How to Increase Your Newsletter Subscribers
Newsletters are an effective way for you to reach and connect to your audience. Rather than hope that your customers frequent your site, your newsletter will remind them of your offerings, and introduce them to special savings, discounts and more all delivered to their inboxes. But a newsletter is only effective if it has a good amount of subscribers. How can you increase your subscribers? How do you create a high-conversion opt-in form that’ll turn more website visitors into subscribers? The goal is to continue to attract organic subscribers, as they’re the most likely to convert into sales. But how?
Despite there being more and more marketing channels for you to choose from, there’s no question that email marketing remains one of the best returns on investment for small business owners. That’s why it’s important that you follow these guidelines to increase your newsletter subscribers.
Your Header Bar
Your header bar is the first thing readers will see when they visit your site. Many people use a “sticky navigation,” meaning the header bar floats down as the visitor scrolls the screen. Add a countdown to your header to create a sense of urgency, and combine it with a good-value proposition that will boost subscriptions. We suggest using “HelloBar” or “Many Contacts” to create your toolbar.
Another popular tactic is the use of a pop-up notice, particularly when users go to close your website window. These pop-up notices track users’ behavior, and display your notice just as the user is leaving the site. This approach is effective because it instills the element of surprise and allows you to really wow the user one last time. Services such as Picreel, Bounce or Marketizator are easy to work with.
Locate Opt-ins on the Top-Right Corner
You know the drill: Location, location, location. The top-right corner of your website is ideal for an email signup form. That’s become the standard, thus your visitors will expect it. This is an ideal setup for any of your visitors who find your offering worthy of their time. However, it also serves to capture those who are still unsure of your offering, as placing the opt-in in the top-right corner makes it easily accessible.
At the Bottom of Posts
Speaking about location, the top-right corner of your website isn’t the only place worthy of your opt-in. If someone has actually taken the time to read your post from top to bottom, clearly he or she is invested and interested in what you have to say. This is the perfect opportunity to ask them for their email address, so long as your good-value proposition promises them more content like what they’ve just read.
Give New Visitors a Pop-up Box
Earlier we mentioned adding a pop-up notice for visitors about to leave your site. But this can actually be just as effective for first-time visitors. Redirect these new visitors to specially prepared content for beginners. This can position you as an expert. Plug-ins such as Hybrid Connect work well for this type of approach. But you also want to make sure your pop-up box is well designed, and properly branded.
Inside the Footer of Your Site
A lot of good and valuable information can go into your footer. One of those pieces of information is your newsletter opt-in form. Here’s why: If a user has scrolled to the bottom of your website, there’s a very good chance he’s engaged and interested. Now’s the perfect time to offer him even more great content and offerings, so long as he subscribers to your newsletter! Try to make sure the form is easily visible (use contrasting colors, perhaps) and perhaps use a bit of humor or lightheartedness in your copy (Zappos, for example, says that their offer is a shameless plug).
In Your Website’s Sidebar
Aside from the top-right corner of your website, there is no more common of a spot on your website for an opt-in form than the top of a site’s sidebar. This area is prominent, will catch your readers’ eyes, and is fairly easy for you to implement. Be sure to use actionable and exciting phrases to lure your readers. Content such as “Be the first to know …” and “Join Us” (rather than subscribe) help to encourage a sense of urgency and community.
On Your Splash Page
So, what is a splash page? In this instance, a splash page is similar to a landing page, except that it’s only displayed to first-time visitors. It’s similar to the concept of a pop-up box, except your splash page would show up immediately, rather than after a certain amount of time is spent on your site. Be sure your splash page is not overly cluttered, nor varies too far from your branding. Keep the same tone of voice, color scheme, font choice and more so that your readers know they’re still on your site.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Social media is a great way to build your readership. Share or tweet your offerings and propositions (Don’t Miss Out On ….), and consider sharing teasers of future emails that you’ll be sending out, so that your readers know what they’ll be missing out on if they don’t sign up. There’s a careful balance, however. Don’t overdo your use of social media, or else you risk losing followers, rather than gaining subscribers.
Use Multiple Locations
There is plenty of data and research out there that helps you to determine when a web visitors is most likely in a position to sign up for a newsletter. However, it’s not a perfect science. You never really do know when a specific visitor is ready to sign up for your newsletter. That’s why it’s best to use multiple locations (header, footer, sidebar, for example). In fact, that sticky header idea we mentioned earlier is one of the most effective methods, because that way the opt-in is always available, whenever your visitors is ready to sign up.
Integrate With Other Forms
Many small business owners out there have many areas on their website where a visitor might enter their email address. Legally, you can’t just grab their address and add them to your mailing list. However, you can give your users an option to sign up since they’re already entering their email address for another service/offering. For example, add a checkbox on the form they’re already filling out, such as on a donation form, volunteer form, or on your contact page.
Be Conscious of Your Content
What good is an opt-in form if it can’t pull in your readers? The difference between a subscriber and a bounce out often comes down to the content you use. What words do you use for your heading, content and call-to-action button? Do you use “Subscribe Now” for your button? That’s likely not the most effective approach. Is your heading too long? Are you targeting your audience appropriately? Work with a content strategist to make sure your words are crafted for conversion.
Limit the Number of Clicks
Nobody likes to have to jump through hoops to get to the goal. You need to make sure that your opt-in form is easy to get to, no matter where a user is on your website. Again, headers, footers, and sidebars make it easy for you to add your opt-in form and have it appear on every single one of your web pages. That way, your signup form is always just one click away.
Don’t take your own word for it
There are many things to consider as you bolster the effectiveness of your opt-in forms. What’s important to realize is that you need to seek out the input and feedback of people outside of your organization. That way, you can get an honest assessment of the effectiveness of your opt-ins, their location, content, design and more.
We encourage you to contact a marketing strategy company, such as Commerce Pundit, to help you assess your current strategies and offer suggestions on how you can increase your newsletter subscribers. Contact us today to learn how we can help you grow your readership.