Audit Your Opt-in Forms And Get Better Conversions
We’ve talked about creating an ethical bribe to grow our lists faster in a previous post. Now let’s take it a step further and build that list even faster by improving conversions.
When it comes to list building, there are two ways to grow your list faster. You can get more traffic to your site or you can improve your opt-in form. Getting more traffic is a lot of work. It’s much easier to test, tweak, and improve your opt-in conversion. And as an added bonus when you work on getting more traffic, your list will grow twice as fast.
Any good autoresponder service will make it easy to test different opt-in forms on your blog. Dig around your dashboard, or talk to support to find out the technical how to. It’s different for each provider, but usually pretty straight forward.
With that knowledge under your belt, you’re ready to start testing. The idea is simply to make small changes in your opt-in form and then see what converts better. This is usually done via an A/B test. Here’s how that works.
You start with your current opt-in form. Then you make a copy of it and you change one little thing – let’s say you try a new headline so instead of “Sign Up For My Newsletter” you could try “Get My Best Tips and Ideas In Your Inbox” for example. The testing software will then start rotating these two versions of the opt-in form and keep track of how many signups you get for each. After a while you’ll be able to tell which one converts better. Keep that one and test something else. Keep going indefinitely or until you can’t find any other ways to make your opt-in form convert any better.
Here are some things you may want to test on your opt-in form:
- How much information you ask for (first name and email, vs. just email for example)
- Headline and call to action copy
- Signup Button
- Size of your opt-in form
- Placement of your form (where it is on your website)
- Opt-in freebie offer (or ethical bribe)
- Include a note that you don’t spam
- Include a note that it’s easy to unsubscribe
This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but enough to get you started. Start testing anything you can think of and make it a game. See if you can beat your last version. If you’re brave and feeling adventurous, you could even test a completely different offer (new look, new freebie, new tone of voice) and see if your readers respond better to that.
Testing doesn’t take a lot of time, but if you can improve your opt-in rate from 10% to 20%, that means you’re getting 10 extra subscribers for every 100 people you get to your website. That’s a pretty big deal.