This guest post is by Joe Burnett of Who’s Your Blogger?
“I have a pretty (un)healthy obsession with email lists. I’m constantly telling my readers to focus on growing a list of active, engaged, and interested email subscribers.”—Blog Tyrant
You can capture emails with only one ethical plan: the visitor will have to give you his or her email by typing it in.
How do you get your readers to type in their email addresses? Will you use a pop-up lightbox, a sidebar subscribe form, or a subscribe form below your posts? Maybe you’ll give your readers a small, ethical
What do I use? All of them! Each and every one of my past and present blogs went through a quick elimination process to find which tactic captured the most emails.
Never ask someone which email capturing tactic works best for them. The answer depends on the style of your readers, and the niche your blog is in. Is the readers’ attention span short, do they get annoyed, and do they take time to look at their surroundings?
But on your own blog, there is a reliable way to find out which tactic works best.
Testing your email capturing tactics
Google Website Optimizer is a great tool you can use to increase email opt in conversions. It’s surprisingly easy to use and produces great feedback, graphs, charts, and results.
How do you get started? First, you obviously need to login, or create a Google account. Click the Get Started button, agree to their terms and get ready to capture so many emails other bloggers think you’re stealing them.
Currently you should be at your dashboard looking something like this…
Once you’re at the dashboard, click Create a new experiment.
You have two option here, and one is a lot easier to use than the other. The first option is called the A/B Experiment. You shouldn’t choose that, because it will involve completely changing the page you test, and for this exercise, we only want to change the opt-in form on our page.
The Multivariate Experiment gives you the ability to change specific section(s) on the page in isolation. In this case, we want to change our subscribe form.
Next, you need to enter in the URL of page that you’re trying to test. This could be your blog’s home page or a specific post or page you’ve created. If you’re really daring go straight into your themes files to edit them, allowing the testing to be done on your entire WordPress blog!
The Conversion page is the location where new subscribers land after the subscribe to your blog. Both Mail Chimp and Aweber give you the option to redirect visitors back to your website after subscribing.
Making changes to test
Now it’s time to make changes to the areas of the page that you specified. You can change your opt-in form to produce a higher conversion in many ways.
- Change the headline.
- Add a picture.
- Reduce the amount of textboxes. (Instead of Name and Email fields, try just an Email textbox.)
- Change the background color.
- Edit the text.
- Change the Submit button to something less standard.
Once you’ve made the changes you want to test, you can sit back and wait to see which opt-in form converts the most visitors into subscribers.
Below are the results for testing the opt-in form on my website. When I ran the test, I decided that whichever combination of visuals achieved the best results would be the combination I’d use on my blog.
As you can see, I created five different versions of my opt-in form. During this test, the original actually performed better than all of my other combinations, with an almost unreal 41.7% conversion rate. That’s almost one out of every two visitors signing up.
The combinations were different because of the headlines and descriptions I used. I used three different headlines along with two different descriptions:
- Headline #1: How Does It Work?
- Headline #2: Guest Blogging Rocks!
- Headline #3: Guest Blogging Never Fails.
- Description #1: Who’s Your Blogger is an online guest post exchanging platform. We make it easy to accept guest posts, and find blogs to guest post on. Best of all, it’s fast, easy, and free!
- Description #2: Who’s Your Blogger has helped me land my guest posts on ProBlogger, Copy Blogger, and even John Chow. Trust me, Who’s Your Blogger has tripled my guest post production rate!
The results were:
- Original: Headline #1 & Description #1 – Conversion Rate: 41.7%
- Combination #1: Headline #2 & Description #1 – Conversion Rate: 20%
- Combination #2: Headline #3 & Description #1 – Conversion Rate: 30.4%
- Combination #3: Headline #1 & Description #2 – Conversion Rate: 25%
- Combination #4: Headline #2 & Description #2 – Conversion Rate: 31%
- Combination #5: Headline #3 & Description #2 – Conversion Rate: 21.4%
As the results show, my original message outperformed all of my other combinations, so it would make no sense to change the headline and description.
What can I do now? Of course there are many different tests I can run on my site. I might want to do the same test over again, but spend some more time coming up with headlines and descriptions that really rock!
Have you used Google Website Optimizer before? How do you like it? Leave your opinion below…
Joe Burnett is an amazing guest blogger. He created Who’s Your Blogger? to help increase your chances of landing guest posts on popular blogs by over 534%, and to find free unique content to publish on your blog. He teaches you exactly how to guest post and build a popular blog at the Who’s Your Blogger? Guest Blogging Blog!