Our Best Performing Email Opt-In Strategy Ever

sumome wordpress

My marketing podcast colleague, Erin Sparks, loves to give me a hard time about our opt-in strategy on Martech Zone. Before we talk about what we’ve tested and what’s worked, I should explain the importance of email. If you were looking at an online publication as a machine, capturing email addresses is – by far – the most efficient way of returning relevant visitors back to your site.

In fact, I’ll go as far as say that your email address list is the most critical and sound strategy your site can have. It’s why we built our email service for WordPress. A growing subscriber base on your site is the best metric for recognizing the health and engagement of your content. When a visitor subscribes and welcomes you into their inbox (which is probably already full), it means they trust the value that your organization brings.

Introducing the Welcome Mat

We have tested a ton of different tools to try to capture our visitors’ email addresses for our newsletter – but to date, only one has performed well. Sure, we get a trickle of email addresses here and there with the tools we use. And we honestly avoid schemes to lure visitors to subscribe like sweepstakes and giveaways. We want genuine subscribers who subscribe because they recognize the value we bring them. Our newsletter always offers a variety of content for sales and marketing professionals to research, discover and learn how to use marketing technology to improve business results.

A welcome mat is a full page frame that appears for new visitors, pushes the site down the page, and asks the visitor to subscribe. On our site, it looks like this:

Sumome Welcome Mat

It doesn’t just work, it works amazingly well. While other strategies would get us a couple of dozen subscribers a month, our Welcome Mat is getting us a few dozen subscribers every single day. In fact, one day we had over 100 subscribers opt-in. Our Welcome Mat is converting over 100 times better than any other strategy we’ve deployed.

Unlike a popup that interrupts the person after they begin reading, this method asks them to subscribe before they get started. If they don’t wish to, they just say no or scroll down the page. The platform also offers us the opportunity to delay showing the opt-in again. And we can test different versions with the upgraded toolset to see if one works better than another.

Grow Your Website Leads with SumoMe

The Welcome Mat is just one of several functional and effective tools to grow your website conversion rates. SumoMe traffic tools are now installed and configured on over 200,000 websites! And best of all – the platform offers more than a dozen tools to help you drive conversions and increase your site’s performance.

SumoMe Tools

If you’re running a WordPress site, SumoMe also offers a WordPress Plugin to easily get you started. SumoMe also has a Chrome plugin, making access to their tool as simple as the click of a button. Best of all, they’re always adding new ways to grow your email list, encourage social sharing, and measure the your site’s performance through their analytics tools.

We’ve partnered with SumoMe to get you started – sign up now for access to a dozen tools at no cost!

Try SumoMe for FREE!


  1. 1

    Good work Douglas. I clicked the link on Twitter and sure enough was greeted by the very welcome mat you went on to write about. It doesn’t get in the way of the content I’m there to see but is still highly visible.

    I didn’t actually put my email address in, but maybe you’ll get me next time 😉

  2. 2

    Have you A/B tested the lead capture screen appearing when the user is LEAVING the website? (full screen like “Welcome Mat” would become “Bye-bye Mat” for example 😉 )

    Cause I don’t see why a user, arriving to your website for the 1st time to read a post, would risk to “lose” the opportunity to read that post by giving their email adress right away (and potentially be redirected to some other page) without reading first the post itself to know if its quality is really worth to leave its email adress…

    If you did made that A/B test before, how do you explain that people might be more willing to leave their email adress before reading your content instead of after reading your content?

  3. 3
    • 4

      Hey Dean, the tactic that’s used is called exit intent, it’s basically script that observes the mouse pointer speed and direction. As the person pushes the mouse towards the address bar or back button, a popup is generated.

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