Building E-Mail Subscriber Lists
Building E-mail subscriber lists is always challenging as people surfing the Internet looking for content for the most part, enjoy doing this anonymously without giving you information about themselves. Often, if you do manage to entice them to your site in the first place, putting a big signup now to view the content will just get them to leave as opposed to subscribing as they really haven’t learned to trust you enough yet to give you their information so you can get into a marketing relationship with them. And this is where their thoughts will immediately go if you present them with a signup form immediately after you get them to your site. I have experimented with this, watching the statistics on campaigns I run where I push a signup form at the person immediately after I get to my site. The bounce rates on these campaigns are extremely high. So what are some good methods to get people to buy in to subscribing to you?
First off, regarding Landing Pages. If you can assume that people start off resistant about giving you information, then don’t ask for much on your initial subscription landing page. I personally bounce back and forth between just asking for just their e-mail address, or just asking for their e-mail address and their first name only. I’d love to have their first name so I can personalize the auto-responder e-mails I send them, but I know I will lose some people by asking for this extra bit of personal information up front. Bottom line though, is you can devise strategies further on into your relationships to capture more information about those that do subscribe to you.
A second thought, and this is used by most marketers, is to offer them something of value for giving you something they value – such as your e-mail address. Many marketers, self-included, offer the prospect some form of gift in return for their initial subscription and I find this works to a point. Bribery will get some action – but they are still giving you this action carefully and with reservations. They want the gift but they are still wondering if it is a good idea to give you their e-mail address in exchange for the gift. They are worried about what sort of relationship they are setting themselves up for such as tons of spam and selling e-mails hitting them, whether confidentiality will be protected, etc. And who can blame them – enough of this is happening out there that all of us are cautious this way.
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The above covers my primary thoughts on how to get people to sign up once they hit your landing page. Below are a number of ideas I have been using and experimenting with that for me, are helping to bring better results in capturing new subscribers.
· Go through all your old e-mails with people and make decisions as to who you would be willing to send an e-mail to with a view to asking them to take a look at your new business and signup for the newsletter. In that newsletter, insert a “Share with Others” widget and invite them to forward the e-mail to anyone they think might be interested in what you are doing.
· When opportunities present as you are on the phone with people, let them know what you are about with your new business and ask them if they would be interested in checking it out then get their e-mail address and let them know you are sending them a message with the details of how to check out your new venture. Be sure to have a signup form embedded in the e-mail message you send them.
· Make up some business cards to carry with you and, as opportunities present themselves, hand out your card and get their e-mail addresses verbally – then do the step above. Always make a point of getting back to them the same day. If you get the chance, make a point of going to trade fairs and such – great way to network.
· Put a signup form on your Facebook business page and mention it from time to time as you are communicating with people you know or meet on Facebook (Facebook Groups, etc.
· I like to write articles so I put them on my website and then PIN them to a Pinterest Board I call “My Published Articles”. Within that Board, I also have pinned a signup form with a free gift message. This way, people can come and check out free content I am giving them first and then if they like it and feel comfortable, they come to my website to learn more, signup and get their gift – this works!
· Signup with Ezine Articles or a similar article distribution entity, write articles and add links back to your signup page. Slow some times, but my articles are getting around the Internet to various sites and linkbacks and subscribers are occurring from this activity.
· Tweet your signup page image and your gift offer to your followers on Twitter. Have a link back to your actual signup page within that tweet.
· Update your status and/or cover photo on Facebook – with a back link or signup related message attached to this activity. It gets you some free advertising to all your friends and those who have “Liked” you.
· Use your YouTube channel. If you are producing videos, be sure to have at least one card or annotation on every video you create that links people back to your subscriber page.
· Let your LinkedIn members know about your business and your signup page. Posting there once in a while doesn’t hurt your cause…
· Join a few Google Plus communities. Contribute to those communities and once in a while, mention your business, your newsletter and your signup page. Offer them something that might be of interest to them (relating to the community they are in) and gift it to them when they subscribe to you.
· Add a subscribe link component to all your bios out in “Social Media Land”. Mention your gift(s) where you can.
· Create a page on your website that lists “Top 10 or 20 Reasons people should sign up for your newsletter. You might even try some levity in a few of the reasons to show your fun side…then post this page on Pinterest and “Buffer” it to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.
· Add a signup form to your Blog. Make it visible but not obtrusive.
· Guest posting with Link backs to your site still works. So get them to your site where you can point to a signup sheet and a gift as they view other useful content.
· Test different Call to Action messages and gifts as you work at this over time. You will find some work better than others.
· Always get an e-mail address when someone buys something from you. I’d also recommend you run a very specific after purchase satisfaction campaign to people once they buy from you – surveys on the product they bought from you are always a good idea and good feedback on the products you are representing.
· Do some Podcasts and be sure to put Call to Actions in them that get people going back to your signup form.
· Collect e-mails with some online surveys – if you can get some good surveys in front of folks, you’d be surprised how many e-mails you can collect.
· All e-mails you send out should have “Social Sharing” buttons on them. Make it easy for your readers to put what you write in front of others.
· A “Forward to a Friend” button on your e-mails with a cute picture attached that they would consider sending to a friend in any event is also a very good idea.
· Start thinking Mobile – start using some of the above ideas and get working on ways to push them out to mobile devices. Podcasts work here, Instagram, etc. – Use the trending tools that are out there to get your message and site information out there.
In summary, if you start thinking about building relationships with people first and then using some of the ideas as I have mentioned above, your requests for subscribers get out to prospects much more softly than a full court press – and your results will be much better. Good luck building your e-mail base.