Relationships Over Email Blasts

Right now at Aweber we’re servicing over 100,000 small businesses globally, and we’re sending over 2 billion emails per month.

If I had one wish from the internet marketing genie I’d wish that people would stop thinking of email as solely a blast mechanism. Email is really meant to be a platform to help you build relationships and you’re not going to be able to do that if you’re just shouting your message out from the top of your lungs.

Marketers overall need to stop being complacent with their campaigns. Getting into a routine pattern of when you send out emails can work at times but it’s not the ‘end all be all’ of strategy. 2pm may not always be the best time to send out your message and maybe the 3-part autoresponder you wrote a year ago is no longer serving the needs of your customers.

It’s not set it and forget it, it’s set it and review it frequently. The likelihood is that you’re missing out on 10-15% of convertible leads if you’re not keeping a close eye on how your email sequences are doing.  
Within lead forms themselves, one big problem I see is asking for too much information. I’ve seen sites that execute on their opt-in flawlessly, but then their lead form is asking for 5 different pieces of information. No one has time for that!

I recommend that you keep your form as short as possible, first name and email, and that’s it. Build your relationship over the course of your email sequence and then ask for more information if you need it.

The lead form is such a key piece of informational architecture, it’s worth it to take the time to nail it. New leads are the lifeblood of your business so you absolutely have to be testing continually for conversions.

Ask Your Customers

I always recommend asking your customers what they’d like to see in terms of what you’re offering with your lead forms. Take a poll of 10-15 customers and get their thoughts on what you’ve done in the past and what you’re planning on next.

This will at least get you in the right ballpark before you launch. This doesn’t need to be a formal process. Simply asking them what they think with a survey link in an email will work fine.

Set Expectations

You need to set the expectations right away in terms of the value you’re providing. Make sure you’re conveying that value on the sign up form. I’ve seen a lot of businesses where it’s just not clear what I’m signing up for.

This can be done with a headline and subheadline, you don’t need a whole paragraph of text. In fact, shorter and more succinct is better. But that clear communication needs to be in place.


You don’t have to give away the farm here and offer free consulting or design work, but whatever you’re offering needs to be intriguing to your audience. It could be as simple as a PDF with the top ten trends affecting your industry today.

This all goes back to asking your customers and working with that feedback. Other ideas are 30 minute webinars, ebooks, podcasts, etc.

Platform Compatibility

In today’s world you 100% must translate well to mobile platforms. Make sure that your form renders well to keep your customer experience consistent.

Be Specific In Your Fields

If you’re in a B2B space try asking for your prospect’s work email. Don’t just fall into the routine of asking for first name, last name, best email. That extra level of specificity sets you apart as someone who’s really considered the brand experience they’re offering.

Call To Action

This button needs to answer the question, “I want to…”. A lot of times businesses will use one word CTAs like “subscribe” or “download.”

Imagine all your customers are in a rush. If you’re offering a webinar maybe try, “I want to reserve my seat now!” That format worked a lot better for us than other iterations that mentioned how the webinar was free. The call to urgency was ultimately more effective.

This is the kind of knowledge you can only get by constantly setting and trying out different arrangements.


Action Steps

  1. Don’t ask for too much information on your forms, stick to first name and email.
  2. Ask customers to tell you what they want to see with an informal email survey.
  3. Set the expectations and convey the value in what you’re offering. Make it clear what customers are signing up for.
  4. Offer an incentive that’s valuable for your audience and industry.
  5. Put in the effort to be compatible across mobile platforms.
  6. Be specific in your info fields and your CTA button.


Result You Will Achieve

Optimized lead forms by using the best practices of email giant Aweber.

Mentor: Erik Harbison

Chief Marketing Officer at AWeber – executing digital marketing solutions for top brands in the consumer & B2B market. Use automated email series to increase conversion of leads to trials by more than 200%

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.