Collecting Email Addresses from Website Visitors

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Best Practices for Collecting Email Addresses from Website Visitors

Below is an overview of common ways marketers collect email addresses, the audiences (by age) that are most likely to be willing to provide their email address, and the top five locations within a web page that are best utilized for an email call-to-action. Further, 15 best practices regarding email sign up on websites are included, along with a brief note as to why each is a best practice. Please note: research, as it relates to how large insurance companies gather email addresses was conducted. However no public information was available as it relates to best practices specifically within the insurance industry. Upon study of numerous large insurance company sites, it seems the most common way for an insurance company to receive a user’s email address is to prompt the user for an insurance quote, which they can only receive via email.

MOST COMMON WAYS OF COLLECTING EMAIL ADDRESSES

When collecting emails, 200 digital retailers, worldwide, reported in November 2016 that 89% receive email addresses from sign up confirmation on screen, while 34% receive email addresses from pop-up invitations and 31% receive email addresses from promotional offers on-screen for signing up. Regarding data entry, 41% requested additional information beyond an email address (e.g. name, zip code), 20% required an account creation, and 16% required the email address to be entered twice

Further, 62% of United States marketers reported using email addresses as their primary call-to-action in their advertising (as of May 2017).

AGE GROUPS MOST LIKELY TO PROVIDE EMAIL ADDRESSES

As of January 2017, 44% of internet users between age 25-34 report providing a personal email address online, followed by 39% 16-24 years and 38% between 35-44 years of age.
Regarding a work email address, 41% age 25-34 report giving their work email address online, 38% of age 16-24, followed by 36% of age 35-44.

WHERE TO PLACE CALL-TO-ACTION

Below are the top five places on a website where an email address call-to-action is most successful:

Estimated conversion rate: 20 — 40%
Takeaway: Isolates the call to action — gives two options. Yes, or no, before entering the site.
2: In-Content Email capture
Estimated conversion rate: 10 — 50%
3: Product Page Calls to Action
Expected Conversion Rate: 10 — 20%
4: A Link as a Menu Option
Expected Conversion Rate: 10 — 20%
5: Before the “read more” tag on your homepage
Expected Conversion Rate: 5 — 15%

BEST PRACTICES

When asking for an email address, offer an incentive for the user to sign-up. For example, using insurance, provide the option to receive free tips on how to reduce your premium by signing up with your email address.
Why is this a best practice: Shows your users why they should sign up for your emails and what they can expect to receive.

Similar to offering useful knowledge, offer videos that users can have access to for learning more information by providing their email address.
Why is this a best practice: Shows your users why they should sign up for your emails and what they can expect to receive.
Throughout the website, advertise that you offer a newsletter, and give a few ideas of what is included (updates on insurance policies, access to bundles, etc.), and provide a field to collect email addresses.
Why is this a best practice: Shows your users why they should sign up for your emails and what they can expect to receive.

Studies show that a dedicated landing page specifically for email sign-ups can increase a company’s conversion rate by as much as 50%. Create the page with eye-catching colors, easy-to-read content, and if possible, include reviews from other users who have already signed up for the content and services they receive with their email address.
Why is this a best practice: This not only has a high level of success, but also creates an easy and simple place for your email sign-ups to live, instead of including within the content of your website.

Most email management platforms (e.g. MailChimp) offer the option to build an email sign up form directly on your site, using the “Form Builder” tool within the MailChimp platform. This will automatically add all email sign ups to your list database. Further, MailChimp recommends enabling a reCAPTCHA confirmation form to prevent fake and spam email sign-ups.
Why is this a best practice: This not only allows for easy transition into from receiving the email address and adding it to your lists, but the option of a reCAPTCHA allows for more accurate email data.
Randy Stocklin, CEO and Co-Founder of One Click, said that the strongest method they’ve seen for email collections is through lightbox popups. This makes it easy for the user to sign up and see what they are choosing to subscribe to.
Why is this a best practice: While these can be considered invasive, many marketers swear by their success, as they grab the attention of the user right away.

Create a bar on your website, at the top, that is minimally invasive and stays on the site while the user continues to scroll. This bar will keep their attention the entire time as it is always present on site, and can have a simple call-to-action message regarding signing up with their email address.
Why is this a best practice: Creates a place for the email sign up to live, and is always on page while the user is reading.

Similar to the sticky top bar, a side bar can be added onto the website that stays in place as the user scrolls, and includes a call-to-action and/or incentive for signing up with an email address.
Why is this a best practice: Creates a place for the email sign up to live, and is always on page while the user is reading.
Candice Galek, CEO and Founder of BikiniLuxe, said that they host contests and promotions on site (e.g. giveaway contests, discounts) to encourage email sign-ups.
Why is this a best practice: Contests are a way to make the user feel they are getting something in return for providing your company with personal information.
USE MOTION TO CATCH WEBSITE VISITORS’ ATTENTION
Using special display units (e.g. a scroll trigger box) is a wonderful way to catch a user’s eye without utilizing a popup. The user will scroll down the screen reading content, and then the ask for an email address will be organically placed within.
Why is this a best practice: Grabs the attention of the user and stands out from the regular content on-site as something they should pay attention to.

TRY DOUBLE OPT-IN SIGNUP FORM
Using a double opt-in form (e.g. after a user signs up, require them to click a link in their email to verify they’ve included a real email address), and they can only access the extra content after verifying.
Why is this a best practice: Ensures you're receiving only seriously interested users, who access their email on a regular basis.
Offer a birthday club to entice users to provide their email address — some sort of reward or discount that can be offered each year, via email, on their birthday.
Why is this a best practice: Gives users an incentive for providing their personal information, beyond gaining more knowledge.
Include information for signing up for emails at the end of each blog and/or content post.
Why is this a best practice: A good way to keep reminding users that you offer more information via emails, and keep it in the forefront of their mind each time they read a new blog or content page.

As a way to be less invasive, websites can have a request for email either popup or slide (from left or right) onto the content page as an overlay, after they’ve reached the end of the content.
Why is this a best practice:Non-invasive way to collect an email address, and lets the user read content and form an opinion on the site before signing up for more information.

Use a survey online to ask your users a few questions about your content and/or their experience, and include an ask for an email address at the end of the survey.
Why is this a best practice: A non-invasive way to not only gather the user's email address, but to gather information on what users think of your website.

SUMMARY

Internet users A25-34 are the most likely audience to provide their email address to a company online, and placing your call-to-action for an email sign up on a landing page is a highly successful way to gather email addresses, with an estimated conversion rate of 20 — 40%. Offering incentives to your users, such as more information, videos, and free gifts on their birthday, is an optimal way to gather more emails from your site users. Large insurance companies in the nation tend to utilize quote information to attain more email addresses, providing quote information only through a verified email.

Part
02
of two
Part
02

Innovative Ways to Collect Email Addresses from Website Visitors

There are many innovative ways that businesses can collect email addresses from website visitors. Key methods to keep in mind when trying to increase email address collection include building trust between the customer and one's business, an eye-catching website layout, maintaining the website visitor's attention throughout the entire duration of their visit, varying popup locations, and offering visitors incentives.

METHODOLOGY

These methods were chosen since they offer new ways for businesses to leverage their websites to collect email addresses. While most sites include popups, they often appear at the beginning of a user's website experience. These popups then disappear, with or without having collected an email and do not reappear. Since the majority of websites lack a diversified set of popups, this leads to missed opportunities. However, when users are consistently prompted to input their email address at optimal stages throughout the duration of their website visit, it presents them with more opportunities to do so. By engaging users at multiple stages through the use of innovative popup techniques, businesses can leverage new tactics to increase email sign-ups. Simplified design layouts for contact forms, incentives, and addressing specific audiences directly are all strategies that are more effective when paired with these new email popup methods.

COLLECT WHILE THEY WAIT

One of the easiest and most innovative ways to collect email addresses during a website visit is asking for it while the user is waiting. For example, while the customer waits for their insurance quote, take this opportunity to ask for their email in a popup. This method is effective since you are guaranteed to have the user's attention during this time, and inputting one's email address helps pass the visitor's time as they wait for a quote.

SCROLL-TRIGGERED BOXES

Scroll-triggered boxes are a unique way of collecting email addresses since they demand attention and action from the website user. Unlike the regular popup, scroll-triggered boxes appear towards the end of the website, once the visitor has gained familiarity with the site and business. This means that trust will most likely have been formed by this time, and users will be more likely to share their emails.

LIGHTBOX POPUPS

Lightbox popups are one of the most effective ways of obtaining email addresses. Using tools like Optinmonster allows businesses to control when Lightbox popups show up on the website, increasing email collection.

INCENTIVIZE

To increase the likeliness of first-time website users sharing their email address, offer coupons in the popup. To cater to repeat visitors, regularly offer new updated deals to keep users interested.

ADDRESS THE VISITOR

Speaking directly to the website visitor not only builds trust but increases the likeliness that they will share their emails. For example, if a majority of customers visit the website on their mobile devices, include popups that speak directly to the mobile device-using experience. Including a live-chat with 24/7 onboard customer service makes website visitors feel special knowing that there is somebody answering their specific questions, building trust in the business and increasing email address collection rates.

EYE-CATCHING LAYOUT

Sometimes, the most simple changes to a website can make a major difference. Simplifying contact forms saves website visitors time and increases the chance that they will share their emails. Other changes like font color and a new website layout make the page more eye-catching and intriguing to website visitors.

CONCLUSION

In order to most effectively increase email address collection, businesses should use a combination of these different methods. Websites should always keep the visitor intrigued during their entire visit, should make the visitor believe that the business is trustworthy, and make the user experience as simple as possible.
Sources
Sources