Unless you’ve been living in a Hebridean cave since 2002, email is a BIG thing. Having a sign up form (or several sign up forms) on your site is a great way to keep a handle on the number of gorgeous peeps you get to call your community and as long as you’re a good custodian of your community, it’s still one of the most effective ways to market your offerings AND to hear back from members of your tribe.
It’s even better than social media because the list is something YOU build and manage, rather than you relying on constantly updating alogorithms or paid adverts. It’s a direct link into each person’d treasured inbox, so before you go in all gung-ho about email, make sure that you’re not making these mistakes with your sign up forms
1. Crap reasons to sign up
Nowadays if I get junk mail through the door (still an astonishing amount considering it’s 2016 – BUSINESSES WITH DOOR-TO-DOOR FLYERS: YOU’RE DOING MARKETING WRONG), it generally goes straight into the recycling bin, and NOW email is heading that way too. I’m not going to get into the whole “how to make your emails more interesting ” right now, because you have one massive hurdle yet to overcome; getting people to actually sign up for the privilege of landing in their email on a regular basis in the first place.
If you have words such as “sign up for my newsletter” or “grab my weekly newsletter”, then you’re going to have some problems.
Ash Ambirge from The Middle Finger Project NAILS the reason why the term “newsletter” needs culling from your vocabulary with this –> “if you, as a business owner, tell me, as a potential customer, that I can have the luxury of receiving your oh-so-titillating newsletter if I give you my email address, you’re playing me for a fool.”.
And while we’re at it, nobody wants your free ebook either.
Ash Ambirge from The Middle Finger Project NAILS the reason why the term “newsletter” needs culling from your vocabulary with this –> “if you, as a business owner, tell me, as a potential customer, that I can have the luxury of receiving your oh-so-titillating newsletter if I give you my email address, you’re playing me for a fool.”. And nobody wants your free ebook either.
Don’t be lazy. What juicy shiz do you put in your emails? How will your ebook help the people who need your help? ALWAYS BRING THE VALUE TO THE TABLE.
2. No visible sign up form
If you want sign ups, make it easy for your people to find it. Make it obvious. Strap a fucking lemon-yellow mankini about its person and make it dance for your readers, if you must.
There are four main places in a page that I suggest adding a sign up form:
1. To the header area: either build one yourself, ask a developer to add one for you or super-easy fix, use a Hello Bar (they have a handy WordPress plugin you can download). WHY? This is generally the way people scan a site, from left to right, top to bottom. Having an email sign up form at the top of the page lets people know that IF they like you, they know where to sign up.
PRO TIP: An email bar at the top of the page needs to give a good flavour right off the bat for the type of content you put out and how you help people. Not a massive meal, a FLAVOUR. Offer your reader something of value here, because they may not have scrolled far enough down the page to start taking in your content just yet.
2. To one of the top two spots in the sidebar, if you have one. Again, make the content and flavour similar to the header sign up version. And yes, I mean put multiple sign up boxes on your site. Remember: Make it easy for your reader.
3. Underneath a blog post. Now, the content here needs to be slightly different because the likelihood is that the person has read to the bottom of the post and is picking up what your dropping. You can use something like “Like this? You’ll love my weekly copywriting smackdown. Enter your email here and never write boring shit again”. But customise the copy for the place the reader is seeing it.
4. .In your footer. OK, rule number 1 of designing your website. Every. Single. Mothertruckin’. Item. On your page. Needs. To. WERK WERK WERK WERK WERK. Footers are oft-neglected, but hear this; If someone has taken the time to scroll to the bottom of the page they are probably a) liking your content and b) looking for the next thing to do. Give them something to really get their teeth into by means of a sign up form.
3. Rude pop-ups
Yeah, I know. Those bitches convert faster than Henry VIII converted to Church of England. But most of them are rude. If I’ve been on your page five seconds and am in the middle of reading an article? NO, I DON’T WANT TO SIGN UP TO YOUR LIST JUST YET. And those ones are doubly annoying on mobile devices because EVERYONE’S FINGERS ARE TOO FAT TO CLICK THAT DICKING “X” TO MAKE IT GO AWAY. (Some might say I have anger issues, but come onnn, tell me that trying to “x” out of pop-up on a mobile device isn’t anything less than hellish – albeit first world hell).
Let me introduce you to the World’s first polite pop-up, PopUpAlly. Like I said, pop up email forms convert, yo, but in gerenal, they SUCK. PopUpAlly has a BEAUTIFUL selection of settings that mean you can select specifically when your readers see the pop up. So, instead of annoying pop up on every page, you can habve the pop up show once per visit to your site. And instead of a pop up appearing before you’ve finished reading the first paragraph, you can set it to only show when someone is about to navigate off your site. MAGIC!
So, hop to it, gorgeous. If sign-ups are your aim, bring your A-Game *fist pump emoji times ten*
[NB. A few people have asked why *I* don’t have sign up forms all over my page – two reasons: One, I’m still building everything up here, and creating content is my main priority right now . Two, I’m not sure if I want to have an email list again. It’s all well and good to build your list but only if you’re a good, regular emailer and right now, it’s not a focus for me. Always play to your strengths!]