02 April 2009

Blogging Tips : Using Aweber Web Forms to Track Conversions for Email Newsletters

While I’ve delayed the start of the 31 Day Challenge until next week I wanted to show you a glimpse behind the scenes of my signup process using one of the features that Aweber gives those using it’s email newsletter system - Web Forms.

The idea is simple - Aweber lets you make up as many signup forms for your email list as you like.

In launching the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge I have so far set up 5 lists. Let me explain each one in the order that I set them up:

  1. Twitter list - I set this one up when I first started to promote the project on Twitter (before I promoted it here with a post on ProBlogger). When I promoted it on Twitter I set up a ‘page’ here on ProBlogger (behind the scenes) that was just for the Twitter promotion. It had a message just for my Twitter followers.
  2. In Post (ProBlogger) - this one is the the email form in my announcement post here on ProBlogger.
  3. Linked In - on linked in I experimented with the Q and A feature which I sent out to 200 of my contacts in that network asking them to share their Blog Tips so that I could use some of their quotes in the 31 Day project. Again I pointed people to a ‘page’ here on ProBlogger with a web form just to track LinkedIn subscribers.
  4. Previous Newsletter - I have an old newsletter list here on ProBlogger which I rarely use any more but sent a broadcast out a few days back to let them know of the challenge. Again, it directed people to a ‘page’ with a personalized message and this web form.
  5. Refer a Friend - When I emailed the list of subscribers to the challenge to let them know about the delay in the start date I suggested that one good way to get more out of the challenge would be to do it with a friend. While this might sound like a selfish suggestion I believe it’ll also help people be more accountable and effective with the project if they do it with someone else. This email only just went out so I’m yet to really see how it will work.

You can see from the above that all but one of the options directed people to a ‘page’ (as opposed to a ‘post’) here on ProBlogger. Each page had it’s own web form (you can set them up in a minute or two) which enabled me to track the results of each one.

The beauty of this is that at a glance you can see where your subscribers are arriving from. Here’s the stats as they currently stand (click to enlarge):


You can see that some forms were viewed more than others and as a result better results - but the line I’m most interested in is the S/D and S/UD lines. S/D is the percentage of ‘displays’ of the form that sign up and the S/UD is the percentage of unique displays that signed up.

You can see that while the ‘in post’ form drew the most subscribers that because it was viewed so many times that the ‘previous newsletter’ and the ‘twitter’ forms actually were more successful at converting a higher percentage of signups.

This type of information is amazingly powerful to know when it comes time to run other promotions!

Using unique web forms is useful on numerous fronts. Not only does it enable you to track different promotions (as I’ve done above) but it is also useful at tracking a variety of other factors including:

  • Page Position of Forms - want to test how positioning of a form impacts signup rates? Simply make each form a unique one and you’ll quickly see what position works best.
  • Types of Forms - Want to test having a form appear in a popup compares to having one in your sidebar? Want to see how a Pop-Up compares to a Po-Under or a Lightbox display? Again - just make each one a unique form and you’ll see what converts better.
  • Design of Forms - Does adding a picture or different headings or copy into your forms alter signup rates? Test it with different web forms.
  • Signup Pages vs Sidebar Forms - Got a sign up area in your sidebar and another in a page dedicated to converting readers into subscribers? Unique forms will show you what works best.
  • Testing Landing Pages - Want to see how the copy and design of a landing page impacts signup rates? Test two (ore more) pages with unique forms.

The options are endless and as Aweber gives you unlimited forms you can really test, tweak and improve your signup rates considerably over time.

No comments: