Cool Email Idea: Homepage Optimized for Email Capture

What: Homepage Optimized for Email Capture

Who: Obama for America

Why we love it: First-time visitors to Barack Obama’s website see a simple homepage optimized for email capture. It includes a photo of the candidate and his family with the words “Join the movement” and a form field for email address and zip code. There’s also a “Skip the sign up” button that takes you directly to the website without having to give an email address. The regular homepage has the email capture prominently displayed on the top left using the copy “Get involved.” Aside from the prominence, which we at Return Path have been preaching for ages, the copy is good too. By using language that resonates with the Obama crowd – “movement” and “involved” – they increase the chances of getting sign ups. Remember, generic marketing copy never works well. “Sign up now!” would fall flat, especially when marketing a campaign known for its soaring rhetoric.

What would make it better: Ironically, this is the kind of thing that can also backfire on you. If you look like you are just collecting email, people can get suspicious. A small amount of copy, mostly in the form of links, that explains what they will do with your email address, why they want it and information about privacy would be helpful here.

Bonus points: The site is smart. You only see the “join the movement” page on your very first visit, cutting down on the annoyance factor.

Check it out: www.barackobama.com.

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