Posted Saturday, January 15, 2005
You have a website which offers a free ezine. Your visitors are interested in the products and services that you offer. So why doesn't everyone sign up to receive your free information?
So far, internet professionals have been able to narrow the reasons to fear of the unknown, extra work, no time, lack of trust, and 'pain-in-the-butt' factor. What does each of these mean and what can you do to ensure that you are getting as many sign ups as possible?
Fear of the unknown. When a visitor fills out a form and clicks on the submit button he/she has no idea where they will end up. Some forms redirect them to another website, some to a thank you page that leaves the visitor hopelessly lost and others to an ERROR page. So why do some visitors hesitate to fill out forms? Fear of the unknown.
Extra work. As a website marketer, I would like to know each of my customer's first name, last name, email address, telephone number, fax number, postal address, likes and dislikes and lots of other information. This way I can market to them more effectively. If I were to ask potential subscribers to my newsletter for all of the information that I would like, do you think they would take the time to fill out a 50 part sign up form? Not likely. It involves too much extra work.
No time. No one has time to waste these days. We don't have time to sleep, don't have enough time for the kids, don't have time for the spouse and certainly don't have time to fill out a form to receive a newsletter that we don't have time to read in the first place.
So our challenge as internet marketers is to persuade our potential subscribers that this is 'must have' information that is easy to get, and doesn't take a lot of time to read.
Lack of trust. The internet is a faceless, almost anonymous way of doing business. You have to build a trust level with your visitor in the shortest time possible. If your website has minimal information about you, your location, or your company and doesn't look 100% professional, it is hard to build up a trust level with your visitor. They are not sure what you will do with the information that they give you. You have to overcome their lack of trust.
Pain in the butt factor. And after all that, there's still the pain in the butt factor. It is just more convenient for a visitor to sit on their butt and surf, not having to fill out a form, think, or use their head for anything else except relaxing. If they have to put some work into it, well it's just a pain in the butt.
So how do we, as internet business owners, overcome all of these objections and turn our surfer into a subscriber? Here it is. The list of sure fire ways to get a respectable number of your visitors to sign up for your newsletter.
1.Ensure your potential subscriber that they will be returned to the page they are on, or at least be able to easily find their way back. Tell them right there in your sign up area. Give them a message such as "You will be returned to this page after signing up for this newsletter"
2. Make your sign up form quick and easy. In this first phase of capturing information, limit the fields to first name, last name and email address. You will have plenty of time to ask your subscribers for more detailed information as you build up a trust level with them.
3. Give your readers high quality information. Make sure that they feel you respect their time and are there to help them. Keep your newsletter short and easy to digest at one sitting.
4. To overcome the surfer's lack of trust, ensure them that you will not give out, sell, or trade their information with third parties. Make sure you tell them this right in the area where they are signing up for your newsletter. This helps build their trust level and makes them feel comfortable in giving you their information.
5. And then there are some things that none of us can overcome. If you have done your best to ensure your potential subscriber that your intentions are true, you haven't asked for too much information and you've supplied them with the information we've just covered, that's all you can do. Not everyone will sign up, but you've given it your best shot, the rest is up to your visitor.
6. And this may be the clincher. Bribe them to fill out the form! Give them a FREE ebook, a FREE report, FREE access, or whatever you have that can sweeten the deal. This is very basic, but it is common internet practice and it works.
By implementing these six steps in your newsletter marketing you will increase your number of subscribers which will in turn increase your ability to sell more ads and thereby increase your profits.
May you profit in all of your endeavours.
About the Author
Terry Telford is the author of the popular ebook, Website Ladder, and the founder of bpc publishing, where you can pick up your FREE and almost FREE website marketing tools. Visit (http://www.bpcpublishing.com) today!