now whatBy now, I’m sure you know that being active on social media sites is a great way to drive traffic to your website or blog. But what happens once those people have arrived at your site?

You need to have a way to capture those prospects before you lose them and they click away forever. Having great content for them to enjoy once they land there is only part of the equation. You want to offer them a way to provide their email address so that you have permission to keep in touch and build that all-important, ongoing relationship with them.

Once you’ve captured their info, you then have a way to present any future offerings, events or opportunities to them. But first you’ve got to hook them in! Here are the keys to accomplishing that.

Have a sign-up form for them to input at least their first name and primary email address.

If you’re using an email marketing service such as AWeber, Constant Contact or any other which provides autoresponders, you can easily create what is known as an “opt-in box” form and copy and paste the code directly onto your site. I personally use AWeber, and they provide instructions for creating the form as well as the HTML code.

Place the sign-up box in a prominent place.

Studies have shown that one of the most effective places to put the box is “above the fold,” in the upper right-hand corner of the page.  This just means that you don’t want to make the person have to scroll down to see your form. When they visit your site you want their eyes to be drawn immediately to it. A good idea is to have the box stand alone without any distracting images or text around it.

Make it crystal clear what visitors need to do.

In this case, simpler is better. The less choices people are given, the more likely they are to sign up. Describe what it is they get for giving you their information, have a place for their email address and name, a blurb on your privacy policy and a submit button.

Give an incentive for signing up with you.

These days, people are bombarded with information and offers online. You need to have a compelling reason for people to hand over their info. In exchange for doing so, give them some type of freebie–an e-course, a special report, an audio file or something else that will appeal to them. Keep in mind that this offering does not have to be super comprehensive. You can still put together something of value without it taking you more than a couple of hours to create.

Offer the ability to sign up on every page of your site.

Because you never know from which page people will enter your blog or website, be sure to place your form not only on the home page, but each page that makes up your site.

Now, when you drive all of that social media traffic that’s hungry for more of what you’ve got to offer, you have a way to continually keep in contact with them. They’ve decided to come check you out–don’t leave them without a clear next step!

Photo credit: db*photography

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