Podcast Episode

432 – Capture Customer’s Email Addresses


  • No WordPress Announcements this week

Is there a plugin for that?

With more than 50,000 plugins in the WordPress repository, it’s hard to find the perfect one. Each week, I will highlight an interesting plugin form the repository.

For more great plugins, download my 50 Most Useful Plugins eBook.

404 Monitor makes it effortless to spot 404 errors on your website. Instead of you having to hunt down 404 errors, all the 404 errors on your website are captured and presented in an easy to understand format.

Capture Customer’s Email Addresses

  • Use a discount or lead magnet to get someone to subscribe
  • Make your email signup prominent and on every page
  • Capture email address when adding to the cart with Jilt for WooCommerce
  • Build a specific landing page for collecting emails
  • Use an exit-intent pop-up to bring folks back to your site

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Full Transcript

Business Transcription is provided by GMR Transcription.

On today’s episode, we are going to talk about a couple different ideas on how to capture customer’s email addresses so you can make more sales on your WordPress site right here on Your Website Engineer Podcast Episode No. 432.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Your Website Engineer Podcast. My name is Dustin Hartzler. I’m excited to be with you this week because I do not have a sore throat, and I am feeling much better after last week’s WordCamp and just all the preparations for the WordCamp kind of took it out of me. And now, I am back and recording back to normal voice, and I’m excited to be here.

The thing is, though, there’s no news this week, or there’s nothing really I could find in the news section. So, we’re just gonna go ahead and skip right on over to the plug-in of the week.

Each week, I spend a little bit of time on the WordPress repository kind of combing through some of those 56,000+ plug-ins that are on the WordPress repository. And this one, I stumbled upon, and it is a really cool plug-in. I just stumbled upon it just a few minutes ago, and this is definitely one that I’m going to install on my website just to track and see what’s happening.

It’s called 404 Monitor. It is a extensive and robust 404 Monitor for your WordPress website. And what does this mean? It means that since we spent so much time investing in our website – we are creating content and design, and we’re just making the most optimized website we can. We’ve got SEO, and we’ve got product SEO, and we’ve got all kinds of SEO stuff going on. We got caching. We got all of this stuff that we are putting our effort into to make sure that we have a flawless website.

But people still can stumble upon a 404 page, whether that be clicking on a link, or maybe they’re navigating to a page that you’ve given them, or maybe it was on your business card, and they’re navigating to that page on your WordPress site, and they get to this 404 page which is the default page when any time somebody gets to a page that doesn’t exist. It’s not okay to encounter 404 errors on a website. I mean, it happens because our websites continue to grow and whatnot, but it is okay, and it is a must to fix those errors.

And so, this plug-in – what that does is it monitors your website, and anytime a 404 page is hit, or anytime that someone has navigated to a 404 page, it monitors what is happening and where they’re going to. So, it captures the URL that has the errors. It captures how many times it happened. It captured the last time it’s happened. You can sort the data so you can figure out which ones are happening the most often. You can fix those first, and you can delete logs.

Once you’ve fixed the error, then you can delete the logs and whatnot. So, it is a plug-in that is brand new on the WordPress repository, and this is one that I’m going to install this week and do some checking, and I can report back and see what’s happening when it comes to the 404 Monitor.

Okay, the other thing that I want to share is just an update on the Coding Challenge. And that has been a humongous struggle. It’s not the fact that – it’s hard. I love learning code and whatnot, but I’m just behind. It feels like a half-hour a day is still a lot to fit into this busy month’s schedule. So, I’m trucking along.

I’m still learning JavaScript through the Zac Gordon JavaScript class. And so, I’m learning there, and I just wanted to give an update that even though that I set it as a goal for the month, it is really, really challenging with birthdays and WordCamps and all kinds of things that are happening just in my personal life. And so, I’m continuing to work on it, but I just wanted to give a brief update that I haven’t been 100 percent consistent, but I am doing a lot better than I was in February. So, that’s where I am with that.

Okay, today let’s talk about capturing email addresses. And one of the reasons that you want to do this, especially if you have an e-commerce website. And we always want to capture email addresses because that’s the one way, the one method, that we can get back to a customer or somebody that’s reading our website – that’s one way that we can directly communicate with them.

If you think about it – if you’re advertising on Facebook or Instagram or wherever you might be, especially, like, Facebook, you can put out a Facebook ad, and it’s only gonna show to a small number of people that are actually following your page or your group or whatever.

But everyone that I know checks their email at least once per day if not 56 times per day. We’re all the time seeing what kind of new emails have we got. And so, having a customer’s email address or somebody that’s following you on your website, having their email address is a really easy way to get back and communicate and have a direct line of communication to people that are browsing on your website. And so, that’s what I wanted to share, and that’s what we want to dive in and talk about.

So, let’s talk about a couple different ways if you have an e-commerce store. Or it doesn’t necessarily have to be WooCommerce, but if you're having some sort of sale or a store that you want to stay in communication with – these customers – here’s a few things that you could set up to get your site up and going.

The first thing is you could use a discount or some sort of lead magnet to get them to subscribe to your list. So, people don’t normally just sign up just for the heck of it. They need to have a reason or an incentive. And so most times, you go to a website and then you're there just a few seconds, and then you get a pop-up that’s says, here, sign up and give me your email address for 10 percent off or a free order or whatever. And that’s usually the easiest way to get people to sign up for your email list. They’ll get free downloads.

That sometimes helps, or maybe you're giving a contest away or a giveaway or on courses. There’s a lot of different plug-ins that you can use, and we’ll talk about some of the plug-ins that you can use or services that you can use in just a little bit. But these are different ways that you can have people sign up and get them on your email list.

The other thing you want to do – so you're doing that as an incentive for people to sign up. But another thing that you can do is make it prominent and enticing. And so, you want to make it easy so you find it. A lot of times, people use pop-ups. Those are really easy to find because they find you. But the other one is the sticky bar. The Hello Bar plug-in is one that keeps your email sign-up form fixed at either the top or bottom of the screen even as users scroll through your site.

One study by DIYthemes said that when they used Hello Bar, it helped to grab attention without being obnoxious. And it financially led to 1100 new subscribers in one month. So, it’s just kinda there. It doesn’t pop up. It’s just there. But if you say, here’s a sale, get your free account today, and then you can click now, and they can get started with that sign-up process. And so, that’s an easy way to do it. Make the email sign-up prominent or visible.

The next one on my list is fairly new, and I have seen this in a while very often. But this is to use an email capture when items are added to the cart. This is pretty cool, and this is brought to us by Jilt. And Jilt has an option. It’s a plug-in that you can add to your WooCommerce site. But it has an option to enable an Add to Cart popover which prompts the customer for their email address whenever they add anything to the cart.

Obviously, they find that it makes it a extremely effective way to capture presales email and increase the number of recovered carts. So, what this is, is when somebody clicked the Add to Cart button, it basically says, reserve this item in your cart, and then you have to put your email address to reserve it. It almost feels like your reserving it like your putting your name on it if you will.

So, people are willing to sign up. Then, what you can do with that is once you have their email address – if they don’t follow through, and they don’t actually go thru the process of checking out, then you can follow up with an email, and say, hey, I notice you had this in your cart. Would you be interested in completing the order? Or is there something that we could do to help? Or whatever. If you have the email address, you can definitely do that.

Another thing that you could do is, to get a new email address; you could build a landing page for email capture. So, this is an easy way to – that’s the only thing the page does is to capture their email address. And so, you tell visitors why they should sign up. And so, this might have some of your features or your benefits. You can promote this sign-up page anywhere.

So, maybe you have it on all your blog posts, your sidebars, your footers, your email signatures, your social media, or even by purchasing ads. You can direct them all to one page. This is really good if you have a podcast even. You can say, oh, you can go subscribe for my list, and you can say yourwebsiteengineer.com/newsletter or make up a URL, and make it easy for people to go and sign up.

Make sure, though, if it’s designed, and it’s working properly, you want to test it to make sure it’s working, obviously, but you want to show all the benefits that would be a benefit of signing up. That should benefit all people. Whether they're coming from a podcast or from a blog post or whatever, you want other make sure just all the copy is built properly for that page.

And then the other thing that you can do – the last one here on my list is using Exit Intent Popup to capture people's attention before they leave. And so, these ones are really cool. These are kind of like the Hail Mary last-ditch approach. And it, basically, a pop-up will appear once the mouse moves near the Back button or the Close Tab button.

So, all pop-ups – they can be irritating to some. They could not work. But they could save up to 1/3 of visitors that would otherwise leave and not come back. And this is something that there was a study on that said almost 1/3 of people would leave. And so, if you say, leaving so soon, maybe put an image there, get 10 percent off if you sign up now. And so, maybe they have something in the cart, or they're looking at a product, and they hit the Back button or get ready to leave, and you get these pop-ups.

And there are a couple different pop-ups that will capture this. But then, the trigger is making sure as soon as they add their email address and they say get my 10 percent, it automatically sends out a message with a coupon code or however you want to set this up. And that’s a great way to capture a customer that may not have happened because they were all ready to leave already. So, those are the five different ways.

Let’s talk about some of the tools that you can use to do this and to capture this data. So, let’s talk through a few. So, there are pop-ups and slide-ins as well. And so, those are separate boxes that either pop up or slide in.

We talked about pop-ups a little bit, but the slide-in is also another approach. It’s more on the, I would say, the annoying approach. When a customer lands on your website, and then they see a pop-up they have to dismiss, that’s No. 1 annoying unless they’ve been on their site for a while. But a slide-up is kind of okay. It, I guess, in the scale of annoyingness, a slide-up that comes up from the side will distract your eye for a little bit. But then you don’t have to actually dismiss it. You can continue using the site while this pop-up is there.

So, there is a few different tools that are out there. I’m just gonna list some of them. One’s called Sleeknote. And it is a tool for adding pop-ups and slide-ins for your website through an OLI. You do collect email addresses legally. They have a visual pop-up builder that you can use, and it works really well with a bunch of the big-name services that are out there. So, you could check that one out. So, Sleeknote is one.

List Builder by SumoMe. So, SumoMe is a free tool for adding pop-ups to your website. There’s a WordPress plug-in called Pippity, and it allows you to add pop-ups to your WordPress-based website to collect email addresses as well. And so, it has additional features that you can pretty much customize everything whether it’s the text, the font, the color, the style, the layouts, the background images, and more. And so, you’ve got that.

You’ve got Opt-In Pop-up by Elegant Themes. So, that is part of the Bloom plug-in network from Elegant Themes, and it’s exclusive to WordPress and enables you to add pop-ups to your website.

I've talked about OptinMonster before. That is one that you can use – OptinMonster is like a software as a service, and they have WordPress plug-ins that you can install. And you customize everything on OptinMonster’s website, and with the plug-in, you can bring those forms on your site. It does cost a little bit money for OptinMonster. It starts at $9.00 per month for the basic version and up to $29.00 per month for the premium version.

And then, Thrive Leads – that’s another one. It has some advanced features like helping people stand out from standard pop-ups. It allows you to customize your pop-ups with relevant, targeted content based on categories or specific posts. So, that’s pretty nice if you wanted to have a specific giveaway based on a categoric post that you’re on or maybe certain product pages. You can do that. Thrive Leads also has a built-in A/B testing feature so you can test directly within the plug-in to optimize your conversion rate which is nice.

There’s a couple different header bars that are out there that I wanted to share. There is Hello Bar. It is a tool for adding scrolling header bars to your website. It works on any website regardless of the content management system. But, again, we’re talking WordPress. So, that’s what really matters. And it has a customizable admin interface where you can change the text, the color, the placement of the bar, and you can put it at the top or the bottom. And it’s free for websites that have less than 25,000 views per month. But it’ll show a small logo.

And then, if you want to get rid of that, and you want to have your own features, or you want to have the no branding, then it’s going to be $15.00 per month.

And then, we also have Smart Bar. And that’s also by SumoMe. So, if you’ve got SumoMe from previously, you might want to check out the Smart Bar. It’s free and works on websites regardless of the technology. Again, SumoMe is really cool, and they do some really neat things. So, I would check that out if you already have SumoMe installed.

And then, there’s a couple different plug-ins that are built for widgets or in-page capture emails that you don’t want to overwhelm your readers with pop-ups or anything that blocks a large portion of the screen. So, you can check out OptinWidget – is a tool that makes adding a beautifully-designed subscribe box to the sidebar. Very, very easy. So, that one is pretty cool.

There’s one called a Plugmatter, and this will allow you to add a feature box to your WordPress site to capture email addresses. So, that’s maybe a box that goes across the top of your page, or maybe it’s at the bottom of a particular page. So, that’s a one-time purchase for $37.00. But that is something that you might want to look at as well.

You could also look at Inline Opt-In Forms by Bloom. That is a service. Or it is a suite of products that enables you to add a opt-in form wherever you like on your site, and it integrates with all the big-name players as well.

Lead Pages is one that’s a pretty vast plug-in that allows you to collect email addresses with ease. It’s very, very easy to use. The problem is it does cost a little bit of money for that for sure. $25.00 per month. But serious marketers might want to opt for the $48.00 per month pro version.

And so, again, some of these things will cost your money. But if you are able to capture an email address, and you can reuse it, and you can send targeted emails out to your people who have added things to their cart or whatnot, it’s definitely worth – if you paid Lead Pages $25.00 per month, and you make an extra $50.00 per month for every person that re-subscribes or that you can contact, and they come back to your store, that’s definitely gonna make a lot of sense.

So those were both of the places to put in opt-in forms and some of the tools that you can use to add these opt-in forms to your website. That’s what I want to share with you this week, and just kinda spend some time doing that.

It’s really interesting to watch. And since I am on the WooCommerce support team, just spending time in other people's websites and see what they have, and that’s what kind of prompted this show today is different ways that people are sending out messages to people who have added things to their carts. And it’s, like, oh, that’s a really genius idea even if you don’t have it integrated 100 percent with your website or with your e-commerce store; you can always capture the email address.

And maybe, you're over in Mailchimp, or maybe you are using Constant Contact or any of those big names that are out there. But you could always send a coupon code later. Maybe they’ve signed up, and the offer wasn’t a coupon code, but you know they’ve been on your site. Maybe you offer them a coupon code two days later.

Or they don’t necessarily have to be tightly integrated. Some of them, the Jilt plug-in, you can set up, and you can email people after they’ve added something to their cart, and they didn’t purchase, like, you can email them specifics. And they can click a link, and they can go right back to the cart, and they can check out from there.

But if you don’t want that type of solution, or maybe that doesn’t work well with the way that you have your opt-in form set up, you can always do different routes and not necessarily send them to the cart page. But with WooCommerce, it’s really, really convenient that if you go to the cart page after you’ve already been there, it will automatically keep the stuff that’s in your cart.

And so, if you’ve got your store set up that way, you can always just send out an auto-responder two days later that says, check out your cart if you’ve left sometime there or whatever. It doesn’t have to be perfectly automated, but just keeping that engagement is something that would be really, really beneficial for e-commerce store owners.

So, that’s what I want to share with you this week. Take care, and I will talk again about WordPress stuff next week. Bye-bye.