11 min read
As you may already know if you’ve hung around ConvertKit for a while, we get a little excited about nerdy cool ways to increase opportunities to build your email list. And while overall audience numbers continue to grow thanks to followers, likes, retweets, and favorites, building a solid email list remains the number one way to lay a strong foundation for your business.
It’s often said that the average blog conversion rate is 1.5-3% (meaning 1.5-3% of the people who visit your website become subscribers to your email list). Depressing? Maybe not if you have 35,000+ pageviews each month. But what if you have 6,000? Or 1,000? Or 500? That percentage starts to look like smaller and smaller numbers on the conversion side and that fact alone can keep any blogger up at night.
We like you to get your sleep (you need it since you’re running a badass business) so let’s pump that average conversion rate up a bit, shall we? Here’s a fun fact: ConvertKit users consistently see high conversion rates (with landing pages converting at 10%-40%!). How is that possible? 2 things:
It’s fairly common knowledge that sidebar opt ins convert really well. If you’re looking for a place to start with your opt in form, start there. Ideally, you’re building out a strong foundation for your email list with multiple opt in box locations. (Some real quick math: more locations + more eyes on your opt in = more conversions) Not sure where else to look? Try one of these options:
Think about your favorite blog posts. You’re reading and scrolling and reading more. You’re having ah-ha moments and high-fiving the screen. You get to the end of the post and you want more. So you hit up the comments section and maybe tap the share button on your favorite social network, but really you wish you could do more. So off you go looking for an opt in box so you can get on their email list and never miss a thing.
Now imagine your readers on your own site. They have that same love and excitement at the end of one of your posts. You have a captive audience and, since you’re a smart cookie, you offer them an opportunity to opt in to your email list right then and there. They’re stoked! No need to scroll and click around looking for that opt in box since you’re providing one right there. How nice of you!
Look at how ConvertKit user Nina Hendrick makes it happen on her blog below.
Nathan wrote about this one a few months ago and it bears repeating. If you haven’t yet tried content upgrades at the end of your blog posts, you could be missing out on some crucial moments to engage with your audience.
Remember that super-excited-ready-to-take-action reader from above? Imagine you’re now offering the downloadable checklist of the exact steps you’ve just outlined in your post. Or a printable recipe for the cake you’ve just described. Or the templates for the note-taking system you’ve laid out. Those, my friend, are content upgrades and they are the incredibly valuable little add-ons your readers have been searching for. Asking for their email address in return is more than reasonable.
Bonus points here: content upgrade subscribers are often the most engaged subscribers on your list. Get them into the right email sequence after they sign up and you could find yourself in touch with some of the most powerful consumers of your products and services.
When your customers checkout from the product side of your business, you typically grab their email address to send them a receipt. ConvertKit integrates with WooCommerce to allow for a checkbox so your purchasers can choose to get your newsletter. You could also automatically add them to your email list like Kim Sorgius is up to over at NotConsumed.com.
The homepage falls into one of the top 5 pages visited on a website, especially by new visitors. Using a feature box on your homepage directs those new visitors to join your email list.
A clear call to action in a well designed feature box can have a big impact on your business. The call to action may or may not include an opt-in freebie (like Barron Cuadro’s Lean Wardrobe eGuide shown below).
A custom landing page is useful for so many reasons. Your reader is focused on the single task of signing up to your list without distractions, they are already highly engaged to be on that page in the first place, and they’re just so clean and user-friendly! We find them so useful, in fact, that we make it possible to build landing pages right inside your ConvertKit account. You can host them with us or on your own WordPress website (via our plugin) or even with one of our integrated products like LeadPages.
We have one our customer success team is pretty proud of:
Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll…. hello footer. Don’t let your footer be an afterthought with a few social buttons and a copyright disclaimer. Our eyes and brains naturally come to rest when we scroll to the bottom of a page so take advantage of that brief moment of pause and invite your scroller, er, reader to subscribe to your email list.
It’s a little-used bit of virtual real estate but one with a big impact. See how Patt Flynn makes use of his footer below.
Think Facebook Pages are dead since the algorithm changed earlier this year? Think again. Facebook Pages are alive and well. The reach might not be the same as it used to be, but your readers, fans, and followers still find themselves on your Facebook Page from time to time and you can use that to your advantage.
If you don’t already have a call-to-action button enabled, go get one now. When your fans click that handy button at the top of your page (seen below on Claire Pelletreau’s Facebook Page) they are directed to a page of your choosing (might we suggest a ConvertKit landing page?) to get themselves added to your email list.
Facebook is one of the most powerful social media platforms. Are you making the most of it?
….which leads to….
Twitter cards are one of our favorite secret weapons here at ConvertKit. They’re simple to add right from any form in your account and they can have major impact.
A Twitter card is a one-click sign up option inside of Twitter. Offering a free course or e-book? Invite your Twitter followers to get involved by clicking the button and signing up to your email list without ever leaving Twitter. Paul Jarvis always has a Twitter card pinned to his page and his list grows every single day. Coincidence? We think not.
If there is a page on your website where a visitor is more primed to be in touch with you than your contact page, please show it to us. Seriously, nothing says “I want to hear from you!” than a click on over to your contact page.
Make it easy for your visitors to continue to get your emails by adding a checkbox to your contact form (like Mike Vardy does on Productivityist shown below) or add a full opt in form on that same page. You could even take it up a notch and add that opt in form to the thank you page that your viewers hit once they’ve completed the contact form. Have fun with this one. After all, they’ve expressed they want to be in touch with you so the fun had already begun!
For better or for worse, pop up boxes convert. In fact, depending on your settings, pop up boxes can triple or even quadruple your conversion rates.
Pop up boxes certainly get a bad rap, though. In fact, most people hate them. Why? They are notorious for showing up the second you land on a site, reappearing every time you navigate to the same page (even after you’ve already subscribed), and then there are the pop ups you can’t X out of. Terrible.
We take a friendlier approach to pop ups at ConvertKit. With our optimized pop ups, you can choose if you want to have it show after a set period of time (like Abby Lawson does with her pop up shown below), once the reader has scrolled a particular percentage down the page, or if you’d prefer to wait until they show intent to leave the site. You can also keep the pop up from showing to the same visitor every time they land on your site. These nicer approaches to pop ups make them even easier to implement on your site and test the conversions out for yourself.
So if pop ups are the brassy and bold playground bully of conversions, sliders are definitely the much more polite kid who wants everyone to play nicely together and maybe share some Oreos after recess.
With a slide-in opt in box, otherwise referred to as a “slider”, you’re able to trigger an opt in box to appear at a set time period and in a discreet location. ConvertKit has the ability to add sliders to your opt in game plan and you get many of the same features of a pop up (scroll percentage, time spent on the page) without the abrupt nature of a standard pop up.
Take a look at how ConvertKit user Dennis Field utilizes this technique on his blog below.
YouTube is the biggest video platform out there, and it’s one of the least-common places bloggers think of to grow their email list. Subscribers? Sure! Email list? Hmmmmm. Now’s the time to turn those YouTube Subscribers into Email List Mega-fans. If YouTube is how you reach your audience, make use of that channel to get people onto your email list.
Amy Schmittauer runs Savvy Sexy Social on YouTube and invites her 37,000+ YouTube Subscribers to join her email list by making use of YouTube cards and custom landing pages. When you watch her videos and click on a card at the end, you’re directed to a brief landing page that collects your email address in order to get the free gift she offers on the video. She also has one of these handy subscribe buttons on her main YouTube page for any visitors who are subscribed to her channel. Now that’s savvy.
….which leads to this landing page….
Your About Page also hits that “Top 5 Most Visited Pages” list on your website, so adding a call to action on a page with tons of eyeballs on it is a smart move. As your readers get to know you better, their mind starts to wander to how you can help them, what they can get from you, and maybe that cat video they meant to watch earlier. Keep them on your site and away from cat videos with an email opt in right on your About page.
Putting this particular call to action in the middle of your story, like Krista Stryker does below, or at the bottom of the page. Or go crazy and throw it on the top of the page as a welcome mat. No matter where you place it, having an opt in box on your About page increases email signups and maximizes your conversions.
While there are probably at least 5 other places you can add your email opt in for maximum conversions, this list ought to get you off to a good start. How many of these tactics are you implementing already? Which one (or two) will you add to your game plan? Let’s hash it out in the comments below and increase email opt in conversions around the world this week.