The third deadly mistake of home page design is not collecting visitor information. For most author, writer, speaker, and coach websites, one of the main purposes is to grow their list. To do this, you have to invite visitors to your website to continue the conversation.
You do this with an opt-in form.
But you can use just any old opt-in form. You must make it
- noticeable — it stands out from the rest of the page
- compelling — it offers a compelling reason to opt-in
- easy to say yes — the less information you request and require, the higher your opt-in rate
Let’s go over these three things in a little more detail.
Make Your Opt-In Form Noticeable
Your opt-in form should be one of the first things your visitor sees, and you can accomplish this in several ways:
- Bright and/or contrasting colors so it stands out … yellow is a good choice.
- Arrows pointing to the opt-in form
- Pop up or Lightbox technology … the opt-in form floats out over the content of your web and the visitor must complete it or close it to regain access to the content.
Some people even make their home page a squeeze page, asking people to opt in before gaining access to the main website.
Make Your Opt-In Offer Compelling
A simple subscription to your newsletter won’t cut it. Give them a special report, audio download or video that answers their biggest questions related to what your business is about, and they will opt in.
Make It Easy To Say Yes
Yes, you would love to have a mailing address and phone number to round out your list … be until someone trusts you, they just aren’t going to do that. In fact, opt-in forms that only require and ask for an email often get higher opt-in rates that any other. However, without the first name you won’t be able to personalize the emails, so asking for a first name is a compromise that doesn’t affect your opt-in rate too much.
Want to know what all five deadly mistakes are? Grab a copy of my new book, Home Sweet Home Page: The 5 Deadly Mistakes Authors, Speakers and Coaches Make with Their Website’s Home Page and How To Fix Them! at BookMarketingClub.com/homepagebook. Stop by the website between March 15 and 19, 2010, to join the launch and housewarming party, and download a plethora of free gifts!