Turn Those Casual Window Shoppers into Dedicated Subscribers

Turn Those Casual Window Shoppers into Dedicated Subscribers

Window shopping is fun. You can walk through a mall or a small quaint shopping area in a vacation spot, and just look at the displays. Occasionally, you may go into a store and check out an item you saw, and possibly purchase it. Internet surfers are sometimes window shoppers. They may, in the course of a search, happen upon a blog post you have written and link to it. Or they may have seen a Facebook post or a Tweet directing them to a blog or another landing page on your website. If that post or page turns out to be what they have been looking for – it answers a question or provides some solution – they will stay and read or view the whole thing. But then they leave without taking the next step you really want them to take – subscribe to your emails so that they become a solid lead for further contact.

How can you convert that window shopper? Here are 7 strategies you can begin to use to improve your email marketing strategies today.

Use Opt-In Forms in the Right Way

You may have opt-in forms. They may be on pages of your site, and they most certainly will be housed on your blog. On your blog, be certain that one is placed on the sidebar, so that it will be seen by everyone who lands on your page. Put one at the end of each post your write as a reminder. And be certain to put them in the post text itself, as you make an offer, such as a content upgrade.

Each opt-in can have a different lead-in statement, but the idea is to make the act of subscribing as easy as possible for any subscriber. Remind them of what they will get by subscribing.

Provide Something Special For a Comment

If a visitor should leave a comment, that should be captured and responded to in some way. This can be set up through a WordPress plugin called First Comment Re-Direct. When someone new posts a comment, s/he will then be re-directed to another page in which something valuable can be given. If you have an e-commerce sight, maybe you can provide a big discount; or perhaps offer an opt-in to a rewards program that you have, giving this visitor a bunch of up-front points for joining. Rewards programs are actually very popular among e-commerce consumers, so business owners who want to convert visitors to subscribers should consider this as a valuable offer.

Offer Content Upgrades

Content upgrades are extras that are offered to a reader, right within the context of a post, that make a reader want to take some action to get that upgrade. For example, an online bookseller who supports new authors might write a post that provides information about self-publishing. Within that post, a content upgrade is offered – a full list of URL’s of sites at which authors can achieve self-publishing and marketing help. An author reading that post might well want that list very badly. S/he will then link to download it and provide an email address in doing that. Most popular bloggers offer these upgrades, within the context of their already very high quality content, and those upgrades might include a cheat sheet (a shortened version of a long post encapsulated steps or points), a video from an expert in the topic field, a PDF version of the post, etc. The important thing to remember here is that the upgrade being offered needs to be meaningful, or getting that email address will be pointless. An angry reader, who has not received what he thought he would get will simply “spam” any further emails he receives.

Have a Contest

You don’t have to announce the contest on your blog. You can place it on your Facebook page where it is more likely to be shared. Then the readers can link to your site and provide an email address in order to enter the contest. These are really popular, but the prizes must be valuable – not a white paper or a “how to” video. Contest needs to involve free products or services or cash rewards. And there should be more than one winner, so people think their chances are better. ModCloth, a women’s apparel store holds contests to name their new clothing items. The winners win that piece of clothing.

Ask Your Current Followers to Share and Forward Your Emails

Offer something of value when current readers/followers/customers either share or forward the emails you send to them. This can be set up automatically within the email itself. Sharing buttons can be inserted at the end of each email; a simple form for forwarding the email can also be provided. When a reader forwards or shares, s/he is automatically taken to a reward that can be a discount, free item, or a chunk of rewards points – be sure to tell the reader what the reward is in the email.

To do this, your email marketing service must be able to offer this automated re-direct. If not, find a service that does.

The value that you receive is that readers forward or share to people who are already friends and who will open and read an email from a friend and often take his/her advice.

Ensure Your Subscriber of Privacy and an Unsubscribe Option

People are hesitant to provide emails, because they do not want that address to be sold or distributed to other marketers (this is often done). And they want assurance that they can unsubscribe at any time. When you provide an opt-in form, you do need to get the information on that form that states you will not share their email address and that the options to unsubscribe will be available on every email they receive. Making visitors comfortable is important.

Always Test Your Opt-In Forms

The subscription form itself can be a big turn-off to visitors. Usually, this happens when a business or blogger is trying to get too much information at the onset. Having too many fields to complete is also a big negative. Decide the minimum you need at this point and ask for no more – probably a first name and an email address at this point. As trust is developed, you can ask for more. Also, test the text that you have around the form itself. Sometimes that can be a problem. The best way to come up with the optimal form is to start out with two versions and run the analytics to see which one is more effective. Then take that one and revise it and test again. You can do this as many times as you want – until you are satisfied with the response. Take a look at below infographic for more tips on how to convert subscribers with sign-up forms.

Click image to enlarge.
How To Convert Subscribers With Sign-up Forms [Infographic]
infographic courtesy of: emailmonks.

A Final Point

Increasing traffic is always a good thing. But traffic itself does not bring you leads. You get leads by subscriptions. Those subscriptions will allow you to send out engaging and compelling emails, either posts that you have written, special offers you want to provide, etc. Your job once you get those subscriptions is to make those emails as valuable as possible, so that they are opened, shared and forwarded. You can track all of this with the right email marketing service and can use that information to improve what you write and send.

91% of the people on the Internet have email addresses and check their email at least once a day. Mobile users check it far more than that (so make sure your emails are mobile compatible). If your emails are opened, you have a much better chance of moving those openers into the sales funnel.

The other important data that you must remember is that email outperforms all other forms of advertising in terms of responses, as is shown here by Practicalecommerce. The money, then is in those email lists.

Getting Subscribers is the First Goal

The great thing about email lists is that you have complete control of the messages, information you send and to whom those messages and that information goes. You are not “shooting in the dark” as you often are on social media. You have a list of people who have shown interest in what you have to offer, and you can offer them more value personally now. These subscribers are your best leads. The question, obviously, is how to turn visitors into subscribers without irritating them. Here are 8 tactics you can try.
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