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Converting Visitors into Subscribers

Copyright 2005 Javier Salces

Visitor conversion is a challenge faced by every marketer.

If you're spending money to generate traffic, you want to do everything possible to ensure that traffic isn't wasted. This means getting more bang for your buck by convincing more visitors to subscribe to your list.

In other words, conversion improves your return on investment and limits the temptation of spending more money on more traffic.

If your opt-in list isn't converting as well you expected, there are several target elements you can experiment with to improve your opt-in rates:

1. Web Copy

Is the copy on your site effective? Poorly written copy is one of the first culprits to investigate. Start by evaluating your headline. Is it enticing? Does it pull the reader in? A boring headline can cause people to click away without even reading the rest of the page. Check your main copy as well.

Do you explain the benefits of list membership? People always want to know what's in it for them. Make sure you offer them plenty of reasons to sign up.

2. Incentives

Incentives provide additional benefits and additional reasons to join your list. If you aren't doing so already, offer a unique course, e-book or piece of software for free as a bonus to subscribers. Many times this will convert hesitant visitors into subscribers.

People love freebies and they also can't resist satisfying their curiosity.

3. Make it easy to join

Have you placed your subscription box in a prominent place on the page? Some list owners always place their subscription box at the top of the page, while others place it at the very bottom. Either position can work well, but if you have a lot of copy to wade through, you might consider placing the box within the body copy at logical points. Remind your readers why they are there and what action you want them to take.

4.Watch out for 'bugs'

Sometimes software can fail for no apparent reason. Your server might be experiencing a database issue, your site might be temporarily unreachable or your autoresponder script may be malfunctioning.

It's always a good idea to do periodic tests by subscribing to your own list to check that everything still runs smoothly.

Ultimately, conversion comes down to offering prospects enough benefits to make joining your list an obvious choice. Your copy should get them excited, motivated and curious. Make it as clear as possible that you are offering them valuable information for free.

If your copy is too much of a sales pitch and short on benefits, the visitor will have a hard time finding a compelling reason to subscribe. People are wary of hype these days and too much focus on the "buy my product!" mindset raises a lot of suspicion. Most prospects see that and immediately think "this site will spam me with a bunch of offers I don't want", and quickly click off the page.

Treat your opt-in page as an honest invitation to start a mutually beneficial relationship, and you'll see your conversion rates soar.

Javier Salces is an experienced online marketer who runs a successful viral marketing web site with thousands of members. Feel free to submit your own articles at: http://opt-inleads.com/cgi-bin/vp/articles.cgi

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