We are going to look at 20 ways you can capture emails on your blog.
In marketing, just like in the movies or in a tv series cliffhangers work like a charm!
This is because of the something called the ‘Zeigarnik effect’.
It is when a story or a piece of information is started but not finished.
We can use this technique in our blog posts to leverage more emails.
I call this the Content Cliffhanger Technique.
The way you do this is simple.
This simply mean start an idea in your blog post but finish it in the bonus content, like a cliffhanger in a good tv series.
People then want to close the information gap or loop, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
Also as the search intent of the visitor and the bonus content is aligned, they will be more likely to part with their email for the content than if it was just a generic opt-in.
If you search for eyeliner makeup tips and find an article on how to apply eyeliner, with a bonus download of eyeliner styles and techniques. You are being offered what you asked for in your original search in exchange for your email. A targeted and relevant offer.
However, if you were simply offered weekly beauty advice emails, you'd be less inclined to sign up as it is less targeted to your needs.
I created a free wordpress plugin to allow you to use this technique here called the Content Cliffhanger.
You can read more about the technique and download case studies and a free video training course on how to use the plugin by clicking here.
NOTE: This guide won't cost you anything, but it is not free. All I ask is you share it with two friends as payment. AcquireConvert is a business after all.
A lot of your traffic will land on your homepage, the common belief is to show a little bit about every part of the website and link to their respective pages. Like a summary page.
This is wrong.
Use your homepage as a landing page to collect emails.
Sell the visitor by focussing on their biggest pain point and sell them the benefits of joining your email list.
Not the features, eg what they will get (a pdf, weekly emails, gardening tips)
But the benefits, the results of them getting those things (more sales, revenue, a better garden).
Also offer an incentive, not just generic information but something specific to the biggest pain point your audience has.
This technique was popularized by Derek Halpern of social triggers and is known as the Feature Box.
Here is a great example on the Okdork.com homepage.
Instead of a homepage he has a landing page, the biggest pain point for his audience is business growth.
Therefore he offers hacks to help them grow bigger businesses.
The feature box is also great for helping you perfect your one sentence pitch.
Distilling your company vision into one sentence.
Let me guess, everybody hates popups right?
That is not what the data tell us, and I’d take data over opinion any day.
Data from the social media scientist showed that when using a popup on their site bounce rate maintained the same and subscription rates doubled!
Just as famous entrepreneur and Paypal founder Peter Thiel famously said:
“What do people agree merely by convention and what is the truth”
Don’t be a sheep, look at the data, do not listen to the consensus.
Again focus on key pain points like Neil Patel does here, traffic is a common problem for many website owners.
Use copy in your popup close dialogs that makes the user feel stupid or contradicts their situation.
Here Peep Laja of Conversionxl.com instead of a close icon uses the text.
"No thanks, I design websites that are unpersuasive"
When trying to get you to sign up for persuasive web design techniques.
This makes you feel like a plonker (english slang for stupid)
And you find it hard not to opt-in!
Lead pages gives you the ability to auto fill emails from people who have already signed up to content on your site.
This reduces the friction to them opting in again and removes a barrier to entry.
It also makes it easier when progressively profiling customers.
eg Getting different information from them at different stages of the buying process.
Wistia offers a great feature where you can ask a visitor for their email halfway through a video in order to be able to watch to the end.
This is called the Wistia turnstile.
Create a piece of content, hook them in with a question and don’t answer it until after the video turnstile.
Just like the Content Cliffhanger Technique this uses information loops or the zeigarnik effect to increase conversions.
Some longer form content (and your content should be long) can be broken up with an opt-in mid post.
Some feel this distracts the user, but if you make the offer relevant to the post and the users original search intent; what they typed into google to get to your blog post.
Then I think it is still a value add.
The sticky footer opt-in, much like the hello bar but at the bottom of your page can work well on large monitors.
You can hide and show this using standard media queries on small devices or screens with less height where it would cover too much of the content and ruin the user experience.
As seen on VideoFruit the marketing blog by Bryan Harris you can add an opt-in next to the author byline.
This can trigger a lead pages or any popup box to capture emails.
Many blogs put a generic opt-in at the bottom of each blog post.
The thinking is if the user reads to the end of the article it was enjoyable and provided value and they are therefore open to opt-in to more content from you.
Sidebar opt-ins are very common in blogs. I suggest moving away from the standard generic email opt-in box here and use the space to link to a landing page.
The landing page should focus, just like the homepage, on a core pain point of your audience.
Here offer them a very high value resource, a free video course for example or a case study
If you cannot link them to a landing page use a popup or lead pages box.
If you want to keep it traditional and have an email opt-in inline within the sidebar, follow Neil Patel’s lead.
Give away something of real world value, here he uses pricing psychology to push for the opt-in.
The course is valued at $300 but he is giving it away for free, this incentive increases conversions.
When someone takes the time to make a comment on one of your posts, you know they are interested and engaged with the topic.
This means they are very close or very open to opt-in to more similar content.
A great way to leverage this is to redirect first time commenters to a landing page with an opt-in.
You can use this Yoast plugin to direct those first timers to a squeeze page, remember to add value and offer a resource. Don’t just offer ‘free updates’.
Alternatively you can simply add an opt-in checkbox to the comment form. Meaning people can join the list while commenting, pretty hassle free.
Most people talk about themselves on their about pages. Their company, website, hobbies even.
This is ok, people need a person to relate to and more and more we see people being used as brands in today's online marketing world.
However the about page is a the perfect opportunity to collect emails too.
On Derek Halpern’s blog here you can see he lists his audiences pain points.
He focuses on aligning himself with their problems, not talking about himself.
He follows up with social proof and an opt-in to round off the top of the page.
He also removes the main navigation, strange for an ‘about’ page no? Well that is because it is a squeeze page, not an about page!
Make your about page a landing page and collect more emails.
Having a stand alone page just for signing up to your newsletter can work great.
Ryan Holiday well known media strategist offers a monthly reading guide and uses social proof to drive sign ups.
“over 25,000 loyal subscribers”
He leverages his current list size to show credibility.
Having a fixed sidebar that stays at the top of the page when the user scrolls means your opt-in is always visible.
If it is accessible at all times, at whatever point in the page, you are likely to get more opt-ins.
Of course test this against a non sticky control, as data doesn't lie and best practices should be tested not used blindly.
Don’t be afraid to think out of the box when adding in opt-in links.
You never know where people are looking on your site.
Noah Kagan puts a highly contrasted cta in his footer and sends people to a landing page.
Popularized by the Hello Bar the horizontal opt-in bar seen here at the top of the screen is a good way to catch the reader's attention without covering the content and annoying them.
You can link to a squeeze page or simply include the email input within the bar.
Using polls in your sidebar is a great way to not only do customer development but also to collect emails.
Ask people a question and offer a giveaway, an incentive to give their opinion.
Require their email address to submit the poll.
A great example is this candle quiz.
You get to answer a question, maybe win a prize and collect their email.
Not only do you get an email but you also learn more about the customer, in this instance their candle scent preferences.
You can then use this data in your business to improve products and services and how relevant they are to your target market.
When someone tries to leave your blog and moves their mouse to the cross on the browser tab you show them a popup.
Bounce Exchange are the leaders in this technology.
The popup basically creates an additional page view for the user, significantly increasing your chance of email capture.
Customer surveying is a key part of any companies customer development.
Alberta university managed to leverage their surveys using qualaroo to build their email list.
Using qualaroo to capture user feedback you can simply subscribe through the form when prompted to ask a question.
It increased their daily opt-in rate from 1/2 to 12/15.
The reason this technique is so important is that it not only generates emails but also acts as a form of customer development. Giving you a feedback loop for your products and services.
We've set up your blog to capture emails, now let's optimize the conversion rate.
Guide as 65 page PDF to read later. Free Scroll Box plugin, customizable on every post or page, video training and content templates for downloads.I don't want more emails