6 Ways to Convert Visitors into Email Subscribers with WordPress

Converting your website visitors into subscribers is SOOOOO important to your business.

Because customers ONLY buy from businesses they know, like, and trust, you need to establish a relationship with them.

To do that, you convert them into an email subscriber (usually by offering some form of freebie in exchange for their email address).

You can then build that relationship via email.

But…

How Do We Convert Visitors Into Email Subscribers?

That’s where subscription boxes come in. Using WordPress, and a few plugins, we can easily add in subscription boxes that have high conversion rates. Let’s learn about the 6 ways we can convert visitors into subscribers with WordPress.

1. Popup Box

popup email subscription exampleThis is my favorite way to convert website visitors.

Out of all the methods I’ve tried, I’ve had the most success using this form of subscription box. On one of my older blogs, I got very few subscribers. But as soon as I used a popup box, my subscription rate increased by 10.

So, what do popup boxes look like? Usually, they appear the first time you visit a website. The background greys out a bit and a box appears over the page asking you to enter your name and email address (see the example from MarieForleo.com to the right).

How to Create a Popup Box

I use a plugin for WordPress called Popup Domination (affiliate link). It’s great because it’s already designed for you. All you have to do is fill in your own text.

To find out more about Popup Domination, click here (affiliate link).

2. End of Post Subscribe Box

end of post email signup boxHere’s another effective place for subscribe boxes: right at the end of a post, just before the comments. My theory for why they are so effective requires you to get in the mindframe of your website visitor:

The reader has just read your entire post. She must have engaged with it (otherwise, she wouldn’t have read the entire thing). She also thinks more highly of you. Therefore, when you ask her to subscribe, she is much more likely to.

Copyblogger does this well. I remember reading a post of theirs about creating landing pages. And at the end of the post was a subscription box asking if I’d like to learn more about their software Premise adn how it can make building landing pages easier. I’ve included an example to the right from Unbounce.com’s blog. I signed up right away.

How to create end of post subscribe boxes

There’s a plugin called Optin Skin (affiliate link), created by Viperchill, that makes it extremely easy to add end of post subscriber boxes…and even test them out. And it helps create our next form of subscriber boxes…

To find out more about Optin Skin, click here (affiliate link).

3. Sidebar Subscribe Box

sidebar optin boxHands down. These are the most popular subscription boxes I see online. Almost every blog and website has a susbcribe box in their sidebars. That being said, they usually just say “Enter your email address to subscribe”. Bad idea. Make your enticing. Make it stand out. Neil Patel does a great job of this by offering a free course to subscribers. I’ve included his sidebar subscribe box from QuickSprout.com.

How to add a sidebar susbcribe box

You can use OptinSkin (affiliate link) to do this as well.

Click Here for more information. (affiliate link)

4. Hello Bar

hello barOver the past year, the Hello Bar has become pretty popular. If you haven’t seen it before, it is a small bar that appears at the top of your site. It has just one line of text, and a link or button for people to press.

You can use it to send people anywhere you want, but I’d recommend sending people to a subscription form.

It’s much less intrusive than a popup box because it doesn’t cover up any content. But it still draws attention.

However, there is one thing that bugs me about the Hello Bar. Unlike the other subscription boxes I’ve mentioned here, visitors have to click the link and go to another page…and THEN fill out the subscription form. Whenever you put obstacles int he way of your visitors, nine times out of 10 you are going to lower your conversion rate.

Want to create a Hello Bar?

Go to http://www.hellobar.com/. You can create your Hello Bar, and then it’ll give you simple code to add to your site.

5. The Splash Page

splash page exampleIt’s funny.

Splash pages were everywhere in the late 90s. Then they died, and now they seem to be making a comeback.

A splash page is basically where first time visitors are redirected to. On this page is an offer (such as “Sign Up to Get My Free Course”) and a subscription form. Sometimes, there is a small link that says “Click here to skip this step”. Basically, it’s creating a gate for the user: if they want to see the content, they need to subscribe.

I’ve never used one, but there are many people who swear by splash pages. Yes, it may keep some visitors from viewing your content, but advocates of splash pages believe those visitors are ones who never would have subscribed anyways. A great example of a splash page is on TimothySykes.com.

How to create a splash page

Splash pages are somewhat complex to create.

Luckily, there is an amazing plugin you can get to help create a splash page. It’s called Welcome Gate. To find out more about Welcome Gate, and learn more about the Pros and Cons of Splash Pages, be sure to read my article, “Creating a Splash Page with the Welcome Gate Plugin“.

6. Feature Box

feature box exampleIf you follow Derek Halpern, you know this is his favorite.

Visit his blog, SocialTriggers.com, and you’ll see his feature box at the top. In fact, I had never seen feature boxes until Derek Halpern pointed it out.

Basically, a feature box adds a large subscription form to the top your website. It takes up most of the visitor’s page. Therefore, in order to view more content, the visitor has to scroll down. It’s not as intrusive as a splash page, but still encourages more people to subscribe.

How to create a feature box

Some themes come with feature boxes built in, or have simple instructions to add a feature box. However, you will most likely need a developer to help you add this.

Next Steps: Add A Subscription Box Today

Here’s what you’ll need to do to add your own subscription box (or boxes) to your own website:

  1. Get an email marketing software, such as Aweber or Mailchimp.
  2. Create an offer, such as “Sign Up to get my eBook for FREE!”
  3. Add one of the subscription boxes I mention above.
  4. Measure the results of your subscription box. Test out different offers or different subscription boxes and see which combination brings you the most subscribers.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Have you used one of the subscription boxes I mentioned? If you did, which one was most effective? Or have you used a subscription box that I didn’t mention in this list? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Comments

  1. Dave says

    Brandon, top shelf content and I like your implementation tricks to make it all work. I’ve used hello bar, optin-crusher and benchmark email sign-iup forms…no one really jumped out

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      Thanks Dave.

      You should give Optin Skin a try. I’ve used it with a few of my clients and it’s pretty simple to use.

  2. says

    Thanks for sharing this blog. 9 times out of 10, if a site uses a pop-up form I’ll leave and never come back. It comes across as very cheesy and spammerish as a reader.

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      To some extent. There is a balance you need to play with. On one hand, you want people to read your blog posts. On the other, you want people to sign up so you can sell to them. In my experience, most of the people who leave and never come back are people who weren’t planning on signing up any how.

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      More and more people are using it. The only reason I avoid it is some potential customers may not be comfortable signing up until they read a post and get to know my business. It’s a trade off.

  3. says

    Pop-ups can be annoying for some people. Some implementations forces the visitor to sign in. Exit button should be visible to allow choices for the visitors

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      Hey David. Popups definitely can be annoying, but they are effective.

      I agree that an exit button should be an option.

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