How to Improve the Ranking of Your Business Mobile App

It’s no secret we’re living in a mobile world.

As marketers, we need to recognize that our current and prospective customers are active on their mobile devices. That’s why you need to learn how to optimize your web design for mobile users.

But some of you may have taken this one step further and built a mobile app. That’s great news, and you’re definitely headed in the right direction.

Mobile apps are increasing in popularity.

If you saw my top mobile trends that are dominating 2018, you’re aware of this.

In fact, over half of small businesses in the United States either have mobile apps or are planning to develop one. Further, 55% of these business owners say they are using mobile apps to drive sales.

Those of you who already developed an app have an advantage over your competition.

But your app won’t be successful unless you can get people to download it.

Ultimately, the more downloads you get, the greater the chance you’ll have of getting more sales and increasing your total revenue.

The ranking of your mobile app has a direct correlation with how many downloads you’ll get. Ironically, getting lots of downloads will also improve the ranking of your app.

It’s a constant cycle. Basically, if you’re able to get downloads, the popularity of your app will increase.

As a result, the ranking will improve, and the downloads will continue.

While it may sound complicated at first, it’s not difficult to understand. I’ll explain what you need to do to drive downloads and improve the ranking of your mobile app.

Understand the basic concepts of app store optimization (ASO)

For starters, you need to understand ASO, which is short for app store optimization.

Having a mobile app without focusing on ASO is like having a website without focusing on SEO (search engine optimization). ASO is extremely important.

That’s because such a large percentage of app users discover new apps by browsing the app stores:

app discovery methods

Think of the app store as a general search engine.

Someone knows what they want but doesn’t know where to find it. So they type some general terms into the search box.

Just like with a web browser, mobile users aren’t going to go searching through dozens of results after they conduct a search. They’re going to select one of the top results.

Those are the apps that will get the most number of downloads.

It’s the same concept as Google searches. The top ranking results will get the majority of the traffic.

You need to learn which factors can increase your chances of getting ranked higher according to ASO. We’ll cover some of these concepts as we continue.

Recognize the differences between the Apple App Store and Google Play Store

Let’s continue talking about the basics. There are two main app stores.

The Apple App Store is for apps available to download on iOS devices, whereas the Google Play Store is for Android users.

Depending on your business, your app might be available on just one or both of these platforms.

You need to know which factors impact your ranking in each store. The algorithms for ranking apps are not the same.

Here are some of the key similarities and differences between the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store:

apple vs google

As you can see, the title of your app has the highest impact on your ranking in both stores. We’ll talk more about your title in greater detail shortly.

Similarly, the ratings and reviews of your app also affect the ranking of your app on each platform.

However, there are some major differences as well.

Your app’s description impacts rankings in the Google Play Store. But iOS users may not download your app unless you’re able to describe it, even though it doesn’t directly impact your ASO. But we’ll discuss tips for writing app descriptions later on.

The keywords field in Apple App Store apps will impact your ranking, but that field isn’t even an option in the Google Play Store.

Ultimately, you’ve got to find a balance between these two stores.

You can’t expect the same ASO strategy to work for each platform, so you’ll need to make the necessary changes in your listing in each store.

Make sure you have a great title

You need to put some thought into creating a title for your app. This may be easier for some of you compared to others.

For example, if you already have an established business and your app is just an extension of that company, you’ll want the name to be the same for your branding purposes.

But those of you who are launching an app as a completely new business will benefit from reviewing my tips for naming your startup.

You want the title of your app to explain the function of your app and what it does.

Here’s an example of a great title from OfferUp:

offer up

OfferUp is an app designed for buying and selling goods. As you can see, those keywords are also included in the title for ASO purposes.

However, it’s worth noting that the Google Play Store could potentially suspend your app if you’re using repetitive and irrelevant keywords in your title just to improve your ASO ranking.

Here’s something else to take into consideration. The Google Play Store gives you a 50 character limit to name your app.

But the Apple App Store has a 30 character limit for titles.

As far as the ASO algorithms are concerned, having different names on each platform won’t impact downloads.

However, from a branding perspective, you want your app name to be identical in each store. Here’s why.

Let’s say a user who has an iOS device downloads your app from the Apple App Store. Then they recommend it to a friend who has an Android phone.

If the names are different, it can cause some major confusion. That new user may not be able to find your app if they’re searching for the wrong title.

Write an informative description

As I explained earlier, your app description impacts your ranking in the Google Play Store.

This is a great opportunity for you to include relevant keywords that prospective users may search for when browsing for a new app.

Even though your description is irrelevant to your ASO ranking on the Apple App Store, you still need to write one that’s informative. Why?

Well, how else will people know what your app does? Sure, the title may give them some kind of indication, but the description is your chance to shine and explain your app’s functionality.

If you want to know how to write a great description, take a look at this example from Uber:

uber 1

I pointed out some of my favorite parts.

For starters, the entire description won’t be displayed when a user first clicks on the app. That’s why the opening lines are the most important.

In the first three sentences of this description, Uber clearly explains what its app does.

As the description continues, they showcase the platform’s availability in cities across the globe. There is even a simple step-by-step guide to explain how the app works.

Another great part about this description is how it promotes all the services offered within the app.

Customers who want a simple and affordable way to get around will benefit from using uberX. If someone wants to save even more money, the description recommends uberPOOL.

The description explains that UberBLACK is intended for customers who want to ride in a high-end vehicle.

Uber also offers rides to app users who need accessibility features and to people who are traveling in big groups. All of this information was clearly written in the description.

Keep this in mind when you’re writing the description for your app. Make sure it’s simple while still highlighting the top features and how the app works.

Encourage users to rate and review your app

How your app is rated and reviewed will have an impact on your ranking in both app stores. So it’s important you encourage users to review your app.

Your star rating impacts your ranking in a number of ways. First of all, the higher your rating, the greater your chances of getting ranked higher.

And having four or five stars increases the chances that consumers will download your app.

app rating

In fact, 79% of users check ratings and read reviews before they download a new app.

As you can see in the graphic above, if your app is rated too low, people won’t even consider downloading it.

This is why it’s important for you to encourage users to rate and review your app. For the most part, people won’t write a review unless they have a really good experience or something terrible happens.

But an average user has no reason to go out of their way to write a review.

That’s why you need to ask them. Otherwise, your app ratings will just be from people who experienced something extreme.

Send users a popup or push notification that gives them an incentive to rate your app and write a review. This will improve your ASO and make your app more appealing to new users.

Improving the star rating of your app will do more than just increase your ranking. It also has a direct correlation with your conversions.

Check out this example from Medium:


Its conversion rates went from 36% to 47% as the app star rating jumped from 3.9 to 4.3.

Improving the rating by such a small margin increased the app’s conversions by more than 10%.

Use screenshots to showcase the in-app experience

Your title and description can do only so much.

It’s one thing to tell users what your app can do, but it’s another thing to actually show them. That’s why you need to include screenshots.

Screenshots give you a chance to show off your app’s versatility.

For example, you wouldn’t want to show four screenshots of one feature. It makes much more sense to showcase different features with each image.

Let’s say you have an app for your ecommerce store. Showing screenshots of just products isn’t utilizing the option to its full potential.

You’re better off showing screenshots of your navigation, search options, checkout procedure, and payment methods. This will give the prospective user a much better indication of how the app functions.

Now, your screenshots aren’t directly tied to ASO. However, they’ll help you drive more downloads, which will ultimately improve your ranking.

Here’s a great example of screenshots displayed on the Delta app listing:


As you can see, each screenshot shows something different.

The first image shows what the app looks like on the day of travel. It’s a digital boarding pass that can save you time at the airport.

Next is an image that displays the user’s profile. The Delta app also shows travel notifications in an organized feed. This can keep users informed if there is a gate change or flight delay.

Finally, the last screenshot shows how users can book a trip directly within the app.

Varying screenshots increase the chances of your app being downloaded.

Create a video to demonstrate your app

In addition to taking screenshots, you can also use videos to demonstrate how your app works.

Just take a look at these numbers that show how many of the top 50 apps in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store incorporate videos:


As you can see, the majority of the top grossing apps on both platforms use videos.

Users are three times more likely to download an app after watching a video about it, so this strategy will definitely help you drive downloads.

Design an eye-catching app icon

Don’t overlook the design of your app icon.

While this doesn’t necessarily affect ASO, it will still have an impact on downloads and how your app is perceived.

The app icon needs to be attractive so that it stands apart from other apps when users are browsing.

It should be memorable and related to your overall branding strategy. Don’t make it too similar to another app, especially if it’s your competitor.

Think about how your app is going to look once it’s downloaded to various devices. It needs to be visible against as many backgrounds as possible.

Take a look at the Slack mobile app icon:

slack 1

It’s colorful and draws attention. But it’s still simple.

Do you notice anything else about this app listing?

It has a video in addition to screenshots, which is a strategy I just finished discussing.

Promote the app on all of your distribution channels

To get more downloads, ratings, and reviews, you need to promote your app.

Leverage all your distribution channels for this. Convert your social media followers into app users.

Create YouTube content that drives people to your app store listing. Market the app to your email subscribers.

Share download links to the app on your website. Here’s an example of this strategy put to use by Hotel Tonight:

hotel tonight

Even if you’re running your app as a new business without any physical stores or online purchase options, you still need to have a website as a promotional tool.


You invested hard work, time, and money into your mobile app.

But the job isn’t quite done yet. Now that your app has launched, you need to take the proper steps to improve its ranking. This will help you get more downloads.

Conduct research on ASO. Learn the differences between listing your app on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

Focus on your title. Write an informative description.

Use screenshots to show the app’s functionality. Create a video demonstration.

Encourage users to rate and review your app.

Design an app icon that draws the attention of prospective users. Make sure to promote your app on as many distribution channels as possible.

If you follow the tips I’ve outlined in this guide, your app ranking will improve, and you’ll get more downloads. These downloads will ultimately translate into higher profits.

How are you using ASO principles to increase your mobile app ranking?

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3 Areas of Focus for Consistently High-Quality Content

OK, I’m just going to say it. In today’s world, publishing second-rate content is a total waste of time. There’s no point in contributing to the growing pile of mediocrity. It wastes your time, and, worse, it wastes your audience’s time. Sometimes I’ll see a marketer complaining that: “I spent two years doing all of
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How Successful Marketing Writers Plan Their Content

I never realized just how important it was to connect content with business goals until I had a particular conversation with a client. The client, excited to get started on blog content together, had a running list of topics for me to cover. But then something strange happened. When I asked for background information on
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I Wish I Never Built a Personal Brand

neil patel brand

Some of you who are reading this know who I am. And many of you don’t.

So, for those of you who don’t…

My name is Neil Patel, and I am the co-founder of an ad agency called Neil Patel Digital. I’ve also co-founded a few marketing technology companies.

I blog about marketing at, and in the last 31 days, I was able to reach 1,701,486 people through my blog.


I have a decent social following… 927,000 Facebook fans, 298,000 Twitter followers, 289,802 LinkedIn followers, and 159,588 YouTube subscribers.

And in the last 28 days, 43,196 people found me by Googling variations of my name.

brand queries

So, can you see the issue with everything I am doing?

It’s all tied to my name.

None of my companies have as much traffic, and they don’t have anywhere near the social following as my personal blog that you’re reading right now.

And that’s not even the biggest issue, which I will get into later on.

But before I go into why I wouldn’t build a personal brand again, let’s go over how it all began.

Why did I build a personal brand?

I never planned on building a personal brand. I started my career in marketing at the age of 16.

My first website was a job board called Advice Monkey (no longer exists) that I started when I was 16 years old. I had no clue how to generate traffic… I just thought that you put up a website and people visit.

Boy, was I wrong!

Eventually, I saved up enough money from picking up trash and cleaning restrooms at a theme park to pay a marketing firm.

They ripped me off and provided little to no results.

From being broke and frustrated I had no choice but to learn online marketing.

I got so good at it that Advice Monkey started to rank on Google for competitive terms like job board, job search, and tech jobs. In essence, I was ranking for so many job and career terms that Advice Monkey started generating well over 100,000 visitors a month.

I know that doesn’t seem like a lot of traffic, but for a job board with no listings, the Internet not being as popular 17 years ago, and for me being a 16-year-old kid, I didn’t do too bad.

But here is the thing, I was never able to make Advice Monkey work out. I just didn’t know how to monetize it.

So, like any other nerdy 16-year-old, I did what my parents wanted me to do, I went to college. And I know I was a bit too young for college as I was still in high school, so I took night classes at a college nearby my home while still in high school.

My first class was Speech 101, and I gave a speech on how Google worked. Funny enough, someone in the class worked at a company that was looking to hire someone that knew how Google worked.

He asked me if I wanted a consulting job… I said yes… they paid me $5,000 a month. I was able to help them generate well into the 8 figures of additional yearly revenue because of my work.

The owner of the company was impressed, so he introduced me to his son, who owned an ad agency.

Soon enough, he outsourced some work to me, which lead me to generate $20,000 a month in income.

The start of my personal brand

I was happy with the money that I was making for my age, but I knew it wouldn’t last.

Just because someone is paying you money right now, it doesn’t mean they will pay you next year or even next month.

I had to figure out how to generate customers.

I wasn’t the best at sales, I wasn’t well connected… so I did what I knew best. I created a blog that focused on the topic of SEO in hopes that it would generate leads and sales.

The blog no longer exists, but it was called Pronet Advertising. Here’s what it looked like:

pronet advertising

Over time, the blog started to grow in popularity and it would generate leads here and there. I never hit more than 150,000 monthly visitors, and I wasn’t satisfied with the results.

I wish I knew what I know now because I would have done simple things like leveraging exit popups and lead forms on the blog.

Seriously, I made so many basic mistakes back in 2006.

Because the blog wasn’t working out too well, I decided to speak at conferences in hopes that it would generate more clients. I literally applied to every marketing conference in hopes of landing a speaking gig.

The first conference I spoke at was Search Engine Strategies (it no longer exists). I was a bit nervous, but people enjoyed my speech.

I generated no new business from the event. 🙁

But that didn’t stop me, and I started to speak at more conferences and eventually, I drummed up business from a few events. Plus, I was building a personal brand in the marketing space (without realizing it).

Now when I say I started to build a brand, it wasn’t anything like it is right now and my goal wasn’t to build a brand… I just wanted to close new deals.

The software era

My ad agency grew to a few million a year in revenue, but by the time the recession hit in 2008, we started to lose a lot of clients.

Eventually, I shifted my focus to a marketing software company I co-founded, Crazy Egg.

At the same time, I stopped blogging on Pronet Advertising because it wasn’t generating any real income.

I started to focus all of my energy on getting Crazy Egg traffic and customers, while my business partner focused on making the product great.

At that time, Crazy Egg’s brand recognition was larger than mine. And I had no intention of growing my personal brand.

So, when I spoke at conferences, I talked about Crazy Egg. When I woke up in the morning, I spent my time trying to make Crazy Egg more popular.

As Crazy Egg was growing, I randomly decided to start a personal blog, Quick Sprout. I have no clue why I decided to do this… I just wanted a personal blog because I thought it would be a fun experience.

And if you are wondering why I didn’t name the blog Neil Patel it’s because I didn’t own at the time.

By January 2011, Quick Sprout grew to over 67,038 visitors a month:

quicksprout 2011

And by November of 2012 I was generating 112,681 visitors a month:

quicksprout 2012

My traffic was growing nice and steady at the time although my personal brand wasn’t really taking off yet.

But by January 24, 2013, my personal brand started to take off. That was when I started to publish in-depth marketing guides that were 20,000 to 30,000 words.

People thought I was crazy!

The first one was called The Advanced Guide to SEO.

advanced guide to seo

It did so well, my traffic jumped to 244,923 visitors a month.

quicksprout 2013

Once I realized that people loved these in-depth guides that were as long as a book, I kept publishing more and more. Eventually, I cranked out 12 of them and my personal brand started to skyrocket.

People would come up to me at conferences saying how they loved my content. People would even tell me how they would have discussions with their co-workers about my content. It was surreal!

Heck, it even got to a point where professors would email me asking if they could teach my content in their classrooms.

And luckily for me at that time, one of my Quick Sprout readers saw that the domain name, was being auctioned off for $900. Once I found out, I bought it. I didn’t do much with it… I just wanted to own my name.

Quick Sprout eventually grew to a point where it was generating over 500,000 visitors a month and I partnered with a few people to turn it into an SEO software company.

quicksprout 2016

Once I brought on a few business partners, it hit me that Quick Sprout was no longer just my blog. I had business partners, which meant it wasn’t just my blog anymore.

There was nothing wrong with that, but I wanted a personal blog as well. Somewhere I could write whatever I wanted and not worry about the “business” aspect.

The start of

I started this blog in August 2014. When I started this blog, my personal brand was just taking off.

According to Google Trends, I was at a 6:

2014 trends

And currently, it’s roughly at a 22. Which means it is 3 to 4 times larger now than what it was when I started this blog.

But here is the thing, Google Trends doesn’t paint a full picture. It just tracks how many people are searching for your brand on a monthly basis.

There are a lot of people who have known about me for years who don’t Google my name on a monthly basis.

My personal brand has grown for a few reasons:

  • I blog consistently – I’ve been blogging for years on many different blogs. From Pronet Advertising to Quick Sprout to, I enjoy blogging about marketing. Just on, I have published 4,868 posts.
  • I have a daily podcast – Marketing School generated 725,044 listens last month. If you haven’t, make sure you subscribe to it.
  • I produce weekly video content – from YouTube to Facebook to LinkedIn, you constantly see videos from me about marketing. My Youtube channel alone generated 566,816 views in the last 28 days. If you add in LinkedIn and Facebook, I’m hitting over a million video views a month.
  • I still kind of speak at conferences – I’ve slowed down on the speaking circuit as it got so exhausting because I used to speak at over 50 conferences a year.
  • I guest posted weekly – I used to blog on Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc, and Fast Company as it helped spread my brand. Over the years I have written 1,831 guest posts in three different languages.
  • I expanded internationally – is now translated in 4 languages, and I continue to add more each year. This has been helping my brand grow.
  • I keep giving back – I’ve been making marketing tools free, such as Ubersuggest and Subscribers. Who doesn’t like free? 😉

In other words, I’ve built a decent personal brand by just being consistent and putting in long hours for over 16 years.

As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t trying to build a personal brand… it just happened. It’s not huge, but it’s grown to a decent enough size where it’s larger than any of my corporate brands.

My personal brand has helped me generate millions in consulting deals, and I constantly get offered $25,000 to $50,000 for an hour speech at conferences each week.

So why do I regret building a personal brand?

Well, let me ask you this… think of a few of the brands you are very familiar with, which ones come to mind?


Maybe Google?

Amazon, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Nike, American Express, Tesla… the list keeps going on and on.

Did you notice that you didn’t really think about a personal brand?

Now tell me one personal brand that’s bigger and more successful than any one of the companies I mentioned above?

Whether you pick Tony Robbins or famous athletes like Cristiano Ronaldo or reality TV stars like the Kardashians, none of them will ever be bigger than the companies I mentioned above, at least from a financial perspective.

And what’s sad is when the face of a personal brand passes away, in most cases so does the income. For example, Tony Robbins does well because he is Tony. But if Tony wasn’t around, who would speak on stage on his behalf?

It wouldn’t be the same if his company replaced him with someone else.

But on the flipside, look at Apple. Steve Jobs was the visionary who helped build this amazing company we all love, but since he passed away, Apple’s stock price has gone up roughly 4 times.

They are now worth a trillion dollars. That’s crazy!!!!

Yes, Steve Jobs was an amazing entrepreneur, but Apple has grown without him and has continually improved their products.

In other words, Apple will continually live and hopefully grow because it isn’t reliant on any one individual.

Now my company is named after me. I’m not the only person within the company… the team is what makes the company amazing, not me. If I wasn’t here tomorrow, the company would still be around, but it probably wouldn’t do as well.

Not because the team isn’t capable… the team does amazing work and they are better than me in many ways. It’s because, without me, many companies wouldn’t come on board as clients.

If I changed the name of the company it also probably wouldn’t do as well because my personal brand is influential within the digital marketing world.

And here’s the kicker: It’s also harder to sell a company when it is named after a person. And if you are one of the lucky people who are able to sell a business based off of a personal brand, the multiple won’t be as great because the buyer knows that when the personal brand leaves, so will some of the revenue.

I’m not saying it’s impossible… just much harder.

That’s why you see companies like GitHub being purchased for $7.5 billion when most people haven’t even heard of it (outside of the tech world).


If I took all of the time I spent building a personal brand into building a corporate brand, I would have been worth a lot more money.

I know money isn’t everything in this world, but in business, it’s the scorecard that everyone looks at.

If you want to build a lifestyle business then consider building a personal brand. It’s easier to build, and you can make good money from speaking, consulting, or partnerships.

But if you want to build something big, something that will continually live and move on without you, then focus on building a corporate brand.

I’ve slowly been transitioning. That’s why I spend more time building up the Ubersuggest brand than I spend building the “Neil Patel” brand. And I know my ad agency Neil Patel Digital is based on my name, but I’m ok with that as I never plan on selling it.

Now in an ideal world, what you want to do is leverage personal brands to grow your corporate brand. For example, Beats by Dre leveraged strong personal brands like Lebron James and the Kardashians to grow in popularity.

beats by dre

It’s a smart model because this made it so the company isn’t reliant on one brand, such as Dr. Dre. A lot of companies, like Pepsi, Nike, and Coca-Cola do this.

Even B2B companies do this… who wouldn’t want a testimonial from Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, or Elon Musk. It’s probably harder to get their endorsement as they don’t need the cash, but you can get micro influencers within the B2B space.

For example, I was discussing with my business partner that we should hire a lot of the popular personal brands within the marketing niche and bring them under the Neil Patel Digital brand. That way the company isn’t as reliant on me.

When you also build a strong corporate brand you’ll notice that it may indirectly help you build a strong personal brand. But that shouldn’t be your goal as your company won’t be worth as much if it is fully reliant on your brand.

So, are you going to build a personal brand or a corporate one?

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How to Get More Email Subscribers Without Annoying Your Website Visitors

With so many new content marketing strategies out there today, it can be tempting to look past your email list. After all, how important can it be?

To say the least, email marketing is crucial. It needs to remain part of your core marketing foundation.

Research shows that 99% of consumers check their emails every single day.

Between personal email addresses, work accounts, computers, and mobile devices, some consumers check their inboxes even up to 20 times per day.

More than 80% of retailers say email marketing is the driving force behind their acquisition and customer retention strategies.

From a marketing perspective, sending emails is an extremely cost-effective strategy as well. On average, the ROI yields $40 for every dollar spent, which is the highest among other strategies.

But your email campaigns won’t work unless you have lots of subscribers. That’s why you need to learn how to build your first email list from scratch.

While you may understand the importance of growing your subscriber list, you need to recognize the impact your growth strategy has on your website.

Yes, you want people to opt in to your email content, but at what cost? You don’t want to overwhelm your website visitors and bombard them with nonstop sign-up requests and notifications.

This will backfire. If the people visiting your website get annoyed, they may leave and never come back.

Fortunately, there are ways you can get more email subscribers without annoying your website visitors.

I’ll show you ways you can implement these tactics on your website. Let’s dive in.

Add a sidebar to your homepage

You need to come up with ways to promote your email list without spoiling the user experience.

After all, you still want visitors to consume your content.

That’s why a sidebar on your homepage is the perfect place to include an email opt-in form. As you may have noticed, I use this strategy on the QuickSprout blog.


It’s simple yet effective.

Visitors can navigate through my website and read my blog without being annoyed by giant bells and whistles trying to get them to subscribe to my email list.

The size, placement, and location of the opt-in button on my sidebar are subtle, yet clear and legible.

In addition to placing a sidebar to your homepage, you can place it on other pages of your website as well.

This will increase your chances of getting more subscribers.

First of all, not everyone will navigate directly to your homepage. If someone lands on another page through an organic search, you still want them to see your sidebar.

Furthermore, since the sidebar is subtle, it’s possible a website visitor could overlook it on your homepage. As long as it’s out of the way and doesn’t obstruct their navigation experience, it won’t be annoying if you place it on multiple pages.

Create a separate landing page

Another way to get more email subscribers is by building a dedicated landing page for opt-ins.

This definitely won’t annoy your website visitors since they won’t see the page unless they navigate to it.

Plus, having a separate landing page will make it easier for you to promote your email list through other marketing channels. For example, if you’re promoting your email content to followers on social media, you can provide a link to this page rather than your homepage.

Look at how Moz accomplishes this strategy with its dedicated opt-in landing page:


I really like the way MOZ pitches its email list.

Rather than just asking customers to subscribe to its newsletters, it differentiates itself from the competition.

Website visitors know exactly what they’ll be getting if they sign up to receive this content. There won’t be any surprises.

Moz will deliver them the top ten articles about online marketing and SEO on a semi-monthly basis.

The visitor also knows that their inbox won’t get flooded with too much promotional content if they subscribe.

Allow visitors to create an account before making a purchase

You can also get more email subscribers by making it easy for visitors to provide you with their information while they’re completing another action on the site.

The idea here is that you want to limit the number of steps for any given process.

For example, let’s say a customer wants to create an account on your website. If they provide you with their email address at that time, they shouldn’t have to do it again to sign up for emails.

I recommend combining the account creation strategy with your email opt-in method when customers are making a purchase.

Look at this example from Lululemon:


As you can see, the brand gives its website visitors an option to create an account before starting the checkout process.

By creating an account, they also sign up for emails.

That said, you don’t want to force people into your email list. The customer can easily uncheck the box if they don’t want to subscribe.

We’ll talk more about these checkboxes during the checkout process in greater detail shortly.

Trigger pop-ups when visitors display intent to exit

As I said before, you don’t want to overwhelm your website visitors with pop-ups.

If someone lands on your page and a pop-up takes over the screen within the first few seconds, it’ll annoy the visitor. You don’t want this to happen.

But timing is everything.

You can set a pop-up to appear when a website visitor displays an exit intent. OptinMonster provides this technology and uses the strategy on its own website:


Interestingly enough, I was on the website reading more about its exit-intent technology.

There was a hyperlink within the content that said “9 unique exit intent popups,” which I highlighted above for you to see. I thought it was interesting and relevant, so I clicked to open it in a new tab.

That’s when the popup came.

The exit-intent technology recognized I opened a link in a new tab, which means I was probably going to leave the current page to read it.

OptinMonster used this popup as an opportunity to collect email addresses.

To those of you interested in implementing this strategy, I’d recommend checking out this software. It’s refreshing when brands practice what they preach, and the technology worked as advertised when I was browsing on this site.

Pin a sticky bar to all your pages

Sticky bars are similar to sidebars, discussed earlier.

Sidebars are located on the side of your pages, just as the name implies. But sticky bars get placed at the top of the page.

As users scroll, the sticky bar remains in place.

You can use services such as Unbouce to build sticky bars for your website.

sticky bar

As website visitors scroll and navigate, they’ll always see the option to sign up for your emails.

Users won’t perceive it as annoying because the sticky bar isn’t intrusive and won’t disrupt their experience as they browse through your site.

Place your subscribe boxes at the bottom of your content

Again, we don’t want your opt-in requests to take over your website. Your website visitors need to be able to read through your content without being interrupted.

That’s why placing the subscribe boxes at the bottom of your pages is a viable strategy.

There are several benefits to this method.

First of all, it doesn’t impede the user browsing experience. But it also gives your website visitors a chance to consume your content.

If they’ve never been on your site before, why would they want to sign up to receive emails from you within the first few seconds of their visit?

But after they have a chance to navigate and scroll to the bottom of your page, they’ll be more familiar with you and your service or product. This is your chance to tell them you have an email list.

Check out how ProBlogger uses this tactic on its website:


As you can see, the subscribe boxes are at the very bottom of the page.

This is another example of how the information included tells prospective subscribers exactly what they’ll be receiving if they sign up for emails. It’s a weekly newsletter that provides advice, tips, and tutorials on blogging.

Consider moving the placement of your current opt-in boxes to the bottom of your pages.

Create an opt-in checkbox during the checkout process

Earlier I talked about how you can collect email addresses by giving customers the option to create an account before they make a purchase.

That said, you don’t want to force people to create an account just to buy something. If you have a long and complicated checkout process, it will hurt your conversion rates.

That’s why you need to understand and implement my shopping cart abandonment prevention tactics.

Even if a customer doesn’t create an account, they’ll still need to provide you with their email address to get a receipt, order confirmation, and shipping information.

Add a simple checkbox to this process that gives the consumer an option to sign up for your email list.

Here’s an example of how Walmart uses this strategy:


Walmart has a guest checkout option. If people don’t have an account, they can make a purchase without creating one.

As you can see, an email address is still a requirement to complete the purchase.

They added a simple checkbox below the email field so their customers can subscribe.

Similar to the example we saw earlier, if someone doesn’t want to opt in, all they need to do is uncheck the box.

Offer an incentive to subscribe

Sometimes, people need some motivation to do something.

Sure, your newsletter may be informative, but is that really intriguing enough to get customers to sign up for emails? Giving them an incentive to sign up can increase the chances that they’ll opt in.

When in doubt, remember that monetary benefits and discounts are always a safe bet.

Consumers are sensitive to prices. Everyone wants to save money when possible. If you offer your website visitors a way to get a discount by providing their email address, they’ll probably go for it.

Look at how TOMS implements this strategy on its ecommerce website:


Yes, I know it’s a pop-up.

However, it’s not too obtrusive, and it’s easy for visitors to close the popup if they don’t want to see it.

Plus, it won’t be perceived as annoying if they are getting something in return.

Add a slider box

Slider boxes are similar to pop-up windows, but they are less intrusive.

Rather than popping up and taking over the screen, they simply slide into view to draw the visitor’s attention, remaining in the corner of the screen.

Here’s an example of how BuildFire uses sliders on its website:

buildfire 1

This slider is specifically designed to collect email addresses.

Notice how big the slider is on the page. It probably takes up maybe 20% of the screen, at most. Visitors can still scroll and navigate without a problem.

If the visitor doesn’t want to subscribe, they can easily close the slider box without getting annoyed or frustrated.

Thoughtfully place a subscribe box at the beginning of your homepage

If collecting email addresses is one of your primary marketing strategies right now, you may not want to bury the opt-in buttons at the bottom of your page or on a separate landing page.

You can still promote your email list at the beginning of your homepage.

Just make sure it’s done tastefully. Let’s look at how ConversionXL uses this strategy on its website:

conversion xl

The company felt getting subscribers was important enough to put the invitation to subscribe at the beginning of its homepage. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But notice that it doesn’t take over the entire page.

The pages does both: displays other content and collects email addresses.

If you want to apply this strategy to your website, make sure you consider the layout to help you design a homepage that converts.


You need to prioritize your email marketing strategy and constantly try to add more subscribers to your list.

That said, you don’t want to annoy your website visitors.

Promote your email list with a sidebar or sticky bar. Create a separate landing page dedicated to adding subscribers.

Collect email addresses during the checkout process. You can do this whether customers are creating an account or going through a guest checkout procedure.

If you use pop-ups, trigger them when a visitor shows an exit intent. Or you can use a slider that takes up less space on the screen.

Placing the subscribe boxes at the bottom of your pages gives your website visitors a chance to consume your content uninterrupted.

There’s nothing wrong with asking for email addresses at the beginning of your homepage. Just make sure it’s done tastefully.

And don’t forget to offer your site visitors an incentive to subscribe.

If you follow the tips I’ve outlined in this guide, you’ll grow your email list while keeping your website visitors happy.

How are you getting website visitors to subscribe to your email list without interfering with their browsing experience?

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