While everyone is focusing on social media marketing, let us not forget the importance of email. Based on a study conducted by ExactTarget, about 77% of consumers still prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications via email. This means that email remains to be the top channel for delivering marketing messages.
Email subscribers are the essence of your online business. With the right amount of cajoling, you can convert them to full-fledged customers. You need them, and so you need to think of different ways to capture them, from offering free ebooks, special reports, Internet radio shows, even ethical bribes (yes, it may not be such a bad idea at times). Really, there’s so much you can do!
A lot of online marketers will tell you that the “money is on the list”, but this is not entirely true. What you really need to know is that the money is in the quality of the list, and not merely the quantity of email subscribers you get. These days, people are too busy with life and the things it throws at them. Some of them could come to your site, love what they read, and then leave and never return. Your content might have been helpful, but this is not enough to get some people to keep coming back to your site. Sucks, right?
If you want to have a truly amazing conversion rate, you need to get into the heads of email subscribers and find out what goes inside a person’s mind whenever they decide to sign up or subscribe for something, like your newsletter. You need to know what causes them to hand over their email address to you, a total stranger! More importantly, you need to think about what logic or emotion prevents them from subscribing.
So how exactly do you attract the right kind of people? How can you entice them to become email subscribers? Keep reading to learn some effective ways to get more email subscribers.
Content is Always King!
Yup. Good ol’ Sean Bean. What he’s trying to tell you here is that, if your content sucks (for a lack of better word), you can’t expect people to subscribe to your email newsletter no matter how much you try or what methods you implement. Your focus should always be on your content first. Everything else follows after that.
Creating highly engaging, relevant, informative, and quality content is your top priority. With it, you can easily establish a strong foundation of trust with your readers/clients and prospects.
Now let’s get on to the nitty-gritty stuff!
Be (Effectively) Obtrusive
I know a lot of people hate popups and overlays. You probably hate them, too. They’re the most obtrusive thing there is! But guess what? Popups and overlays are fast becoming one of the best, most effective ways for you to get more leads and email subscribers. In fact, an average overlay is reported to increase email opt-ins by up to 400%!
If you think this sounds too shady and you don’t want to use overlays popping up in your readers’ face, that’s okay. But remember, if your objective is to increase the number of subscribers, you need to set aside your own principles and consider what your readers think. Do your readers find it bothersome and obtrusive?
Don’t ask your mom, your neighbor, or your spouse. Test it yourself.
While you’re conducting the test, here are a few pointers you need to think about:
- Design. Just like a landing page, your popup’s design is important because it can have a big impact on your results. Make it look good, professional, and trustworthy. It should match your brand so people won’t think it’s just another bothersome ad.
- Headline. A headline that will turn heads is what you need. It’s one of the most important areas your reader will see in your overlay, and it’s a great test to run. Make sure your headline is attention-grabbing, one that will answer a problem your readers or customers have.
- Proper scheduling. Make sure to set your popup or overlay to appear at different times from when a user lands on your website. Marketers have reported varying results for scheduling. Some people say 15 seconds is the ultimate, while some say 60 seconds is the best. Well, how about ignoring what other people say and try doing your own tests? This way, you can figure out what works best for your site.
- What’s the proper size for a popup or overlay? The general rule of thumb is that you want it big enough to grab your visitors’ attention. Just make sure it isn’t just one huge box with nothing to say in it. Additionally, you should take into account those who visit your site using their smartphone or tablet. How should your popup or overlay appear on these devices?
There are plenty of plugins and services out there that will make it easier for you to launch a popup or overlay. Some of them are free, while others come at a price. But the thing is, some of these tools and services don’t allow you to customize your overlay’s design, and you’re required to use one of their predefined templates instead. If you have a design in mind, it’s best to just do it yourself or hire a programmer.
Implement Scrolling Sidebars to Your Website
Okay, so you still don’t like being obtrusive to your readers. If so, don’t worry because there are still a few good tactics you can do to get more email subscribers.
Another fairly new tactic that works (but one that most people don’t use) is the scrolling sidebar. This is where a section of your sidebar scrolls with the page so that it never leaves the viewer’s sight. It’s a great way to get your visitors’ attention without throwing something on the screen that could distract them.
Include a Subscription Box on Every Page of Your Site
A lot of companies and businesses only have a single door through which people can enter. For many website owners, this so-called “door” is their site’s homepage. The truth is, it’s not. You don’t just have a single door on the Web. In fact, you can have as many doors as you have web pages!
Depending on what a person is looking for in the search engine, they may be able to find your product pages, your credentials page, or any other page on your site – without seeing your homepage! So yes, it’s best to get that subscription box on every page.
Run Contests and Limited Offers
Are you seeing a lot of traffic to your site with low bounce rate, but don’t see a lot of signups/subscriptions? Consider running a contest or limited offer promos to gain more email subscribers. I’ve seen this work effectively for many companies and businesses. This should also work in your favor if done right.
Running contests and limited offers gives you the chance to further expand your list of subscribers, not to mention giving you the opportunity to grow your social following and establish connections with other companies that want to get their product or service out to the right people. This increases your signups, your audience are given the chance to win or get something they want, and if you’re giving away a product from another business/company, you’ll also have the opportunity to establish a strong relationship with them. It’s a win-win situation.
Offer Free Opt-In
Another effective way to increase your subscription list is by offering a free opt-in. But again, this should be done right. Offering a free opt-in has worked well for a lot of online marketers who want to steadily increase their subscription list, and that’s because they created something that resonated with their audience.
Offer something like, “Sign up for our newsletter and get the Ultimate guide for…” or “Subscribe to our email newsletter and get your hands on a cheat sheet for…”, or something similar. Hubspot is one such example that occasionally gives away hundreds of ebooks, among many other things, for free. You can download and learn a lot from these and all you need to do is to sign up for their newsletter. I could go on with more great examples, but I think you get the point.
The good thing about opt-ins is that they don’t have to be extensive. If you have a concrete plan and you know it would resonate with your target audience, then you could create your own free giveaway in just a few hours and launch it the moment you get the chance. You get more email subscribers and your audience will get the freebie they want. It’s another win-win situation!
Use Call to Action That Will Lead Visitors to Your Landing Page
Calls to action (CTA) remain to be one of the most powerful marketing tactics you can use in every page or post you create. From here on out, you should add it to your homepage because it can help you steadily increase your email signups. But the greatest power of CTAs comes from when it leads to an awesome, well-designed landing page that could further entice visitors to hand out their email address.
CTAs come in all shapes and sizes, and there are several ways to execute them. Remember that your CTA should grab the attention of your audience and prompt a response. Using it with a landing page works a lot for many big-name brands and companies.
Don’t Forget Your Landing Page
The landing page plays a major role in conversion. After all, it is the area where your subscription form is still most often found. With that said, you need to have a well-designed landing page that looks legit and professional.
Here are a few key elements you need to remember when creating an awesome landing page:
- Headline. Again, the headline is the first thing that grabs your visitors’ attention. It accounts for about 80% of your ad’s efficiency. So make sure to spend time on it and test it yourself.
- Incentives/Benefits. A good landing page should come with a list of benefits that will get your visitors excited and more engaged in what you have to offer.
- Social Proof. The more legit you are, the more people are going to sign up for your newsletter. This won’t be much of a problem to those who have already established themselves in their chosen niche or industry. But for everyone else, consider testimonials, reviews, media, and any social mentions and sites you’ve been featured on. This will help boost your authority and give you more credibility.
- Call-to-action. Again, don’t make the mistake of not adding a call-to-action. If you don’t give people a good reason to subscribe and give you their email address, then they really won’t.
- Subscription form. This is the main reason we’re talking about increasing your email subscribers on the first place. Enough said.
There’s no arguing with the fact that email subscriptions are important to leverage your business or brand. Email subscriptions help you get your audience keep coming back to your site. They help you make more money, and they connect you to the right people. Any online marketer who wants to run a successful, income-generating online business should not take email subscriptions for granted.
Like what I said, begin with creating quality, highly engaging content and then you can go from there. The methods I mentioned here are all simple yet effective ways to get more email subscribers. However, you don’t need to go all loco and implement everything all at once. You don’t like a gazillion popup ads being hurled at you, so don’t do it to your visitors.
It may take some time for you to really hit the spot, but don’t give up and don’t hold back from trying to grow your list of email subscribers, either. Have you ever used any of these tactics listed above? How did it work for you? Do you have other methods you’d like to include in this list? Let us know!