March 2016 Website Journey – transferring to a different web host, creating a CTA with your email marketing system, and including a freemium for subscribers
I took the plunge and transferred to a different web host this month, and I’ve also been busy experimenting with various subscription forms (aka calls to action (“CTA”) aka opt-in forms).
It’s amazing how even small changes to a CTA make a psychological difference to the way a website visitor responds.
To give you a realistic idea – I’m not talking 100s of subscribers; it’s a handful of subscribers each week. But that’s good for a website that currently gets between 50 and 100 daily visitors and used to get just a trickle of subscribers every blue moon.
1. Changing my webhost to FastComet
As you will have seen from my post about launching my website journey, I initially chose Falcoda Internet to be my web host.
I was very happy with them but decided to transfer to FastComet for a couple of reasons – Falcoda Internet recently had intermittent up/downtime which meant my website was often inaccessible, plus it doesn’t allow use of external SSL certificates (you have to purchase from Falcoda Internet direct).
As I already knew of FastComet and had been impressed by its features and pricing, I chose them to transfer my website. However, I kept my domain name registered with Falcoda Internet as it’s cheaper for that purpose.
Being the first time I’d ever changed web hosts, I was apprehensive as to what was involved.
It turned out to be a quick, painless process and FastComet’s technical support did a great job, regularly updating me as to progress.
2. Adding a CTA
In the footer
My first CTA was at the bottom of the website, providing a means for you to join my email list and be notified of new reviews and blog posts.
That CTA bar (known as a “Smart Bar”) is provided by SumoMe which has several free and paid tools to grow your website traffic. It’s very easy to install – you just download SumoMe from its website and select which tools you’d like to use. All I had to do was decide the style, colour, wording and timing, as the coding’s done behind the scenes by SumoMe.
You can select, edit and delete any of the SumoMe tools via the small blue icon at the side of your website. Unlike other tools, it’s not accessed via WordPress as it’s not a plugin.
SumoMe offers these tools for free (with paid subscriptions also available):
- List Builder, Scroll Box and Smart Bar
- Share, Image Sharer, Highlighter and Discover
- Content Analytics and Heat Maps
The footer CTA bar was constantly shown at the bottom of the website until I decided to switch it so that it only shows when you scroll up towards the top of the screen.
I found that small adjustment made the CTA bar more noticeable, with a slight increase in subscribers.
In the side bar
I also added a CTA in the sidebar (designed using Campayn’s widget form) which again improved my subscription numbers.
In the header
I noticed the biggest jump in regular subscribers when I placed the CTA in my website header having created an image and linking it to Campayn’s URL CTA. At first, I placed the CTA image on the left side of my header.
Interestingly, I noticed that when I later decided to move it to the right side of my header, there was an increase in subscribers compared to when it had been on the left side of my header.
3. Creating a freemium
I didn’t have anything to offer subscribers other than my reviews and blog post updates – and, hey, that should be enough, right?! It’s ok, I’m joking.
It meant that the footer CTA bar just asked you to join my mailing list; a legitimate request, but not very enticing. People subscribed but I wanted to create something useful in exchange.
I wanted to create a “freemium”
Something you’d find helpful, of value and which could be downloaded for free.
Realising that my fintech posts are the most popular, I created an easy-to-use fact sheet of Revolut, Saving Stream, Monese and TransferWise – it’s a handy sheet to use if you need to check what each has to offer without having to wade through the reviews.
I created and formatted the document in Word and then converted it to pdf in readiness for use on my website.
At first, I wasn’t sure how to link to the pdf without it being an image on a post, but it’s actually not that difficult. Check out my tutorial to find out how it’s done.
4. Linking my subscribers to the email list
Having compared many email marketing systems, I decided to use Campayn. As you know, if I can get quality for a minimal price or even for free, then that’s my preference at this stage, seeing as PeasOnToast’s more of a hobby than a monetary stream.
At the time of joining Campayn last year, it allowed 2,000 contacts, 20,000 emails and 1 autoresponder in the free package (which excluded any reporting) and, as far as I could tell, it was the only free email marketing system to include an autoresponder.
Since then, it’s reduced the free package so new customers are allowed 500 contacts – but that’s still a fairly significant amount if you’re just starting out.
Unfortunately, SumoMe (which collects the footer CTA bar subscriptions) isn’t directly compatible with my email marketing system, Campayn. That’s when I came across Zapier….
5. Using Zapier to link applications
Zapier connects the apps you use, automates tasks and helps you get more out of your data.
It links applications so that when a particular event happens (eg someone subscribes to your website) it causes another specified event to automatically happen (eg the email address is added to your email manager).
Zapier’s very easy to set up
Whenever I get a subscriber via the SumoMe CTA bar, it adds the email address via Zapier to my Campayn contact list. It then notifies me of the new subscriber, via Zapier to my Gmail account.
6. Using Campayn’s CTA widget
Campayn offers a few types of CTA – a website form, a Facebook form and a URL link. I decided to find a use for each of them, and tried them out on my website and Facebook.
I especially liked the Hosted Form with the URL link as it’s so convenient to use – you design a subscription landing page using Campayn’s design tools and Campayn provides you with a shortlink URL to that landing page (hosted by Campayn). You can then use that shortlink whenever you want to steer people to that landing page to sign up.
What’s been learned?
- the position and style of CTA makes a difference to whether people decide to subscribe
- it’s not the end of the world if the tool you’ve chosen to use doesn’t directly link with your application – Zapier fixes that problem
- even if your website’s up and running, it’s very easy to transfer to another web host
Honest stats – March 2016
Monthly website traffic increased to an overall high of about 1,800+. Although most of my website visitors are still via search engines, my posts are being shared more often with my Monese review being the most popular. As with previous months, I’ve not increased my presence on social media, simply because I’ve been quite busy with other things – but that’s certainly something I plan doing shortly.
Well, that’s my March 2016 diary. Don’t forget to check out the tutorials for easy-to-follow instructions.
- reviews to save you time looking for good value, quality household/fintech products
- blog/tutorials for any of you website newbies to follow my PeasOnToast learning curve
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