July 20, 2009
For years I’ve resisted the urge to create a squeeze page for my email newsletter. A squeeze page is a one-page site, or a landing page on a site, that has one call to action: convince the visitor to enter her name and email address to join your list and/or receive your giveaway. On a traditional squeeze page, the visitor has only one option — to part with her name and email address to opt into your list. This is how the squeeze page term was coined, as the visitor is “squeezed” for her contact information to permit her to continue into the site.
I’ve most often seen this strategy used as the home page of a site, and the use of that strategy in that way made me hesitant to adopt it. Why? Because a squeeze page home page provides little content for search engine spiders to index and may block the indexing of the remainder of your site. You hurt your chances of using SEO to rank high in the search engines. And, I think that requiring contact info to enter your web site will turn repeat visitors away.
In the last year or so I’ve seen more of what I term a “wussie squeeze page,” in which all of the concepts of a squeeze page are in place, but the site owner has placed a bypass link underneath the opt-in box that invites the visitor to enter the site without being forced to opt into a list.
I’ve recently done something similar with my ezine by placing a hidden squeeze page on my site where the top navigation links of the site are still visible but the page isn’t listed and can’t be accessed via the site navigation menu. So, while the invitation to bypass the opt-in box isn’t quite as obvious to the visitor, a method of bypassing the opt-in box is still available to visitors. If they choose to bypass this page, I have two backup plans to capture a visitor’s contact info: a subscription box on every page of my site, as well as an opt-in hover ad that pops up about 45 seconds after landing on my site.
Here are the 10 essential components you need to create an effective squeeze page for your ezine:
1. Domain Name. Pick a compelling domain name that accurately describes the result of opting into your list or the nature of the list to which the visitor is opting into. You’ll want to forward this domain to a hidden page on your site that is not accessible via your navigation menu. Don’t mask the domain when you forward it (i.e. hide the internal URL to which the domain is forwarded — your domain registrar usually offers this as an option). If you use this domain in your resource box when you syndicate your articles, you want to reap the rewards of strong inbound links from high-traffic article directories, and that won’t happen if you mask the domain name of your squeeze page.
2. Client Attraction Device. The most effective way to entice a visitor to opt into your list is by giving something away. Typically this giveaway, or what I call a Client Attraction Device, is in an electronic download format and helps solve a major issue faced by your target market. Many savvy online business owners put several electronic downloads together into a kit (audio, ebook, and checklist, for example) for their giveaway, as the expectations have increased as to what visitors expect when exchanging their contact info for free information.
3. Graphic of Giveaway. The adage of “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings quite true in the Internet marketing world. Have a graphic representation created of your giveaway, as that increases the perceived value of what you’re offering.
4. Value of Giveaway. Placing a monetary value on your giveway is another strategy to enhance the importance of this free item in the eyes of your visitors. Don’t be outrageous in your pricing — determine what you might actually charge for your giveaway if you were selling it as a product on your site.
5. Compelling Headline. A headline that grabs your reader’s attention will go a long way in convincing them to hang out long enough to finish reading the content on your squeeze page. Appealing to some emotion of the visitor is the most effective way to construct a compelling headline, like fear of loss, greed, vanity, lust, pride, envy, laziness…you get the idea.
6. Captivating Copy. It’s no longer sufficient to simply invite a visitor to opt into a list. Most visitors have become too savvy for that. In order to convince them to opt into your list, you must answer the “WIIFM” question, or “What’s In It For Me?” This means that you need to take a page out of the copy writing playbook and essentially create a short sales letter on your squeeze page. Outline the benefits they’ll receive if they opt into your list for the giveaway.
7. Enhance with Audio and Video. It never hurts to appeal to all information intake styles of your visitors. Record a quick audio or video that convinces your visitors that your giveaway is something that they cannot live without. Verbally instruct them how to opt into your list, as well.
8. Testimonials. Reading (or hearing) glowing reviews of how others liked the giveaway will often serve as the deciding factor to get a visitor to take action. Request written, audio, or video testimonials from others who’ve received your Client Attraction Device or from those who’ve purchased other products and services from you. Testimonials go a long way in convincing visitors that opting into your list is worth their time and energy.
9. Opt-in Box. You need an email marketing service to help you create an opt-in box to capture your visitor’s name and primary email address. If you plan on doing direct mail marketing in the future, you may also request their mailing address and phone number as optional fields. You’ll be surprised at how many visitors will complete the entire form with all of their contact info, even if the name and email address are the only two required items.
10. Informed opt-in. Let visitors know that they will also be receiving a complimentary subscription to your ezine when they opt into your list. Don’t hide this fact from your visitor. Give them a bit of info about your ezine, like how often you publish it. You may want to create a graphic image of your ezine to add to this page, as well.
A squeeze page for your ezine is an effective way to triple the opt-in rate to your email marketing list. Follow these 10 steps to skyrocket the size of your list today!
Online Business Coach and Internet Marketing Strategist Donna Gunter helps baby boomers create profitable online businesses that they love. Would you like to learn the specific Internet marketing strategies that get results? Discover how to increase your visibility and get found online by claiming your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, at ==> TurbochargeYourOnlineMarketing.com