Location, location, location - where to ask for email permission


Date: 23 January 2013

Location, location, location - where to ask for email permission,pin on map{{}}What can you learn from your competitors? When it comes to email marketing, I’ve been analysing the habits of the top 100 online UK retailers to understand what common good habits they have that enables them to get the best value from email marketing.

All email marketing has to start with an email address. If you’ve nobody to talk to the best message in the world won’t work. So gaining and maintaining quality data is a fundamental building block for all successful email marketing.

One of the best places to collect email permission is on your website. I analysed where on the page the subscribe form was placed. What I discovered was that top right is the best location to maximise sign-ups. It’s where consumers are used to seeing the sign-up and its immediate presence as soon as a visitor comes to the page means it’s going to be seen and increase the number of subscribers you gain.

This is, of course, prime real estate on your web pages and use of the space will be competing with other marketing objectives. You need to decide on what the smallest, easiest and logical first step a visitor to your website can be persuaded to make in their customer journey.

However, positioning the subscribe form at the bottom of the page is also very popular amongst top brands. Having the form here can work for those visitors who, whilst not ready purchase, have engaged with your content and scrolled through the page and are interested enough in your brand to know more and thus subscribe to your email programme.

Looking to maximise signups? The location is not an either or question, use top right and page bottom for best coverage.

This goes further too. The brands that are most successful in building their permission email database integrate their collection of email addresses in multiple places and channels. The more often you ask for an email address the more often you’ll collect one.

Work through all touch points you have, such as:

  •  Purchase process
  •  Partnerships
  •  Online competitions
  •  Recommend a friend
  •  Call centre
  •  Social channels
  •  Blogs
  •  In store
  •  Offline touch points, printed materials
  •  SMS-to-subscribe

In all cases, giving a good reason for someone to hand over their email address makes the difference between good and great list growth. For example, these are not reasons for someone to subscribe:

  • Join our list
  • Get our newsletter
  • Subscribe to our emails

Whereas using free, win, save type incentives are reasons, such as:

  • Deals exclusive to subscribers
  • Discount on first purchase
  • Take part in competitions
  • Be the first to know
  • Don’t miss best offers

Good examples of brands getting it right and all the findings from the analysis of the top 100 brands is available for free download in three whitepapers.

This post originally appeared on the DMA UK Email Marketing Council blog. Tim Watson is an expert contributor to Marketing Donut and works as an independent email marketing consultant.