Online Conversion: How to Get Visitors to Opt-in and Subscribe to Your Ezine
Online conversion is one of your goals when you write an ezine. But how do you get website visitors to opt-in and subscribe so you can build a list? Here are some tips to get you off to a good start!
First, build a page on your website to offer and promote your ezine. Remember, just because you offer an ezine doesn’t mean that people will subscribe. In order for your online conversion to be successful, you need to sell your visitors on the idea first. Tell your visitors about the many benefits of signing up for your ezine.
Design an eye-catching sign-up page and maybe even an ezine “cover.” Include clear directions on how to sign up and finish your sign-up page with an opt-in subscription form that’s placed in the center of the page.
Make a strong case for why the person should subscribe. What benefits will they get? Also stress the fact that your ezines are free, and make sure you guarantee you will not use your subscribers’ info for anything other than the ezine. Nobody likes spam; and it is against the Can-Spam Act.
What percentage of your visitors can you expect to become subscribers? That depends on several factors:
- Is your selling page impressive and compelling? Give your visitors lots of good reasons to subscribe.
- What audience are you attracting? Is your audience mostly made up of newbies to the topic, or are they pros? People who are new to the topic are trying to collect a lot of info and learn quickly, so they will be more likely to sign up.
- Be aware of your visitors’ first impressions of your website. A good impression makes a person open-minded and receptive, which means they will be more likely to sign up. But a bad impression will make them close up and leave.
- Another factor is how saturated your niche is. If there are already lots of sites on the topic, your subscribers will be fewer. But if your topic is narrow, your site will be one-of-a-kind, and visitors will be more likely to subscribe.
- Avoid using popups; they tend to be annoying, and some people even block them. A good alternative is a pop-under, which opens under the main browser page.
- Write high quality content! If your site is poor in quality, potential subscribers will assume that your ezine will also be badly written. But write well, and people will assume that your ezine will be good too.
What else affects online conversion? Let's look at headlines next.
How Newsletter Headlines Affect Online Conversion
When you’re writing newsletters, headlines are very important; they can make the difference between the person opening the newsletter and reading it, or sending it straight to the trash bin.
Experiment with some different ideas, but keep in mind that you have to deliver on your headlines.
The headline is part one of your ezine articles. The content of your ezine is part two, where you deliver the value your headline promised. Newspaper writers and movie producers know that you can write the world’s best headline, but that you also have to deliver on the content. Both impact online conversion.
Did you know that you should devote 80% of your time to writing your headline? That shows you how important headlines are! You have a small window of time to capture readers’ attention online. If the headline doesn’t pull them in, then the whole article will be a failure. Advertising legend, David Ogilvy, says that most people read headlines more than the body of the article. So make sure you get those headlines right!
Which of the headline examples below would make you read the article, and which would make you yawn and go do something else?
Make sure you’re really targeting your niche in your headline.
- “Our Shampoo is the Best!”
- “Our Shampoo Makes Hair Shiny!”
- “Is Your Hair Tired? Your Step-By-Step Guide to Strong, Shiny Hair!“
- “Give Your Hair the Care it Craves—7 Secrets to Healthy Hair!”
In the examples above, the target is women who want stronger, shinier, healthier hair. You want those people to say “Yes! This is what I’ve been looking for,” when they read your headlines. In short, put your efforts into writing about what the reader wants to improve your online conversion.
You also want to talk about the problem you’re going to solve in your headline. Don’t just talk about the benefits. Think about it this way—which newspaper headline would be more likely to grab your attention? One about a sale at the mall, or one about a tragic natural disaster? People often look out for problems, not benefits. Telling people about the problem first and then the benefits gets them thinking about the problem. This in turn makes them more motivated to solve their problems. It is helpful to keep this in mind when you are writing newsletters.
Headlines that are questions and not statements also pull your readers in. Why? Because they get curious!
- Do your kids need more vitamins and nutrients?
- Are your kids lacking these essential vitamins?
Now, the reader could say “no” to the first example, but on the second example the word ‘these’ will make her wonder what essential vitamins you’re talking about. She’ll want to know if they’re different ones from what her kids already have.
Question headlines pull the readers in and get them thinking about the answer. This means they will read more of the ezine or webpage in order to see what your answer is.
Online conversion may require some effort at first. (For example, it is common to test different headlines to see which ones convert better.) Even though this takes time, it can make a huge difference in your online conversion rate in the long run.
Another Tip to Improve Online Conversion When Writing Newsletters
Don’t use the words ‘I’ ‘we’ ‘my’ or ‘our’ too much in your headlines. Instead, you want to be using words like ‘you’, and ‘yours’. Readers want to know what’s in it for them—they’re more interested in the benefits for them than they are in your opinion. Just like it’s a bore to be around someone who only talks about themselves . . . the same goes for writing headlines.
Headline Methods That Improve Online Conversion
How-to headlines also work well for ezine articles. People like clear, concise directions that tell them exactly how to do something. Think about the benefits of the product or service you’re trying to promote and put it together in a creative how-to ezine article.
Include testimonials from customers or clients. This method lends some credibility to your ezine. Reading about other customers who were satisfied is a good way to get new people to buy.
Make your product big news! This only works if you actually do have something big to announce. If it’s not really interesting, making little news into big news won’t fly.
Internet surfers can be picky as to who or what they give their email address to, unless they are certain they will get something of value in return. Receiving a newsletter is not usually enough enticement to get people to subscribe. So how DO you get subscribers? Many web entrepreneurs offer freebies to people who sign up for their ezine. Give free PDF downloads of lists, short eBooks, or info packets. If they’re interested they’ll be happy to exchange their email address for free stuff.
It doesn’t matter if some of the info is already on your site; if the information is packaged together in a book with some nice clip art and tidbits of new info mixed in, your readers will still be interested.
Put your ezine opt in box in the middle of the subscription page, leaving some space above and below it for info about the ezine. Visitors might find your freebie offers most interesting, so put that at the top.
Side Note: Many niches have “sub-target-markets”. You might think about making some different freebies for more than one market that relates to your niche. Create some freebies for a couple of niches related to yours to attract more visitors.
After your customers sign up for your ezine, they should be redirected to a thank-you page. On the thank you page, give your new subscriber more information, and tell them what their next step should be. Thank them for subscribing, tell them to look for a confirmation email, and explain that after they click the confirmation link they will be redirected to a page where they can download the freebies. You might also include a link to your contact page in case they have any questions.
Visitors rarely purchase on their first visit to a site. It might take a few visits before they warm up and actually buy from you. When you get a visitors’ email address and send them info, you’re reminding them that you’re there when they are ready to purchase. Follow these tips for online conversion and your ezine list will grow and build your business!
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