Without enough subscribers, your brilliant email marketing content is falling on deaf ears. Somewhere, you are either not engaging or incentivising your audience enough, or you are not providing them with ample opportunity to subscribe. Whatever your list-building problems may be, there is likely to be a simple solution; creating a successful campaign is within your grasp!
If you’re looking to grow your subscribers from the hundreds to the thousands, read our tips to build your list. Remember, every subscriber is a potential customer or repeat-customer waiting to be convinced.
1. Clear and Concise Sign Up Forms
No matter where your form is, from the bottom of a transactional email to a pop-up on your homepage, it must be:
- Recognizable, with clean colors and universal fonts.
- Promotional, listing the benefits of signing up.
- Easy to use, with a clear, accessible field for their email address.
- In the forefront, easy to find without being obstructive.
Don’t give your visitors any reasons not to fill out your form once they’re already interested, like asking for too much personal information. Once you have existing subscribers you can later poll them or ask them for more information in exchange for other incentives, but requiring any more than their name and address at sign-up should be reserved for special cases.
Additionally, don’t use painful forms which hold users to too many typographical standards, that they are required to rewrite their forms multiple times to get it right. Mailrelay email marketing and other automation tools can be used to create perfect sign-up forms in seconds so you can worry about more important things.
2. The Good and Bad About Pop-Ups
There’s not denying that pop-ups can be used to convert visitors into subscribers. Pop-ups and sidebars are popular choices at the moment to make sign-up forms unavoidable, and while they do convert, it’s important to note that a large portion of consumers really dislike them.
Of course, what is important to your brand is collecting the most subscribers in the least amount of time, but you may re-thin the frequency and the obtrusiveness of your pop-ups before out of consideration for the majority. Be aware that this means pop-ups, sidebars and their ilk are likely on their way out, soon to be replaced by a less polarizing method.
Low-key survey pop-ups are frequently used in the bottom corner of a webpage to ask about a person’s experience on the site, and can also be similarly used as a sign up form.
3. Quality VS Quantity
The age old battle of quality over quantity applies to email marketing, too. Before attempting to get more subscribers, which are you more interested in?
Having a lot of subscribers doesn’t seem like a big problem, but it can become one when most your subscribers are inactive and you start wasting time and money advertising to them. The best practice is to find a good balance. Keep these tips in mind:
- You can get a large quantity of subscribers by offering multiple sign up forms, available on landing pages, using pop-ups and other unavoidable marketing strategies. They should be formatted for a variety of devices, including computers, phones and tablets.
- Quality subscribers are funneled by their previous actions, like purchases or repeat visits to the site. Instead of using incentives like big discounts or free information, these subscribers don’t need as much encouragement to join, they’re already interested!
- Double opt-in is a double edged sword. On one hand, single opt-in ensures that everyone who wanted to sign up is already in the system, and focuses on quantity. It’s quick and easy. Double-opt in requires your subscribers to verify their email account, which means some of your subscribers will fall through the cracks and never follow through. The subscribers who do, however, will be more likely to continue reading and patronizing your business.
- Permission based marketing is unique because your audience is already primed to accept your content. You lose the benefit of this when your audience has not been properly informed of the nature of your subscription. At that point you are basically sending unsolicited advertising and that’s a quick way to be put on spam lists! Always be upfront about the frequency and nature of your subscription.
4. Using Past Success to Get More
Social proof is a powerful tool which works universally across all segments and demographics to create the clear message that you are a strong and trustworthy brand. You’ve seen countless examples of social proof used in advertising, maybe even today. An example is McDonald’s Counter Campaign where all McDonald’s signs were changed to reflect how many millions or even billions of burgers they’d sold.
The purpose is as clear as your message: convincing your audience they’re missing out. If you only have a few subscribers, make your message personal and engaging, for instance "500 Philidelphians already trust us for their weekly craft beer news," or "350 Moms already can’t get enough of our incredible deals and hilarious weekly articles." Be creative and target your audience.
5. Social Media is a Two Way Street
If you have more subscribers than followers, or vice versa, something is wrong. Social media and email marketing should be a two way street where content and consumers can be swapped seamlessly with one another. It works like this:
- Use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other social media to plug your subscription, post sign-up forms or links to incredible landing pages that have sign-up forms. Your followers are the perfect audience of quality subscribers and leads.
- Repurpose popular posts from your social media or blogs to your newsletters to catch the attention of your existing subscribers, giving them a reason to follow your social media as well. This strengthens the bond with an already loyal subscriber.
- What will they get from your Facebook that they won’t get from your newsletter? While this can all be automated after creating the forms and content, be sure to remember basic marketing strategies like providing reasons for your two audiences to cross.
6. Superb Welcome Emails
This may seem like a small detail but you shouldn’t be surprised about how impactful this first impression is. It’s the first example a person will see of the content they just signed up for, and can determine if they continue reading after. Make sure you engage your new subscribers by providing them everything they were promised after signing up right away, with an extra gift them make them feel important.
Step up your welcome email gain and see a rise in your subscription retention immediately. Consumers have a lot of options these days and your competition within their inbox is steep, so make them feel special.
Your subscribers represent your customers and are a great source of information for the future of your business. The more subscribers you have, the better you can nurture leads and turn them into loyal customers, as well as keep your hand on the pulse of public opinion. Just don’t ignore your existing subscribers on your quest for new ones.