So you’ve created a must-read email newsletter that’s relevant to your target audience (which we covered how to do in last month’s NewsLever feature). The next key step is to get lots of people to subscribe. What are the most effective ways to increase sign-ups? Here’s our advice.
Why Are Email Newsletters Growing in Popularity Today?
You can likely count your email subscribers among your top prospects and customers. They’ve shared personal information with you – at minimum, their email addresses – and given you permission to communicate with them directly. And more and more organizations today are realizing the valuable role email newsletters can play in developing and nurturing their email lists – the best source of both current and future business.
For example, email newsletters are useful in:
- Driving premium traffic and authenticated visitors to your website
- Growing website visitor loyalty
- Building brand equity
- Increasing a brand’s power through increased name recognition, which ultimately leads to more sales and higher profit margins over competing brands.
Foolproof Strategies to Boost Email Newsletter Subscriptions
So how can you begin to grow a massive list of subscribers for your email newsletter? Here are some strategies that we’ve found really work:
- Provide a clear value at sign-up. From your prospective subscriber’s point of view, ask, “What in it for me?” Then, let prospects know the benefits they’ll get by subscribing to your email newsletter, such as quality content, industry updates, news, latest product information, and exclusive discounts.
- Offer an incentive to subscribe. Consider providing a little extra motivation for subscribing. This could include bonus reports, whitepapers, tips from industry experts, webinars, or a contest with a prize that is relevant to your products/services.
- Establish credibility at sign-up. If you have a large list of subscribers, you could use that number to impress prospects. You can also demonstrate expertise in a field by including your certifications. Testimonials from satisfied subscribers are another effective way to help build credibility.
- Add a popup form. When done right, popups (or popovers) on your website can be quite effective for increasing email newsletter sign-ups. Check out a previous NewsLever feature for more information and best practice tips for using popup subscription forms.
- Offer multiple email address capture opportunities. In addition to including a sign-up form at the top right side of your website pages, provide email newsletter subscription forms and sign-up links in a wide variety of locations. For example, include them in the footer of promotional emails, in your email signature, at the end of blog entries and feature articles, and on invoices.
- Keep the sign-up simple. Get what information you absolutely need – a name and an email address. You can follow up with a demographic survey later to get more subscriber information to use for segmenting your email list.
- Use social media to attract new subscribers. Create posts about the content that will be covered in upcoming email newsletters – as well as provide links to current newsletter content – on your social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. To help capture new subscribers, don’t forget to include a call to action that links to your newsletter subscription form.
- Consider contextual targeting. Contextual ads can be an effective way to build brand awareness and help drive email newsletter sign-ups. Typically offered through such services as Google Adwords and presented as banners or sponsored URLs, contextual ads are visible on websites or search engine results that are related to the content you choose. They are also a great way to generate high-quality traffic to your website.
- Search out cross-promotional opportunities. Another way to broaden the audiences you reach about your email newsletter is to ask organizations with similar products or services to promote your email newsletter on their websites and in their email newsletters. And in return, offer to promote their email newsletters.
- Use quick-response (QR) codes to drive sign-ups. QR codes are two-dimensional matrix barcodes that can be scanned by smartphones with a barcode scanner application installed. In this case, the barcode will take prospects to a landing page on your website that highlights the value of your email newsletter and includes a sign-up form. You can place QR codes in a variety of locations, such as print ads, business cards, store windows, and receipts. Click here to find out more information about how to effectively use QR codes in your email marketing.
- Stick to your schedule. Whether it’s weekly, monthly, or bimonthly, choose a frequency that you can manage, and deliver your newsletter on a regular basis. In this way, you’ll remain top of mind with subscribers.
- Test your subscription forms. Set up A/B split tests to determine what works best for your target audience – in terms of copy, layout, calls to action, color, length of form, etc. – for capturing more email newsletter sign-ups.
Persistence is the key to growing your list of email newsletter subscribers. Begin by producing quality newsletter content and, using the above tips, ask people to sign up. Then ask again and again.
Email us or give us a call at 215-489-9336 to help you design and implement an email newsletter from scratch or improve and optimize your current publication.