Warning: This One Simple Page Could Tank Your Business
The one page on your website that most directly impacts your ability to make a profit is the one where you ask people to join your mailing list. If it’s not good enough, your business will probably fail.
Your About Page and Home Page get read the most, and that makes them incredibly important, but it’s after reading your e-mail signup page that they decide to let you in, or let you go.
Not Getting Signups? It Might NOT be your Page
You can’t convert traffic you’re not getting, but there’s no sense sending traffic to a page that won’t convert. Get a good page. Drive traffic to it. Continuously tweak it and test it. That’s the road to a highly-converting page.
What to Have
Start with the fundamentals. The tweaks you’ll make later can make marginal improvements to something that’s fundamentally solid. They can’t take a terrible page and make it convert well.
Have a Page:
It should go without saying, but it often doesn’t. Have a separate page. Share it on social. Have a lot of similar pages. If you write a guest post, direct traffic from it to a version of your e-mail signup page. If you’re writing posts designed to attract attention or develop an affinity with your audience, include an e-mail signup form at the bottom.
If you’re writing something to make people more interested in what you have to offer, and you’re not selling something specific, ask for the e-mail signup.
Have Something to Offer:
Readers don’t care about you or your business. They care about themselves and their lives. If you can’t convince them that giving you their e-mail address is going to make their lives better, why the hell would they bother?
Having a downloadable e-book or worksheet is a popular tactic. People are on your site to learn something so offering to explain it in more depth is a great way to get people to sign up.
We’ve all signed up to get a freebie. So will your readers.
Have Another Thing to Offer:
You’ve probably unsubscribed from a list as soon as you had the freebie. I know I have, and I know I’m not alone.
If you want people to stick around long enough for you to send them a sales message, they have to not only stay on the list, but open and read your e-mails. That means you have to make reading your e-mail worth their time.
Offering a useful download might get subscribers, but offering long-term value will keep them.
Avoid Distractions and Keep it Simple
An e-mail signup page is a short landing page. Its job is to get people to sign up or get them to leave. You want to make it quick and you want to make it convincing. Here are the best practices.
Eliminate the sidebar, the menus, and every way to get off the page. There should be two actions available, clicking the signup button and closing the tab.
Make the Text Simple
Don’t use complicated language and extensive arguments. You’re not asking them to spend a thousand dollars, you’re asking them for an e-mail address. It’s not quite an impulse purchase, but it’s similar.
Try this formula:
- Tell them how they benefit in the long-term
- Tell them why they should care
- Tell them why they should trust you
- Tell them how they benefit in the short-term
- Tell them you’ll protect their info
- Ask them to sign up
Make the Button Stand Out
As part of your branding efforts, you should have picked out a color scheme that includes a contrasting color used to make things stand out. Buttons on landing pages are what you picked that color for.
Some people think sticking out means being ugly, but that’s not true. People who know more about color than I do say that using a complementary color works well.
If you’re not sure what that means, or haven’t gone through the process of picking brand colors you can use a tool like Canva’s Color Wheel to get started.
Use Button Text Related to your Downloadable
Impulses like buying the candy bar at checkout or signing up for a mailing list are triggered more by short-term gain than by long-term gain. That’s why I suggest putting the short-term benefit closer to the button than the long-term benefit.
It’s also why you want the text on the button to be about the downloadable. Think “Get My Discount” instead of “Stay Informed About Future Sales.” Keep it short. Don’t make it a question. Make it a command “Get The Discount” or the answer to a question “Yes, I want my discount!”
The exact phrasing of this button text is one of those things that you’re going to want to experiment with it. Keep it short. Don’t make it bland. Try to add urgency if you can.
Ask for as Little Information as Possible
The more information you ask for, the lower your conversion rate is going to be. If you’re not using that information to qualify leads, don’t ask for it. If you’re looking to personalize e-mails—and you probably should—then you want to ask for first name, last name, and e-mail address.
Don’t ask for anything more unless you have a very compelling reason to.
When to Hire a Pro
You can just toss some words on a page and hope they work. They won’t, even if they’re spelled correctly and you follow grammatical conventions.
That’s because being good with words isn’t enough. Words are just tools and if you don’t know the right tools for the job—or how to use them properly—you’re not going to get the job done right.
I have those skills and if you’re not absolutely sure you can get the job done, I can do it for you. I guarantee you’ll like the results.
Your signup page is hugely important, but it can’t do anything to keep people on your list. I’ve put together a PDF with ideas of what you can include in your regular e-mails. If you’d like it, it will just cost an e-mail address.