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4 Proven Ways to Turn Mobile Users Into Subscribers

  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • List Building

Are you tired of not converting your mobile users? It’s so frustrating when we’ve made a responsive website to accommodate mobile users, but we don’t really get any real value from them.

People are spending more and more time on their mobile phones, but the conversion rates on mobile are still way too low compared to desktop.

Statistics show Americans check their mobile phone more than 8 billion times a day. That’s 8 billion opportunities for converting mobile users. So why don’t we?

Many marketers have responsive websites but being responsive is no longer enough. Mobile users have very high expectations to their mobile shopping experience, and the need for mobile-specific websites and improved user experience rises with those expectations.

In this post, I’ll guide you through the most important aspects of mobile optimization so you can convert your mobile visitors like a real boss.

Let’s get started.

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Mobile email marketing 101: How to create a killer mobile website

Before you can begin converting your mobile users, you need to ensure that your website works just as well (if not better) on mobile as it does on desktop.

The problem with responsive design is that it just makes your website fit the small mobile screen. Often, when I browse websites on my smartphone, I have to pinch and zoom all the time in order to read anything and I keep asking myself: Am I getting old?

No – the problem is not whether or not our sight is deteriorating. It’s bad mobile experiences. No one wants to visit a website, much less convert, if they have to pinch and zoom every time they need information.

To illustrate my point, I’ve included this example from Mile High Comics:

Now how would anyone expect us to read this? It’s just not possible. Your site must be optimized for mobile if you don’t want your visitors to abandon your site just seconds after they’ve entered.

The solution?

Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes. How would you like your mobile shopping experience to be? My answer to this question would be as seamless as possible.

First, you should emphasize your search option – and if you don’t have one, you should get one right away.

Navigating on a mobile device is much more difficult than it is on desktop because of the small screen. Thus, many mobile users don’t even begin to navigate your site when they enter, they immediately look for the search option and enter the name of the product they’re looking for.

A great example of this can be seen on eBay’s mobile site:

It’s very easy to spot, and the big blue button draws attention to it as well. They’ve even added the “I’m looking for” which is a fun little detail that makes it totally clear that this where you enter your search keywords.

Another thing eBay does particularly well is how they use their images.

More images – less text. You have much less space to fill on a mobile screen so you shouldn’t add too much text because then we’ll be back to the pinch-and-zoom problem again.

As the saying goes: A picture says more than a thousand words – so use them instead of text. We process images much faster than text and images are much easier to “read” on smaller screens.

Have a look at these two examples from Topshop:

This is the desktop view which has a large image along with some text and a CTA. Then have a look at the mobile version:

They’ve used the same image but have deleted most of the text to include only the essential, and they’ve cut the image and moved the text onto the image and changed the color because they’ve seen that the large image from the desktop version would not look good on mobile.

This is a great example of how you can optimize your images and text for mobile.

Also, notice how the menu top menu from the desktop version has been compressed into a single button (the three lines at the top left corner) on mobile. Click the button and a drop-down menu will appear.

The many topics in the menu would not have fit the mobile screen so adapting it like Topshop has done is a very effective and user-friendly option.

You also need to consider the placement of your menu. Most websites have their menu at the top or right side of the page both on desktop and on mobile. But is this always the best?

Perhaps not. The majority of people use only one hand to navigate on their phones, and if you have small fingers like me, you have to reach super far for that top menu, which is in most cases a lost battle.

I realize that not all people have baby sized hands like me, and the sizes of mobile screens vary a lot, but it’s something to consider when you design your mobile site.

I highly recommend that you do a split test with different placements to see which drives the highest engagement.

Another smart feature you should add to your mobile site is the click-to-call button or link to your phone number. It should always be easy for potential customers to get in touch with you.

If your phone number is listed on your about page, it’s easy for people on desktop to pick up their phone and enter the number from the computer screen. But what about your mobile users?

They would have to copy the number and paste it into their caller. This might not take much time, but it’s enough to make mobile users abandon the idea of calling you at that moment.

Linking you phone number makes it super easy for mobile users to call you. On the Sleeknote contact page we’ve linked our phone number so you can click it, and then all you have to do is confirm that you want to make the call:

This makes it super easy for people to call from their mobile devices, and it ensures that you don’t miss out on any new leads.

You probably already have a call-to-action on your website but where is it placed? And have you checked if it’s the same on mobile?

Your CTA should always be placed above the fold so no one misses it when they enter your site. It should be one of the first things they see, and it needs to stand out from the content in which it appears.

Many marketers already know this and have their CTA placed above the fold on desktop. But even though your website is responsive, it doesn’t ensure that your CTA will appear above the fold on mobile as well.

The screen is so much smaller, so you CTA might have been pushed downwards making it impossible to see on mobile unless you scroll.

Thus, my point here… Always customize and adapt for the tiny mobile screen – and don’t expect people to scroll because you’ll end up losing a lot of valuable leads and customers.

Lastly, you need to think about your mobile site speed. Mobile sites tend to load slower, and mobile users have less patience than desktop users – a very poor combination if you ask me.


  • Emphasize your search option.
  • More images – less text.
  • Consider menu placement and format.
  • Add a click-to-call button or link your phone number.
  • Place your CTA above the fold.
  • Decrease load times.

Convert abandoning visitors into subscribers and customers? Yes, it’s possible. Here’s how Livingshop (Ecommerce) collected 35,000 email subscribers. Learn more

How to create a high-converting mobile optin

Once your website has been optimized for mobile, it’s time to convert all those mobile visitors who will flock to your website.

The best way to do so is by adding a mobile optin form specifically designed for your mobile site.

Now, you might be asking: Won’t my mobile site ranking drop if I use interstitials on my mobile site?

No – not if you have customized your mobile optin instead of just using the same one you use on your desktop site.

One of the ways your mobile optin should differ from your desktop version is how it’s presented. On desktop, you have the option to trigger your optin based on your visitors’ actions.

On mobile, your optin should always just show as a teaser with a compelling CTA that will make your mobile users open it themselves. This way, your site ranking won’t be affected negatively and you’ll ensure a seamless mobile user experience.

It goes without saying that you need to create a killer CTA for your teaser so your visitors can’t help but click on it.

What then?

Now, you need to create an awesome looking optin form that will convert your visitors into leads or customers in a flash.

Customizing your optin for mobile doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. In the Sleeknote editor, you create your desktop and mobile optin simultaneously.

Every change you make to your desktop optin will automatically transfer to the mobile version, and the elements you want to be different in each version, you just unlink.

For instance, you should never add more than one image to your mobile optin because it’s naturally smaller than the desktop version. Also, as with your mobile site, your mobile optin should contain less text than the desktop version.

Here’s an example of how the same optin with the same message can be optimized for mobile. The optin on the left is for desktop and has more images and text than the mobile optin on the right:

Another thing that can seriously affect your mobile conversion rate is the number of input fields you add to your mobile form. I always recommend using as few input fields as possible but with mobile, it’s even more important because you have so much less space which you should use very effectively.

A convincing CTA is much more effective than an extra input field. If all you really need is their email address, don’t ask for more than that.

As I said: mobile users have less patience, so it shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to fill in your form.

To keep the process as smooth as possible, you can change the phone keyboard to match the purpose of the specific input field. For instance, if you ask for an email address, the keyboard that pops up should be the one containing the @ and .com in the same keyboard as the letters so people don’t have to switch keyboards to enter the necessary information.

Furthermore, if you ask for a phone number, the number pad should pop up instead of the keyboard.

With all the technical aspects of your mobile optin taken care of, how do you convert your visitors? What should you offer them?

You offer is solely dependent on your business and the product you sell. There is, however, a few incentives that work well for most businesses no matter the type because they can be adapted for different products.

But that’s not all…

To make your mobile users feel special and increase chances of them converting, you should make your mobile offer exclusive to mobile.

As mentioned earlier, mobile conversions are lower because people feel more comfortable converting on desktop.

The problem:

If your mobile users abandon your mobile site to convert on desktop instead, there’s a genuine chance they will forget and not convert at all. Thus, it’s super important that you convert them at the moment they’ve shown the first interest which was clicking on your teaser.


  • Your mobile optin should always be customized for mobile and not just responsive.
  • The CTA on your teaser is even more important on mobile – if it’s not convincing enough, people will never see your offer.
  • Don’t add more than one image to your mobile form.
  • Limit the amount of text and input fields – you don’t have much space so use it effectively.
  • Use custom keyboard for each input field.
  • Use a mobile exclusive offer – competition, discount, eBook, quiz, etc.

Facebook lead ads

Facebook has more than 1,658,000,000 active mobile users, and 56.5 percent of Facebook users access the social network exclusively from a mobile device, making this platform indispensable for your mobile lead generation.

Since Facebook isn’t your website (unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg, which would be awesome btw!), you don’t have to go through the optimization process which makes this strategy very time-efficient.

Facebook lead ads is a paid advertising service that enables you to create targeted offers to specific Facebook user segments. Initially, Facebook lead ads were only visible on mobile but because of their popularity and effectiveness, Facebook extended the service to desktop as well.

Here’s what lead ads look like on mobile:

They look just like regular posts in your feed except they have a “Sponsored” tag at the top and they have a CTA button (in this case “Køb nu” which means “Buy now”).

The great thing about lead ads is that people can sign up for your newsletter in just a few clicks. Many businesses, like Wish, direct people to their website instead of converting people into leads which is a huge opportunity lost.

Email leads are much more worth to you than one time customers, and you can always direct people to your site after they’ve signed up.

Lead ads work great on mobile because people don’t have to fill in a bunch of input fields – they’re already pre-filled based on their Facebook profile information. All they have to do is accept that you get this information.

Your lead ads should always include an image or a video that’s relevant to your message. Also, using videos in your lead ads is more cost-effective as Facebook wants to push video content.

Moreover, you can include more information in a video than you can through text in your lead ad. Plus, videos are just more fun to watch!

You can read much more on Facebook lead ads here.

Smartphone app

My last option for converting mobile users is to convert them into both leads and customers – mainly the latter.

Apps have increased tremendously in popularity over the past 5 years or so, and there are apps for all kinds of different things these days.

Thus, if you don’t already have an app, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. And if you already have one, it’s time for some optimization.

Above all, your app should encourage engagement from its users. If people only use your app once or twice you won’t get any value from these users and your efforts will be wasted.

So how do you encourage engagement?

First, you must understand your audience and the problems and challenges they face. Your app should then focus on helping users overcome that challenge or solve their problem.

You basically have to think in the same lines as you did when creating and marketing your product.

For instance, if you run a fashion e-commerce store, you could create an app that will help people put together an outfit based on the clothes they already have in their closet. You could then increase sales by suggesting some of your products that go well with those outfits.

When you’ve created your app, you, of course, need to promote it and get people to download it.

Besides promoting your app on social media, you can promote your app on your website through optin forms.

Again, downloading the app has to be a simple a process as possible, so make sure you tell your visitors exactly how they get the app and include a link that will direct them to the app store on their phone where they just have to click download.

Another way to simplify the process is by offering people to text them the app. If you choose this option, you have to have your arguments in order as it’s much more difficult to get people to give you their phone number than their email address.

However, the visitors who do accept this are much more likely to actually download the app, making them high-quality potential leads.

But that’s not all…

You still need to convert them into leads. It’s very common to have people sign in to use an app. Yours should be no different. When users first open the app, ask them to sign in. You should have a few different options here to ensure you don’t exclude any people.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Sign in with email address
  • Sign in via Facebook account
  • Sign in via Twitter account
  • Sign in via Google account

Remember to include a checkbox where people can opt in for your newsletter, or include in your policy that users will automatically be added to your email list when signing up.

However, I would recommend only using the first option. You might not get as many new leads as with the second option, however, if you send emails out to people who haven’t opted in for your newsletter, they will just unsubscribe which will have a negative effect on your spam score.

But hey – we gotta catch ‘em all right?

If people don’t opt in for your newsletter at first, they are not lost forever. Just by using your app, they have shown an interest in your product (that is if your app is relevant to your area of expertise, which it should be – naturally).

You should tie in your app with your products and make it possible for people to buy your products via your app. This will undoubtedly increase your chances of converting them into repeat customers.

Once people have signed in and are ready to use your app, you should guide them through the onboarding process to show them how they use your app, and what it can help them with.

You don’t have to guide them through every single feature and function, as it will take too long. People are eager to get started so don’t hold them back and risk them getting frustrated.

Do a three-step tutorial or a 30-second video guide so they know the main features of the app and how to get started. Then finish off with a CTA to get them started immediately.

Once users have completed the onboarding process, you can keep encouraging them to complete different tasks that will keep them engaged.

Remember to praise users when they have completed their tasks – make them feel like champions even though it’s only a small accomplishment.

Giving them a virtual high-five has a much larger effect than you might think.

As part of the initial onboarding process, you can get people to choose their likes and interests to make their experience much more personal.

Another way to personalize the user experience is to use geo-targeting. Geo-targeting enables you to target users located in a specific geographical location.

A great example of geo-targeting is Uber. The Uber app sends notifications to users when prices have dropped in their area. This encourages users to hurry up and book a ride when prices are low – a ride they might not have booked otherwise.

You should always ask new users for permission to send push notifications. This way they will stay updated even when they’re not using the app. Notifications should always be relevant to the specific user.

All of these tips and tricks are naturally dependent on which type of app you choose to develop. However, the same goes for all kinds of apps – Don’t leave your users alone once they’ve downloaded your app. There’s plenty more value to get from them!


  • Encourage engagement above all.
  • Understand your audience and the problems and challenges they face and help them overcome these.
  • Promote your app through social media and through opt-ins on your website.
  • Offer people to text them your app. Might result in fewer conversions but they will be of much higher quality.
  • Provide multiple sign in options: Email, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
  • Include a checkbox where people can opt-in for your newsletter.
  • Tie in your app with your products and make it possible for people to buy your products via your app.
  • Guide new users through the onboarding process to show them how they use your app, and what it can help them with (Three step tutorial or 30-second video).
  • Finish off with a CTA to get them started immediately
  • Encourage and praise the completion of different tasks.
  • Create a more personal experience through likes, interests, and geo-targeting.
  • Ask to send push notifications.


I’m not a developer and I could never tell you how to create your app from scratch. However, I’ve found a few tools that can help you create a prototype, so you can pitch your new app idea to your developers for them to create.

Here are the tools you can use to create a prototype of your app.

  • Flinto: App prototyping tools for designers. Lets you quickly make interactive prototypes of mobile, desktop, or web apps.
  • InVision: Create interactive prototypes of web and mobile apps.
  • Atomic: A prototyping tool designed for teams. Atomic helps you quickly create realistic prototypes of everything from simple interactions to entire products.
  • Framer.js: Requires a bit of coding knowledge. Let’s you design with code without actually writing it.
  • Form (by RelativeWave): Let’s you create instant native prototypes. Build and customize native prototypes directly on device.

Developing an app isn’t a quick and easy way to generate leads and customers, but when done right, you can turn app users into repeat customers and increase revenue.

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Want More List Building Strategies?

Get access to our free list building toolkit and skyrocket your email list today (includes resources not found in the blog post).

That was all from me on how you convert all your mobile users. Keep in mind that your mobile users need to be treated differently than your desktop users. They have less patience which makes it a lot easier for us as marketers to make mistakes.

I hope this post will help you make less of these mistakes – we can’t avoid making mistakes altogether, but remember that every time we make a mistake we learn a valuable lesson.

Mobile is not slowing down anytime soon, so it’s of utmost importance that you customize and adjust for this audience if you want your business to experience continuous growth.

Have you optimized for mobile? Or maybe even tried to convert your mobile users? Let us know how it went, so we can all learn from each other.

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