Traffic is nice. And the “law of averages” says that the more traffic you can drum up, the more subscribers you will get. At least that’s the principle by which sales people have always operated. When it comes to your blog, however, you may want to “nudge” visitors along, to get those coveted email addresses. While social media platforms are great for keeping in contact with your community and for driving visitors to your blog, it is on that blog that you have the best chance to capture contact information. And, since 91% of consumers check their emails at least once a day, if you can get those subscribers to open yours, your chances of getting them into your sales funnels are pretty good.
The other important data that you must remember is that email outperforms all other forms of advertising in terms of responses, as is shown here by Practicalecommerce.com. The money, then is in those email lists.
Getting Subscribers is the First Goal
The great thing about email lists is that you have complete control of the messages, information you send and to whom those messages and that information goes. You are not “shooting in the dark” as you often are on social media. You have a list of people who have shown interest in what you have to offer, and you can offer them more value personally now. These subscribers are your best leads. The question, obviously, is how to turn visitors into subscribers without irritating them. Here are 8 tactics you can try.
1. Ask Current Subscribers to forward Your Emails to Others
The best way to do this is to offer something of pretty big value to your subscribers and encourage them to forward that value to their friends. This is certainly one way to get more traffic to your blog/site, but you must make it as easy as possible for a subscriber to complete that forwarding task. See if your email provider provides some kind of a generic “suggestion for forwarding” element. If not, find some way to put it into the email. When people get an emails suggestions from someone they trust, they are more likely to respond positively.
2. Make Good Use of Opt-In forms
Get these forms in strategic places so that they will always be seen by anyone landing on your blog. You can place them:
• On the sidebar, so that no matter what post is being read, it will be there
• Below each post
• In the content of your post itself, as you provide a content upgrades
The idea is to make subscribing as easy as possible, ad to offer it as many times and in as many places as possible.
3. Ensure and Tell User that S/he can Unsubscribe Anytime
You can place a statement on the opt-in form itself – something like “The link to unsubscribe will be placed on every email you receive.” And then do it. Noting is more irritating to someone then to continue to get emails from a company with no way to unsubscribe. And sometimes, even if they “spam” an email, they continue to come into their inbox. So, protect your subscribers by giving them that option at all times. And, in reality, the unsubscribe rate for small businesses is an average of 1%.
4. Advertise a Contest on Your Social Media Platforms
People like to compete if the prize is a good one. And when they can enter a contest online, with just a minute of their time, even better. It’s a great way to get visitors to your site and to get an email address in exchange for that entry. But, again, make the prize worthwhile, and ideally, offer more than one prize. Instead of a single cash award or a single valuable item if you sell products or services, have 3 prizes at least, of varying value. When someone thinks they have more chances to win, they are more apt to enter a contest.
5. Use Content Upgrades in Exchange for Subscriptions
Neil Patel does this with almost every post he writes, on both of his popular blogs – NeilPatel.com or QuickSprout.com. Check them out. His posts are quite long, sometimes 3-4,000 words each. But he offers a “cheat sheet” within the text, quite early on, especially if he is going to have lists of steps to take. If a visitor just wants the cheat sheet, which gives a very short summary, s/he can download it by providing an email address. It is then delivered to that email, as will be all other emails from then on. Content upgrades can also be checklists, bonus content, a PDF version of the post, a list of URL’s for something that relates to the topic, etc. Just make sure the upgrade is worth it. A visitor will be angry if s/he has provided an email and then received an upgrade that is meaningless.
6. Reward Anyone Who Comments on a Post for the first Time
Install the First Comment Re-direct plugin, if you are using WordPress. This can take them to a page that says “thank you” with something special. If you are in e-commerce, offer a rewards program and give them a number of points just for signing up. Or, how about a large discount on their first purchase just for signing up? Contrary to what you may be thinking about overuse of rewards programs, they are really popular and do cause users to share you more often.
7. A/B Test Your Opt-In Forms
While this is not a specific step to motivate your visitor, it is an important that you test your opt-in form. In fact, it is not optional. Your visitors want to give the least amount of information and take the least amount of time to complete a form. Just reducing a form from 4 to 3 fields can make a difference, as well as what you are asking for. For example, you might want to ask only for a first name, as opposed to a full name. You don’t really need a full name for a subscription anyway. And with most email servers now, you will get that full name as soon as you send your first email.
The other important factor with opt-in forms is they must be surrounded by white space and free from distractions of any kind. You want your visitor to focus only on the form once they get to it.
You may have other tactics that have been successful for subscription motivation. Please share them in your comments below – We’d love to hear what is working for you.
Guest post by:
Rick Riddle is an up-and-coming blogger whose articles can help you with self-development, personal finance and content management. Find more his articles on this blog and follow him on twitter @rickrddl
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