I’ve already espoused on how important it is to incorporate email into your marketing strategy as soon as possible. A well-rounded marketing plan requires a multi-pronged approach but email is a strategy that consistently returns a bigger profit margin.
You know that email is crucial to your long-term success, but the level of success you have will depend on a number of other factors, with your landing page being of particular importance.
The landing page, or ‘squeeze page,’ is your store front to web traffic. If you have any interest at all in email marketing then it is vitally important you pay attention to your landing page so it performs well.
You could have the best email marketing platform in the world but if your landing page makes your visitors run for the hills then nobody is going to get to read them!
There is one question that needs answering; how do you create a landing page visitors pay attention to, and how do you get those visitors to convert? Okay, that was two questions.
There are essentially two types of landing pages to gather addresses for your email marketing campaigns: the squeeze page, and the sales page.
A squeeze page is designed with the singular purpose of getting an email address. A sales page takes the place of the salesman and attempts to lead the visitor into a sale.
I mention them both here because they share more similarities than differences. Each presents the same challenges in their creation as both are attempting to convince your visitors that the cost of further interaction with the page is going to be worthwhile.
In the case of the opt-in page, the cost is the privacy the reader gives up by providing you an email address you can use to contact them in the future.
Both pages have the aim of inflating the value of the offer while diminishing the perceived cost.
How to Diminish the Cost
Your job is to alleviate the fear your customers may have that you will use their email address for spurious purposes.
With the amount of spam filling up email boxes the world over you can certainly appreciate that the majority of your customers will have this fear. Some are also concerned, justifiably, that their email will be onsold on to other lists.
Your first step, then, is to reassure your audience that you have no intention of doing either of those things. Make a promise that you will never share their details and that they can very easily unsubscribe at any time.
Also, inform them as to what they can expect from you. Let them know how often you will be emailing, and the nature of your content. The unknown can be daunting so make it very clear up-front about your intentions.
Tim Ferris makes all of these promises but he also does a little extra. One line on his page reads:
‘1,000,000+ monthly readers means something – the content works.’
It’s clever because it provides social proof and removes the risk that the content may be rubbish. By alluding to the size of his list he is reassuring future sign-ups that they have nothing to worry about as they can expect to receive valuable content.
The second most perceived cost is the actual effort required to sign-up. You don’t want to make it too easy as you may open yourself up to a list of low-quality subscribers who aren’t really interested in what you are offering. But it still pays to make your signup form big, obvious, and highly visible.
How To Increase Value
You need to consider the value proposition of your mailing list. This simply means the value you are providing your list in return for their email address. Your value is more than the sum of its parts. It’s more than just a word-count as your content is defined by what it can do for people, and how it will transform their lives.
Take the fitness niche for example. Your list will get value by using your content to get into peak physical fitness, and not only that, they’ll look great as well – while enjoying defined abs, ripped muscles, boatloads of confidence, and tons of sex appeal.
The emotional ‘hook’ is the value proposition. It’s the thing that got your visitors to the landing page in the first place – even if they aren’t aware of it.
Use your landing page to spark their imagination about how being on your mailing list will change their lives for the better – and all it will cost them is a lousy email address. If you can do that then more of your visitors will be excited to join up.
At this point, you are essentially convincing them that they will get tremendous value in return for… basically nothing. There is no deal better.
Using incentives is another process that can dramatically raise your conversions. You may have heard the term ‘link-magnet’ thrown about but that’s essentially what an incentive is; it draws people in to signing up.
Incentives are usually in the form of free downloads and their main objective is to push people off the fence (figuratively, not literally).
The objective is to NOT give away a high-value piece to people who would otherwise not have any interest in your content.
The reason for this is twofold; you don’t want people who aren’t going to read your emails and you don’t want people downloading your freebie and then unsubscribing,
This is the reason you don’t see huge eBooks or long courses offered as freebies. By doing so you are only devaluing the products you are offering, and when you do try to sell a digital product your subscribers may not think it is worth much.
If they got an eBook for free simply by signing up then why on earth would they pay $39 or more for another one?
A short report is an excellent compromise. It still provides value as the incentive while also promoting your brand. It’s a filter of sorts; filtering out the interested from the sightseers, as the subscribers who remain on your list are only those who want to listen to what you have to say.
Another excellent example of an incentive is a raffle (it also makes the signup time sensitive). You could also offer a newsletter promising to keep your readers up to date with happenings in the industry.
Perhaps the best strategy of all is to create a product that is so interesting people just have to get in the loop to learn more about it. If you can make your product sound this incredible then you will have sign ups just with the promise to let them know about its development progress or imminent release.
This is powerful stuff. Just think about it. Sign ups have not just given you permission to contact them, they have also given you permission to talk about a product specifically, which they are eager to hear about. You don’t get much more targeted than that.
The key takeaway is that you are getting permission to contact a subscriber in the future so it’s important to not piss them off with crappy content. It’s also important that you don’t mislead your audience solely for the purpose of getting a few more subscribers.
How to Get People to Your Landing Page
All of the above is going to be for naught if you don’t have a regular stream of visitors to your landing page – and by far the most effective route to gobs of traffic is through content marketing. This means a blog with regularly updated content in the form of posts.
Posts will help you gain exposure in the search engines as well as through social media. If you are a relative newcomer to the digital marketing scene then you could consider investing in a PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign to get things started.
Both Facebook and Google are excellent platforms for getting paid traffic. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad and you can set quite a low budget to start with to make it affordable.
You will also be able to calculate how much each subscriber is worth to you by checking out the CLV (Customer Lifetime Value). It’s a figure calculated from how often your subscribers purchase from you and how much profit you make from each sale.
Once you have this calculation it is easy to see how much you can comfortably pay for new subscribers while still staying in the black.
Of course, you also need to have a good idea of how many page visitors convert to subscribers, but that can easily be improved simply by implementing and working on the strategies outlined above.
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