Recently, I signed up for the newsletter of one of my clients, and the confirmation page said “You’ve subscribed to: My first list.”
Whenever I work with new clients, I always sign up for their mailing lists. It helps me get to know their businesses better, but it also lets me go through the same opt-in steps that their customers go through. I can see whether there are any snags in the process. In this case, seeing “My first list” did not inspire me with confidence!
My client had no idea that the list name was even visible during the opt-in process. (Could your opt-in process have a glitch like this?)
Opting in to your mailing list is often the first personal contact your potential customer has with you. You know the power of a good first impression, and you want to ensure that you’re making one.
If a visitor to your website encounters something unprofessional or worse yet, something broken, as they navigate through your website, sign up for your newsletter, or make a purchase from you, they are likely to click away and never come back. You will have lost a customer, and not even know it.
What should you do?
Let me share one key action you can take to ensure you don’t lose customers through a negative experience with your website.
When is the last time you walked a mile in your customer’s shoes? Have you signed up for your own email list recently? It’s an absolute must! Take a few minutes RIGHT NOW and follow these steps:
1. Sign up for your own email list.
Enter your name and email address into your opt-in form and submit.
2. Inspect your signup thank you page.
Make sure that the page you are taken to after you submit looks welcoming and professional, and most importantly, make sure it tells your customer that they will be required to click a confirmation link in an email from you to complete the process. What else should you include on the page?
Strike while the iron is hot! While your customer is still keen, encourage her to go and look for your email RIGHT NOW and click that link.
Sweeten the pot! You can remind her that she will get access to your freebie as soon as she’s confirmed.
Use this opportunity to create a page that stands out from the crowd. If you have just another “Thanks for subscribing, blah, blah, blah” message, you will blend in and become background noise. Be personal, be funny, be engaging. Get your customer’s attention.
3. Now, go and click that confirmation link yourself.
Make sure you are directed to a confirmation thank you page. On that page, make it obvious to your new subscriber how she can get your freebie, and make that process easy and painless for her. Once again, personalise your thank you message, and make it (and you!) stand out from the crowd.
Bonus Techie Tip: If you direct your subscriber to a custom confirmation thank you page that’s on your own website, you can use it to set up a goal in Google Analytics. This will help you track where your opt-in subscribers are coming from, when they are opt-in in, and more.
4. Make sure you receive a welcome email. How long do your subscribers have to wait after signing up before they hear from you? Don’t keep them hanging! You should set up an autoresponder email to be sent at most one day after someone joins your list. Your prospects are most enthusiastic about you right after they’ve signed up for your list, so don’t disappoint them. Have that first email contain instructions to get your freebie in case your subscriber missed it in the thank you page.
Bonus: If you really want to wow your customer, throw in an unexpected bonus soon after they join your list.
While you’re at it…
Give all the pages of your website a quick once over, looking for broken links. Do you sell anything on your website? Make sure you go through your own buying process too, to make sure there are no hiccups in your shopping cart or checkout system.
By walking through the same steps that your customers do, you can ensure that all your processes run smoothly, and reflect positively on your business. You want every touch point with your customers to look professional.
Don’t lose a potential customer because you haven’t seen your site through their eyes!
Know what? I decided to take my own advice, and I walked through my opt-in process after writing this article. I found that it could use a little polishing, and in fact, I had an outdated URL on my freebie download. It never hurts to check these things!
Leave me a comment below and tell me whether you found anything when you walked through your own opt-in or purchase process. I’d love to hear from you!