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Using Aweber Web Forms to Track Conversions for Email Newsletters

While I’ve delayed the start of the 31 Day Challenge until next week I wanted to show you a glimpse behind the scenes of my signup process using one of the features that Aweber gives those using it’s email newsletter system – Web Forms.

The idea is simple – Aweber lets you make up as many signup forms for your email list as you like.

In launching the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge I have so far set up 5 lists. Let me explain each one in the order that I set them up:

  1. Twitter list – I set this one up when I first started to promote the project on Twitter (before I promoted it here with a post on ProBlogger). When I promoted it on Twitter I set up a ‘page’ here on ProBlogger (behind the scenes) that was just for the Twitter promotion. It had a message just for my Twitter followers.
  2. In Post (ProBlogger) – this one is the the email form in my announcement post here on ProBlogger.
  3. Linked In – on linked in I experimented with the Q and A feature which I sent out to 200 of my contacts in that network asking them to share their Blog Tips so that I could use some of their quotes in the 31 Day project. Again I pointed people to a ‘page’ here on ProBlogger with a web form just to track LinkedIn subscribers.
  4. Previous Newsletter – I have an old newsletter list here on ProBlogger which I rarely use any more but sent a broadcast out a few days back to let them know of the challenge. Again, it directed people to a ‘page’ with a personalized message and this web form.
  5. Refer a Friend – When I emailed the list of subscribers to the challenge to let them know about the delay in the start date I suggested that one good way to get more out of the challenge would be to do it with a friend. While this might sound like a selfish suggestion I believe it’ll also help people be more accountable and effective with the project if they do it with someone else. This email only just went out so I’m yet to really see how it will work.

You can see from the above that all but one of the options directed people to a ‘page’ (as opposed to a ‘post’) here on ProBlogger. Each page had it’s own web form (you can set them up in a minute or two) which enabled me to track the results of each one.

The beauty of this is that at a glance you can see where your subscribers are arriving from. Here’s the stats as they currently stand (click to enlarge):

Web-Forms-1

You can see that some forms were viewed more than others and as a result better results – but the line I’m most interested in is the S/D and S/UD lines. S/D is the percentage of ‘displays’ of the form that sign up and the S/UD is the percentage of unique displays that signed up.

You can see that while the ‘in post’ form drew the most subscribers that because it was viewed so many times that the ‘previous newsletter’ and the ‘twitter’ forms actually were more successful at converting a higher percentage of signups.

This type of information is amazingly powerful to know when it comes time to run other promotions!

Using unique web forms is useful on numerous fronts. Not only does it enable you to track different promotions (as I’ve done above) but it is also useful at tracking a variety of other factors including:

  • Page Position of Forms – want to test how positioning of a form impacts signup rates? Simply make each form a unique one and you’ll quickly see what position works best.
  • Types of Forms – Want to test having a form appear in a popup compares to having one in your sidebar? Want to see how a Pop-Up compares to a Po-Under or a Lightbox display? Again – just make each one a unique form and you’ll see what converts better.
  • Design of Forms – Does adding a picture or different headings or copy into your forms alter signup rates? Test it with different web forms.
  • Signup Pages vs Sidebar Forms – Got a sign up area in your sidebar and another in a page dedicated to converting readers into subscribers? Unique forms will show you what works best.
  • Testing Landing Pages – Want to see how the copy and design of a landing page impacts signup rates? Test two (ore more) pages with unique forms.

The options are endless and as Aweber gives you unlimited forms you can really test, tweak and improve your signup rates considerably over time.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Nate says:

    You either have a lot of Twitter users or they were very active! You almost got as many sign ups from Twitter as you did from your blog.

    Thanks,
    Nate

  2. Good tips. I’m also using Aweber web form to track my conversion rate.

  3. Hi Darren,

    This is a timely article for me. I have just switched to Aweber and my newsletter subscribers have leapt from about 1 every 2 days (at a push!) to about 15 new sign-ups a day!

    Thanks for highlighting the service in previosu posts, and this one will help me test the best sign up methods.

  4. Ray says:

    Being an affiliate I struggled hard to find the perfect source to market my products. It is Good to have a post on Aweber, the ultimate next generation auto-responder technology.

  5. Tumblemoose says:

    Timely!

    This is my next project.

    Thanks darren

    George

  6. Asif says:

    Thank God!!!
    It 31 Day Challenge has been delayed.
    I was not getting Internet Connection,
    I am Happy That I can now Participate.

  7. Steven Rossi says:

    Looks like a pretty cool service. I’ve been looking for a good newsletter management service, so I’ll check this one out. Thanks.

    Oh also, I didn’t notice a link to Aweber in the post, but I may have missed it. Thanks again.

  8. Diyan says:

    Nobody is perfect, i understand that, and 6 days will run so fast, so i’ll keep my eyes open :)

  9. I never use Aweber web but i wish one to day to use this.

    Thanks.

  10. Very good experiment Darren.. I like to do a lot of experiments and learn new things and new ways of doing things on my own when that information is not available freely. I will definitely checkout Aweber.

    I won’t mind the delay of the challenge. It would be really good if it starts from Monday.

  11. That’s great stuff – one thing to keep in mind is that you probably reach several of the same people with more than one of these five approaches. So, your conversion rate will be affected by the order that you use them.

    If the newsletter, for example, was first and 70% sign up that way then these same people when reached via twitter, the posts etc. will come across as not responding to that appeal – somewhat artificially suppressing their apparent success rate.

    Still – a very impressive tool.

  12. Brandon says:

    Looks like a cool tool!

  13. I’ve been thinking about Aweber for a while now. What sort of traffic volume or sized-list do you think you should have before looking into their services?

  14. Bankiology says:

    I never thought of that! Thanks for the insight. I am currently using another email web form (C.C.) and I think I can incorporate your ideas using it.

    - Jes

  15. The info you can get from Aweber is very powerful. Getting the same type of marketing info in the offline world would be a lot more cumbersome.

  16. Ryan McLean says:

    Very very interesting
    I use aweber myself so I know this very well
    I set up a new opt in form when I ran a competition giving away a flip mino so I could track how many people subscribed because of the competition. I got over 300 and even today I am getting more, though the competition finished a while ago

  17. Lee Ka Hoong says:

    I’m still in consideration in getting Aweber, seems that most of the bloggers had 1 already, might get it in some days. Thanks for telling us about these Darren! :)

    Regards,
    Lee

  18. Darren Rowse says:

    needmoney – I’m not sure that there’s a specific cut off point – but personally I’d start using it early. The cost goes up as the number of people subscribed goes up so it doesn’t really cost you anything much in the early days.

  19. Jesus says:

    You’re missing something important.

    Adblock blocks Aweber javascript forms rendering them invisible. This could be impacting your signips.

  20. I’ve been using AWeber for some time and have not thought about using it in this manner. You’ve encouraged me to look at this closer and test more often. Furthermore the Twitter results are stimulating and give even more weight to the worth of Twitter as a marketing and/or traffic tool.

  21. Dude, this is awesome. Thanks for making such a good post.

  22. ITrush says:

    Wow, I hope I can set up that kind of tool also.. can’t wait to get started really.

  23. same to ITrust, I hope I can set up that kind of tool also.. Thanks for making a good post.

  24. Barbsawyers says:

    Enjoyed your post, but would enjoy it even more if you didn’t make basic grammar mistakes. In your first paragraph, you talk about ‘it’s email system’.

    You should have writen its, the possessive, not it’s, which is the contraction of it is.

    Probably the most common error I see. Understandable because of the use of apostrophes in possessives.

    But it’s confusing to the reader and makes you look sloppy. Grammar has its rules, which include many exceptions.

    I think the rules can be broken when they don’t serve a purpose. But this rule helps readers distinguish between the contraction of it is and the possessive of it, so follow it. Please..

  25. I like Aweber because it is very easy to use. They have great service and tutorials.

    @needmoney.com. Email marketing is a way to build your list. Start from the get go.

  26. This is great information, thanx. I can’t wait to get Aweber. Unfortunately I’m using another type of program that does none of this.

  27. Seth says:

    Aweber definitely seems to be the best… Just waiting until I have the monthly income to support my blogging adventures.

    Oh the struggles of a part-time blogger.

  28. Aweber surely seems more worht the $$$ now with such features. Thanks for sharing it with us Darren.

  29. Lynda says:

    hi Darren,

    This is fantastic information. I have only just started reading your blog after a tweet went out from Tim Ferriss about it. The info you have and your generosity with it is really amazing. What I am curious about is why you don’t have an affiliate link in this post to Aweber? I went to the site and saw they have an affiliate program – we could all be clicking through on your link!
    Lynda.

  30. denbagus says:

    it work’s….. i already use what your post…thank for information

  31. David Safar says:

    One thing I thought I’d mention — your test results may be a little skewed because of the way your marketing motivates readers to behave. I signed up for this event through the original blog post, and when you suggested referring a friend, I examined the refer-a-friend page and realized it was less informative than the original post. When I invited friends to join me in the event, I distributed the URL of the original post instead of the refer-a-friend page, because I wanted my friends to have the benefit of all the same information I had when choosing whether to participate. You actually motivated me to skew your statistics! Had the refer-a-friend page been more informative, I would have distributed that link as intended.

  32. I have been wondering exactly what to do with all of my forms and how to manage all of the lists of people that I have.

    Would you consider writing about how you use multiple lists? I think this would be just as helpful.

    Thanks

  33. Karlstadunix says:

    nice tips, although im not using aweber :)

  34. titan says:

    that really interesting. I wonder how you manage your time to do all of that..

  35. Karl Foxley says:

    Great tips. I love AWeber and wouldn’t be without it… I think as an ESP it has stepped ahead of the competition.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Karl

  36. Conversões says:

    Really, a very good way to measure part of your great channels traffic.
    I love Aweber too, is a tool that nobody serious in internet marketing can forget.