When it comes to email marketing, your revenue potential is directly proportional to the number of people on your list.
And for my online store, the more emails I collect, the more money I make. It’s that simple and email accounts for over 20% of my sales.
Email is also one of those mediums that can be tapped over and over again to attract repeat customers, establish your brand, and humanize your business.
Anyway because email is so important, I spent some time last month optimizing my email capture forms for BumblebeeLinens.com and drastically improved my email signup rate with a spin to win popup from Privy.
Today’s post will outline the exact steps I took to improve my email optin rate by 131% which led to a double digit gain in email revenue.
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My Base Line Popup Form And Facebook Insights
First off, every online store should have a popup form. I don’t care if you’re against popups or if you think they are annoying. They work and that’s all that matters.
In the event that you are making decisions based on personal preference, stop what you are doing, run a simple test and trust the data.
Note: Google introduced an interstitial (popup) penalty for mobile browsers so the changes that I’m talking about today only apply to desktop and tablet.
For the past 2 or 3 years, I’ve been running the following popup form on both my store and my online store blog.
This popup goes out to all visitors on the site after 20 seconds and converts at 1.6%.
Now in the world of popups, 1.6% is actually not a bad percentage but when I ran my email list through Facebook insights and analyzed my sales, I discovered that…
- Almost everyone who signed up for the ebook was over the age of 45
- Most of my email signups were married
- People on my list rarely purchased linen towels or linen napkins
For all of you who are not familiar with our store, our bread and butter products are wedding handkerchiefs targeting 20-30 year olds who are engaged. We also sell a lot of linen napkins and towels to 30-40 year olds.
However, Facebook insights was telling me that our intended demographic was NOT signing up for our list!
Editor’s note: Our free ebook email subscribers DO buy a lot from our store. And Facebook insights actually brought to my attention a brand new customer demographic that I was not aware of.
Make sure you use Facebook Insights on your email list because you may discover an untapped base of customers you didn’t know you had! For example, I had no idea that 55+ year old women were avid fans of our products.
Optimization #1: Customize The Popup Based On Visitor Behavior
At this point, I had a few choices.
One, I could try to write an “all encompassing ebook” to cater to as many customer types as possible. Or, I could display different lead magnets based on customer behavior.
In the end, I opted for choice #2 because it was faster and simpler to implement. Also because my wife and I have been blogging for a long time, we had a lot of content at our disposal to quickly assemble another ebook.
Anyway my first objective was to improve email signups for our linen towel and napkin customers.
So I created a separate napkin folding tutorial ebook and only offered this lead magnet on napkin related product pages.
Here’s what that popup looked like.
At this point, I had 2 lead magnets and 2 popups. So I ran our standard arts and crafts popup to hankie shoppers and our napkin folding popup to napkin shoppers.
In addition, I changed my popups to exit intent along with a 20 second timer which caused the popup to fire more often than before.
As a result, my overall signup percentage improved to about 2%
2.0 – 1.6 / 1.6 = 25% increase which wasn’t bad!
In addition to the popup change, I also created a completely separate email autoresponder sequence specifically tailored to napkin folding signups.
Note: I’m using Privy.com to trigger different popups based on customer behavior. MyWifeQuitHerJob.com readers can get 15% off by using coupon code: MWQHJ
Optimization #2: The Spin To Win Popup
I let this dual popup setup run for a few weeks and I was generally happy with the results until I started chatting with Steve Weiss of MuteSix.com.
Incidentally, Steve is an expert on Facebook and Instagram ads and he’s one of the speakers at my annual conference, The Sellers Summit
Anyway, he showed me one of his client websites that was getting an insane signup conversion percentage based on a wheel of fortune concept.
Basically, customers would provide their email in return for a spin of a wheel where they could win valuable prizes such as discounts and free products. I saw this and immediately wanted one for my site!
But there were 2 problems.
One, the plugin that Steve’s client was using was based on Shopify and my store was not compatible.
Two, the plugin carried a monthly recurring fee that I didn’t want to pay:)
Editor’s Note: For some reason, I’m strongly against paying for any basic tool that carries a monthly fee:) For example, if I feel that I can write the same tool within a weekend, I’ll just create it myself.
So that day with the help of Ben from Privy.com, I sat down and created my own wheel of fortune plugin for my online store for free! And it only took about a day.
Here’s What My Popup Looks Like Now
And here’s a live demo of the wheel of fortune
- Click “Spin” to spin the wheel
- Refresh your browser to spin again.
(Refresh Your Browser To Play Again)
Cool right?!? Everyone loves to gamble and the best part is that this popup applies to ALL of my customers!
Anyway, I placed this wheel behind an email wall using Privy.com.
And the upshot was that my email signup rate shot up to 3.7% which was a 131% increase!
How To Implement Your Own Wheel Of Fortune Without Paying A Monthly Fee
While I would love to take credit for my wheel of fortune, I only implemented a small percentage myself.
And even though I was prepared to write this baby from scratch, I found many FREE wheel of fortune implementations online with a couple of simple Google searches.
Rule number 1 of software. If someone else has done the work for you already, then don’t reinvent the wheel.
If you are interested in implementing your own wheel of fortune for your store, here are the resources that I used…
- Privy.com – I used Privy to provide an email gate for the wheel. In order words, people can’t spin unless they cough up an email (Use coupon code: MWQHJ for 15% off)
I do not want to get too technical in this post, but if any of you have questions with the Privy integration, let me know and I can add a little more detail.
But bottom line, tell your developer to use Privy to set browser specific variables to create an email gate.
Good luck! This wheel has performed amazingly for my site and I encourage you to give it a try!
Also while you are at it, here are some other posts that I’ve written in the past about growing emails in the context of a blog that you should check out in addition to today’s article.
- 2 Simple Tweaks That Doubled My Email List Signups And My Take On Single Vs Double Optin
- How To Get 300 Email Subscribers Per Day And My Best Converting Signup Forms
Steve Chou is a highly recognized influencer in the ecommerce space and has taught thousands of students how to effectively sell physical products online over at ProfitableOnlineStore.com.
His blog, MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, has been featured in Forbes, Inc, The New York Times, Entrepreneur and MSNBC.
He's also a contributing author for BigCommerce, Klaviyo, ManyChat, Printful, Privy, CXL, Ecommerce Fuel, GlockApps, Privy, Social Media Examiner, Web Designer Depot, Sumo and other leading business publications.
In addition, he runs a popular ecommerce podcast, My Wife Quit Her Job, which is a top 25 marketing show on all of Apple Podcasts.
To stay up to date with all of the latest ecommerce trends, Steve runs a 7 figure ecommerce store, BumblebeeLinens.com, with his wife and puts on an annual ecommerce conference called The Sellers Summit.
Steve carries both a bachelors and a masters degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Despite majoring in electrical engineering, he spent a good portion of his graduate education studying entrepreneurship and the mechanics of running small businesses.
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