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Rich and Co.

“Winning The Hearts And Email Addresses”

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Social media and websites are proving to be mainly tools for customer service and not outreach to new customers and clients.   Email is making a comeback as the main tool for outreach and growth.  Capturing emails is then critical to any effort.  Here is a best practices discussion taken from a review of the presidential candidates email capturing tactics.

Winning The Hearts And Email Addresses Of America 10/19/2012

A site user visits a landing page, enters an email address, and becomes a part of a marketer’s subscriber list. With its seemingly simple objective, the importance of the email opt-in is easy to overlook. While the primary goal for the brand is to build their subscriber base, this first step in the process represents a critical turning point between a brand and a consumer. By providing their email and granting permission to be contacted, this new subscriber has chosen to initiate an interactive relationship. By thinking through the opt-in process from the perspective of the subscriber, marketers can kick things off in a way that will be beneficial for the customer as well as the brand.

How does the email sign-up process measure up when applied to one of the most closely watched, high stakes races for opt-ins on the web? Both Barak Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s campaigns are in full swing, seeking to build support, donations and their voter bases. We thought it would be interesting to monitor how each campaign is optimizing the email opt-in process and compare the practices they are using to maneuver in the digital landscape…I’ve broken out the best practices into several main themes across two posts that focus on providing a subscriber-centric, positive experience. Look for the second post to come next week!

Make a Splash.
Direct new site visitors to a splash page where the opt-in is the primary element…make sure that your opt-in form is easy to find. If your access point to becoming a subscriber is buried in website content, it’s much more likely to get ignored.

Make It Clear.
By making sure that key elements are present and clear in your form, you can increase your new subscriber acquisition rate…feature clear branding, a succinct and motivating statement, a strong call-to-action button and a simple opt-in form…frame the opt-in in terms of what it means to the subscriber and the campaign.

By spelling out how opting-in can benefit the subscriber as well as upping the ante with the inclusion of an unanticipated chance to win…While the addition of contests and giveaways can increase overall subscriber rates, relying solely on this technique can attribute to poor list quality and low engagement rates. If a subscriber is purely motivated by the chance to win, there’s a high likelihood that they won’t be interested in much else.

On the side of compliance and transparency, include a link to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service pages of the site. In addition, the inclusion of a Privacy Policy that is easy to find and easy to understand can help reinforce a site visitor’s opinion of the brand as a reputable and responsible company.

Set expectations in regards to what kind of messages a subscriber will receive. By letting your customers know what they should expect to see from your email program, your brand is much less likely to receive spam complaints from subscribers which ultimately can have a negative impact on deliverability.

Make It Easy (or at least look easy).
If your opt-in page sets obstacles between your prospective subscriber and the submit button, you are much more likely to frustrate and/or lose that subscriber. Is your opt-in hard to find? Do you have a large set of required fields? Is the form hard to navigate or intimidating at first glance? If so, streamline the process.

Once visitors to each opt-in page complete the initial forms, they are directed to a secondary page. On these pages, we see a clear differentiation, making a strong case for intuitive, approachable form design…a one-step-at-a-time experience.

If Possible, Make It Optional.
Having access to subscriber-volunteered data, interests and information is great, especially if you’re able to target and refine your message streams based on this data.

First, leveraging a multi-step opt-in form is a great way to capture subscriber information without losing out when they’ve hit their threshold of how many fields they’re willing to fill out. By separating the initial email opt-in form from the more complex forms.

What Does This all Boil Down To?
A happy subscriber is always going to be a better subscriber. Do your brand and your customers a favor by kicking off the digital relationship on the right foot. By taking the time to understand your customer’s needs, wants and perspective, you can prevent and identify areas of your opt-in process that are frustrating or intimidating your subscribers and contributing to both lower capture and satisfaction rates.

So what comes next? Whether a subscriber has clicked submit or decided not to opt-in, there is still the opportunity to enhance the brand-to-subscriber experience. Adding structure and strategy to the next phase of the user experience can help positively transition your customers out of the opt-in process and start having them interact with your brand.

Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/185578/obama-vs-romney-winning-the-hearts-and-email-add.html#ixzz29rjkw3mp

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Written by Rich and Co.

October 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm

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