You are walking down the street and meet a beautiful young lady for the first time. You strike up a conversation with an opening line. It wasn’t so cheesy, so she agrees to talk to you.
After a few minutes of introductory conversation, you ask her to come home with you.
You rake, you. How dare you?
You just met this girl and you are asking her to come home with you?!
Is e-Commerce really so different?
You don’t meet a buyer for the very first time and expect to get a sale out of them, do you?
Yes, it happens sometimes, but it’s certainly not the norm right?
What you should do in that situation is ask for her number. Start a relationship. Get to know one another. Meet her parents.
Therein lies a major problem.
Most are just are not asking for her phone number.
Their whole site is set up for the sale, optimized for the sale, it’s all about the sale. Thats the only # you care about or are looking at. But what about the girl that wants to get to know you?
Okay, let’s ditch the analogy and get to the point.
My argument is this: you need to set up your site to be optimized for email conversions. Email is one of the best ways to start a relationship with the folks that visit your website. So you need to be optimized to capture email addresses.
Okay, so let’s say you agree with me so far… What is one of the best ways to capture email addresses?
Perhaps you immediately think
Man I hate those things. I never put my email address into them. In fact I am so personally offended you would even ask I am going to write you an email telling you so.
It’s a sentiment I often hear expressed from those that have never given them a shot — I myself was on that list for years — but it is a valid sentiment. So let me come back to it later on in this post.
In the meantime, let’s understand that pretty much all of the top marketers as well as top art retailers and print studios out there are using them.
Take a look:
If they are all using them, it stands to reason that they work.
Easy enough to say, so let’s just see with some real numbers shall we? This is after all a case study.
ASF Case Studies
Here’s how it works. We generate an idea to test, contact an ASF customer (AKA “the guinea pig”), and pitch them on it.
We state the goals and the timeline, then we implement it. We report back here on the blog – whether it’s a failure or a success – with hard numbers and the actual steps taken.
This time, I got in touch with a photographer named Michael Winsor…again.
Michael Winsor is a Newfoundland based fine art photographer. He’s a great candidate for this particular case study as Mike is really good at driving traffic from Facebook to his site, so I knew we would not have to wait long for some results.
By adding an email pop-up on the homepage of his site, we will be able to drastically improve email capture. Specifically, I was hoping to see 50 emails added to his list a month.
How We Will Measure
For the measurement portion of this case study, we opted to create a goal in Google Analytics that would measure opt-ins. This requires a few extra steps but is way worth the extra time as I will go on to argue.
So we started by adding a pop-up to Mike’s homepage.
If you are new to pop-ups, aside from perhaps seeing them and being annoyed by them, then perhaps you might like to do a bit of extra reading to brush up on how they operate.
It’s absolutely amazing how sophisticated you can get with them. They can fire on a timer, if the guest is about to exit the page, if they scroll down 2/3 of the way, if they came from a Facebook link…The options are limitless.
For our study we opted for simplicity.
We set up a pop-up to fire on Mike’s homepage after a period of 1 second.
As you can see, in the text of the pop up Mike shows some tremendous respect for his audience. There is nothing offensive or annoying in his pop-up.
He asks you to join his community. If you want to, great. If not, no big deal, just close it.
If you do choose to opt-in, you get re-directed to his “Thank You” page.
There, he has an amazing video that shows some of his work being finished off and the ready-to-hang product.
This part is important, as it allows me to set up a Google Analytics goal to record every time somebody opts in to his list.
How to setup a confirmation page goal in Google Analytics
Okay, so now we have a pop-up running, one that sends them to a confirmation page if they opt in, and we are measuring that confirmation page in Google Analytics as a goal.
So let’s see how we did.
Below are the numbers for the entire month of November 2015.
824 Email addresses in 1 month. With 15.08% of visitors coming to his site opting into his email list.
I can honestly say my reaction was not far off from hers.
824 email addresses in one month for any business is a great number. For an artist that specializes in the niche of “Newfoundland and Labrador photography” it’s flat out, knock down, #fohgetaboutit, FANTASTIC.
Let’s noodle some numbers on this for a second…
- Let’s assume Mike’s average order size is $150.00 (made it up, I think it’s actually higher).
- Let’s assume his conversion rate is 2%.
- Let’s assume he keeps up his pace of 824 new subscribers each month.
So Mike goes and sends an email to a list that size, with a 2% conversion rate, and average order value of $150.00.
All from one pop-up.
Still think pop-ups are annoying?
If you would have asked Mike before this test started, he would have told you they sure are. He feels differently about them now.
Admittedly the #’s in this case study are crazy. His results blew our minds and likely will not be the case for all that start running pop-ups based on this case study.
All of which is AOK.
It’s the concept here that is important, and it’s important no matter if you are a print studio, art gallery, or artist.
NOT EVERYBODY THAT COMES TO YOUR WEBSITE IS GONNA BUY ON THE SPOT.
So stop treating them all that way.
Start asking for their email. Start a relationship. Go on a few dates and nurture the relationship (send emails) and then get the sale.