When it comes to running an online business, one of the most useful tools you can have in your arsenal is a capture page. A simple addition to any website, a capture page allows you to sign up potential customers that may not be ready to order from you right now, but may well want to order from you in the future.
Setting up an effective capture page requires a little work upfront, but once it’s set up, it can continue to bring you regular, new customers on an ongoing basis.
The first thing you’ll need to do is set up an Autoresponder account. Once you’ve created your account, you will then follow the instructions provided to set up your first campaign. You’ll need to decide what information you want to collect on your signup page.
If you take a look at most capture pages, they usually just ask for name and e-mail address. however, depending on how you intend to keep in touch with your subscribers, you can ask for more information such as their phone number.
Depending on which autoresponder service you choose you might be able to edit the look of your signup box while setting it up, or you may have to edit it afterwards in an HTML editor. (Don’t panic. It’s very easy to edit. I know. I’ve done it. )
Some autoresponder services give you the option of creating either ‘single optin’ or ‘double optin’. You’ll hear various pros and cons for both. there are a few benefits of using double optin:
- Less risk of spam complaints – very important for keeping your autoresponder account in good standing.
- Makes sure the subscriber really does want to get your information.
- Ensures the subscribers use a valid e-mail address
The only downside really is that some people won’t confirm. It’s up to you which option you choose. Personally, I use both, depending on the niche, and haven’t noticed much difference with either option.
Once you have created the signup box, you’ll be presented with some code which you need to insert into your capture page. you can create your capture page using a free website building service such as Weebly.com or you can use a HTML editor on your computer.
NVU offers a free HTML editor which is very easy to use. there are also some easy to follow NVU tutorials on YouTube so you can be up and using it in no time at all.
A capture page however is no good on it’s own. you also need to create your ‘thank you’ page. This is where the subscriber is going to end up once they’ve been added to your list. you can include the url to your thank you page / download directly within your optin code, or you can e-mail the link to them in your first message.
Depending on what it is you are offering as your signup incentive, you can choose to just include it as an attachment in the message. Not all autoresponders allow attachments however, so be sure to check.
Making It Effective
Just because you’ve created a capture page does not mean it’s going to capture subscribers. Sorry to burst your bubble, but on it’s own, it’s worthless.
However, once you have the basic structure set up then making it into a list building magnet is relatively easy.
- Know who you want on your list and design your page and your giveaway to attract them and only them.
- Don’t overload the page with fancy graphics or high powered sales copy. If your page is too ‘busy’ the call to action can get lost in the middle of it all.
- Make sure your optin box is separated from the copy and is ‘above the fold’, (visible as soon as someone lands on the page without having to scroll down).
- Capture pages don’t do very well at ranking in the search engines, (not enough content) so build some direct links from forums, related blogs, your own blog, your social media profiles, etc
- Tweak and test everything. try changing the headline, the colour, the font, the placement of the optin box… anything and everything is up for testing.
- Ask your subscribers to recommend your giveaway to their friends. Hint; make sure your giveaway is something worth recommending!
Just make sure that once you have your potential customers signed up, you don’t lose them by marketing to them too often and bombarding them with spammy promotions which aren’t related to your business. nobody likes spam in their inbox. It’s a sure fire way to turn any potential customer on to your competitors.