Oh yes, email marketing works. It is STILL the best and most productive method to convert prospects into paying customers. In fact, not only is it effective, it affects ROI significantly. So, you need to make sure you are collecting emails from your wordpress site.
- 73% of Internet marketers agree that email marketing is a critical aspect of their business.
- From just 42% in 2014, 60% of marketers claim that this year, email is a core enable of services and products.
- 74% of marketers concur that email marketing produces ROI.
- In the United States, 69.7% of Internet users prefer email as their method of business communication.
So yes, email marketing works and you know it.
There is a critical part of the process, though, before you are able to send out a single email.
You have to get people to give you their email addresses and allow you to send them emails.
The best way to go about this is via a landing page designed specifically to entice your website visitors to sign up.
The main reason why websites exist is because businesses need an avenue for an expanded marketing. This is the reason why marketers focus their content on collecting leads, instead of bombarding the audience with a lot of information.
But your website cannot be devoid of information. After all, most of your audience go to your site for information in the first place.
But the question now is not about what you did to get them there, now what are you going to do to keep them?
The Answer: Lead Capturing
There are a million and one ways to capture leads, I’m sure you’ve heard that somewhere. Industry experts come up with new ways to capture leads every day. You would see these methods featured in WSOs, automating software, and niche authority recommendations.
The truth is; lead mining is all about paying attention to the behaviors of your target market.
The math is actually quite simple. When there is an effective lead generating method, those leads would bring on meetings. The meetings bring sales, and having sales means having more work, and ultimately, profit. The constant cycle has to happen to ensure that the business will survive.
The bottom line? You need an effective lead generation method to ensure that cycle does not die.
To use a simple analogy, you’re not just likely to pay a salesman who couldn’t produce new leads and schedule more meetings right? So in the same way, who wants to spend on a website that sits there looking pretty without generating any leads at all?
Now what happens when someone visits your site and takes up on your offer? How easy do you make it so that people can get their hands on what you’re offering?
That’s where lead capturing goes in.
With an effective landing page, you point your prospects to the right direction so that they get the information they need.
On the Internet, this is what you call ‘opting-in’. When an interested reader wants to know more about something, this is where a system of lead capturing comes into play.
What is a Lead?
Before you go on reading, and just so we are on the same page, let’s make something clear. A lead is an individual who has in some way, form, or shape, indicated an interest in your product or service.
When potential customers visit your website, and they find what they are looking for, a trust is established. When trust is established, the visitor is open to further communication. This is when they leave the information you need. The information includes, name, email address, and other contact information.
Starting Your Own System of Lead Capturing
Getting started and making your own system of lead capturing is not as hard as some people might think it to be.
The process of creating is a defining point between poor and good lead generation. In fact, a good lead generation system has simple elements that are easy to follow through.
Here are the basic elements that your lead capturing method should have:
* Create an irresistible offer to your prospects
* Formulate a surefire traffic strategy
* Design and make use of creative media
* Develop website pages: landing pages, thank your pages and the optional up sell pages
* Use all marketing channels you have to push your prospects to the website’s landing pages
* Improve lead generation by learning how to measure, test, and interpret the conversion data of your pages
Collecting and Making Use of Contact Information
There are only two important information you need to get started with lead generation:
Once you have that information at hand, it will now be easy for you to reach them and perhaps grow a long-term relationship.
There is a lot to gain when businesses establish long-term relationships. This is true even in online businesses, but this is not something that you can grow overnight.
You are more likely to make it into the long-term when you know how to work for it. Of course, the determining point of any lead generation process is making and closing a successful deal. But that’s not everything.
Getting them interested in what you have to offer is primary. Your next goal should be offering them something that they can’t resist so that they will take action.
Once they are enticed to take action, you will get the information you need. From there on, you can communicate with them and establish a long-term relationship that would hopefully prove profitable for you.
By using an analytic software, you can sieve through your lead capturing processes. This will help you iron out hard edges, ultimately translating to stronger conversion.
We will discuss this and more at a later point in this post. For now, let’s focus on how to get started with your landing page, and how to capture leads using your WP site.
Criteria To an Effective Lead Capturing Website
Nothing beats content marketing when it comes to capturing leads.
It’s true, content marketing is a great tool to use for SEO and social media. It also attracts your audience and gets them to pay attention to the brand that you are selling. This is why blogging has become a necessity in Internet marketing.
But content marketing won’t do you any good if you’re not collecting leads.
If you are anything like me and thousands of fellow marketers, you know that nothing beats WordPress as a blog platform. But there is so much more to WordPress than being just a blogging option.
It is also one of the most powerful avenues to capture email leads.
Many marketers fail to realize and fully understand the power (and convenience) that WordPress offers for email lead generation.
In reality, there are a few criteria that must be followed to make your lead capturing efforts simpler.
1. Your website should look and have a professional design. You can do it yourself, or you can hire a professional web designer. The important thing is to make sure that your website comes out clean and professional. This will let your potential customers know that you mean business.
2. Your website should be on Content Management System or CMS. This is important especially when you want to make changes when you need to, without too much of a fuss.
3. Your website should have an active blog. By active that means that you are regularly updating your blog with fresh content relevant to your niche.
4. Your website should have some form of analytic tracking all throughout. Trust me, you would want to track, track and track. This way, you will know which aspects of your website need tweaking, and which parts are effective.
5. Your website should integrate all the necessary social media “follow and share” icons. Sharing your content through the use of social media means excellent online visibility.
6. Your website should have a top navigation that is simple enough to use and easy enough to understand.
The more you keep it simple, the easier people will find it to navigate around your site.
So let’s just say that you have done all these things, then you can move with the next important thing:
Whether you are building a new WordPress website, or overhauling an existing one, there are two things to remember:
Objective #1: Have a Goal
Goals always keep you in focus of what you should do. If you want to figure out what a person might want to do on your signup page, then you have to set a goal for them and for you as well.
Do you just want them to sign up? Or are you in a generous mood to give them a free eBook to download once they’ve successfully signed up? Perhaps, you want to be more creative and more generous by offering them an online course of sorts or an exclusive content page.
Whatever it is, the goal is to make them sign up and become more and more interested in what you have to offer.
Objective #2: Do Your Research
If you have zero idea (like zilch, nada, and nil) of what you are doing and what you are supposed to do, don’t despair. No one starts at the top and knowing everything. I know a lot (a whole lot, actually) of marketers who started knowing nothing at all, but turned out earning millions. What’s the secret? Good old fashioned research.
So what are you going to research? First, you have to have an idea on making your email opt-in landing page and how to do it. You may also trawl other blogs and dig some important bits of information that might be of help to you.
One of the few things that you have to do is pay attention where they put their signup forms on the page.
It will also help if you want how they link their email lead capture page. It also pays to know how much content the blog has. The fresher, meaning to say the more updated, the blog’s content is, then the more likely it is to be visited.
Also, take note of how the content is organized and constructed on their landing pages. Take note if they use bullet points, lists, short or long paragraphs, insert videos, images, etc. But whatever happens, DO NOT COPY anything from your competition.
Researching as much as you can against your competitors from the same niche is okay. But the main idea here is you get bits and pieces of information and inspiration and create your own unique content and design.
Now that we’ve laid out the foundation, the next thing to do is to start your lead capture page.
How To Plan Your WordPress Lead Capture Page
To start designing that lead capturing website of yours, here are three important things that you have to know:
* The Psyche of Your Prospects
* Potential Problems and Questions
* Mapped Buying Process to Sales Process
Let’s start with your prospects’ persona.
Effective lead generation is not about JUST the design. It’s about understanding the mentality of your target audience. Here, research will do wonders.
Knowing more about your target market will help you create the content that will capture the interest of your audience.
When you’re deep into the design process, you also need to think of potential problems and ask questions yourself.
What problems are you offering solutions for?
At this point, you have to think of the problems of your ideal buyers. If you come face to face with them, how are you going to answer? Doing this will help you provide real solutions to potential problems that your prospects might be facing.
Don’t make your website just a destination for them. Make it the place where they can find the way towards the solution.
Last but not the least, you have to map out the buying to sales process.
That only means that you have to figure out how your prospects buy. A/B testing will come in handy here. Check which design or CTA gets more clicks and sign ups before implementing.
Test, research and test some more. The results you get should help you determine which design is best. If you are unsure about the process and think that it is too tedious, create a flowchart that maps out each buying stage. This should help you analyze the sales process better.
What To Remember When Creating a Killer Email Lead Capture Page in WordPress
1. Instead Of A Blog Style Page, Better Use A Static Page
If you’re not too sure what a static page really is, then let me tell you. A static page is a type of WordPress page that does not have tags, time stamp, or categories allocated to it. A blog style page has all these elements whereas a static page is simply a page.
If you ask why would you choose a static page, it’s because they are great for evergreen content. This means that you won’t have to update the content all the time, and the page can be readily accessed from your main navigation menu.
Static pages are great for contact page, about page, service page, products page and the opt-in page.
2. Create A Short Memorable URL String
Instead of using long and vague URL strings, it is better if you will keep it simple.
For example: www.exampleblog.com/signup.
Aside from being easy on the eyes, it is also easy to remember. And yes, easy to type. I know that you are just like me; your brain can’t process complicated URLs.
3. Attention Grabbing Headlines Never Go Wrong
Your headline is the first thing that people will see when they reach your website. Within seconds, they can choose to ignore your entire message, or be compelled to read on.
When you create your own headline, think of all the other headlines you read in the past that made you read, subscribe and buy.
What made you click? What made you give them your name and email address? What made you buy?
Remember: BORING IS LAME.
Will you signup if you read this headline?
‘Do you want to know more about blogging? Subscribe now!’.
Or will you be more interested with the headline below?
‘Make Money From Blogging Now. Sign Up to Get Your Free Guide’
Here’s an excellent, and I mean EXCELLENT resource on how to create landing page headlines that convert.
4. Know—and Take Advantage—of the Power of Good Copywriting
There is a reason why copywriters, er, GOOD copywriters get paid the big bucks. It’s not easy. No it isn’t. It’s a b!tC$H to write and not just anyone can do it. No, copywriting is not just an art, it’s an art-science.
So if you can’t do it, don’t hesitate to pay good money to have an experienced copywriter do it. Choose someone who has a track record of writing copy that sells.
Here’s an example of a copy that is hands-down GREAT.
This is true even for your blog posts. Don’t settle for crappy content. What’s in your website is the reason why people go in there in the first place.
Platforms such as Elance and forums such as Warrior Forum would be a great place to start to look for good copywriters.
5. Keep Your Content Short And Sweet
It remains true. Content is King. But while that may be true, it’s not just important that you create compelling and good copies for your email lead capture page. You should also learn how to keep things short and sweet.
Very long posts or copies tend to make your readers bored or overwhelmed, and you don’t want that.
But if your niche is such that lengthy posts are necessary, by all means go ahead. You can go long, as long as your content is concise, and non-fluffy.
If you keep it short, sweet, and direct to the point, then your readers are more likely to pay you attention.
6. Use Bullet Points And List When You Can
We love lists. We love bullet points. They help organize your thoughts and content altogether. Bullets and lists allow you to provide information in digestible chunks so that your readers are likely to scroll down.
Using bullets also highlight important points in your lead capture page and keep the reader’s focus.
7. Use the Top of Your Page to Place Your Opt-In Form
The exact place to be for your opt-in or sign up form is close to the top of your page. This allows your website visitors to have the opt-in form well into their line of visibility. This way, they won’t have to scroll too far down just to find it.
If you have a lot of content, you may place your signup form several times on several places on the page like the top, middle, and bottom parts.
8. Remove Page Clutter
You can either make it full width content or change the default of the layout template to landing. This ensures that the sidebar items as well as the main navigation menu are removed, leaving only the landing page copy.
If you don’t know how to do it, simply click the Quick Edit button on WordPress, select Landing in the default template and click Update once you’re done.
9. Use Other Media
Do not ever underestimate the power of videos. This type of media is a good piece to add to your lead capture page because it adds a more personal touch to your potential subscribers.
Your video doesn’t have to be long; just to deliver the message and you’d be surprised how effective this strategy could be.
10. Use Appropriate Images
Internet users are serial skimmers and scanners. You want to get your message across without being overwhelming. So it is best to use compelling images that are relevant to your message.
Take an eBook for example, a great image in the cover could be a good enough incentive for people to subscribe to your page.
11. Be More Personal
When you become too focused on sales, people think that you’re just concerned about the profit that you’ll make out of them.
Although it is the truth (wink, wink) you don’t want your audience to feel that. People are looking for warmth and personality. We want customized, personalized and tailored-fit. This is just how the guys at HubSpot did it. Don’t you just love it when you see your name up there on the Thank You page?
This should be seen not just in your copy, but in all of your content, including your emails. You can even include a thank you video at the end of your landing page, or you can use an image of you in a beach or somewhere casual.
The thing is, you have to convince those people that you’re genuine. When you add a personal touch to your lead capture page and all your other pages, that can go a long way.
12. Provide Opt-out Options; Assure Your Audience that You Won’t Spam Them
Everybody hates spam and that’s one of the things that you have to clear about with your audience. Make them understand that you’re Spam- free and that you respect their privacy. J.Crew did this just right in the example below.
Let them know that they have an opt-out option, and provide clear instructions on how to do it.
WordPress Plugins That Will Skyrocket Your Email Lead Collection Strategy
Now that you know how to create compelling email lead capture pages in WordPress, let’s talk about plugins. Millions of marketers choose WordPress because of the following advantages:
* It is easy to use
* It is flexible
* It is fully functional
* It is reliable
* It is highly customizable
You can never go wrong with WP if you are creating or restructuring a sales landing page or an email lead capture page. And it becomes even more powerful if you combine it with the right kind of plugins.
There are dozens of plugins that you can install into your WP site. But to make it an effective lead capture page, there are only a few that matters.
Plugin #1: Pippity Customized Popups
With proper use, popup boxes that appear when readers reach your site can be a great way for you to have more email subscriptions.
But they can also be rather annoying, so you have to make sure that you use them strategically.
Using popup boxes is now easier with Pippity. This plugin comes with configuration options that allows the popups to be delivered unobtrusively. You can configure it so that the popup box appears when the reader has reached the end of the page.
You can also tweak it so that it looks exactly how you want it, and you can configure what it displays.
Pippity also has power filters and settings that allow you to tailor the popups according to your preferences. This way, you can choose for it to display in a specific post, or in any posts of a specific category.
You can also perform split-testing to determine which one converts best.
It is important to make sure that the popups are relevant to your website visitors. Also keep in mind that they don’t appear until the visitors had a chance to read your content.
Pippity is being used by more and more bloggers and marketers because it’s easy to install, customer support is great, and the template designs are extensive.
Plugin #2: Hellobar
If you wish to grab the attention of your target audience then you have to use methods that are a little bit far from ordinary.
Hellobar is a narrow bar that appears across the top of your website encouraging people to click them. Usually, these bar contain messages and are often out of the blog post’s way.
This plugin is a less intrusive way to grab your visitor’s attention. You can customize it, though, with eye-catching colors to make it stand out even more.
The idea of making Hellobar work for you is to make it stand out against the whole of your web page. That is, you should know how to contrast color and make use of witty, choice words to grab your audience’s attention.
Your message could be a how-to, a question, a prompt, or simply a straightforward opt-in. Hellobar is pretty easy to handle too. All you have to do is have an account on their website and configure the text that appears within Hellobar.
After that, you can just copy and embed the code into the Hellobar plugin found in WordPress and you’re done.
Plugin #3:Comment Redirect
Getting enough people to comment on your blog can be quite difficult. But when you do get a comment, you should celebrate. This only means that you have an interested reader who thinks what you’re saying makes sense. You don’t want to lose this reader, because he might be interested in what you have to sell in the future.
So what do you do? You try to nurture that relationship and take the time to thank those who made time commenting on your blog.
With the Comment Redirect plugin, you can do this. First time commenters on your blog are redirected to another page where you can personally thank them for giving a comment.
This can be a great opportunity to convert and convince them to subscribe and get constant updates from you.
Because Comment Redirect is easy to set up, what you have to come up with is a nice way to talk your readers into signing up. In fact, all you have to do is specify the page where you want to redirect your first-time commenters and you’re pretty much done.
Another way to encourage your blog commenters to subscribe is to catch them while they are posting their comments.
I’m sure you have come across a blog where you were prompted to input your name and email address before you can comment.
With WP-Leads, you will be hitting two birds with one stone. With the little check box placed under the Post Comment button, your commenters can choose to subscribe to your blog.
You can configure the plugin to check the little box by default. But this also means that your commenter may be subscribing without his knowledge.
The plugin collects the details and added to your MailChimp or Aweber (you will have to use the Aweber Comment Opt-in).
WP-Leads is a great plugin–simple and straightforward–you simply cannot lose if you have it.
You may not be aware of it but call to action buttons might be a defining point not only to you but also to every visitor your website may have.
With OptinSkin, you can easily generate subscription forms based on designs to convert visitors. Just imagine, when your readers get to the bottom of your post, they would have received some important value out of your content. A call to action button can prompt them easily to get them become a subscriber.
Aside from encouraging your visitors to subscribe, OptinSkin has great sharing options.
The plugin has analytics that will allow you to track the number of impressions, signups and conversions for your posts.
You can also perform split-testing with OptinSkin. This allows you to display two versions of your opt-in box, which will help you determine which converts best.
Plugin#6: Gravity Forms
If creating forms is what you need and you want something easy to use, Gravity Forms would be the answer to your needs.
It is both quick and easy to configure. This plugin will not just help you build forms for your site. Because it supports MailChimp and AWeber, it also collects subscriber details and saves it on a database.
All you have to do is click on the form fields that you want, update some basic configurations, and you’re done.
You can display the form either within a page or a post using the Gravity icon on the toolbar. You can also display it into the sidebar with the use of the Gravity Form widget.
Aside from encouraging your readers to subscribe, you can also urge them to share your blog posts to social networks. This way, you can gain more traffic and ultimately, conversions.
Integrating sharing buttons on your blog posts increases your chances of being visible in the social media. This is all the more important if you have interesting content to share.
DiggDigg allows you to have sharing buttons either horizontally or vertically on your website. You can set up the social sharing toolbar to float so that the icons stay visible even when you scroll up and down your blog post.
It is important to note that lead generation is a crucial part of being a blog owner, so an effective method should be in place. These tips, tools and tricks are meant to guide you. Sure there are a lot of other tricks and plugins out there. The key is in finding the one that works best for you and your audience.
One of the things that you should do when implementing a new lead collection strategy is to test. If you are done testing, test again. Explore different options. For instance, does a pop-up collect as many leads as a sidebar?
The point is to never base your strategy on the results shown by others. Assess and re-assess your method, check it against your audience, and find the right fit that performs best for you.