In this article, you will find out how I got an 18.56% lead conversion rate by using content upgrades along with content lockers using CONVERTFUL.
If your business is based on the Internet, you must build your email list. It’s inevitable that without a proper targeted list of potential customers, your business won’t survive either you have your own product/service or not.
The more targeted subscribers you have, the more money will help you make. According to numerous studies, experiments, and cases, email marketing has got the highest ROI in every market.
Surprisingly, it’s well over $40 for every $1 spend. So, email marketing is definitely a must-utilized channel to grow your business.
Email marketing works. However, like most other things, email marketing strategies differ over time.
Like banner blindness is widespread among most people, opt-in form blindness also started increasing. How many times have you seen similar email popups and closed them even without reading the headline?
Couldn’t count. Well, yes, so, as a marketer you need to find a way to overcome this issue and increase email signups so your business will not only survive but also thrive.
There is a number of ways to increase email signups without overthinking. In fact, in most cases, simple tactics work pretty well than complicated or advanced ones.
Recently, I was testing a strategy to increase email conversion rate. The first results were not actually disappointing. In fact, it’s fantastic considering leads are worth and very responsive.
10.22% lead conversion rate is not bad considering especially I asked for more than just an email address. I was not afraid to ask the name because I knew my offer was irresistible and people would want it no matter the cost!
Although the numbers are low, my follow up email messages are getting around 20% or more email open rates.
Please note that I use Gist at the moment for managing my subscribers and sending drip campaigns. Gist is a subscriber-based email marketing tool. (You can send targeted emails based on the behaviors. Please read my Gist setup tutorial to learn more.)
Higher email conversion rate != Higher email conversions
Reread the heading. A higher email conversion rate doesn’t mean that you will get a higher number of leads every single day.
To get a higher email conversion rate,
- Your lead magnet (the incentive) should be demanding and not easily accessible.
- Your email signup form copy should be straightforward and eye-catching
- Targeted people who want your offer should view your lead signup form
Often, people are struggling to get an incentive. However, It’s straightforward. Moreover, the best part is you needn’t offer a downloadable lead magnet even though it is used by most marketers. Here’re seven things you can offer.
- A simple ebook (PDF format is the best and widely used by most marketers)
- A video course
- An audio course
- A cheat sheet
- Coupon codes
- A promise
- An exclusive offer for free
A good lead magnet has these characteristics. Make sure your incentive has one or more of these.
- Perceived value
- Easily accessible — Lesser steps to reach the lead magnet, the better your conversion rate will be.
- Readily available or consumable — People would instead signup to download your short 7-page cheat sheet rather than the 350-page ebook.
- Higher demand — The opt-in incentive should be able to fix an issue or fill a gap.
- Instant results
Although your email signup incentive is the best in your market, if your copy can’t get people to signup, your conversion rate will be low. In most cases for worm traffic (people who know you or your offer), the copy should be benefit-oriented. For example, Get X to Fix Your Y Issue Without Losing/Doing/Spending Z.
Your email signup copy should not focus more on the features. Because if people know your brand and the offer, it doesn’t make sense to repeat the features which they already do know. Instead, convince potential subscribers by telling stories and benefits.
Lead magnet:- Google SEO ranking factors
- Google leads the search engine market share.
- Get your business in front of thousands of potential customers through search engine optimization for free.
- Get more sales to your business for free.
You might be aware that features are the results of some act. For example, increase existing organic traffic without spending money on content creation reduces CPS (cost-per-sale) and increases ROI (return on investment).
If you are unable to identify the benefits of your lead magnet, think yourself why you should subscribe to the offer if you’re a potential subscriber.
The audience is the last remaining factor that causes the email conversion rate. The higher the target your audience is, the higher the email signup rate will be.
However, in most cases, the audience factor is fixed. That means you can’t change the interests of your audience. Here’re two examples.
- People who are interested in traveling might be interested in camping,
- People who are interested in traveling might not be interested in photography.
It’s sometimes harder to understand the common interests of your audience. That’s why you should use Google Analytics data on Internets and behaviors.
The better solution is to narrow down your audience and offer targeted lead magnets.
if you’re running a blog, you can definitely utilize this hyper-targeting technique based on interests. (This method is also known as content upgrades)
The idea is giving away something equal or even more in value and quality in exchange for an email address.
Here’re some ideas for you:
- Get a PDF version of this post
- Get a PDF version of this post + 2 more extra actionable tips that are not mentioned in this post
- Get an audio version of this post.
- Get the top 10 highlights of this post
- Get the top 3 ways to increase your email subscribers, plus find out two secret tools I used to automate this.
- Watch my 10-minute video on how I increased my email conversion rate just by adding one key component that no other marketer has been using
In fact, if your lead magnet is strong enough, you don’t need more words to explain it and convince people to convert.
Now you know three components for a higher email signup rate. If you have forgotten, here they are again.
- Your offer
- Your copy
- Your target audience
However as I mentioned,
Higher email conversion rate isn’t higher email conversions
What component you would think should be changed?
The offer? The copy? Alternatively, the audience?
Considering a similar audience will be increased, it would lead to higher conversions. This means the higher the targeted traffic is higher the email signups will be. That’s how I got an 18.56% conversion rate within a short time period. (please note that the offer is very targeted)
The offer is not a straight offer. It’s a content upgrade with the component of irresistibility.
In other word, it’s a content locker!
However, this time, I added a new component to the same strategy. The offer, copy, and audience are very similar to the above one. However, at this time, I added the viral loop component. In fact, I generated a viral loop for the post. Here’s what I meant…Normally,
- The content upgrade would convert according to the user interests and the perceived value of the offer.
- Once a person is converted, nothing will happen.
- No virality. So, no viral loop would occur.
However, how if you can get people to share your lead magnet? It generates more traffic, right? Yes, and not only that those social shares would increase organic traffic too.
How I got 18.56% Social Share and Email signup rate
The beauty of this method is the post-converted 18.56% for both social sharing and email signups. To make sure the signup flow seamless, I walled the content by social sharing first.
The user has three options to use; Facebook sharing, Twitter sharing, and LinkedIn sharing. I didn’t add too many options because of the fewer options, the results would be pretty decent in most cases. (Obviously, you need to test this to understand what a higher converting combination is. However, as my prior experience, social networks such as Xing didn’t perform well in the aspect of traffic generation.)
The second part is the most important. Getting the potential subscriber converted. Here’s what I did.
- Used social signup buttons. This way, no more cheating, and besides, I get more details such as first and last name, website, social profile URL, and social picture.
- Used Google sign-up button. If someone used the BlogSpot blogging platform, the user must have a Google account. So, people can’t use fake email addresses or social accounts.
- No double opt-in. Just single opt-in.
- Directly send the lead magnet to the email address associated with the social account.
Here’s the screenshot of email signup form of the content locker.
Once they successfully signup, they’d see another state where they’re informed how to get access to the lead magnet.
Key things I kept in mind:
- Get your subscriber to open your first email. No matter the reason, It should be done. Lower the engagement rate of the first email, and the lowest will be others. In general, the welcome email or the first email of most drip campaigns has the highest engagement rate.
- Make the subscriber feels like it’s a win. The fact that is when someone feels he’s or she’s being played, most things would go wrong for you. For example, high spam rates, lower engagements, and high bounce rate, and even lower conversion rates. That’s why this lead magnet is placed as the last step of the 6+ step tutorial. So, completing this step is a win, and the user doesn’t feel like he or she is being played.!
- Most people are lazy — Sorry, but that’s the truth. Not many would drop their email, name, blog address, social profile link, and share the article to get access to an offer. Make it so easy by cutting down steps and/or introducing new ways/options.
- Send targeted emails periodically and build a relationship — At the end of every business activity, there should be a clear goal to accomplish. As I knew the audience that signed up for the lead magnet, I knew I had a definite chance of converting them into long-lasting relationships. Also, the best part is they are perfect for my future marketing campaigns. Creating a custom customer avatar is ideal if you want to stay ahead of others 100’s marketers who blast inappropriate emails every single day. That’s why I tagged every subscriber so that I can easily recognize whenever any event is made. (I use Convertfox as my email marketing tool. You can give it a try over here.)
How to Create a Social Share & Email Sign up content locker for your blog
Before creating a social content locker for your website, you need to understand and have these things before.
Now as you know what it takes to have a good lead magnet and ingredients for an excellent viral lead funnel, let’s learn how to create it. In fact, this is the most natural step as you already solved the puzzle of incentive!
I use a tool called Convertful to create inline opt-in forms in which I could set up different states based on user behavior. Ex: If shared on Facebook, show this state. Moreover, if the user signup, then displays the thank you state, etc.
You can learn about about Convertful, Pros, cons and more of my use-cases in this article.
The best part is if you’re using WordPress as your CMS, they already have a WordPress plugin in which you can quickly add new opt-in widgets.
Step 1: Open your Convertful account and add your website to Convertful. Make sure to embed the Convertful JS script on your site to display the social content locker widget.
Step 2: Click on the website name to add a new widget.
Step 3: Click on “Create Widget” button.
Step 4: Select any inline widget template.
Step 5: Drag and drop social sharing widget to the form.
Step 6: Enable the desired social sharing buttons you want to appear. Also, you can add a custom URL to be shared. My tip is to embed UTM tags to the URL to share and shorten it using a service such as PixelMe or Replug.
You can also customize the button size, colors, etc. to make them adapt to your theme.
Step 7: In the second state or the offer state, you can add email signup options. There is two option available for you: email signup and social signup.
Step 8: Once you step the email signup settings, provide the lead magnet in the “Thank You” state.
If you want to redirect the visit right after the content is locked to somewhere else, use the “Redirect URL” option in the “Success Actions” tab.
You can customize the thank you page by posting data to through URL.
It’s a great way to increase conversions on your sales pages. Saying something like “Hey Bradley, We’re glad that you took the first step to become a member. For a very limited we’re offering DFY package!” will increase conversions inevitably as personalization and segmentation are key strategies that are used in marketing nowadays almost all marketing experts.
There are tons of opt-in content lockers for WordPress and other CMS. However, I am using Convertful on Pitiya and other sites I own. Because of high customizable abilities and integrations, it makes so more comfortable to segment users and tag based on interests.
Content Locker Case Study Conclusion
Like always, it’s all about supply and demand. If you found something that could be fulfilled by one of your products or services, there would be an opportunity for you.
Opt-in content locking is such a strategy where there’s an irresistible and a target audience who needs it.
Follow the steps I mentioned above, and you will be able to see an improvement in both the conversion rate and the number of conversions.
So, have you ever used content locking to increase social shares and email subscriptions? If so, how did that work out for you? Share your ideas in the comments below.