5 Steps To Get More Email Subscribers

We’re now in Chapter Four (pages 23-33) of List Building for Bloggers, as we walk through it here in our LBFB Series.

Ready to grow your mailing list? Today we'll discuss strategies for promoting your newsletter and to improve your opt-in conversion rate.

You have a subscription form on your blog or website, but is it in the right place? Is it drawing attention and converting your visitors into email subscribers?

There are three things you should analyze before you start heavily promoting your newsletter or mailing list, to ensure you get the best possible conversion rate...

By now I assume you have a mailing list manager, such as Aweber, which hosts your email lists and provides you with list statistics and opt-in forms to place on your website. If you don't, you'll need to set up an account.

There are other options of course, but be sure to do your homework. MailChimp, for example, does NOT work with affiliate marketers - you can lose all of your lists (!) by including an affiliate link in an email.

1. Your Opt-in Form: Placement, Color & Copy

The first step, before marketing your list, is to make sure that you have the highest converting opt-in form possible. This will take some testing on your part, but there are some basic principles you should be following to start.

Placement is key. Your opt-in form should be "above the fold" (meaning it is visible on your page without scrolling). Ideally it will be at the top of your sidebar. If you use a 3-column layout, test between the top left and the top right sidebar.

Color is also important. Color should be used strategically to draw the eye to specific areas of your pages. Pull up your site in a new tab or window and view it objectively - as if you were a first time visitor. Where is your eye drawn? Does your subscription form stand out or blend in?

Once your eye lands on the subscription form, does it compel you to subscribe? This is the one place you really want to put your copywriting skills to the test.

Basic copywriting 101 is to describe the benefits, not the features. Why should your visitor subscribe to your list? How will they benefit from your emails? Be sure you are answering those questions, in as few words as possible - short & sweet!

"The absolute best place to have a subscription form is at the top of your sidebar, above the fold, clearly marked. If it's unclear, make it more visible. Other places where forms can be effective are above your logo or banner (yes, you read that right), or below every post as part of the footer."
-Phil Hollows, LBFB page 25

2. Customize Welcome Message Plugins

If you're using a WordPress Plugin such as WWSGD, you should customize it. This plugin will display a message to new or first-time visitors inviting them to subscribe to your RSS Feed by default. You can actually put code there instead, and display your Aweber opt-in form with an invitation to subscribe.

3. Create a Squeeze Page for Signatures & Bio's

Consider your email signature, forum signatures, and the bio you use in various places: on social networks, when you guest blog, etc. Instead of sending people to your main page, send them to a custom squeeze page that invites them to join your mailing list - with an offer they can't refuse!

Tip: Don't name the page /newsletter.html. Get creative and create a file name like yoursite.com/freedownload.html or yoursite.com/secretpage.html that will entice them to click on your link.

4. Add Your Subscription Form to Your Facebook Page

Are you inviting your Facebook fans to subscribe to your mailing list? You should! This is actually something I'm off to do myself today. ;-) For detailed instructions, see: How Do I Add an Opt-in Form to My Facebook Page?

5. Give Visitors an Incentive to Subscribe!

If you look below this post you'll see that I offer "Free Tutorials Every Monday". It's not a super compelling incentive to subscribe, but it's MUCH better than "Hey, sign up for my newsletter!" :) (how I created that opt-in form below posts)

I'm actually in the process of putting together an awesome free report (inspired by this series, of course!) which will be a much better incentive to sign up. I'll be updating my opt-in forms with a cover graphic and compelling copy as well.

Consider what your visitors most need or want, and offer it as an incentive to subscribe to your mailing list. It's important that you let them know they are not just requesting a free download, but also signing up for your mailing list. Otherwise you're "tricking" your visitors, which could result in complaints.

There are other things you can do to grow your mailing list, but these five steps are a great starting point! Have additional ideas or resources you'd like to share for list building? Leave a comment below. And of course, if you have questions about any of these steps - ask away!

Best,

p.s. If you don't yet have a copy of List Building For Bloggers, and you want to follow along in the series this month, grab a copy here and use the coupon code "clicknewz" for $10 off. ;-) That makes it only $14.95!

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. Lynn, I love reading all your content because it's always on target, easy-to-read and understand. The biggest challenge for me is to actually create an opt-in or landing page that looks interesting and get it posted where I want it. Thanks for your loads of guidance!

    • Hi Bea! Which mailing list manager do you use? Most of them, including Aweber, have nice graphic form creators built in to your dashboard. There are other programs you can purchase to help you make super nice opt-in forms and squeeze pages, but check with your mailing list manager first.

  2. Hi Lynn, I want to add an optin form on my Facebook page. Your link on #4 isn't working. I tried Googling the info but can't find this post. Thanks!

  3. Hi Lynn,

    Happy Holy Week and best wishes.
    You always make any topic simple and easy to absorb. I have learned by reading and applying what share here. Keep your work for people like me to come here and learn.

    Thank you very much

  4. Peter Lawlor says:

    Testing is absolutely key. I had to test several incentives to see what would resonate the most with my readership. I'm building 3 lists and each one required testing at least 5 offers. Eventually I discovered a incentives that work well.

  5. Hi Lynn,
    Your Tips for placing the subscription form on website is really very helpful and easy to understand.Thanks for such a nice post

  6. Hi Lynn. Great tips on getting more subscribers. I especially like tip #4. I've received half of my subscribers via my FaceBook Biz page subscription form.

    Best regards,

    • Hi Sonia,

      Do you use a splash page for people who haven't yet Liked your page to display your opt-in form, or just have it as a page option in your Page navigation - and do you use an incentive?

  7. Hi Lynn,

    Some really good interesting info here, great tips, and just well written.

  8. I love creating squeeze pages. They really capture the attention of your traffic. The way your opt in form looks does help when trying to convert subscribers.

    • Absolutely. Do you create squeeze pages for others - meaning, are you for hire? Or just for your own sites? And do you use your own graphics & code, or have a program you prefer to create squeeze pages?

  9. This may have been covered before. However, if you are new to list building then the fastest way to build your list is to BUY your traffic. You’ll do this with solo ads from list providers and ezine owners. For an investment of around $200, you’ll be able to get around 500 clicks to your squeeze page. If your page converts at a mere 35%, you’ll have around 175 subscribers within 2 days. (Think back-end here folks)

    If you sell products as an affiliate, (or a product creator/owner) then you can recoup that cost in a short amount of time. Keep in mind, the average email list is worth about $1 per person, per month. So let’s go ahead and invest $1000 in your business. (key point: I said INVEST in your BUSINESS). Now, a thousand bucks will yield you around 2500 clicks. With a squeeze page that converts at 35%, you’ll have around 875 subscribers. Within a month, that list should yield you around $875. Two months, $1750. 12 months, $10, 500. And that’s if your list doesn’t grow beyond 875 subscribers.

    So you see, you just turned $1000 into $10,500 real quick. Couple this with the other 5 strategies mentioned in Lynn’s blog post, and you could be a six figure income earner before you know it.

    Good times, fuzzy bunnies!

    P.S. a 35% conversion rate is VERY LOW for a squeeze page. I routinely get above 60%. Now run those numbers and see what you get :)

    P.P.S. If you keep your day job and invest your earnings from your online work, you’ll have yourself a new career in about 12 months. Just keep re-investing in your business and add 875 new subscribers a month. Hmmm…875 x 12 = 10,500 subscribers. That’s around $10,500 a month from your list. Hmmm…$10,500 x 12 months =$126, 000. NICE!

  10. Hi Shane,

    Do you have a source for finding solo ads in quality niche ezines/newsletters that get a good response?

    • Two places I go for solo ads.

      1. The Directory of Ezines. http://doe.kajabi.com/fe/17074-new-sales-letter (not an affiliate link)

      2. The Warrior Forum in the Classified Ad section.

      3. (Starting in May) Lynn Terry's ClickNewz :)

      Cool thing about solo ads is you can "test" your page for about 50 bucks. You don't have to start big. Buy a hundred clicks then tweak as/if needed.

  11. April Storm says:

    Excellent tips! I have most of them implemented but need to work on the incentive to subscribe!

  12. Great tips? Do you recommend any particular autoresponder?

  13. Thanks for you quick and easy recommendations. Based on what you have said I have changed my opt in to the top of my side bar

  14. Great post as this is one of the key areas I am focusing on this year and looking to offer free product to help get individual to sign up. Offering value is essential as you stated above and without a doubt will keep them coming back for more.

    Thanks for sharing these tips as I will begin to put them in action.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] the last post, we discussed five ways to promote your newsletter. We’re in Chapter Four (pages 23-33) of List Building for Bloggers, as we walk through it here [...]

  2. [...] 5 Steps To Get More Email Subscribers You have a subscription form on your blog or website, but is it in the right place? Is it drawing attention and converting your visitors into email subscribers? There are three things you should analyze before you start heavily promoting your newsletter or mailing list, to ensure you get the best possible conversion rate… [...]

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