Collecting emails from your website

sam hollis

Sam Hollis is a Web Designer, Business Owner, Dad,  Digital Marketing Expert and Podcaster

‘I’m always happy to chat and advice is always free’

Why would you want to collect email addresses from people visiting your website?

Well, you can contact them. That’s pretty useful. Being able to send something to a lead’s inbox is much more powerful, personal and direct than posting on social media. It’s sent directly to them. It won’t get missed a few hours later. It will sit in their inbox until they open it. This could be a personal email, an automated email, a newsletter or a mix. Having a lead’s email address is a powerful way of communicating with them. What is in the emails you send out is important and I’ll look at that at a future date. This blog is about collecting those valuable email addresses using your website.

Ways to collect email addresses on your website:

Newsletter sign up.

newspaper in a letter boxAsk website visitors to sign up to your newsletters using a ‘sign up to my newsletter’ form. If this is sat somewhere on a page then the odd very keen follower may sign up to this.

To get people to sign up you need to try and attract visitors’ attention. This could be done with a popup form on your website. These can be a little irritating, yet, the stats show they work.

The pop-ups do a good job of collecting email addresses. There are various more subtle version of the popup. Such as a subscribe box that scrolls around the page with a visitor. Whatever the method the idea is to attract a visitor’s attention and try and get them to sign up.

Blog sign up

This is like a newsletter sign-up. There is an advantage with a blog in that a visitor on your blog page has probably read one of your blog posts and is interested. This signup form should come at the end of each blog. Once a visitor has read a blog and realised how great it is, they’ll want to sign up for more.

Lead magnet

This is a commonly used but effective ploy to get a visitor’s email address. You will have seen it in use with titles such as:

'Download our free guide to applying for business finance'.

'Free - Download our top ten tips when buying a new motorbike'.

These documents contain information that is valuable to the website visitor. But, they have to hand over their email address to access the document. You can see an example here of the Yorkshire Powerhouse using this. You must hand over your email address to access their business planning documents. This can be very effective. When using it, think carefully about what would be useful to a potential client.

The giveaway not only allows you to capture contact information, but also allows you to establish yourself as someone helpful and an expert. You can send these people a personal email once you have their email address. But you do need to get their permission before adding them to a newsletter list. This would need to be via a simple email or tick box (that must not be pre-ticked).

Product purchasing

newspaper in a letter boxWhen a visitor buys from your website, you will collect their email address. You can then use this for marketing with their permission. The checkout is a good place to ask if they would like to join the newsletter. An incentive such as a discount voucher for future purchases may help to persuade them.

Members areas

You can set up an exclusive ‘members area’ on your website. Here your ‘exclusive members’ can access extra resources and information. As part of this membership, there could be a regular email newsletter.

This works much better for some types of business than others. When asking someone to join the exclusive member’s area it feels personal. It feels like you are offering them something useful. If you do this make sure the member’s area is useful.

Collected email addresses

Personal email accounts are great for one-to-one emails. But if you want to send out emails to many people then you probably need a 3rd party email newsletter app. newspaper in a letter box
There is no shortage of them, with Mailchimp being the dominant one. But, Mailchimp recently changed its offering. There is now much less available on their free plan than before. This has allowed smaller players to come forward.

It is vital to use a service like this for a few reasons. The most simple is that your standard email supplier is designed to send one-to-one or one to a few emails. It’s not designed to send out hundreds of messages. If you do, most of them will be rejected as spam by the recipients and you could end up with a blacklisted email address.

The apps are designed to send out many emails without this happening. They are working to ensure as many emails as possible get around the spam filters. The app deals with all the GDPR issues. It ensures the rules are followed. It will automatically deal with unsubscribes and other admin tasks.

What service to use for

If your email list is not huge, then Mailchimp could be useful, as it allows you to have a list of 2000 contacts. It also allows you to send up to 10,000 emails per month. That is more than enough for most small businesses. Where it does charge is for automatic emailing. For example, you might want to email a visitor when they join a list. Send them another email a week later and another a month later. This is not included in Mailchimp’s free plan, but the paid service is very good at it. All Mailchimp newsletters on the free plan also include Mailchimp branding.

Moosend is one of the alternatives. It only allows up to 1000 subscribers with its free plan. However, if you are below 1000 then everything is free. Automatic emails can be sent out. Everything goes out without Moosend branding. There is no limit to the number of emails that are sent out. Both these services integrate well with WordPress and have plugins to help with this.

If you want to use your website to make more sales then lead capture and newsletter subscription are great tools. It’s then down to what you do with this captured data.

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