Let’s talk about growing your list. Let’s talk about selling your sign-up. In an earlier post, Marco Marini stated that it isn’t enough to just offer the possibility to sign up, you have to do something more. I completely agree. But he also stated that a sign-up box doesn’t help you grow your house-list by that much. I totally do not agree. Lets see why.

From that article I quote:

An email signup box on your home page won’t grow your in-house list. At least not by much.

That’s not accurate. How would you know? Some companies actually measure their traffic-to-signup ratio. If you are a strong brand or have good content you can have a big chunk of sign-ups just by putting a simple opt-in sign-up box on every page. You might get more sign-ups from a well executed sign-up box then you would from a separate sign-up page.  Our friend sign-up box has helped email marketers all over the world to achieve a steady flow of new subscriptions derived from the (natural) traffic on company websites.

Selling the subscribe

Quote number two:

The first mistake we must eliminate is relying on a signup box alone. Even if that box appears on every page of your 30-page website, it’s not selling. It’s just a box. No pitch, no reasons to enter an email address, no reasons to pay any attention to it whatsoever. To get past that common mistake is simple. Add a page to your website that tells people why they should sign up to get emails from you.

Again, not accurate. It seems like the author hasn’t been looking around that much. As I see selling sign-up boxes all the time: “Sing up to receive our daily deals”, “Sign-up for exclusive content”, etc, etc. You can easily put the reasons to subscribe to the list above or in the sign-up box. Those reasons should stated short anyway. So in fact your sign-up box can be selling. No need to make a different page for that. You could say the same of a banner promoting a sign-up. The most important thing isn’t the fact that you can sign-up via the sign-up box, but that it is visible and helps you convert your visitors into subscribers!

5 reasons to love your sign-up box:

  1. You can put it on each page
  2. It promotes your newsletter or email program
  3. You can make it contextual to the website page it’s on.
  4. It takes the (first mental) step out of signing up
  5. It adds sign-ups!

Final thought

So what should we get out of this? Optimization comes in many forms. By “selling the sign-up” on the subscription page, you might be able to reduce the people who come to that page and then leave before signing up. But if you are struggling to grow your list and someone advises you to create a sign-up page to make all well… Ask them this: “How are people going to come to that page then?”

About the Author: Jordie van Rijn is an independent email marketing consultant at EmailMonday and editor of Emailvendorselection.com. You can also find him @jvanrijn.