3. Get ‘em while they’re hot: Onsite Email & SMS List Growth Best Practices
Chances are, if visitors are onsite, they’re interested in the brand. Welcome them to the community by capturing their email + SMS opt-in.
Base minimum email + SMS capture forms should be located on the header and footer. Email + SMS forms can also be merchandised throughout the site, from the homepage, product/services page(s), and on the contact us/about us page.
Pro Tip: Customers who actively seek out a footer or header form tend to be higher intent than other methods of acquisition. Segment them accordingly
Content upgrades on Blog Posts are a superpower as part of any content marketing strategy. This tactic could be implemented by the creation of blog content that lends itself well to PDF converted format, gaining attendance to a webinar, or nearly any high-value content that can be accessed merely with an email or SMS opt-in.
"The key is to show the right message to the right visitors at the right time. Dynamically display products and offers based on a visitor’s referring URL, behavior on your site, and any consumer-consented data they’ve shared with you already for a truly custom experience. This is how to turn first-time visitors into loyal subscribers, and to double your conversions." - Allison Kelly CRO, Digioh
Pop-ups and Lightbox Overlays can direct visitors to top selling products and categories, dynamically populate messaging and offers based on visitor traffic source, and be utilized to cross-sell across categories and upsell complementary products or services. These can be persistent sidebars, header or footer bars, or traditional interstitials.
Strategic overlays for email + SMS data often produce the best results.
While most ESPs have native pop-up technologies, brand investment in technology like Justuno or Digioh can help with experimentation around timing, workflow, cadence, audience, and performance. These learnings can easily drive acquisition to 6%+ or even higher. Plus, they’re deeply integrated with many of the top email service providers and CDPs in the space, making them easy decisions to invest in for proven return.
Landing pages remove all of the noise of a website for the clear purpose of an irresistible offer in exchange for email + SMS contact information. Especially if a brand is using paid media, or distinctly needs to track lead generation and conversion for payback calculations, landing pages can be merchandised to sell, sell, sell.
"When implementing a pop-up or other acquisition form on your website, prioritize the following: 1. Does the form flow seamlessly with our website? 2. Can we customize when it appears to site visitors based on their purchase history, behavior, or other factors? 3. Can we easily push all collected data straight to our ESP, CDP, and anywhere else we need to? And finally, 4. Can we run A/B and other tests to achieve maximum conversion?" - Allison Kelly CRO, Digioh
Surveys and quizzes not only engage site visitors so that a brand can serve them better, but it’s also a proven lead generation technique. Quizzes can be the most enticing strategy to collect email + SMS data, as it gives the dual benefit of massive zero party data (that builds a robust subscriber profile that can be used for segmentation), and also guides the user to products they should purchase in an engaging, sequential way.
Pro Tip: Check out technology like Okendo Connect and Digioh to better understand the landscape of how brands use quizzes to uplevel customer experience, all while growing their email + SMS lists! These can be as simple as questions about a customer's needs/wants, or as complex as a multi-dimensional quiz designed to tell the customer something about themselves, while providing ample zero party data and product/services recommendations.
"Asking for an email address or phone number at the beginning of a survey is an effective and organic way to build your email & SMS lists. By combining contact information with personal preference insights, you’re collecting invaluable zero-party data that will help you better personalize any communications you send to that customer in the future. Our recommendation is no more than 5 questions total to avoid disruptions in the customer journey and maximize your survey response rate." - Lindsay Kolinsky Senior Marketing Lead, Okendo
Live Chat onsite is a powerful mechanism to engage site visitors during a crucial consideration phase of their purchase. Whether it’s utilizing technology like Live Chat or Drift for one-to-one interactions with a real-person or AI, or something more flamboyant and personal like Tolstoy, which combines video with chat & surveys, often having an easy conversation on site increases both conversion and email + SMS acquisition (not to mention builds the brand).
Outside the Box
Brand to brand partnerships are often an untapped mechanism to better serve customers in a more holistic way, while growing the brand awareness and email + SMS lists simultaneously. Through technology like Carro, for example, a DTC brand on Shopify that sells dishware could let utensil companies sell their product, or vice versa, collecting sales and opt-ins along the way. Brands could also partner with other brands to wholesale to each other, if their products bundle nicely and set up the ability to opt-in to both brands upon expressing interest or converting.
For SaaS brands, a low barrier to entry multi-step form or free trial can be monumental in bringing subscribers into the lifecycle fold, moving the onus from the site to the email + SMS inboxes to surprise & delight.
Loyalty programs abound, but paid memberships can often be an enticing way to persuade prospects and customers to sign up for a brand with value packed offerings. Technology like Inveterate helps DTC brands grow subscriber loyalty and VIP experience through paid memberships.
Finally, Refer-A-Friend programs are a performant way to attract new subscribers and customers who check out the brand due to a referral from a friend, both of whom get incentivized to purchase more. Leading loyalty technology like Yotpo Loyalty and Loyalty Lion both have this built into their technology, as well as affiliate technology like Refersion.
“The strength of your brand’s email and SMS marketing strategy ultimately hinges upon your ability to grow and sustain a list of engaged subscribers. And you can’t do that with a single pop-up or widget. To get on the fast track to reaching your subscriber goals, leverage a variety of collection experiences to reach consumers wherever they are — a dedicated signup page on your website, keywords on social media, QR codes in your retail store, and more.” - Maggie Dunn Senior Product Marketing Manager, SMS, Yotpo