We kick off our series of conversations about how to grow your email list by focusing on the most obvious starting point: your homepage. Do you know where you should place a signup form on your homepage? You will after these 5ish minutes!

00:22 Andy Shore: Hey everybody, welcome back. We’re gonna start talking about how to grow your email list, and the most obvious place to do that is your homepage. It’s the most trafficked page on your website and we’ll get into all the other reasons why, but after all, it’s the page that people go to first. It’s that first impression, almost always, unless they’re coming in through search for other reasons, but your homepage is where you’re at… Where it’s at, right Daniel?

00:49 Daniel Miller: Exactly, and we wanna start by talking about the homepage because, as Andy said, nine times out 10, for any business or online site, the homepage is the most trafficked page. You may have a page that’s ranking really well in SEO and it’s bringing in a lot of traffic, but at the end of the day people tend to be accustomed to clicking in your logo in the top left-hand corner on that home button to kinda just go back to base and go home, and I think there is a great opportunity for anybody to leverage the opportunity of asking for an email address to follow up with that person and try to bring them back to the site at a later time.

01:26 AS: Yeah, and that bringing them back is what it’s all about. We’re saying that’s where the most people come to, but you wanna keep them coming back and they might not always convert or make a purchase or make a reservation, whatever it is that you’re selling that first time, but if you collect their email address and follow up with them from there, then maybe you’re gonna make that sale. And that’s really what we’re all in the business to do is make money at the end of the day. Sure it’s about keeping customers happy and all that good stuff, but we’ve all gotta make money so you need to keep them coming back. Those leads need to convert into sales and email marketing is a great way to do that. So put that sign-up form on your homepage and let’s talk a little bit about where on your homepage that needs to go. And the most popular thing, I think, is putting it right there above the fold. Can you explain a little bit about what above the fold means?

02:16 DM: Totally. So, when you first go to a homepage, or really when you open an email, that first impression that you see, whatever you can see on the screen right there, that is considered above the fold. The second you start scrolling, anything below what you initially see is considered below the fold. So whenever somebody goes to your website you wanna try to make sure that that sign-up form is visible above the fold. If you’re using one of the CMSs like WordPress, they tend to have a really convenient right-hand column or left-hand column that allows you to add either a button or the sign-up form itself right there. So anybody that’s browsing through your page they can easily see that, they may not have time right this second to actually browse through, make a purchase or something else, but they don’t wanna forget about you so they’re gonna wanna sign up to receive your emails and come back later on.

03:08 AS: Yeah, totally. And another place that you may see it is the footer, and people don’t always scroll all the way down your website. We look at our Google Analytics and see exactly how far people make it on our page and sometimes that’s disenchanting, sometimes you’re excited, but you do know that the people who make it all the way to the bottom are genuinely interested in what you’re doing, and if that’s the case, you’re very likely gonna get a subscriber because they’re gonna want to know more because they wanted to know everything you had there on the page. And not only that, people are used to it being in the footer, that’s kind of a place that we’re trained to look, how you may see the stats that our eyes naturally go over those Google ads at the top of your search now ’cause we’ve all just grown accustomed to them being there, but in the same way people are accustomed to looking for that sign-up form in the footer a lot of the time, if they don’t find it there above the fold. So that’s another great place to do it because people’ll know to look there. And there’s also the sidebar, right?

04:06 DM: Yeah, a sidebar is pretty much what I mentioned earlier that WordPress does a really good job at really making it easy for anybody to manipulate and customize their sidebar, whether you want a left navigation or a right navigation. But as a bonus one, let’s talk about pop-ups. Those annoying pop-ups that you get as soon as you go to that website. You do a Google search, how do I do this? You get to the site, and without even being able to read the first couple words you get that pop-up that comes right up, “Sign up and get our latest tips or weekly recipes.” Or whatever it is that that site is about. To you and I that may be annoying, but believe it or not, they work. I believe sumo.com has excellent stats on how often those pop-up forms work, but I really… I recommend leaving it up to you. Do a test, see what works for your audience depending on if people go to the site, maybe have a test first that waits a minute, maybe have another test that waits till they scroll to a certain point, and maybe do another test that does right away. In all cases, test them out and really do what your audience likes best. So if you see that it pops up right away and people do not like it maybe extend it to something else.

05:17 AS: Totally, and we’ll have a whole episode dedicated to pop-ups versus regular ones. We’re gonna get into all this good stuff. We promise you we’re keeping it easy so you can get in and get out and start actively doing things to improve your email marketing and cluing yourself in. This is it for today, we’ll catch you next time. Thanks for listening!