To optimize email opt-in pages is amongst the most important jobs to do and is also amongst the most forgotten job. The way the opt-in forms and pages are presented determines the quality of list, rate of growth, and meets the subscriber’s expectations which in turn help in email performance. The very first step towards optimization is to get the people to fill in the opt-in page. Immediately following it is designing the layout of the opt-in page and form.
Making one come to the website is another issue. But once they get to the website, they should be allured into signing-up by making them go to the opt-in page. Firstly, the path to the sign up page must be made easier and clear. Links to sign up page or form must be included on the home page and even on other pages too. Promotional boxes should appear in the areas of side bars. The visitor shouldn’t search whether the website offers email newsletters or not. The links to the navigation area should send out clear message. Terms and names which aren’t obvious shouldn’t be used. Words such as Email Newsletter, Newsletter or eNewsletter are very appropriate.
If there is sufficient space, promote the latest newsletter on your home page by pasting its link. The website should have a ‘Knowledge and Resource Center’ area where extract of articles and archived issues can be placed. This area can then be used to promote sign-ups to the company’s newsletter. It is good to include the subscribe link in the back issues.
Since the purpose of the opt-in page is to make as many readers into subscribers, the design, copy and layout of the opt-in page should be similar to the landing page. The page should be designed with form, copy and images which should reflect confidence, value and trust. Links to samples must be included which can give an idea about the quality of the email to be received upon sign-up. Email’s small screenshot display is optional, but beneficial too. Testimonials from readers to the email publications can be included in pull quote format. The content of the testimonials can be either text or images.
In today’s world, everything comes for a price. So when a subscriber is giving his valuable email address, he is certainly looking for something in exchange. This is why images and copy should be included on the opt-in page which conveys the basic value of emails to be sent. Subscribers can be given ‘email only special deals’. Any kind of regular incentive goes a long way. Whether it is ‘$2 off the next purchase’ or ‘free white paper’, even discounts can increase conversion.
Certain details about the opt-in page should also be considered. A right balance needs to be maintained of the information that is collected through the opt-in form or page. Neither too much information must be asked; nor must too little information be asked. The future must be planned from the start. Obviously asking only the email address is very quick; information required for email delivery will be missed. Information which is not required for email delivery and segmentation or personalization should be avoided. If there are too many fields, the not so important ones must be marked as optional. To check syntax errors, a script should be included for that purpose. Two boxes should be present for entering email address twice. This reduces the risk of typing invalid email address. The minimum form fields to be included in the form are first name, last name, email address, and format preference. Optional form field can be based on secondary email address, frequency, preferences and demographics.