The majority of marketers who use landing pages to make direct sales online are focused on conversion: driving as many visitors to the landing page as possible to make purchases.
Other internet marketers focus on not only conversion when writing landing page copy, but also on search engine optimization: keyword selection and meta tag creation, which can increase traffic by improving the site’s search engine rankings.
However, savvy online marketers are also concerned with a third performance metric: email address capture. If your conversion rate is 2%, this means that for every 100 visitors to your landing page, only two will make a purchase. What becomes of the remaining 98 visitors? You will not be able to add their email addresses to your list unless your landing page incorporates a deliberate methodology for capturing them.
Here are five methods for capturing the email addresses of non-converting landing page visitors. At the very least, each landing page you operate should include one.
1. Ezine Sign-Up Box
This is a box that allows visitors to sign up for a free enewsletter simply by entering their name and email address. While the prominent placement of an ezine sign-up box on the first screen is a common method of email capture for websites, it is less common for microsites and landing pages. That’s because if your headline and lead capture the visitor’s attention effectively, they won’t bother signing up—they’ll simply begin reading. Then, if they lose interest or scroll to the bottom but do not order, you have not captured their email address.
2. Squeeze Page
Squeeze pages, also known as preview pages, are brief landing pages that require visitors to register with their name and email address before proceeding to the long-copy landing page.
In some cases, the lengthy landing page is positioned as a “report” that visitors can access following registration. This strategy will only work if your landing page is written in an informative, educational tone. Numerous squeeze pages offer a value-added piece of content, such as a free report, in exchange for submitting your email address. Those looking to collect both snail mail and email addresses make the premium a physical item that must be shipped, such as a complimentary CD.
Squeeze pages are effective when organic and paid search traffic is your primary source of traffic. That is because search visitors to your site are only marginally qualified—they have chosen to visit based on a few words in a search engine description or a paid Google ad. As a result, they may be hesitant to read a large amount of copy from an unfamiliar source. A squeeze page condenses the essence of your proposition into a few succinct paragraphs.
The primary benefit of the squeeze page is that it ensures that you collect an email address from each visitor who reads the entire landing page. Additionally, they have been pre-qualified based on their interest in the subject and are therefore more likely to read the lengthy copy.
3. Email Capture Sidebar
These are forms that are integrated into the main landing page as sidebars, once again presenting a no-cost offer. The email capture sidebar typically appears early in a long-copy landing page, typically on the second or third screen, and may be repeated one or more times throughout the page.
The disadvantage of the email capture sidebar is that it is visible before the prospect has read all the way through the sales letter, and thus before you have finished selling them and requested the order. Thus, if your product teaches visitors how to speak French and the email capture sidebar offers a free French lesson, the visitor may choose the free offer over the paid one.
When you attempt to exit the landing page without making a purchase, a window appears saying something along the lines of “Wait! Do not depart without claiming your complimentary bonus gift.”
The benefit of the pop-under is that it appears only after visitors have read to the point of leaving without ordering, and the free content offer does not compete with or distract visitors from the paid product offer. The drawback is that
Around 25% of internet users in the United States use pop-up blockers, and many of these blockers will prevent your pop-under from appearing.
A floater is similar to a pop-up window in appearance and functionality, but it is integrated into the HTML code of the landing page, and thus will not be blocked by a pop-up blocker. When you click on the site, the floater hides a portion of the landing page. You can enter your email address manually or by clicking the floater. Either action eliminates the floater and reveals the full landing page.
As you can see, each of these email capture methods offers some form of free content in exchange for your email address — typically a downloadable PDF report, an ecourse delivered via auto-responder, or an ezine subscription. However, be aware that the ever-changing Google algorithm penalizes sites with floaters because they prevent users from accessing the homepage until they click out.
Why would you want to maximize visitor email address capture on your websites? To begin, by sending these visitors an online conversion series — a series of emails delivered via auto-responder — you’ll have another opportunity to persuade them to purchase. Second, the best email marketing names are found on your house elist. The more quickly you can build a sizable email list, the more profitable your internet marketing endeavors will become.