When you are looking to make money online, one of the first things you have to do is build your mailing list. The more opt-ins you have, the more you are likely to make when promoting your own products, or those of your affiliates. But how do you know what makes your visitors convert into mailing list opt-ins?

Setup a Custom Thank You Page

First, you will need to set up a custom page on your domain where visitors will go once they have signed up for your mailing list and make sure that your mailing list software is set to point new subscribers to that page. In AWeber, for example, you would enter that custom thank you page in your opt-in form settings.

Aweber Web Form Setup

You will use this custom thank you page URL as your goal in Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Goal Setup

To setup your Google Analytics Goal, you will go to your Analytics account, and edit your website’s profile. Under your website’s information, you will see a section for goals. Click on the + Add goal to begin setup.

Google Analytics Goal Setup

Simply setup your goal with a specific name and as a URL destination. Then paste in the full URL to the custom thank you page on your domain. If you have an idea what you would make per mailing list subscriber, enter that amount as a Goal Value and Save Goal.

Seeing Your Results

After a day, you should start to see goal conversions each time someone signs up for your mailing list. When you look at your analytics, you will see an additional tab for your Goal Set. By clicking on this, you will see what percent of your opt-in conversions happen based on specific data. The following shows the goal percent conversions based on traffic source.

Google Analytics Goal Conversion Overview

And the next based on new vs. returning visitors.

Google Analytics Goal Conversion - Returning Visitors

Other areas where you can see your conversions include the keywords that brought visitors to your site, the search terms that people searched for on your site (assuming you have setup your Site Search), where visitors are located, and so on.

Goal Conversions on Content and Social Analytics

Hopefully soon they will have Goals tracking on your content, as I would be interested in knowing which posts convert the best as well. Until then, if you use PostRank Analytics and tie in your Google Analytics, you will be able to see the goal conversions on specific content.

PostRank Analytics and Goal Conversions

You have to click on each post to get that number, but it is one step ahead of what Google Analytics has to offer for the time being. It may also show some social media ROI, if you see that posts with the most social engagement also have the most conversions.

Your Opt-In Goals

Have you setup goals tracking for your mailing list? How does it help you in optimizing your site for more opt-ins?