Conversion rate

A Simple Formula To Grow Your Email List Fast

Your email list is the most effective way to connect with your audience after visiting your website. Everyone is busy today, visitors come and leave your website fast, and visits are usually quite short. Because of that, many visitors will forget your business as soon as they leave your website and won't come back again.

It’s said that people need at least seven exposures to brand messages before they make the decision of purchasing from that brand. But if website visitors come and go so quickly, how can you re-connect with them another six times more? The answer is by building an email list.

In last week’s post on The Journey From The First Visit To The First Sale, I talked about how to engage visitors so that they become customers or clients. Part of this engagement process involves collecting visitors’ contact details to stay in touch after they leave your website.

The problem is that today every business wants to build an email list and send communications to their prospects. We are reluctant to give our email details to any other business, as we don’t want to inundate our over-saturated inbox with more email marketing.

There is only one reason why we may give our contact details away, and that’s because we get something valuable in return: a lead magnet.


What’s a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is an incentive given to a prospect in exchange of their contact details. It’s usually exclusive and fabulous content or a sale incentive.

The lead magnet content doesn’t have to be too long or complex, just quick and simple, relevant to your audience and highly actionable. It does need to resolve a common problem or challenge that your prospects may be experiencing.

Here are some lead magnets ideas:

How-To ebook or guide
Report (e.i. income report)
Cheat sheet, checklist or resource list
Stock photos
Fonts, icons and other graphic design elements
Access to member-only areas
Video training, ecourse or webinar
Software download, WordPress plugin or online tool
Free trial or freemium content
Coupon, discount or free shipping
Sale material (price list, floorplans, etc)
Event tickets
Product samples
TIP: Make sure that your freebie looks professionally designed. A great free tool to create a great PDFs and graphics with no design skills is Canva.

To know more about how to create a great lead magnet also read this other post by Steve Scott.

How to build your email list with a lead magnet?

So you have a fantastic piece of content and want to use it to build your email list. Here is what you need:

1.    Lead Magnet
2.    Catchy call to action (CTA)
3.    Landing page (optional)
4.    Opt-in form
5.    Email Marketing system (in this post I’ll be using MailChimp)

And these is how it will works:

Create a button with a call to action: Download FREE***

Learn how to create a great call to action in this other post

    Find the appropriate placement for your CTA

    Top menu bar
    Page header
    Blog sidebar
    At the bottom of post
    Page footer
Tip: Go above the fold whenever possible to increase the number of visitors that see your CTA. Popup forms could be both very effective for conversion and very annoying for visitors who are not interested.

    Create opt-in form to collect name and email details. You can do this directly from your CMS (WordPress, SquareSpace, etc..) or from MailChimp.

    From SquareSpace - edit your page or post, click on Inset Content block and select Newsletter or Form.
    From MailChimp - go to Lists, select your list, click on Signup Forms › General Forms, and the signup link should be right there. Copy the code and paste it on to your web page or blog post.

    Your opt-in form can have different formats:

    • Embedded form: directly on your page, post, header, footer or sidebar.
    • CTA button: visitors must click on the bottom to display the form.
    • Top-bar announcement: the form is displayed at the top of the page.
    • Pop-up: the form is displayed on top of the page and you must close it to read the page.
    • Slide-up: the form is displayed in a corner of the screen and can collapse or expand.
    Tip: The number of fields on the form causes the most resistance. Compare the amount of information you ask for in your form to the value of the information you are offering.

        Create MailChimp list of subscribers

    Access your MailChimp account and go to List > Create List

        Link your opt-in form with your MailChimp list.

    Go back to SquareSpace and click on Edit Form > Storage > MailChimp > Select your list from dropdown menu. List

        Customise your opt-in form Thank You message.

    In your SquareSpace Form editor click on Advance and edit your post-submit message. Let your subscribers know that you have sent them a confirmation email to their inbox to confirm their subscription.

        Edit Thank You message to include the downloadable file.

       Go back to Mailchimp. Find your list and click on it. Click on Setting > List name and defaults > Send a final welcome email > List Forms from designer.
       Within List Forms from designer go to Create forms > Forms and response emails.
       In the dropdown menu select Confirmation “Thank You” Page. Hover over the default text and click on “Edit”. Add your text with a link to your downloadable.

        Test your opt-in form.

        Promote your freebie outside your website. Here are some ideas:

        Google AdWords
        Facebook ads
        Facebook groups
        Google + communities
        Pinterest Group boards
        Twitter ads
        Instagram ads
        Add CTA + link to your email signature


    To know more about converting visitors into leads, and leads into repeat buyers or clients, download my FREE conversion funnel guide, with tool checklist and action plan, and lead the journey to your business growth.

    The Journey From The First Visit To The First Sale: Converting Visitors Into Customers

    The single fact of having a website won’t bring customers or clients to your door. Not even if you have a lot of traffic. The process to get a new client is usually slow and requires creating familiarity and some love in people’s hearts.

    While some first-time visitors may be ready to make a purchase straight away, research has shown that the average visitor will have to engage with your brand, at least, seven times before they‘re ready to make the decision to purchase.

    If you have a website, you need a plan to make your first-time visitors come back again and again and again… until they become buyers or paying clients. The journey taken by visitors until they become buyers is called the conversion funnel.


    The conversion funnel can differ from website to website, depending on the nature of the business, but it usually has four steps - plus two extra ones for repeat businesses or sales:

     Awareness Acquisition Retention Conversion Loyalty Advocacy


    1. Awareness

    Strangers become visitors

    The first step in this journey is getting people to visit your website. No visitors means no chances to introduce your business and offering to others who may be interested in buying from you or working with you in future.

    There are five ways to lead traffic to your website:

    1. Direct - people who find your website in your business stationary, off-line marketing collateral, or any other piece of printed material, and type the website address directly into the browser.
    2. Organic - people who find your website in the organic results (non-paid) of search engines.
    3. Paid - people who find your website in the paid results of search engines and advertising or paid links in third-party websites.
    4. Social - people who find your website through social media forums, chats, hashtags, etc.
    5. Referral - people who find your website in online media outlets, blogs or any other third party website that’s talking about your brand and includes a “non-paid” in-bound link to your website.

    However, traffic is not always equal to sales. Many visitors may be just browsing the Internet, and visiting your website among another 20 competitor’s websites. Chances are that they forget your name as soon as they leave your website.


    2.    Acquisition

    Visitors become prospects

    Every great relationship starts with a first date. Imagine one of your friends knows someone who thinks he or she could be a good match for you. You follow your friend’s advice and decide to go on a blind date. You’ll go to this first date with three goals in mind:

    1. Getting to know each other, your personalities, your interests, your hobbies, etc.
    2. Causing a great first impression and inspire trust.
    3. Getting her/his phone number to stay in touch

    That’s exactly how your first visits work.

    When visitors land in your website for the first time, you must set a good first impression and gain their trust. Good design and compelling content are your main tools here. In this other previous post, I shared some do's and dont's to make your website trustworthy.

    After a positive first impression comes interest. Your visitors will be interested in knowing more about you and what your business has to offer. Your About page, Service or Product pages, portfolio or lookbook and other tools like videos, downloadable brochures, etc, will provide more information on who you are, what you do and how you can make a positive impact on their lives.  

    Finally, if your visitors like your business and are interested in your offer, they may want to stay in touch. Make sure your website has links to your social media pages and opt-in forms to collect their email details.


    3.    Retention

    Prospects become leads

    Your first date is over. It went well and you got your date’s phone number! She or he has even accepted your Facebook friend request. What’s next? You both want to see each other again!

    Once your prospects have left your website you want to make sure they come back again. If they have connected through social media or email, you can now send them links to interesting content on your website that keep them hooked.

    Now content marketing is key.

    There are many ways to deliver your content: blog posts, newsletters, podcasts, webinars, etc. In this other post, I give you 8 ideas to produce highly engaging content.

    Good content engages people and opens a communication channel with them, who may leave a comment on your blog, like or share a post in social media, attend a free webinar, etc.

    The spark is there!

    The problem with getting people’s email addresses though is that everyone has way too much in their inbox. It usually takes a bit more than a simple “Sign-up today” call to action to convince someone to give you an email address. You’ll have to give them a good reason for it, like accessing exclusive content, free downloads, etc.

    To find out more about how to convert prospects into leads also read this other post, by Trent Dyrsmid, Founder at Groove Digital Marketing.


    4.    Conversion

    Leads become customers

    Your visitor loves your brand and is now in need of your products or services, therefore, he or she is ready to hire you or purchase from you.

    In e-commerce websites, the end of the journey is typically the purchase. In service websites, it may be to request a quote or proposal, book an obligation free consultation, make a booking or appointment, or enquire about your services by email or phone. That means that there is, at least, one more step to complete the conversion process.


    5.    Loyalty

    First-time buyers become repeat buyers

    Someone has bought your product or hired your services, now is your opportunity to impress your clients with an outstanding service. Why? Because every satisfied customer or client will:

    • Hire you or buy from you again in future.
    • Recommend you to others

    It’s also a lot easier to sell a new product or service to an existing client than taking any new visitor through the entire conversion funnel until he/she becomes a buyer.


    6.    Advocacy

    Customers become referrers

    Many people won’t search in search engines, read review sites or blog posts if they already have a friend or family member who has made a recommendation to them. These “recommended” visitors are probably ready to hire your services or purchase your products on their first visit to your website.

    The conversion funnel is not needed here. They become customers immediately because they trust someone’s advice, who is already one of your existing clients.


    Your turn

    Now you know the journey from your first visit to your first sale, you can implement this strategy directly into your website. Download my conversion funnel guide, with tool checklist and action plan, and lead the journey to your business growth.


    Why My Website Is Not Converting

    One common question that many clients and potential clients frequently ask is “why my website is not converting visitors into customers/clients?”

    The conversion problem has a lot to do with your message, the way in which you deliver it through your website and its impact on your audience.

    In today’s post I explain some of the most common reasons why many websites don’t convert properly and how to fix those issues by using the example of one of my latest website projects: WA Mortgage Advice Website.


    Too much copywriting, too difficult to read

    Your website must offer relevant information about your business. But too much information is overwhelming and will make visitors feel intimidate and leave without reading your webpage.

    Writing for the web is completely different than writing an essay or a paper. Website copy must be scannable, actionable and shareable.

    • Scannable means that your visitors understand your key messages by just glancing at your web page.
    • Actionable means that your content encourages people to take action.
    • Shareable means that your visitors find your content useful and will share it so that others can also benefit from it.

    For example…

    My latest project is a mortgage broking website. The financial industry has a complex language with a lot of jargon. A clear and easy-to-read copywriting was an essential part of this website project:


    For more tips on how to write for the Internet also read this article from Enchanting Marketing: Writing For The Web Vs Print .


    Important information hidden below the fold

    Not only it’s important how you present the information, but also where you place it. Information positioned in the upper half of a web page and so visible without scrolling down the page is what we call above the fold. Everything else is below the fold.

    If visitors have to scroll down to find important details in your website, chances are that they leave without even noticing them.

    Analyse your web copy and extract one key idea per page only. That idea must be positioned at the top of the web page. Further information and details can be placed after.

    What are those key ideas?

    • Your unique selling proposition
    • Your key benefits
    • Call to actions like ‘book’, ‘enquire’, ‘call’, ‘download’…
    • Contact details

    Tip: banners and header images should not take more than half of the screen; otherwise they will be hiding important ideas below them and below the fold.


    Lack of credibility

    Your website may not be encouraging trust among your visitors. Some reasons may be:

    • Visually unappealing design - it’s all about creating a good first impression. A clean and well organized website design speaks about your professionalism and how much you care and invest in your business and clients.

    Avoid too many colours, graphic elements or call to actions that can cause distractions and make your visitors get lost.

    • Lack of contact information – for many people who search for a product/service in the Internet, location convenience is important. For many others working with people who are accessible and easy to reach when they need them is essential.

    Your business address, direct phone numbers and email addresses or even an online chat app can help you gain credibility and trust among your audience.

    • Lack of social proof – social media followers, reviews and client testimonials can help you build credibility in the Internet. Focus your marketing efforts on connecting to people through social media and getting feedbacks from clients and industry experts.


    Lack of direction

    When visitors land in your website, they don’t know what they have to do. You have to show them the path, indicate what comes next and what they should do while visiting your site. How? With call to actions. 

    A call to action is an invitation to interact with your site by:

    • Signing up for a newsletter
    • Downloading information
    • Making appointments/bookings
    • Getting a quote
    • Etc…

    The more they interact with your website the better will get to know your business.



    Lack of attraction and engagement

    Relationships are key for any business success, and especially to sell services. Visitors who are in need of your services want to know you first before hiring you.

    How do you build a relationship in the Internet? Engaging your visitors through social media, newsletter sign-up forms, blog and comments and everything else that allows you to keep conversations and communicate with your visitors after leaving your site.

    In this other post I explain how to grow your business by building relationships.

    Tip: proof you’re willing to help not just to sell, but by answering questions in social media and blog posts, and offering free tips, free first consultations, etc.


    Wrong message, wrong keywords

    Another common reason of poor conversion is often the message itself. Being too generic, trying to appeal a broad audience or offering too many services can confuse the audience or make them leave your website with the feel that you are just ‘another one’.

    But being too generic and too broad also has another consequence: poor keyword strategy. If your keywords are too wide, you may be leading a lot of traffic to your site, but only a small percentage of those visitors are actually potential clients.

    To avoid this you must:

    • Find what makes you different and unique and highlight this differentiation in your home page, above the fold.
    • Be specific, target a niche and narrow your offer to only those services that you know best.
    • Focus on long tail keywords that are more specific and have less competition in search engines.

    For example, if my client, a mortgage broking business, focused on generic keywords like ‘mortgage’, there is so much competition already for that word that chances are that he will never get noticed. Instead we focused on long tail keywords like ‘First home loan advice’.


    In conclusion, conversion rates have a lot to do with your website copywriting. Learning to write for the Internet can improve significantly your leads and opportunities obtained through your website.