I recently re-vamped my website and this was my steering moto: “You can have any color you want, so long as it’s black.” – Henry Ford

You see, I’ve read a ton of books on this topic and watched far too many videos. The conclusion: Most websites give too many options and are confusing. 

You have 3 seconds to capture someone’s attention, so you need to make sure you’re very focused and narrow your reader’s actions to one main goal.  If you’re promoting every single thing you offer on your homepage with equal choice, you’re doing it wrong.

 

As an online business owner who wants to sell more digital products and make passive income, I’m focusing on one thing: Capturing email addresses.

 

Capturing email is key vs. going straight for a sale, because research shows that 96% of visitors to your website aren’t ready to buy, so your focus shouldn’t be on selling first. But once you have someone’s email, you now have access to the #1 way of converting a subscriber into a Buyer. Hands down, the stats support this

If you miss out on capturing email when someone’s on your site, you miss out on having a direct line to engage with them later, in the top channel they prefer to buy through.  Building your email list is the fastest way to grow your revenue. 

This holds true across generations. Campaign Monitor recently surveyed Millennials and asked what their preferred channel is to engage with a brand. They ranked email first

Their rankings are:

  • Email
  • Social media
  • In-person
  • Ads
  • Chat
  • Blog

If you don’t have a way to collect emails, either with a free landing page or your own website, you’re leaving a ton of revenue on the table. The fact is, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.

Which leads me back to the main focus for my website: collecting emails. With this front and center on my site, I’m doing two things:

Getting qualified leads
Weeding out unqualified leads

When I revamped my website, I focused on 3 key things to capture more emails:

Step 1: A crystal clear headline, telling people exactly what I do and how it makes their life better
Step 2: Feature a high-value Lead Magnet
Step 3: An About page that converts

With these 3 foundations in place, my site is set up with laser focus to maximize email sign ups and get the right people on my list.

Here’s the nitty gritty and how I approached each step.

STEP 1: A crystal clear headline even a caveman can understand

When someone lands on your website, they need to immediately understand how you will help them. Because it’s ALL about them.

To craft my headline, I followed the framework of Building a Storybrand (a must read). If you’ve read this book or followed any of Donald Miller’s teachings, you know clarity is king. Being clever is cute, but clarity wins every time

Your headline needs to be stated in simple language, even a caveman would understand.

You need to tell people what you offer and how it will help them. People take action if something brings them closer to pleasure or further from pain. 

Don’t say exaggerated, sales-y things like “This will change your life.” Or “Your most amazing discovery”. These exaggerated statements don’t actually say anything. 

The formula for a powerful headline is:

    1. Be very specific about what you offer and who it’s for
    2. Keep it simple
    3. Give a promised result 

In my case, I help online business owners with email marketing, specifically to send engaging emails that sell more digital products. I wrote about 100 headlines, mostly terrible, and landed on this one: 

Create high-converting emails

Now someone is listening. You’ve told them what’s in it for them and now they’re ready for Step 2.

 

Step 2: Feature a high-value Lead Magnet

For step 2, I wrote a very specific, benefit based subhead, featuring my Lead Magnet. I wrote detailed points of what’s inside it and how it will help my reader.

FREE GUIDE: Get 8 strategies I give my private clients to create emails that sell — without being spammy or having a huge list.

You want your Lead Magnet to be irresistible. Don’t let someone leave the page without wanting it. Get very specific about what’s inside. 

An important point: if you want to capture email addresses, saying “join my newsletter” isn’t enough…frankly, it’s boring and no one wants another newsletter cluttering up their inbox. But, if you are specific and give details about why they should get your freebie and how it will benefit them, your email list will grow rapidly.

When you craft your Lead Magnet, think about something that will benefit your audience right away. What’s a quick win you can help them solve now? What’s a common frustration they have and how can you simplify that problem or help them through it?

You want to start with the end in mind and make sure your Lead Magnet aligns with what you will eventually sell. 

The goal of capturing emails isn’t about growing a huge list, it’s about being laser focused on getting the right people on your list (people that actually are interested in buying from you). 

Make it juicy. Make it something you’d want to sign up for.  Include a very clear Call to Action for the reader to get it. For example: Get Free Guide. Watch Workshop. Download Now. 

Use strong language and make it very clear.

Next, I moved on to Step 3.

 

Step 3: An About Page that converts 

Your About page is the most visited page after your homepage. So you’re missing out on money if your About page is landing flat.

There are some pretty terrible About pages. 

They usually are written in third person and are over-glorified resumes. They go something like “John is a world-class entrepreneur who has trained as a scientist his entire life. Now his passion is to help other entrepreneurs live their best life.”

Blah, blah, blah. John got it all wrong.

Your reader goes to your About page because they want to learn more about you and what you stand for before they hand over their hard earned money.

You need to be asking yourself: 

  • How does your experience help them? 
  • Does your story resonate with them? 
  • Do your values align with theirs? 
  • Do you make them feel something?

Now more than ever before, people are craving human connection and they want to do business with brands and people that reflect their values. Your About page is your opportunity to tell your story and show your human side, while making it about your customer. 

Just like your homepage, you restate how you’re there to help them. You highlight a problem that exists and how your experience and product are the solution. Write in the first person and write directly to them, saying “you” and “your.” Make your customer love you and want to do business with you.

All of this should lead up to one strong Call to Action to capture emails. 

You don’t want someone to leave without giving you their email address. Include a strong Call to Action, featuring your Lead Magnet so you offer value in exchange for their email address. Make it obvious and make it compelling.

Final thoughts

At end of the day, your website exists to add massive value and capture email addresses. Everything else is secondary. 

Narrow choice and you will increase conversion. Focus on nailing your homepage, creating an irresistible Lead Magnet and an About page that converts, and now you have a recipe to get the right people on your list and sell more.