt-in you must offer a tangible reward; promises of future updates or newsletters don’t really cut it! One of the most successful sign-up formats are those that give the subscriber something for free when they sign up. This can be a free e-book, discount coupon or code, or some other incentive. At my Investment Blog you would see that I give a free ebook which has worked really well for me.
Make Every Page a Landing Page
It is of course possible to have your registration page with the sign-up box as a separate page within the website. You can then put a link back to the registration page on every other page. Depending on what you are trying to achieve, this can be effective, but as a general rule I like to have a sign-up option on every page, so that every page becomes a landing page.
Further Reading …