Use Email Capture Forms to Build Your Business

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Email marketing continues to be one of the best strategies for small businesses to increase sales and grow the business. It’s a popular and effective tool that works well if your email list is valid. One of the best ways to create a valid list is to build it from people who are interested in your business; that is, visitors to your website.

An email capture form invites website visitors to share their email address in exchange for a small incentive. Visitors will most likely visit your home page first, where they will scan its content to determine if it’s of interest. Next, they might visit a product or service page, or a blog post. At some point they might visit a checkout page to make a purchase. All these pages are candidates for email capture forms. Various types of forms are appropriate for different web pages, including:

  • Large box on home page: When a visitor finds your business through an organic search, the first page they usually visit is the home page. A large box capture form will appear as the visitor is reading the page content. It will entice visitors with an offer such as a discount or free access to gated content. This type of form is effective for first time visitors. Marketers recommend that the form appears between 30 – 60 seconds after the visitor lands on the page. The downside of this type of form is that it can seem intrusive to a visitor who is still deciding if they are interested or not.
  • Landing page: Visitors come to a landing page from a link on social media, a blog or through a targeted organic search. They usually have a higher interest in the business when they visit a landing page. Landing page forms customized to appeal to the interest of these visitors are more effective than generic forms. For example, when a visitor clicks a social media post link, the email capture form can offer a discount on the product in the post.
  • Pop-Ups: These are small windows that pop-up while visitors are reading content, offering something in exchange for an email address.  Several types of pop-ups are available, including:
    • Slide-ins are subtle pop-ups that appear from the bottom corner of a page after a visitor reads some or most of the page content. They ask for an email address in exchange for special offers or new content.
    • Exit-intent popups appear when a visitor is getting ready to leave the page. When the cursor hovers over an exit button, a pop-up appears.
    • Top bar banners are on every page and are a more subtle invitation to receive some benefit from submitting an email address.

Compelling pop-up forms have higher conversion rates. Interesting images, colors and font designs attract attention. Including an end date for an offer also increases conversion rates. For example, a limited time offer for a discount or free merchandise, or limited time availability of an e-book can increase interest. Different types of forms work differently, depending on the type of business website. A good approach is to try a few types and test the results. Be sure to use pop-ups on your mobile site.

Design and content make a huge difference in form success. Keep it as spare as possible, asking only for the most necessary information. The design and color can be simple or colorful depending on the type of business it is. Explain the value in a short sentence, emphasizing individual visitor needs. Knowing your target customer and their needs will guide you. Examples of what to offer include:

  • Access to more content, such as an email with more information or a podcast or online seminar
  • Discounts on new or future orders
  • Advanced notice for new products, upcoming discounts or special offers
  • Access to a help desk for future questions

A good email list is the basis for a successful email marketing campaign. Visit our blog post, Email Marketing is Your Best Brand-Building Tool for more information.

Your website designer will help you choose the best email capture forms for your business. If your goal is to increase conversions, a good marketing strategy is to use email marketing campaigns regularly.

Wheaton Website Services helps small businesses design and maintain their websites. Contact us to learn how we can help your business.

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