Want to know how to increase blog traffic and increase your sales at the same time?
I know you’ve heard it over and over again that you in order to convert your blog traffic into sales you need to build a strong relationship with your readers. This couldn’t be more true. People buy from someone they trust. In order to gain that trust you need to stay in constant communication with them.
Here is the problem:
More than half of your readers, even though they like the article they’re reading on your blog, will visit once and never return.
They came to your site mainly to get some sort of piece of information. Either they were searching for it on Google or they found you through a social network or some other way, regardless, they’re visiting your site because they believe that you will provide some value to them. However, once they’re done they will most likely return to what they were doing or move on to a new site never to see yours again.
Enter Email Capture
That is where email capture (MailChimp affiliate link*) comes in. If you provide enough value to your readers and convince them to give you their email then you’ve made a major step towards building that relationship and gaining their trust (don’t blow it by spamming them or selling their email. Seriously! You’re messing it up for the rest of us if you send them garbage).
Go and do it now because every single day that goes by is another day you could be using to grow your list. Imagine if you started last week, month, or year?
Here is a great way we have found to capture emails to begin building that relationship.
Syed Balkhi, a SteamFeed guest poster, emailed me a couple months back and asked me to take a look at OptinMonster, a WordPress plugin he helped develop, because he thought we could convert people into email subscribers at a much higher rate than we currently were doing so. We were skeptical at first but because I already knew Syed I decided to check it out and see what OptinMonster was all about. When I went to his page I was greeted with this video:
I decided that the exit intent technology interested me enough to give it a shot. (Note: Syed upgraded our account to a Pro-License in exchange for this article in order to fully test its capabilities. However, it was made clear that I would be honest to the SteamFeed readers about OptinMonster good or bad).
Setting Up OptinMonster
Once you sign up and pay for OptinMonster (30-day money back guarantee) and download the plugin then upload it to your wordpress site you can start creating opt-in forms right away (don’t forget to enter in key number under the Misc tab)
Start by creating a new optin:
Next you need to pick between a Lightbox, Footer Bar, or Slide In (Lightbox only available with the Pro and Ultimate licensing).
The Lightbox option pulls up a CTA (call to action) image prompting your reader to sign up for your email list so that you can continue your relationship with that person past this visit. It’s not a traditional popup that opens a new window and annoys your reader. A Lightbox image gives your readers the ability to easily X out of it if they’re not interested. Also, you can change the settings on it to show up less frequently. For example you can have it only show up once a month or once a year for the people who read your blog regularly but don’t want to sign up.
Note: Make sure the list you choose from your email marketing provider matches the options you want with OptinMonster. For example this list that we have on MailChimp collects just email addresses and that matches with what we told OptinMonster to collect. Some people collect first names and email addresses. If that’s the case make sure they match up. I couldn’t find a way for OptinMonster to collect more than just first names and emails. When we had it set to first, last, and email it didn’t accept it.
After you click on “Open Design Customizer” you’ll be taken to a screen where you can edit the look and feel of your LightBox.
Once you’ve done all that you can click save in the top left hand corner then close. Finally you need to select your output settings.
The footer and slide in options are both set up in very similar ways. Screenshots of those ones would really just be redundant. The footer shows up at the bottom of your site while the slide in comes in from the bottom of your site. It really comes down to preference as to which one to use.
Another great feature is the analytics that OptinMonster provides. You can try out different optins using A/B testing to see which ones convert the best.
A chart from List25.com
We’ve been using OptinMonster on SteamFeed for over a month now and we’ve seen a significant increase in our email conversions. There are a number of programs out there to help you increase your conversions but OptinMonster’s results and easy to use dashboard definitely makes it a favorite and a go to plugin for SteamFeed right now.
*If you decide to use MailChimp to grow your mailing list (it’s what we use and love) and eventually become a paying customer (they let you collect the first 2,000 subscribers for free) then we both get $30 in MailChimp credits. It’s a win-win. :)
Disclosure: A free license of OptinMonster was given to SteamFeed in exchange for this article.