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The art of capturing email addresses from your content hub
The art of capturing email addresses from your content hub

Some marketing experts might tell you the entire purpose of building a content hub is to capture email addresses. That's because email marketing is arguably the best available method of engaging with clients and leads. It's affordable, easy to measure and almost 100 per cent of your audience are using it. It also allows you to have a non-invasive conversation with customers, future, past and present.

And while it's all very well to spout the virtues of email marketing, you are going to need an email list first, and that means convincing users to offer their details voluntarily. It's considered poor form (as well as provably less effective) to simply buy a list of email addresses; you want to grow your list organically.

Quality content is the obvious, non-negotiable starting point

Once you've settled into a regular publishing schedule, you need to carefully scrutinise your website's analytics to see if you're hitting the right notes. Is your content drawing traffic from googlers and loyal returnees? Are the regional demographics what you expected? If these results are sound then you're obviously doing something right. If not, you need to put more thought into your content and change your strategy before seriously tackling the email capture conundrum.

Good reasons for readers to give up their email

If you have standout content, a percentage of readers will actually go looking for the "subscribe" button. But what about those who still don't get spurred to action by your brilliant blogposts?

Pop goes the email

If you're trying to convince your visitor to volunteer their email address, you can use a pop-up message, but be mindful of timing. There are arguments to be made about pop-ups arriving at the beginning, middle and end of a piece of fantastic content or blog visit. One new trend is for a pop-up to be triggered by "exit intent", a sort of nothing-to-lose strategy (see gif below). You know your readers better than anyone, so it's up to you to make calls about if and when to use pop-ups. 

via GIPHY

Let it slide

A less invasive way to get readers' attention is the slide-in message, that moseys on to the side of the page and hovers while they scroll. As always, if the content is good, you want to have your call to action in an eye-catching position to allow that valuable email-submit click.

One of our favourite tools for implementing pop-up or slide-in messages is Sumo

Put readers to the test

We all know how tempting a quiz can be. Whether it's "Which Disney Princess Are You?" or "How Well Do You Understand Cryptanalysis Algorithms?" there are always going to be members of your audience who just HAVE to know. And the only way to get the answer is by entering their email. Don't forget to add a sweetener to the deal when they sign up.

Great wall of email

Your content is amazing, and readers want to get to it badly -- so why not build what is known as an "email wall"? The price of your content is their email address, that's actually pretty cheap! You can always make the wall dismissible for crotchety readers, with a little X in the corner, but those readers who sign up will make this strategy pay for itself in no time. Results of this campaign strategy are really easy to test – if it's resulting in too many bounces, make sure you turn it off quick smart.

Summary:

1. Make sure you're offering quality content and never something that might be considered spam.

2. Be prepared to try some different strategies: popups, slide-ins, landing pages, static banners - all with different timing settings, then measure results carefully.

3. Get your tone right. The words you use to ask for an email is important. Make sure you clearly communicate what's in it for the subscriber - how does joining your mailing list benefit them?

4. Manage your subscriber list. It's all very well getting an email address, but keep this data safe! Don't make things difficult for yourself by maintaining your subscriber list in a vaguely-named spreadsheet in a hard-to-find corner of your hard drive. Most companies use MailChimp, or similar leading mailing list management programs.

5. Stay on your toes and keep your campaigns fresh. 

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