In this super practical podcast episode, we’re going to tell you exactly how to collect email addresses on your website.
In this episode, you learn…
- What I class as pushy or annoying ways to capture leads
- The best way to capture email addresses from your blog
- How to get people to get in touch with you when they’re on your service page
- What information you should ask for when capturing people’s data
- How you can capture leads from your homepage
This all started with a question from one of our members, Helen – who asked how she could capture leads on her website without being pushy or irritating. And I think that’s a pretty good question because we all want to grow our email list but we don’t want to do it by being annoying.
So that’s what this episode is about. We’re going to go through how to collect email addresses without being annoying and also look at what are annoying and spammy tactics.
And just to clarify, when I say lead I mean someone enquiring about your products or services or someone giving you their contact details such as their email address.
Now, in all honesty, collecting email addresses is something we really struggled with in the past. We didn’t prioritise it for years. I think this was just to do with plain old apathy. We’d built our web design agency through content marketing – essentially giving away everything and being open and honest about the way we worked. And this definitely worked well for us.
Until one day, we said, do you know what, we’d also like to launch a membership and we were there with an email list that consisted of my mum and dad. We had this idea for something exciting and new, but we had no one to sell it too. So we had to kind of shift our way of thinking a little.
And in that short time, we’ve learnt a lot about building an email list, but more specifically how to build an email list without being pushy. So that means we don’t use things like annoying website popups – because they’re crap for user experience. Or gating our content, such as only letting people know our prices in exchange for an email address.
So, here are the ways you can capture leads, without being annoying…
Patt Flynn describes content upgrades as, ‘Smaller, unique, bite-sized lead magnets that directly relate to what people are already consuming.’ and that was a way better description than what I came up with so let’s steal that.
To give you an example, we recently released a blog post about how to create a perfect website. We then created a lead magnet, which was a free website checklist that directly related to that blog post so people could see where they needed to improve. The content in the blog post and in the checklist was exactly the same, it just came in different formats.
This works really well for many reasons, we didn’t have to write new content, and we didn’t have to hide any content and get that icky ‘I’m only going to tell you this if you give me your email address’ feeling.
And just another thing, we add information about the content upgrades within the body of our blog posts and at the end. The reason we do both is that often people don’t read all the way to the end, so this is a way of capturing their attention. Like this 😉
2. Pop a contact form on every service page
A lot of our leads, funnily enough, don’t come throughout the contact page, they come through lots of different pages on our website.
So if someone is finding out more about your services, they may have questions as they’re scanning through. Imagine just a little box to the side or at the end of the page that said, ‘Got questions about x service?’ pop in your details below. That’s a great way to capture a lead because they probably do have questions, and you’re making it super easy for them.
3. If you’re an E-commerce business, offer a discount
A really nice feature, which is great for eCommerce businesses, is to offer a discount as a way of capturing leads. So you could say something like ‘get 10% your first order’. Lots of companies use this.
You can display this on a sticky bar at the top of the page, which is essentially just a bar that stays their permanently.
It’s not like a pop-up, so it doesn’t disrupt the user at any time, but it is on display permanently, and with the right copy it will capture their attention.
The only caveat to this is, obviously, you will have a section for a discount code on your checkout and if someone doesn’t have a discount code, maybe they’re a repeat customer that may mean they feel a bit down about it. Or if you’re like me, you go off in search of a discount code and before you know it you’ve forgotten what you’re buying anyway. So just be aware of that.
4. Don’t ask them for war and peace
When capturing leads, you don’t want to ask for anything you don’t need. I always see forms that ask for your address, and telephone number and blood type. Stop it. Most of us, unless we’re an eCommerce business, will just need a name and email.
And of course, this is good for GDPR too. We don’t want boatloads of people’s personal data.
5. Don’t make them identify traffic signs
Talk about annoying. I get it, we all hate spam but asking people to identify traffic signs is incredibly irritating. I don’t even know what a traffic sign is on these things, I’m always squinting, like is that a stop sign or just some other kind of sign. Is it a lollypop lady? Or something else? Who knows.
6. How to capture leads on your homepage
You can create a bar that sits within the first third of your homepage that offers your freebie. This is a great way of capturing people when they first land on your website but without being intrusive.
On our website homepage, we offer our homepage blueprint which runs through how to create a great homepage. That’s done really well too.
7. Sell the benefits
We go on about this a lot. But join my newsletter is not a compelling enough reason to get people to give you their contact details. Give them the benefits and tell them what’s in it for them. Weekly tips on such a thing, or discounts and exclusive offers.
Also, tell them that by joining your email list they’re joining hundreds or thousands of their peers, give them that social proof that they’re in the right place and with others just like them.
8. Tell them what will happen next
Once someone fills in your contact form, then what happens? Don’t just have something that pops up and says, ‘thanks’
Equally, if someone wants to download one of your lead magnets, take them to a thank you page. Tell them what happens next.
So I hope that’s been useful to you. I think when considering this, think of yourself as a shop owner. If a customer comes in, would you jump out and shout ‘Sign up to my newsletter!’ Sorry, I seriously hope you weren’t driving then.
But no you wouldn’t. Then obviously a popup as soon as someone lands on your site probably isn’t the best.
The worst one by far is giving people these ridiculous options. So you may have seen this where you click the x on the pop up because you don’t want to hand over your details and they say, okay, could you just confirm that you don’t want your life to change and you don’t want to be super-wealthy? And then you have to click ‘Nah I don’t want to be super wealthy, thanks’
I can’t actually say what I really think when I see those because Martin wants the entire podcast to be marked as non-explicit but you can guess.
So I hope you found this episode useful.
And if you’re wanting to learn more about how to grow your website so it acts as the best salesperson for your business, then check out our membership community, Make Your Mark Online. This community helps people build and grow a successful website, and do it without being annoying.
So that’s it for today’s episode, we’ll see you next time on the Make your make online podcast
Owner at Jammy Digital, Digital Marketing Specialist and Writer of Young-Adult Fiction.