In a few of our recent blogs, we’ve chatted a bit about the importance of strengthening opt-in forms to create better lists and released a white paper on maximizing deliverability. Now, the time has come to combine the two concepts into one streamlined method to maximize the benefits of organic list building.
For those of you that depend on email and online content, whether it be to generate leads, build your customer base, or engage clients, do not be afraid of asking for a little more information from your email subscribers. If you have online content they would like access to or offer a free membership program that utilizes an email login, ask for more data than just their name and email address on opt-in forms. You could consider their name and email to be like two slices of bread — Sure it could be a meal, but it’s not really satisfying. That’s where the meat and cheese comes in to make a sandwich: ask for segmentation identifiers that pertain to your product or service (job title, gender, birthday, etc). I’m sure that you will agree that combining the “bread” and the “meat and cheese” will make a far more satisfying email marketing sandwich.
Next, feel free to include a reminder in your email form that can help increase deliverability. Since you’re the one behind the curtain sending the emails, you will know which ISPs or bounce issues that are most common in your campaigns. Note these issues in the form and subscribers that want the information you offer, whether its coupons or a newsletter, will make it a point to help solve these issues on their end.
Still have no idea what I’m talking about? Let’s take a look at an example:
This is actually a form that I recently came across on BodyBuilding.com when using their virtual physical trainer. If you’re not already logged in as a member, this is the form that loads when trying to access customized fitness and meal plans on the website. Note that there is still the option to pass on subscribing (“No Thanks. Take me to the LiveFit series.), but they give you a great incentive to sign up: if you’ve ever tried to start a new fitness or weightloss regimen, you’ll know that you’ll take all the motivation and tips that you can get. The form also includes segmentation information, such as gender and age, which it uses to send you customized advice. For example, weightlifting tips that apply to a 20 year-old male do not necessarily apply to a 52 year-old female. This allows for BodyBuilding.com to segment their subscribers and maximize engagement.
Another aspect of their form that is a tremendous benefit to them is the use of the Gmail disclaimer at the bottom. It’s obvious that in the past they’ve had deliverability issues with Gmail and are trying to circumvent the issue in the future. Right off the bat, Gmail users will know to keep an eye on their spam box for anything from BodyBuilding.com and to mark it as “not spam.” Even if all Gmail users don’t necessarily do this, the few that do will significantly increase deliverability for messages from BodyBuilding.com to Gmail in the future.
Take a look at your current opt-in form and think about that information from subscribers that you always wanted but could never have. Is there any way you could ask for it in a subscription form? If not, is there a different incentive that you could give subscribers to provide you with that data? Also, if you’re having problems with delivery to specific ISPs, how can you address this problem in your forms to increase deliverability in the future?
Inbound Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts