Thursday, August 11, 2016

How I Doubled My Opt-in Rates To 1.4% And Got 1356 Subscribers In 60 Days

The digital marketing industry has come a long way since its inception in the early 2000s, as and when new tools and websites popped up, new strategies and methods were devised to bring in targeted traffic at the lowest possible cost. During this time 100s of tools, websites and methods have gone obsolete, but the one thing that has remained intact and effective throughout is the good old email marketing.

Even today nearly 18% of global web traffic is driven through emails, though this share has been falling over the past few years, it still isn't something marketers can ignore as nearly all of corporate communications and important personal conversations happen through emails.

Building a strong email list has been a priority for me since 'Day 1' in this business, and over the years we have tried and tested various different strategies to increase the percentage of our visitors joining our mailing lists, in this post we will be explaining each of our methods along with the results we have witnessed with them so far,

The strategy we used to build a massive email list and nearly double our optin rates can be summarized in a quite simple way,

Amazing Content




Massive eMail List

The above strategy would work best in a perfect world, but may not yield much results here, so in reality this is how our strategy actually looks like,

Amazing Content


Ask For eMail IDs


Ask Again...!


...and Again


Give Incentives


Massive eMail List

If you can come up with good quality content and can bring in targeted traffic to your blog, building an email list would be a piece of cake with our method below. All you need to do is install certain Wordpress plugins and configure them and keep checking your conversion rates.

At the moment we use MailChimp to manage our email lists and most of the apps and tools we've recommended here can be integrated with MailChimp.

The idea is to ensure that your opt-in form gets as much exposure as possible, so if your goal is to get as many visitors to join your email list as possible all you have to do is install the Wordpress plugins mentioned below.

1) Hello Bar 

The Hello Bar is an extremely simple Wordpress plugin which has gained a lot of popularity over the past few days, many of the top blogs and websites across the world currently use it to grab attention towards their 'Call-To-Action' buttons.

We have been using the 'Hello Bar' on our blog for quite sometime and it has worked wonders with our conversions.

It blends seamlessly onto any Wordpress theme without intruding on user experience and is yet quite visible and provides massive exposure to the 'call to action'.

  • Overtime we witnessed a conversion rate of a little over 0.30%, the bar got close to 103,759 impressions and we got 311 successful opt-ins.
  • Using Hello Bar you can test multiple variations of your text, call-to-action and buttons, it collects and stores all of the essential data so that you can decide on the best combinations to maximize your conversion rates.
2) Featured Subscription Box (Plugmater) 

This was something I was quite skeptical about as it occupies a lot of space on the site which may intrude into user experience, something that I could have also used to place ads and generated revenue from, so I had to look into the opportunity costs of this quite a lot before deciding to keep it, which made data collection and analysis crucial.

Plugmatter allows for plenty of customization, so you will need some time to play around with it and come up with something that best suits your blog.

Keep in mind that this is a paid plugin, but so far I feel that its been worth every penny, the conversion rate we witnessed with this plugin is far higher than Hello Bar. 

The one thing that Plugmater doesn't do efficiently is collect data, so you will have to maintain a spreadsheet of your own to track the performance and conversion of each and every variance. Another thing to factor in is the opportunity cost, how much potential revenue are you losing by adding this box to the top of your page instead of an ad? 

Our second best performing email sign up form is the Dreamgrow Scroll Triggered Box, its a simple and elegant plugin that 'slide's up' from the bottom of the page and is something that comes closest to an actual popup (something which can hinder user experience).

You can configure the slider to show up when the user scrolls down to a specific location of the page, so it captures attention when a user reads your content and doesn't show as soon as the page loads. This simple feature can help improve exposure manifold and eventually your conversions.

We got conversions of nearly 0.70% with this plugin, which is quite amazing and we still continue to use it across all our sites.

On To Our Readers

There are a number of other plugins you can use to further improve your conversions, these include popups like PopUp Domination, but these plugins often hinder user experience, but they can surely get you conversions of over 1%.

eMail marketing should never be ignored as a source of traffic, it can be used to get consistent traffic to your blog, sold as solo ads with guaranteed clicks and can be monetized in a number of ways.

Once your email list has been built it takes a great deal of effort to maintain your subscribers and keep them active, that is an art and science that requires its own post. :)

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