It’s the lead into your funnel. The one thing that must entice prospective clients to hand over their email address, giving you permission to not only contact them in the future but to actually sell them things.
Is yours doing its job?
Often times it’s not, and you may not even know it. Take a look at your current opt-in offers with a critical eye and watch for:
A Compelling Offer
This is what will ultimately entice someone to join your mailing list. It might be a free eBook or a resource guide or a short video. It could even be the promise of a weekly email, but it has to be something valuable to your ideal client.
Not only that, but the copy on your page must clearly state the benefits of your offer. What will your reader gain from it? What’s in it for her?
It’s important here to know the difference between a feature and a benefit. No one cares if your eBook is 147 pages long. That’s a feature. The benefit is what sells it. In this case, the benefit might be that the reader will discover an easy way to save $100 per month on her house payment. That’s certainly worth giving up your email address for!
A Call to Action
This is where you ask your reader to do something. You want her to fill in her name and email address and click that button, so you have to make it very clear that’s her job.
Great calls to action don’t look like work (subscribe, join, learn all sound like too much trouble), and compel the reader to take the next step.
- Download Now
- Listen Now
- Instant Approval
Using an enticing call to action can mean the difference between a 1% conversion rate and a 60% conversion, so it’s important to look at your call to action with a critical eye and to test it to make sure it’s performing.
Which brings us to analytics. You can’t improve what you don’t track, so be sure you’re using some kind of analytics on your squeeze page. Google Analytics (and others) will tell you how many visitors you receive. Divide the number of opt-ins by the number of page unique visitors, and that will tell you your conversion rate.
Take this one step further by installing some split-testing software (Google Webmaster Tools or LeadPages will do the trick) to serve half your visitors one page, and half a slightly different page. Compare the results, keep the one with the higher conversions, and then test again with a third version.
It’s no longer enough just to have an opt-in form in your sidebar. You have to consciously create a landing page that makes a great offer, has a strong call to action, and continually test and tweak it to improve performance. Do this one thing, and your funnel will fill itself—and so will your business.