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Why You Need to Collect Email Addresses on your Website

Collecting email addresses from your website visitors gives you a way to communicate with them about blog posts, product sales, and more! By TheEssentialWebsite.com

If you have a website (whether it’s a full site with multiple pages or just a blog with all of your posts), you will want to have an email sign-up form highly visible so people can sign up to receive new content from you. Heck, even if you don’t have a website but you use Facebook, you can set up a sign-up form on your Facebook page.

Now wait…you might be thinking, “but I don’t really plan on anyone reading my blog posts” or “I’m not really selling anything and don’t see a need to collect email addresses” or “I’ll just start writing posts and/or selling my products/services now and MIGHT worry about an email list later” or even this one, “I don’t even plan to have a blog on my site at this time, so why collect email addresses?”

The bottom line and easiest response to all of these comments is this:

You never know when you might want to start blogging (or blogging more often) and when you might want (or need) to start sending out your blog posts or other news about your blog, website, company, new product, new service, etc. And since you never know, you certainly don’t want to find yourself in the position of needing to communicate with people who may be your ideal client or audience, yet you have no way of directly communicating with them.

We had one client who chose not to include an email sign-up form on her site, and she was getting frustrated because no one was seeing her blog posts (especially some friends and family who she really wanted to share her posts with). She was doing a great job posting quite often, but if the people she wanted to see the posts weren’t on Facebook, then they didn’t know a new post was published. And, even if someone IS on social media, that doesn’t mean they will definitely see your post if you share it. {We did go back and add the email opt-in form on her site, so all is good now.}

Using an email marketing program like MailChimp allows you to collect email addresses and send emails/newsletters (or as MailChimp calls them – Campaigns) to the people on your list. You can personalize the emails so it appears as if the email was sent just to them (think mail merge). You can make the emails look as newsletter-ish or email-ish as you’d you like. You can add photos and graphics, embed videos, link to more information on your website, add “buy now” buttons, and so much more!

If you choose to not include an email sign-up form on your website while it’s being developed, that means that you’ll need to go back to your web developer later on if you want the form to match the look of your site. At that point, you’ll likely incur additional charges because you opted out of that included service during the main development stage and now your designer/developer has moved on to other projects. Your project will be considered a new one; therefore, you’ll have a new fee associated with it.

Another reason to include an opt-in form from the get-go is because it’s really part of your overall design. We’re not just talking about the fonts, colors, and freebie you offer for signing up for your list. We’re talking about placement. What if your beautiful new website doesn’t really have a logical place for the opt-in form on the home page? Your designer may have to go WAY back to the drawing board to ensure that it fits appropriately within your design. With The Essential Website, we placed the opt-in form in all of our layouts (which you can move above or below text and other elements if you wish). But, if you choose to have us remove it because you feel you don’t need it or aren’t ready, there will be an extra fee to put it back in later if you choose to (simply because your project will have already been completed and this is considered additional work – which is what any designer/developer would do).

Keep in mind that even if you don’t plan on sending out emails/campaigns often or maybe you pretty much never [plan to] send them, that’s ok. That doesn’t mean your email list goes away, and it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include an opt-in form on your site.

Remember what we said above about the fact that you never know when you might actually need those emails. What if you decide at some point in the future that you want to offer a promotion (a discount, buy-one-get-one-free, etc.) or an e-book or e-course? Or maybe you get stuck and can’t think of what you want to write about on your blog. Having an email list can really come in handy because you can ask the very people who have taken the time to come to your website and then sign up for your list for some valuable insight as to what THEY want you to write about.

Of course, sending out emails/campaigns regularly (i.e. weekly, monthly) can really help remind people who you are and what you offer. But, there really are no rules when it comes to quantity – how often you send out emails, how often you post to your blog, how many email addresses you have in your list, etc. The key is to set yourself and your website up for success by putting all the right elements in place from the get-go.

So…tell us…do you have your email opt-in form on your site and in an easy-to-find location?

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Written by: Stefani Hi there, I’m Stefani Harris, co-founder of The Essential Website. We design and code WordPress websites for ready-to-grow businesses and bloggers, but we do so much more! We are all about helping our clients reach their business goals and see results! I am most passionate about inspiring people to pursue their dreams and to just START! If you can dream it, you can do it! I’m also a big-time dog lover + yoga and fitness instructor.

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