For the majority of smart marketers, email is still the killer app. Why? Because once you have that email address, you know you have a customer. They may not have bought from you yet, but they are in your funnel. You start marketing to your new customer, providing valuable communication and offers to try to convert that lead into a sale – copywriting becomes a powerful tool.

And the way you get that almighty email address is by asking for it. Thus, the email sign up box. We always recommend you have this on your website, and your home page is a great place to start.

Anatomy of a sign up box

There are may tried and tested ways of getting more sign ups to your email marketing list. But the three most important are, in reverse order:

  • a big friendly sign up button call to action (such as ‘get your white paper now’)
  • an exciting offer
  • headline

Let’s look at each in more depth:

Buttons

Last week we discussed copywriting calls-to-action, and I briefly mentioned how putting your main call-to-action into a button increases the chances of someone taking action. The reason is simple: a button actually looks like something you can interact with – you want to click it. It’s a big shiny button that practically forces your reader to press it. (Who wouldn’t want to press the big shiny button?)

Offers

Does it need to be exciting? Yes! To your prospects. I used to be skeptical about doing this, but then I read more about the psychology of reciprocity. Reciprocity is the tendency for humans to reciprocate when given something (like a gift). This can be as simple as a smile: you smile and then I smile back, and it extends to gift-giving in all its forms; it’s human nature.

Research backs this up, and it’s why so many marketers give away excellent content for ‘free’ – the reciprocation is the exchange of information for your email address and the tacit agreement to receive future marketing. The better the offer in favour of your prospect, the more likely you are to get a sign up.

Headlines

In Part 1 of the copywriting home page series, we covered getting attention through headlines. And for getting a sign up, you need to get their attention first. In a way, the email sign up box headline is a combination of all the techniques and pieces we have discussed so far – your headline here needs to attract attention, be relevant, communicate the offer and act as a call-to-action to ‘look over here.’

Once you have happy customers, they can help you sell even more…

Coming next in the series: home pages Part 5 – Testimonials

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