Simple Web Design Tips to Build Your List
Today we're going to talk about how to build your list and if you didn't get all of the challenges done yesterday that's ok, because part of the reason that I asked you to go get set up in mel chimp with your email list or a weber, whatever you want to use, I wantto clarify that the reason that we're recommending male chimp is not because this is a mel chimp endorsed event or anything it's just a easy tool, it's really good and it's free to sign up, so what we didn't want to do is we don't want to say, ok, go, you know, put your credit card information here and sign up here and get started this way. It's a free way to get started with your email newsletter and it's free up to, like two thousand subscribers, and you could do it today and so it's just a really easy way to get started if you're already using another system that you like and you want to stay with it, that's fine, what we're talking about here are principles that we can apply through a variety of technologies, and so as new...
tools come and go, these principles, these techniques will still hold true, ok, so when we talk about building your list, what we're going to really explore today is we're going to explore ok, now that you have this thing you know that you have you bought a house in a new city and you're trying to get people to come hang out with your come to your parties what do you do? How do we reach the most people and today is really about that you've set up the meet email list now what how do I get people on my website? How doe I get people to get on my kemalist how do we keep those people on the email list and then ultimately how do I get them to buy from me? How do I turn this thing into not just a fan club but a business so that it's sustainable so that it can support me and I can spend more time investing energy into this which is I'm going to share a little bit about how I started my email list later and how I wasn't planning on starting a business but that became something that I felt like I had a responsibility to do once I had thousands of people who are listening to me and was taking a lot of time and even costing me money to manage this. So if you're feeling like I don't really care about the business out of things, I just want to have a place where I can connect with people their share my story we're going to talk about that later today and why you should be considering that if if you haven't so, to begin let's, go back to the party analogy. We have a party, we have a you know you've got your email list set up on your web site now, or you're moving in that direction. How do you get people to come to the party? So we're gonna talk about building your list and there are a few tips that I have for you in regards to how to get more people on that list once you've got that thing set up, once you've got the balloon set up outside and you're waiting for people to come when there's a plate of cookies, here's, how you get people to the party, the first thing that you want, tio is you want to design your website, the landing page where you're going to have the email capture you wanted to design it for readers, and we talked a little bit about this yesterday. Where did I put that? Opt in page? Where did I put that little box on the website? So I maximize, you know, the real estate that I have so that I get the most amount of people on my on my list, and I don't tell you that if it's not easy. It's not simple if they have to search for where they're going to sign up for your email list, you're going to miss some sign up you're going to miss some readers and so your job is to make it super simple not just to have an attractive offer like pierre did with giving away three free workshops, but to also have that opportunity to sign up all of your website not in a on an annoying way but in a way that's very present. So if I'm throwing a party or putting on a new event in a new city, I'm gonna have to do some marketing I'm going to have to network with people, I'm going to reach out and talk to friends and we put some fliers around I want people talking about it, and so that when people, uh, hear about the party when they see an opportunity to be a part of it it's very easy and simple to understand what is expected of them in order for them to participate in this. And if it's not easy, if it's not, uh if it's not, you know, if they don't know what's expected of them than a lot of people aren't going to do it, and so I was working with a friend who had a website, and he was trying to get people in his email newsletter list and he was really struggling, you know, just wasn't getting you had a lot of traffic, but he wasn't getting as many sign ups on his email list as he wanted to. His email list was growing slowly by a few subscribers a week, and so we went to his web site and we started looking around on it, and I just I said, can we just count way count? I'm a writer. I'm not great at countings. Let's, do this together. You can help me. We went to his website and I said, where do we sign up for your newsletter list? Here's. What? You have to go to this page right here. That's about page. Ok, so let's, let's, go to the about paige. We collect about pages, a little link in the upper menu and we go to hiss about paige and I go. Ok. Where's the time. Well, it's it's halfway down the page. There's. Another link. Okay, great. So I click that link and then that takes me to another page that talks about you know what you get on that email newsletter and here's how you get to be a part of you know the insiders and get these exclusive updates and then go I'm sorry. What I signed up here. Well, you have to click this link to take you to the sign up page, and it was it take to actually to another landing page that was off of his website, where you could sign up for the email list. I said, so I got to click four different times to get to the one place where you're wanting me to go and you're wondering why people more people aren't taking action. It's too hard you have to make it easy, you have to make it simple and it has to be has been irresistible offer remember it's like asking somebody to come into your store right to come into your place of business and say, ok, I really want you to give me money, right? I want you to buy something and when somebody comes your website and they're giving you their email address, don't misinterpret that as them not giving you something of value. This is an exchange of value there, essentially paying you, giving you an email address for a service, right? And you are hopefully delivering equality, value packed service and the content that you deliver to them, so when somebody comes into a store and you go, hey, cash registers right here come in giving your money to buy anything you want by the way, you just have to go through this maze right here. It might take fifteen or twenty minutes but when you get to the end of here I will gladly take your money by the way, don't trip on that mess right there that's what it's like to go to a website that's cluttered that's confusing that doesn't clearly say here's what I want from you and I want you to think about your website on dh maybe you could even look at that or imagine that you know those of you watching online you could if you have a web site you can pull that up and just go what is the point of this web site? Is it to get people to buy things? Is it to get people to read my stuff? Uh if there's one thing that I could get readers to do, what would it be? And this is where most web design breaks down. People think what design is about a pretty creative things and ah friend of mine uh used to say that great design never says look at me now the web site never says he looked pretty I am great design always says look at this this is sort of a minimal way of looking at design so it's not about I want to have a cool looking website but rather what is the purpose of the the design? What am I trying to get the reader to do? And how is this evident in the way that the website is laid out? So, for example, I made a choice a few years ago because my blood was about I want people to read my block. I want people to know like me, I want them to read my words and I didn't have a definite purpose except that I wanted readers, but the problem was I was getting a lot of traffic. A lot of people are coming to the website and then leaving, and I wasn't capturing their information. I wasn't getting permission to continue communicating with them, so I knew that I had to change things, and so I sort of this email newsletter list you guys know that story, and it grew pretty quickly once I've had a piece of bait that I put out there and things started to exponentially increase once I made the decision to stop trying to do a bunch of different things with the design of my website and focus primarily on capturing people's e mails. That is the one goal of my website. I don't want people to buy for me, you know, first time visitors to buy anything from me. I don't even care if they read a bunch of articles although they can read those articles because that's a great way to give them a sample of my content and and then at the end of each article I'm asking for their email all I really want if I could only have one thing is I just want them to give me their email because once I have their information we're in a relationship and I know that I can earn their trust I know that I can deliver value over time and I have the retention as long as they'll let me have it I have their attention to prove to them that this is worth their time and the challenge is if you don't do that if you go I want to take a first time visitor and turn them into a buyer that's a pretty big gap or I want I want somebody who's just randomly checking out my website to sign up for this service that I'm offering or tio become a member of you know this membership that we have it's a big gap and what needs to fill that gap is slow steps of building trust and some people it takes a few exchanges and some people it takes one hundred exchanges the beauty about having an email list is you put the control about when you know how that gap gets filled between average on looker too dedicated customer you let them fill that gap however they want your job this is just keep delivering value and then give them opportunities to take it to the next love we'll give them opportunities to convert to a customer we'll talk about that later today but until you get permission until you get somebody on your email list that gap is going to remain and then you're going to I mean it's it's a big leap and so the first way that you begin to kind of meat people over here on this side of the divide is by designing for readers and so a few practical tips about how to do that is used what's called a feature box I talked a little bit about that yesterday but just to remind you a future bunks is a big fact sign up on the home page of your web site it is the first thing that you see and it is very evident that what we want you to do here when you come to our website is to give us your email or you know sometimes it's go by this thing and go check this out but I think the best way to use a feature box in area to feature great content is here's what this thing is about here's my promise this is going toe off I'm gonna offer you weekly tips on kayaking, for example or marriage tips and then I'm going to offer you some bait when you send up you're going to get this here's the reward that you're gonna get us soon as you sign up by the way give me your information right here enter email here and we'll get started remember a few years ago when every web site you went tio had it somewhat because I still have this to have this big feature boxes on the home page and they're just like the scrolling images you know like these beautiful things that did nothing right eso when I was a marketing director for a non profit we were we were building these different you know, web pages for the different programs that we had and we're like we want to design pretty things and we won't you know, one of these big boxes of these amazing pictures and I was talking to our director the same guy who told me what great design is supposed to d'oh and I said let's have one of those things with these amazing pictures we've got volunteers doing development, development and relief work all over the world and they have these amazing pictures in the developing world of incredible work that they're doing it's inspiring let's put this on on the home page and you know it's the first usually the feature box takes up the first half of the page before you have to scroll down and for those of you who I don't know that's this area before you have to scroll is called the fold, and everybody agrees with what design that you want to put your most important information above the full because for some people that's all they're going to see and I'm gonna go now that's, not for me, and they're gonna click back. And when they click that back button on their browser, that's called a bounce if they just go to your website and they immediately to leave that's called a bounce, and google does not like bounces they discount your website when you get a lot of bounces. When you have a high bounce rate, it means you don't have a good web site because people are coming to your web site, they're going peak in their head into your party, and they're going lame. I'm out of here and it's sort of like people driving by your party going, everybody kind of piques their head in there and then leaves that doesn't look very fun. That's what a bounces, you know, and real life terms, you know, somebody's kind of peeking ahead on your website and they're leaving. So when you attract somebody here to your website, you don't want them just to come your web site, you don't just want traffic, you want to convert that traffic to readers so that eventually can convert those readers to customers so when somebody piques their head in there and all they see is this little tidbit above the fold you want to grab them and ah pretty picture may or may not do that so when I was talking to right director about this I said let's have some cool pictures scrolling amazing graphics fireworks you know the whole deal and he said why? Because it's pretty because it's cool don't don't don't don't you know stein mamie doud like I am an artist you know, I was a marketing director I had like a creative hat on let's just do pretty things amazing things he said why what does it do? Yeah that's kind of a typical tea you know? The answer wasn't going to dio I go look like like you play with your spreadsheets but leave the art to the artist I just need you to build it and and he would always push me and challenge me and he just kept saying, why? Why would it don't tell me what you want it to look like? Tell me what you wanted to do and this is what design really is so you don't have to be a designer to understand the basics of design a tw leased you know when it comes to this framework that we're talking about, we're trying to build a permission relationship with people that eventually could become customers we want design to do something and we don't want to say look at me, we wanted to say, look at this look at this amazing party that I'm throwing this newsletter that I have that you could be a part of and here's, how many people have been a part of it? Here's what you get as soon as you sign up, we think you're going to love it, so use a feature box have a prominent place on your website that people see as soon as they land there where there's an irresistible offer like pierre a had that's going to entice people to sign up for your email list, make it obvious and easy as I already said, leverage what's called social proof now social proof is a psychology sociology term social proof is kind of like what I was talking about, where somebody's driving by your party and they see a bunch of cars outside, right? What does that tell you? If you drive by a party and see what your car's outside that person's house? Yeah topping or they just like automobiles when they have an excessive amount of, you know, a big collection of average looking cars, so so when you see something that's hopping, what is it make you want to dio be there too? Yeah, I think so, I mean I, uh I don't want to be a part of things that nobody else wants to be a part of, you know? Maybe that sounds like I'm not an early adopter, but there's a reason we have that term early adopter because most people aren't, you know, because on the adoption bell curve where where ideas spread, you know that the top of that we're most people are getting in on a new fad, something like twitter? You know, I remember years ago when people were talking about twitter and I'm like, what is this thing most people don't buy into it until other people already have, and so when you're trying to get people on your email list, when you're first starting out, you're starting with a disadvantage because nobody wants another thing in their in box, nobody wants to be bugged by somebody else who is trying to market to them. And so what you have to help them overcome is this skepticism, which is, why should I sign up? Why should I give you my time? And a great answer is because other people already have. And so how do you do that when you're first starting out, you know, they're a couple of things that you want to keep in mind. First of all, you don't want to start touting numbers, so one of the ways to broadcast social proof is to say, over a hundred thousand people, sign up for my newsletter you should be a number a hundred thousand and one that can, depending on the audience that can make somebody feel like, okay, cool, like one hundred thousand people think this is worth while I'm gonna go check it out to you because this is hopping, I'm going to be a part of a community. It's it's going to be great, but let's say you've got you did this last night, you signed up in like, period, you got a few people to sign up, but you've got to people under email list. I wouldn't start broadcasting that because because I mean, really seriously think about a party like when you're the first person at the party, I don't know what what you know, parties a like in your town, but when my wife and I throw a party, we you know, we said it for a half an hour before we're actually ready to have the party because everybody shows up a half an hour late. Because nobody wants to be first to the party unless you have a really good friend or you know, somebody who just doesn't have anything else to do on saturday and they just come over and I've had people come over early and they go, oh, I thought it started an hour ago. S o for me, most people show up late because no one wants to be there first because when you're there first here the only person there and it's kind of awkward, but when there's ten or twenty people there it's exciting and so what you want to do when you're attracting people your email list is you want to give them this impression without lying going to give them this impression that this is already happening it's already hopping so first of all, you don't want to say I've got to readers, you know, be reader number three so you want to wait until you have a number that is attractive and I would say, I mean, that depends on what you're trying to do. I think anything over one hundred definitely, you know is that's a decent number one hundred people is a lot of people I when I talk to people about their list on d'argo how's your web traffic, they immediately start comparing themselves to, you know, other people and I go, oh it's not very good I don't want you to do that, there's no magic number, the magic number is how many people you need to get your ideas to spread, to feel like what you're doing, what you're saying matters, and when I was first hurting my blawg, you know, I have dozens of readers and then, you know, a couple hundred readers and I was kind of depressed because I had friends who had started blog's and within a few weeks and sometimes days they had thousands of readers and was comparing myself to them. I was frustrated because I didn't have the success that they had yet, but one day I was just sort of feeling sorry for myself, and I thought, wait a second, I've got two hundred readers of my blogger, but do this for several months now, and what would happen if this were a real life scenario? You know this if this weren't in this on this imaginary thing called the internet, what if two hundred people showed up on my front lawn every morning and said, ok, jeff, we're here, we want to hear what you have to say like, that would be pretty amazing I would ask some of them to cut my lawn probably, uh, you know, hey, guys, while you're here, I have some weeds to pull and I hate yard work, but having that many people show up at your front door even maybe fifty people you know, that's an honor I want to hear what you have to say that's incredible so don't think that this is don't think that you know, there's some magic number that you're waiting for until you can be a professional, as we mentioned yesterday, every reader you have you should cherish, you know, and you should make them feel special because they have given you their information they've given you their time and you want them to know that you take that seriously and, you know, it doesn't take a lot of people showing up at my front door to say I want to hear what you have to say for me to go wow, this is an honor and when you treat those people with care, they're going to tell people about this thing that you have and so it will grow, but in the beginning just take care of people and give them opportunities to talk about it. So social proof is one of those things where it could be really positive, but it can also be really negative so you can highlight a number that makes you look good without lying, you know? So if you've got three readers, maybe you don't talk about that, but maybe you've got decent traffic and you want to talk about you know the unique visitors that come to your blawg every month and you want to say something like way have five hundred unique visitors to our web site every month and so you want to say join a community of five hundred people and get the inside info by signing up for the newsletter that's going to make that's going to make them feel like ok like this is a real community that I get to be a part of you don't want to lie don't use numbers to make yourself look better than you actually are but it's okay to use the number that makes you look the best and to not use the number that makes you look the worst and please understand what I'm saying I'm not giving you permission to be dishonest but like don't show your worst number, you know, like think about this is dating I am I was talking to an older gentleman last week and he's got some young daughters who are trying to find husbands and one of them was kind of dating a bunch of jerks like jerk after jerk after jerk and and she was attracted to these jerks and then she I told her dad she goes dad, I just want a man that's a good man like you and I can't I can't find him and he basically said two things he said first of all uh, when you're dating a jerk or any guy understand that he is going to be the nicest to you at first like this is the nicest he's ever going to be. So if he's a jerk now beware because he's going to be a lazy bomb later on and you know, this is his charming self he's really trying to woo you so it's only going to get worse from here and second of all, you know, the man that you see me is is today is a result of thirty years of your mother whittling down my rough edges and making me into a better man. So there's two things that I take away from that first of all when you're entering into a relationship with somebody and this is a relationship, getting permission to communicate with people is a relationship you do want to put your best self forward you want to say again, not dishonestly, but you're dating right? So you're trying to get a date with this person you want to woo them, you want to show them that this is worth their time and then you want to earn trust so that over time you both become better people, but you don't want to kind of come in as some sort of slouched and say a mess and here's all my stuff and just deal with it you know you do want to try to woo them and using social proof is one of the ways that you can attract them show them your most attractive best self and and they can choose whether or not they want to be a part of it but don't use numbers until you have numbers that are interesting and until you do that use another kind of social proof and soldier proof is just anything that somebody is involved in that other people would want to be a part of it and so for you, pierre, that might mean you've spoken in front of, you know, x amount of people helping them improve their marriages and these people they're going to pay for your news that I get to be a part of that group it doesn't just have to be these air how many people are on a newsletter it khun b this is this this number that aiken tout on dh or this figure that I can share that's going to give you sense that I'm an expert that you need to hear what I have to say and you're going to feel good about being a part of something that other people already are doing that makes sense so lastly you want to have a relevant called action and what I mean by this because we talked about this yesterday when you were crafting an email uh you're not asking somebody to do something other than sign up for your email list but let's talk about terminology because I think this is an area where people get lazy because they think it doesn't matter and it does matter the kind of language that you use when you're asking people to subscribe to your email list I don't like using the word subscribe because all of us here you know have been using the internet and you know, yesterday we talked about what life was like before the internet on so you guys roll pretty savvy, but lots of readers don't understand that a lot of online subscriptions are free and I cannot tell you how many people when I first started using the subscribe language, I have an email list subscribe here I would get people that would opt into my email list and then I would send them a welcome email and they would say, how much is this again? How much? How much will this cost me? I don't know if I can afford this because think about what life was like before the internet free subscriptions you know, how does that work now? A subscription is something you pay for, and for many people in the world it's still is so you I don't I don't like using that language it's confusing it's distracting from what you're really trying to do is sew some other action items, some other action words that you could use called calls to action might be joined this community, you know, so you're called action. Your headline is something like join a community of over five hundred people, and then you say, when you don't sign up for my email list, you're going to get all these goodies, plus regular updates for me, and then there's little email opt in bunks and then there's that little button that says instead of subscribe, it says, join exclamation point and this is all stuff that you can change for using male chimp, you can change that that language very easily. If you don't know how to do that, all you have to do is do a little search and find you know you could do control or command f I think, uh, you know, most computers and search for the word subscribe and and change that from subscribe to join and if you have questions about this, you know, male chimp is a great resource, they've got lots of support documents, a lot of email services do and, oh, by the way, there's this thing called google if you don't know how to do something, it tends to have the answer for u s so you could use the word, join you could use the word, sign me up you know, if that's relevant for you, if you're giving away something that is really enticing and the reason that people are coming to your landing page are, you know they want this freebie, then you could say something like, give me the goods, you know? So instead of it being, I'm giving you the language so you can join this thing that I have, you could put it in the first person language, so something that I see on a lot of websites now I think it's a powerful called action, is to do a first person called action, so instead of I'm telling you to join, you know, which is sort of like you joined second person, its first person, where I'm putting the language in your terms where saying, sign up now and get my free book and then underneath the little sign up box it says, give me, you know, give me this free thing or I wanted exclamation point, you know, very effective way of people go, yeah, like that's me, I want that very different from subscribe so so there's there's some different things that you could use you could say, get free updates, sign me up joined now or I want this I, you know, I want x y receive makes sense