A Powerful Opt-In Landing Page – 7 Elements Designed to Increase Your Mailing List

Email marketingThe nitty-gritty of your landing page is to create an effective, engaging, and appealing website that is designed with focus and that will motivate the visitor to say YES to your opt-in or other call-to-action.

Getting traffic is great, but if that traffic doesn’t convert, doesn’t take action on your site, there’s really no point to it. Your opt-in landing page should convert visitors into subscribers.

Here are seven elements to an effective opt-in landing page.

1. A Specific Opt-in Landing Page

With attention spans dwindling and competition increasing, the main goal of your
opt-in landing page is to get email addresses that will convert into sales.

You might be wondering why a separate opt-in landing page is a necessary step.

The answer is: distraction.

Most visitors and readers today are scanners. There’s just too much information online for people to read everything. And, in addition to this, attention spans are shrinking.

If you bring a visitor to your blog for the purpose of having her sign-up for a newsletter, she may first glance over your interesting post and scan for more information. Maybe she’ll glance over all the gadget/widgets you have on your sidebars. This is distracting and dilutes focus.

When you drive traffic for the purpose of increasing your mailing list, your intent, your call-to-action, needs to be deliberate and clear, with NO distractions.

This is the purpose of a specific opt-in landing page.

2. The Sign-up (Call-to-Action)

According to a number of marketers, the most essential words on your site are: SIGN UP or GET ACCESS or other text prompting the visitor to subscribe to your newsletter.

Getting subscribers onto your mailing list is the first and most important element of an effective website. It should be the purpose of your opt-in landing page. And, that purpose, the directions to your visitors, must be simple and clearly defined. Don’t make it a guessing game – give directions.

The sign-up text is the building blocks of your empire. It is the link to developing a relationship with the visitors to your site.

3. Convey the Benefit

Simply having the sign-up wording in place isn’t enough. According to MarketingExperiments.com, you need to provide the visitor with a benefit. The benefit is the incentive to say YES to the sign-up step.

People are getting more and more gun-shy about opting into yet another newsletter or ezine. You need to give them something of value for their valuable address. Think of it as an exchange.

With the above in mind, you need to word your sign-up text to convey the benefit. You might use something like, “Sign up now for instant access to the powerful ebook, 10 Steps to Increase Your Website Traffic.”

This wording not only establishes the ‘benefit,’ it also gives a time element: “now” and “instant access.”

The landing page should also list what’s included in the free gift and the value of the newsletter. Using bullet points is recommended.

4. Your Ethical Bribe – The Free Gift

To make the sign-up even more appealing, you should change the benefit to: “Sign up now for free instant access to 10 Steps to Increase Your Website Traffic.

This is your ‘ethical bribe.’ Obviously, you will need to make the free gift relevant to your site and valuable to your target market. And, you want the visitor to know that your offer, your opt-in, is free. You don’t want him wondering about this – make it clear.

The reason for ‘sweetening the pot’ and making the offer as irresistible as possible is because you need to build your mailing list. You need that visitor to say YES. You need conversion.

To get that YES, you’re benefit and free gift need to be valuable.

So, how do you decide if your gift is valuable enough to grab that email address?

The answer to this question is easy: you know who your target market is.

Think about it . . . what does your target market want? What would you want?

If your site and product is about writing, guess what…your visitors would probably appreciate an e-book on that topic, maybe a ‘how to write guide.’ Or, if you’re into marketing…offer an e-book of marketing tips and guidance. If your site is about cooking, offer recipes or an instructional cooking e-book.

The idea is to establish yourself as an expert, someone your reader wants to learn from. They need to want what you’re offering, whether it’s for instructional value, information, entertainment, or other.

Now for a word of caution: make sure your new subscriber is able to get his free gift. Occasionally, you may come across a site that you’ve signed up to, specifically for the free gift, and then had trouble with the link or the download itself.  This isn’t a good way to start a relationship. Most subscribers will get annoyed and unsubscribe to the site.

5. Clarity

Putting it all together, clarity rules. Your opt-in page should be an easy read and easy to understand. And, it should answer all potential questions.

In addition, the sign-up wording you use should be visible and near the top of the page. And, what you’re offering, including the benefits and freebie, needs to be clearly stated. As mentioned, bullet points are a good way to give the visitor a quick look at all your offering.

If a visitor has to guess or search for what you’re offering, or wonders what you’re about, you’ve lost that subscriber.

6. Images

Images are an another important element to a website and landing page. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, people are becoming more and more ‘visual.’ This means images are a needed component of your opt-in page. But, the image MUST be relevant to what you’re offering. The visitor needs to be able to quickly make the connection, otherwise it may be distracting.

Along with this, you need to keep your landing page simple, clear, and easy to navigate. This means don’t clutter it with too many images.

Having your picture, along with your logo, or other relevant image should be sufficient.

The purpose of having your picture on the landing page is that people connect with people. They feel reassured when they see an actual person – it helps foster trust.

7. The Email Service Provider

Okay, think about it. You can have the best landing page with all the essential elements. It’s absolutely done right.

But . . .

If you don’t have a ‘good’ email service provider to provide the actual ‘box’ or ‘web form’ to hold your sign-up copy along with the must-have tools to collect those email addresses and allow you to take advantage of them, well . . .

You’ve got to have a reliable and savvy email service provider.

There are a number of them to choose from, such as Mail Chimp, AWeber, and iContact.

I use GetResponse. They offer great web forms (boxes) that you can tweak to make personalized. I highly recommend their service, so much so that I’m an affiliate for them:



Summing it Up

You might have heard that only 1% of first time visitors will buy a product.

The first reason for this is because first time visitors don’t know you, which means they don’t trust you. Why should they buy from you?

The second reason is that during an initial visit, your visitor may not have the time to spend browsing your site for information that will entice him to make the decision to purchase your book or product.

This is where your specific opt-in page and sign-up text comes in. It gives the visitor a quick and easy decision-making nudge. If conveys the benefits and highlights the valuable free gift the visitor will get for taking action. With everything in place, including a clear call-to-action, you’ve made the visitor’s sign-up decision even easier.

The mailing list is your connection and opportunity to develop an ongoing relationship with the subscriber. It’s this relationship that will convert your reader into a customer or client.

MORE ON CONTENT MARKETING

How to Get Subscribers to Open Your Emails
Know Where and How Conversion Happens
10 Social Media Marketing Practices to be Avoided

This article was originally published by Karen Cioffi at:
http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/2012/12/7-elements-of-effective-landing-page_10.html