PatrickWareing
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Why you need to ask web visitors for their email address

If you ever read a blog for a business website – no matter the industry – you will at some point come across a request to leave your email.

The way in which you get asked for your email caries. It can be really passive such as a simple sign up form to sign up to a newsletter, sometimes they can be pop ups when you’ve scrolled so far through a page or they can be more aggressive with a large pop up covering the content you are trying to read.

Regardless how they do it, they are after one thing. Your email.

And why is a single email address so valuable to a business? It presents an opportunity for sales!

Here I will discuss how email addresses can result in more sales, how to convince people to give you their email address and what you should do once you have it!

Why are email addresses so important?

As I mentioned in the introduction, email address present opportunities for sales.

If you have an inbound marketing strategy in place or you are running a paid campaign – such as PPC – you are trying to bring customers to your site. There is no point providing free information or paying for leads if you are not going to do anything with the users once they are there.

Users have come to your site to find out more information or solve a problem, you need to convince them that you are the solution for them.

The reality is, unless you have strong brand recognition, users are likely to leave and forget about you. But if you can convince them to provide some personal details, such as an email address, you can continue to market to them and eventually sell.

So, how do you go about convincing people to give you their email address?

Convincing visitors to give you their email address

People don’t give out their email addresses freely; there is too much fear of spam or their data being sold on.

Therefore, you need to build some sort of trust that makes users see past this issue.

First and foremost, you need to convince users that your content is so good that they actively want to receive updates and more content from you. This means creating content that is either unique, high quality or insightful. In fact, why don’t you try and make your content meet all three?

So when it comes to asking for an email address, following these three principles should put you in a good position to be successful.

Prominent

There is no point including a email sign up form if it is hidden in the middle or the bottom of the content; make sure that it is obvious and stands out. There are a couple of factors you should consider here.

Make your email signup form obvious. Whether that means making your forms a different colour to your main theme colours, larger text, a partial popup or even a full sized popup. There should be no doubt that anybody visiting your site can find the email sign up form with ease.

But you shouldn’t just ask once and leave it there. Make sure to ask your users multiple times for their email.

Asking users at the very beginning of your content and then later on, in the middle or end of your content is likely to nudge users in the direction you want them to take!

Promise

When you ask for an email address, you need to tell users what they are signing up for.

For example, if they are signing up for a weekly newsletter, give them that. If they are signing up for an ebook, give them that. You have permission to send what you promise. If you decide that you want to send more or different content to users, make sure you clearly inform them and ask for their permission.

There really is nothing worse than email spam, so make sure you do not abuse this position of trust given to you by your subscribers. And also ensure your email list is never shared or sold!

Proof

If you’ve given users the chance to find your email sign up form, and you’ve told them what you want to send them, you just need to get them over the final hurdle to convince them to press submit. This final hurdle is social proof.

This is all about tell your visitors why they need to sign up and why they will be missing out if they don’t.

This can be really simple as mentioning how many other people have signed up for your emails, testimonials from other subscribers or even examples of the exclusive content that users get.

Users don’t want to sign up to another generic email list, they want to be sold on the idea of getting the best content with you!

This gives you the perfect opportunity to place a simple email sign up form within your content.

Conclusion

Getting email addresses is just the very start of your email marketing strategy.

Building an email list will take time. You need to convince users to sign up to your email list, and you must sell this to them, rather than being passive and hoping they will just enter an email address.

You need to be responsible with your email list. Not only is is private data that you need to take care of, you should not spam your customers with information they don’t want or didn’t request.

But once you have email addresses, you can start to build your brand, authority and hopefully make some sales. Not all of your subscribers will have the same customer profile, and you should consider a proper email marketing strategy that implements automation and segmentation to maximise your sales potential.

Remember, email is just one of many marketing channels. You should approach it as it’s own channel, create unique content and repurpose existing content exclusively for this.