In a world where we’re more attached to our inboxes than ever, email campaigns are a professional way to share content and provide offers to potential clients. Newsletters are longer than social media posts and don’t get buried by the competition as quickly. Once you have the great content it’s all about building your audience. Here are our 11 ways to grow your email base.
1. Keep Subscription Forms Short
We’ve seen this one before when trying to drive traffic to your blog. People don’t want to fill out extensive forms to join your mailing list or submit a comment. It’s understandable that you want to weed out spambots and get to know your readers as much as possible, but don’t make them fill out 10 pages of information just to get a weekly email.
2. Take Advantage of Autocomplete
While you’re making your forms short and sweet, be sure to ask questions frequently found on other sign-up pages: name, email, etc. If you must ask for more information, ask questions that search engines can autocomplete. This is the time to build your reader base, not survey your audience’s average income and management level. Making opt-in forms as easy as possible will prevent users from giving up and finding some other email list to sign-up for.
3. Tell them What They’re Getting Into
Would you like to hear more from us? Yes. Would you like a five emails daily? Not really. Be sure to clarify exactly what the subscriber will receive and when they will receive it when they sign up for your email list. If you send out a weekly newsletter, explain in your copy that readers will get an email every Tuesday. Also, by telling your audience exactly what the emails contain (recaps of blog articles, in-depth interviews, amusing cat videos) you’re weeding out those that will hit the unsubscribe button after a few weeks. You want to make sure you’re growing a quality email list over quantity.
4. Tell them How to Get Out
Sometimes a small line of copy explaining that readers can opt out of emails at any time will help win them over. People are wary of inviting another email into their inbox and want to know that they’re able to opt-out if the content isn’t relevant to their needs. Advance notice that unsubscribing is easy might be the helpful line users need to take the gamble and give you their email. Once they’re signed up, it’s up to you to wow them with quality content.
5. Provide Options
In the same way that letting readers know that they can unsubscribe reassures them that they’re making a safe bet, providing opt-in choices will give them even more control. If you send out three different types of emails – a newsletter, a monthly interview article, and occasional special offers – let users subscribe to each individual list. They might want to read your monthly interview series but not your weekly newsletter. Plus you can always advertise the additional email possibilities for people to opt-in to in your copy.
6. Promote Through Social Channels
This may seem like an easy one, but it’s something easily forgotten! You decide to launch a newsletter, create a big social push around it, then taper off as the newsletter matures. The result will be subscription numbers that taper off as well. Newsletter promotion needs to stay at a consistent level to keep consistent opt-in rates. This doesn’t mean you need to be a spammer that constantly demands sign-ups from your readers. Give your fans a link to quality content and invite them to see more when they sign-up. Think of it as a gimme social media post for that day.
7. Provide an Incentive
People can get sucked into a marketing bubble when creating a newsletter or email campaign. Your marketing plan might contain a sentence like, “Create a newsletter to drive traffic to the website to increase conversions and increase reader base.” That sounds like a great way to help your company, but puts the focus entirely on you instead of your reader. To appeal to visitors, include content in the emails that can’t normally be found on the blog, or include discounts/coupons for subscribers. Think about what your users want to read, not just your bottom line.
8. Strategically Place the Sign-up Box
By learning visitor behavior you can choose the best place to put your opt-in box. Choose the location based on where readers naturally go, don’t send them on a scavenger hunt to sign-up for your emails. Most websites place the box at the end of the article to provide users with a call to action. If they liked the article enough to read to the end, they’ll probably be interested in other content on your site.
9. Opt-in at Checkout
Congratulations, you’ve made a sale! Why not add to that success with an email opt-in box? Give visitors the chance to opt-in to your mailing list when they’re buying your product – you already have their email. This can walk a fine line between convenient and spammy. Automatically opting customers in will lead to high superscription rates for users who didn’t want your emails in the first place. Email is all about users choosing to hear more from you, not having your message forced on them.
10. Make Your Emails Shareable
Gmail and Microsoft Outlook can be finicky when if comes to images. Make sure your emails not only make it to the inbox of subscribers intact but can also be forwarded on to friends. If users enjoy your content they’ll want to share it, either through the forward button or social media icons. Add share buttons in clear sight on the email and let your readers grow your list for you via word of mouth.
11. Contributing to Other Blogs
Becoming a contributor for other blogs in your niche will help your email base two-fold. It will expose your name and blog to new audiences who will be interested in your site. If your site is doing a major push for subscriptions, include a link to sign-up in your author bio. “So-and-so writes for ABC blog, check out his weekly newsletter here.” Readers who enjoyed your content might be interested in what else you have to offer.