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Optimize a Site to Get Newsletter Signups

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One of our members asks how to optimize a site to get more signups. We discuss some website design recommendations for her website to get more newsletter signups. If your goal is to get more email signups then making sure that your signup/call-to-action is the most prominent element in your website is very important and we discuss how to do that in this session.

Video Transcript

Rick: Deborah has this question that she’s actually asked all of us to consider answering which is you know, what is the one thing you would do to the homepage to make the site’s value more apparent to a first-time visitor and to get more signups? And her page is here…

Kim: I see it. I’m looking at it on my screen. Well, it looks like your logo’s… oh no, there it is. Well, the one thing, the first thing I see and I went and looked at it like for a couple of minutes this morning. The first thing I see is the type legal office guru and let me make your life a lot easier. Those are really close. They’re kind of fighting each other, right?

Rick: You mean, in terms of emphasis or in terms of proximity?

Kim: Both. I mean, in terms of emphasis, I think that it’s not confusing but it’s just like, you don’t know which one to look at first because they’re kind of like the same size. And so let me make your life easier, I would think that right over there in that little beecher box that’s moving is the perfect place to say, “Sign me up for…” and that would be the first place, right? Sign me up for a newsletter, put something in there?

Rick: I’ll bet you that slider doesn’t give you that ability.

Kim: Oh really?

Rick: Yeah, I bet you it doesn’t.

Kim: So you think it’s only photos and text?

Rick: Yeah.

Kim: Why can’t you just put it into a photo and make it… why can’t you correct… create an image that says that and then probably click on that and it takes you somewhere?

Rick: Well, I guess it does because I just clicked on that image and it took me over to her track changes post. So…

Kim: I mean, you definitely want whatever the newsletter is. And I don’t know why it wouldn’t also work in the nav bar. You know, you could put something up there, kind of pretty “Sign me up for a newsletter.” Actually, I felt this was a very interesting place because I have trouble with Word, Microsoft Office Word all the time. So I was trying to find a place to sign up and I was looking for the place to sign up for the weekly updates too. The other thing… one other thing and it’s very minor is that I think because the images are just sort of iconic for the post, they probably could be a little bit smaller. I think.

Rick: Okay.

Kim: Just a tiny bit. I guess what I’m looking around on it, I’m not really sure where to look first because everything is sort of black and white. Well, that may be blue which I consider that navy blue kind of as a black, right? It doesn’t really pop out. And so it feels a little…it feels like it could be organized just a little bit more and the fact that it could feel like it’s more in chunks you know, where the sidebar is… I don’t know. Maybe it has a color behind it so it just does it all sort of jumbled together. But in the long run, about the sign-up for the weekly update or… what would you would do with the sign-up?

Rick: Well, she was trying to get more sign-ups. She’s trying to make this appear as if there’s a reason to get sign-ups.

Kim: Yeah. Well, that should probably up in that first or somewhere where… whether we make a new image up there you know, kind of cute? Or if it’s up in that nav bar up there with a… maybe you have some little icons along with that, a little sign up you know, I don’t know. A little page or something or a pencil or maybe add some icons to that. But I don’t know. What do you think?

Rick: Well, I think that if the primary goal of the conversation is to get people to sign up for this right here then this needs to be prominent. And so it probably shouldn’t be number 2 in the list here, even if it doesn’t go up here. Even if it stays down here, it shouldn’t be number 2 in the list and it should also really stand out. If we… just for a moment, if we take a look at Marty’s site you know, Marty’s got… I mean, the main goal of Marty’s site is to get people, at the moment, to sign up here. That’s her absolute main objective because she’s going to use this process then to build her list and to market to those people. So the singly most important thing that she wants people to do is to fill this out.

And so not only do we make it very prominent here but we also make it very prominent here and really, that is the most prominent element on the site is you know, sign up for this free gift. She does send out a newsletter but she’s not offering the newsletter here, right? What she’s offering is a 5-session video text series that enunciates her concept for you know, how to become more profitable. And so she’s exchanging a free gift for their email address. That is undoubtedly, more compelling than sign up for the newsletter.

Rick: Get weekly updates, that’s not really… I’m guessing that’s not really strongly enough… a strong enough value for the action. And so if what she wants is to… if this is the thing she wants people to do is to sign up for this then it needs to become much more prominent and she needs to offer something other than simply weekly updates. Because the perceived value in get weekly updates is… it’s not high.

Kim: Well and you’re also… I mean, do you say like “Get a free tip… tip of the week or something”? You know, like you’re giving something away that week.

Rick: Well, I think I would probably make it more concrete. You know, if she’s got some video tutorials that she gives away or if she’s got some little introductory thing then this should advertise that. She should have something that she gives away in exchange for the email… the weekly updates can be… I mean, she’s going to continue to send them stuff every week and so they’ll continue to get the weekly updates. But the reason for signing up is going to be something else, right? Whether it’s… and so it should probably be something general that really applies to her client base that they see value in, whether it’s… well, whatever it is, right? The weekly updates, the value…essentially, the value proposition of get weekly updates is very low. And so the only person’s going to fill this out is somebody who’s very specifically interested in what they see here after they have looked around. And they say, “Oh yeah you know, this is really useful.” And there are probably a lot more people who think that this is useful that don’t fill this out and maybe even lose track of the site. They don’t press the button. Maybe they follow her on Twitter but you know, they don’t check their Twitter feed very often. And if there was an adequate reason for filling this out, they would do it. But get weekly updates probably isn’t that reason.

Kim: Well, I mean, I don’t know if this is something you want to feature up there in that feature box that’s moving up there. Could you not disable that box and put your little box of “Join my newsletter for you know, the greatest and the best advice for the week”? I don’t know, put that high up there? Or do you want to leave that in a sidebar?

Rick: Well, I guess I would… she’s not here to ask so… and maybe we can invite her to come back and we can talk about this a little more thoroughly in another session. But I think the root… the sort of the short answer is that it’s not clear. She doesn’t have a clear direction that she wants people to take. So somebody up here who knows that Word Perfect… WP stands for Word Perfect… you know, some people, she wants to start here and ignore all the rest of the stuff. And some people, she wants to watch this and find something of value here and then click off of this to go look for… to go look at. And some people, she wants to follow her and then really finally, you get down to this. And so inspite of the fact that she’s articulating that this is the thing that she really wants to improve, this is really the last call to action anybody has you know, above the fold, essentially. And the first call to action is this and whatever is going on here is the second and third and now, she’s got fourth.

Kim: I mean, I won’t almost say because signing up after that part except you really want to accentuate what they’re signing up for and you want to make it sexy, right? You’re getting this for this. But you need a larger space for that which is why I’m thinking that maybe, for the… I mean, I don’t know if that’s something she can just put in there for a while and push it higehr up on the page and kind of change some of the wording and stuff. But you know… I don’t know, disable that thing and… I don’t know. Maybe you can move it around but for a month or two months, when she’s got something special going on, put it up here to make it prominent.

Rick: You know, there’s… this right here, this little form…

Kim: Yeah?

Rick: This little form was really just… was created just as part of a tutorial. But I constantly get people signing up for a free ebook. It doesn’t actually exist. I don’t actually have the free ebook. What happens is that they get an email being sent back to them saying, “You know, this is just a demo site intended to show people how to you know, create a store inside of a course.” And so this is part of that demonstration but it’s not really a live thing.

Kim: But it says free on there, right? It’s a free ebook.

Rick: Yeah but I get people signing up for this all the time and they just get an auto response back from me saying you know, “We’re not doing anything with this email list. We’re not going to keep your email. You’re not going to get any more email back from us. Sorry if you were confused but this is just a demonstration site.” But you can see that you know, download our free ebook, here’s the name of the ebook, email address and first name and “Get our free ebook.” This is really clear what I want somebody to do here on this site. And so it’s very prominent and I think that’s really what she needs to do, to the extent that what’s important to her is that they sign up here. She needs to offer then a strong value for signing up and then she needs to make it much more prominent, a more strong feature. And if it’s the most important thing then it should be the most… it should be the first and most important call to action. So that’s my comment on it.

Rick: I guess the other thing I would say that is in terms of… you know, we’re talking about design right? And then you said… you thought that this and this were too close in size. So one thing she can do is increase the font size here for Legal Office Guru so that it’s larger than this. But I think the same thing is also true here. These are too close so you mentioned maybe the sidebars should stand out. But I think, at the minimum, the space between the sidebar and the content should become wider because there is… this really doesn’t read as 2 separate things. And so what it really does is it looks jumbled.

Kim: It feels like it’s all running together and when I’m looking at it, I’m not really sure where I was. I’m not really sure where to look first. My eye is just kind of moving around everywhere.

Rick: Yeah. Well, and it could be actually that what she really wants to do is take Legal Office Guru and make it smaller. So let me make your life easier in a law office… maybe this is really the most important thing.

Kim: It’s actually looking for… I was looking for a site I saw yesterday that has… I think it’s that same sort of format but… oh yeah, this is it. So can you share my screen real quick because this looks very similar to hers.

Rick: Sure.

Kim: It’s a little livelier and maybe, instead of having…

Rick: Yeah, all I need to do is share it now.

Kim: Oh, where do I share?

Rick: You should have a little thing saying “Share my screen.”

Kim: Is it showing now?

Rick: Yeah, we’re sharing now.

Kim: So I’m working on a logo but not this person. This is like a competition site that she kind of looks at. I was kind of surprised when I saw this because she… we felt we’re tyring to make her logo have a… sort of a base to it because right now, it’s kind of floating up at the top so this means this is an example. And I was a little surprised… but their logo here is pretty small. But that’s the same thing you’re talking about like “Experience the world differently.” That’s your… you know, that’s the point of this whole website. And then she also… she could put her little social icons up here and take that out of the sidebar so that won’t be the first thing on the sidebar. But I don’t know, I just… when I saw that site, I kind of thought about this because it feels like it’s the same feature box up here and…

Rick: Right.

Kim: And I don’t know. Maybe she does go ahead and have… maybe she does have some sort of widget area down here in the center instead of having that ongoing discussion on her front page. I don’t know.

Rick: Yeah.

Kim: And I also like this down here. I mean, that could be another call to action like you really want to learn everything about you know, blah blah… like sign up for my newsletter and have another call to action somewhere down at the bottom of the page.

Rick: Right.

Kim: I don’t know.

Rick: Well and… I mean, I suppose this does kind of remind of the conversation we had a couple of months ago about landing pages. What Deborah has there is a blog page and what we’re looking at here at… is a landing page.

Kim: A landing page, right.

Rick: And it might be… and it’s hard for a page to be both but it might be a good idea for her to consider making… at least the top half of that page much more landing page-like and much less blog page like.

Kim: That was just… this morning when I saw that I just… because I did think about making the logo smaller because I was thinking about… well, that’s a really small logo and they get away with that as long as like you say, they have this whole experience where… and always, we’re always saying less text you know, if you can get it… if you can say it in less text you know, people will read it probably more than they will if you have a lot of text. So, I don’t know. That’s just… that was just what I… that’s what I…

Rick: Well, Laura just handed me a whole list so what I think I might do is take this conversation back up again tonight and go through Laura’s list. Because Laura’s been working really hard on you know, understanding how we can direct traffic to what we’re doing. And you know, a lot of the changes in the site that… are on our side are because of the research and the work that Laura’s been doing on it. And so, I might actually shoot Deborah an email and pick this up again with her and go through Laura’s comments so….

Kim: Yeah, yeah. Okay, we’ll talk again tonight then.

Rick: Okay well, thank you Kim.

Kim: You’re welcome.

Rick: We’ll talk to you later.

Kim: Bye.

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