Most websites don't do this properly.
But the most important tool your website needs is a way to capture email addresses, to build an email list, so that you can continually market to those people through email campaigns.
You can use Contact Forms, or Pop-ups, but however it looks on your website, it must be simple, easy to use, easy to read, and the viewer should easily understand what they're giving up their email address for.
Whatever they are signing up for, such as more information for a product or service, it should be interesting, it should be easy to understand, and it should be compelling.
Later on, you'll be using these email addresses to continue to market to this group of people through email campaigns. Maybe these people will not be your clients or customers today, or even next week. It could be that they convert to a customer 12 months from now. But the point is to have this email capturing system as soon as possible, so you can build an email list that is as large as possible.
Here's how to effectively set up collecting email addresses:
1. Collect emails through a simple contact form.
This can be as simple as creating a contact form to allow people to ask questions, request a quote for services, or other simple ways to allow people to get in touch with you. Once their request comes through, add them to the appropriate list in Mailchimp to manage your email addresses and follow up with marketing at a later time.
2. Offer something free in exchange for their email address.
To say something as simple as "Sign up for our free newsletter" doesn't work much. If you are a start-up business, you first need to establish credibility with your consumer base by offering something valuable, interesting and worth their time. So, let's say you are an Interior Design business looking to collect email addresses of prospective Clients. You can offer a free "5 Important Things Home Owners Forget When Planning For A Home Renovation" PDF download or email newsletter to encourage visitors to sign up. You want the content to feel important to your consumer in a way that they wont want to miss out on some valuable information they may not know about.
3. Pop Ups are okay to use.
While most people find pop-ups to be annoying, they are still often the best way to get your visitor's attention by focusing on one aspect of your website. And if the content on the Pop Up is interesting and valuable, and makes it easy for people to submit their contact information, then there is a higher chance they will be interested in using it and not find the pop up to be annoying.
The most important way to use your business website is to collect email address. Over 50% of visitors to an average website will leave within about 7 seconds of viewing it for the first time. This means, that time is crucial to capture their attention and collect their email address. That way, you have a way to help them come back at a later time. You'll help your customers and clients slowly ease into making their first purchase with you.