March 15, 2010

Optimize Your Sign-Up Part 3: Landing Page & Welcome Message Musts

by Kristen Gregory, Manager of Strategic Services at Bronto Software

Now that you have created a stand-out sign-up and optimized your form to gather pertinent information, don't fall flat after the subscriber hits "submit." Your landing page and subsequent welcome message are your first opportunities to create a positive impression of your brand, introduce your offerings and potentially make some money right off the bat. The last thing you want to do is miss the boat.

Landing Page Secrets to Success

No matter what, you need a subscription landing page. If you take subscribers right back to the home tab or simply refresh the page without confirming a successful sign-up, they will wonder what just happened and if, indeed, they are now on your list. In addition to avoiding confusion, the subscription landing page is your opportunity to:

1) Thank the person for signing up.

2) Reiterate expectations. Remind them what you'll be sending them, how often and maybe even lead to email examples or recent sends. If you are including a coupon or special prize in your welcome message, let them know they can find it in their first email from you.

3) Offer whitelisting instructions. (i.e. "Please add xyz@xyz.com to your address book to make sure you receive our exclusive subscriber-only offers.")

4) Engage new sign-ups by introducing and linking to social media pages, product lines, blog, etc. At a minimum, encourage them to "Start shopping."

Example: SHAPE FX - Minimalistic, but gets the basics done.

ShapeFX

 ShapeFX successfully tells subscribers to look for a special deal in a forthcoming email, offers whitelisting instructions and invites folks to start shopping. Example: FRED FLARE

Fred Flare

Fred Flare does a colorful job of welcoming subscribers into the "fred flare fan club" and introducing lots of fun ways to interact. Reiterating what subscribers will receive plus some whitelisting instructions could round out this page.

Welcome Message Best Practices

Lucky you! Welcome messages incorporate many, if not all, of the same best practices as landing pages! Make sure to incorporate the above suggestions into your email as well. For introductions and links, you can keep them exactly the same in both places or vary them if you like.

A couple of additional thoughts:

1) Make sure you're sending your email from your brand name and not from "Customer Service" or marketing@xyz.com. Your recipient will not recognize you and your email will look somewhat amateurish.

2) Think about how to welcome subscribers into your community rather than thank them for joining a list. In other words, instead of saying "Thanks for joining our mailing list!" you can create a different customer experience through statements like "Welcome to our exclusive community!" or "We're so happy that you've joined this very special group!" You get the idea.

3) Also avoid subject lines like "Email Marketing Confirmation." First, that sounds very stiff and non-personal. Secondly, a statement like that makes me wonder, is this saying I'm confirmed or that I still need to confirm?

4) Consider a welcome coupon or incentive to start shopping/interacting right away.

Example: SEGWAY

Segway

Minus the very large welcome masthead area that could be minimized to allow for the main message to live higher in the email, Segway does a truly fantastic job of including best practices.  They welcome subscribers into not just a newsletter but a green "movement," reiterate expectations, offer a coupon, encourage dialogue and invite subscribers to engage with their various social media sites.

All of these elements  - a visible, info-gathering sign-up, subscription landing page and welcome message -  together create a pleasant and clear sign-up process that builds a positive first impression with your brand. If you haven't evaluated your sign-up in some time or are relaunching your site, I encourage you to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this optimization series and get started today. You could find yourself with a nice boost in subscribers and revenue.

How have your sign-up tweaks impacted your results? Please share your success stories!

Kristen Gregory
Email Strategist at Bronto
@kristengreg

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Kristen Gregory, Manager of Strategic Services at Bronto Software

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Comments

I love the part about welcoming new subscribers to your community. Emails that say "Welcome to Our Mailing List," are almost as off-putting as messages that say "February Newsletter."

Submitted by Kristen Gregory (not verified) on

Hi Brian,

Thanks for commenting! I think that thanking subscribers for joining a list is very, very common. Just like we raised awareness around (not) using the word "blast" when we talk about email marketing, we need to do the same around the impressions we create when new people show interest. They are not just another address on a list. We value them and the worth of our programs more than that.

Thanks!

Submitted by Faathin (not verified) on

Hi Kristen, many thanks for the 3 sections on signups. Am doing a sign up form for our business and your pointers helped heaps. Amazing the little things we can miss out if we're not careful.

Submitted by Kristen Gregory (not verified) on

Faathin,

I'm so glad to hear that these tips were helpful! There really are lots of little things to keep in mind that can ultimately make a very big difference. I've recently seen some big boosts in subscriber rates (increases from 250-400%) for a couple of companies who simply moved their sign-up to the top of their Web site. Kudos to you for creating the best form you can!

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