How I Tripled My Email Signup Rate using SumoMe

How I Tripled My Email Signup Rate

Quick question: would you spend $250 per year to make an additional $50,000?

Damn straight you would, right?

I’ll explain in a moment how that’s possible.

But first, listen up.

This blog is about how to build better relationships in business.

But it’s a new world. Our economy isn’t what it was 2 years ago, much less 20 years ago.

You can’t sit idly by and expect to coast in the same job from college to retirement.

You can’t expect the business you’re working for to always be there.

Heck, I had a so-called “stable” job in GOVERNMENT and then lost it because Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor.

(Still sounds kinda crazy, doesn’t it?)

So when it comes to building relationships, you need to use new tools. New technologies. New strategies. New ideas.

Your new client development strategy cannot consist of remembering to bring business cards to the next old-school networking gathering you go to (the same one you go to every month and get little results from).

It’s no longer enough to go to a cocktail party for some Chamber of Commerce business group once a month and call it a day.

You need to think differently.

And one of the most important mindset shifts you need to adopt is to start building relationships at scale.

Relationships in business can no longer be built in just ones and twos.

You have to think bigger.

And the key tool for doing that is an email list.

Your email list is the modern Rolodex.

(Note to everyone under age 20: a Rolodex was like an iPhone that was stuck to your office desk … except it was really hard to play Angry Birds on it.)

An email list is super powerful.

Your email list is your list of prospective clients and customers and referral partners, but it’s much more than that.

Every email is a relationship. Every email could turn into a client or customer, or a business opportunity, or a strategic partnership, or something more.

An email list is cheap. It’s easy. You can communicate quickly and in a way that people will engage and take action.

And it’s scaleable.

Grab 10 of my best SumoMe popups and split tests

If you do it right, you can be building profitable relationships with masses of people (your email subscribers) – often completely on autopilot.

You can do all of this …

  • While you sleep.
  • While you’re on vacation.
  • While you’re playing World of Warcraft (if that’s your thing).

That’s the dream, right?

(If you don’t have an email list set up, you can follow my tutorial to set one up here.)

How you use your email subscribers is up to you – to sell more products and services, create group programs, get more clients, sell membership communities, sell live events, or simply share what you’re reading.

What’s most important is simply that you have a list and it’s growing.

A lot of people say a rough estimate is you can expect to bring in $1 per subscriber per month – from all revenue sources.

Some people I know do much better than that – $2 or $3 or more per month.

Imagine if you have 1,000 people on an email list at $1 per person per month. That’s an extra $1,000 per month, right?

Imagine if you had a 10,000 person email list at $2 per person per month. That’s $20,000 per month. An extra $250K per year.

Imagine if you had a 100,000 person email list at $3 per person per month.

You can do the math. It adds up quick.

Pretty soon you’re ordering a NetJet from your iWatch instead of flying Southwest.

So adding more people to your email list is a powerful way of building relationships AND revenue today, agreed?

The Two Best Tools for Growing Your Email List

Now… when it comes to actually building up your email list, there are two strategies that I prefer over all the rest.

And believe me, I’ve tried it all… maybe you have too. SEO, FB ads, social media, networking events, you name it.

The first is webinars, which I’ve written about and which I detail in my Webinar1K course.

The second is using a tool which gathers subscribers from visitors to your website, which is a highly effective means of growing your email list.

Here’s why: most visitors to your website are just passing through. If they leave, they probably aren’t coming back again. But if you can capture their email address, you can communicate with them again.

Why do you think brick and mortar businesses ask you to put your business card in a fishbowl to win something? So they can communicate with you. So when you leave, you aren’t gone forever.

So how do you gather email subscribers like collecting business cards in a fish bowl?

Answer: you use a polite popup.

A polite popup is the modern version of the old-school annoying popups that used to clog every website.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, these tools WORK to grow your email list (which grows your revenues).

Now here is where a lot of people will stop. They will say “oh, but I hate popups.”

To that, I say: do not substitute your subjective opinion for a strategy that, objectively, has been proven to work.

In fact, if you offer something of value that your website visitors really want, then a popup, done right, is the opposite of annoying. It is highly valuable and effective.

I’ve tested a number of popups, and most of them suck.

Then in spring of 2014, my buddy Noah Kagan, Chief Sumo and Jefe de la apreciacion del taco over at AppSumo told me about a new totally free popup they were developing, called SumoMe (referral link).

To be honest, like most first drafts, the original version of SumoMe was rough. But over the subsequent two years they’ve layered on free features upon free features upon free features to the point where you just get delighted and exhausted and blown away all at the same time, kind like a Steve Jobs keynote on steroids.

Today, SumoMe includes a bundle of different services that would cost a boatload from other companies, including Heatmaps (showing where people click),  Welcome Mat, Smart Bar (a bar at the top of your site), Social sharing, Scroll box, and more.

But it’s “List Builder” — their version of a polite popup — that I love the best.

After about 18 months of thoroughly testing both the free and premium version of the SumoMe List Builder popup, I can now attribute an additional $56,100 per year of revenue (and growing)  to List Builder, based on a $1 per subscriber per month on average.

That’s right – an extra $50K+ per year to my business from collecting email addresses of people who were already visiting my site.

I’ll explain how exactly I got to these numbers in a moment.

But first, I want to share why I think you should install the free SumoMe popup on your site (referral link) and then I’ll show you how you can 3X the amount of email addresses (and hence revenue) you bring in with SumoMe.

Why You Need to Use a SumoMe and the List Builder Popup

list builder

Here’s what is so great about SumoMe and the List Builder popups:

● The basic version of SumoMe is 100% free and will get you started, and you can always upgrade to the premium version later (as I did).
● SumoMe’s List Builder popup is “the polite popup,” meaning you can control exactly when and how the popup appears. It’s kind of like a popup with a posh British accent. It’s the Michael Caine of popups.
● You can “set it and forget it” – and your email list continues to grow.
● With List Builder Pro, you can do split testing to 2X or 3X the conversion rate on your popup.

So how do you set it all up?

SumoMe has an easy tutorial on how to install SumoMe on your site in under a minute. Or you can pay someone $20 through Upwork to set it all up.

I’ll leave it to the experts to explain to you how to install it.

But what I want to show you is once it is installed, how you can really use List Builder Pro to 2X or 3X your signup rate.

How to 3X Your Conversion Rate Using Split Testing

First, what you need to do is have something to give away free on your site. Like a free report or ebook, or a book chapter.

Remember the offline equivalent – the fishbowl. You wouldn’t put your business card in that fishbowl unless there was a good reason, right? Like you get a free ebook, or a chapter from a book, or you’re being entered into a contest for a free lunch, etc.

You need to give away something that visitors to your website actually want, to motivate them to give you their email address.

But all these things are not created equal.

In other words, the thing that you offer as a free giveaway in exchange for someone’s email address may or may not be appealing to the people you are trying to target.

Maybe more people would love the free report, but they hate the book chapter. Or vice versa.

Or people might hate the way you describe these things – and it might make a HUGE difference in how many people are motivated to opt in to get the freebie.

The point is… you don’t know until you test it.

But how do you figure out what people really want?

I’ll show you how.

Grab 10 of my best SumoMe popups and split tests

How to Test Your Headlines

A few years ago, I spent about 2-3 months writing a comprehensive, 52 page ebook with images and a professional layout.

It took me a ton of time and effort. When I was done, I thought it was pretty good.

I gave it away for over a year. It was the main opt-in “bribe” I was using to entice people to sign up for my email list.

I then signed up for SumoMe and started giving it away using their List Builder Popup. Here’s what it looked like:

list builder popup

It did OK.

In the first 18 months since I first installed SumoMe List Builder, that one form brought in 4,675 email addresses.

Based off $1 per subscriber per month, that’s an additional $56,100 per year (and growing) in revenue to my business, compared to if I had no popup.

How did it happen?

This popup got 4.22% conversion rate, meaning 4.22% of the people who saw it opted in.

But what if you could increase the number of email signups just by tweaking the copy on this headline?

Let’s try it, shall we?

So I tried this slightly different headline:

list builder popup2

That increased the conversion rate to 6 percent.

Then I thought… what if I were to replace the ebook image with a better image?

‘Cause you know… people like pretty faces.

So I tried this:

list builder popup edit image

That did better… now we were getting 7.67% sign up rate.

Then I started using the SumoMe premium templates so I would have access to many more high-converting templates, and so I could split test my popups.

Now, I normally am not a fan of ongoing recurring subscriptions.

Here’s how I justified the $20 per month cost of SumoMe. If you use $1 per subscriber per month as a general benchmark, then that means the additional $20 per month subscription cost would need to bring in an additional $20 per month in additional ROI each month. And that’s immediate 30-day ROI. Not bad.

So I would just need to bring in 20 more email subscribers per month. Was it possible? Absolutely.

So then I started using a SumoMe premium template. Here’s the first one I tried out:

sumome template

Not a bad improvement. That new design got 9.2% conversion rate.

I kept trying different premium templates and split testing them against one another until I ended up with this design:

sumome template 2

That design resulted in a conversion rate of 11.86% – roughly triple where we started.

Now, if I had remained at that 4.22% conversion rate, I probably would have brought in more like 1,500 email addresses since first installing SumoMe List Builder.

That would have meant about $18,000 in revenue, compared to the additional $50,000+ that I am bringing in now. So that’s a difference of about $30,000 to $40,000. For an investment of about $250 per year. Not bad, right?

Here’s that link to check out SumoMe again. You’ll thank me later.

  • http://www.shadeofinfo.com/blog/ Andrew M. Warner

    Hey John,

    I use Sumome list builder and its definite great and one of the best pop ups I’ve used. And I’ve tested and used quite a few.

    It really is the polite pop up.

    But one thing I need to do more of is split testing things. Headline. Offer. Etc.

    Based on the results you’re getting, I REALLY need to test more.

    Great post here.

    – Andrew

  • gjhiatt

    Hi John,
    Does Sumome help you do the split testing?

    Thank you!

    Gina Hiatt
    President
    Finish Agent® Inc.

  • http://www.shermansmithblog.com/ Sherman Smith

    Hey John,

    I’m using both sumome and thrive builder. As far as popups I’m using thrive, but I see the polite popup from sumome as a great alternative.

    Thanks for the heads up!