Blogging is a great way to build a community, and demonstrate your expertise. It’s also a great way to build a business whether it’s through the sale of digital or physical products and services, or consulting for example. One phrase often uttered in the marketing community is, “The money is in the list”. While blog subscribers are always great, email subscribers have helped to differentiate themselves, showing that not only do they have a larger interest in what you have to say, but also may be more likely to buy something from you.
Whether you sell info products, run an online store, or are even a dog trainer offering one-on-one sessions, increasing your email subscribers can help you to better connect with more serious individuals, and potentially increase future sales.
Make An Offer They Can’t Refuse
With any email list, it all starts with your offer. Most people offer a free e-book or course related to their main subject matter. However, many can often fall short of what they promise, and leave the person feeling cheated. Just like with your blog posts, quality should be top priority. In fact, what you have to offer through your email list should be leaps and bounds above what you offer through regular blog posts.
Believe it or not, it’s a big deal whenever someone subscribes to your email list. They’re giving up a part of themselves, essentially giving you access into their own private world. Treat that access with respect, and try to be the person they are excited to see a new email from, not annoyed and disappointed.
Your offer should quickly and effectively address three questions: What do you got? What can it do for me? What should I do next? Focus on selling the benefit, not the thing (ebook, course, etc.) itself. People have plenty of “things”, and we really don’t need any more of them. However, benefits help us to better connect with said thing, more effectively framing why we should get it. Nobody “needs” a Ferrari, but everyone who buys one wants the social status attached to it.
Location, Location, Location
Just like in real estate, location is very important. Unfortunately, many blogs simply have too much going on. Maybe it’s too many ads, or too many widgets running in their sidebar. If you have too much going on, this is only going to distract your readers, and decrease the amount of email subscribers.
Not only make room for your offer and email subscription form, but give it center stage. Like classic movie theaters, light it up so readers won’t be able to miss it, though don’t go overboard. There are several great places to put an opt-in form on your blog, the first obviously being in the sidebar. Typically, I find it best below the RSS subscription options, and social media icons. However, it doesn’t necessarily matter, long as it’s instantly viewable, and doesn’t require scrolling to get to.
Another place that people like to put their opt-in forms are at the end of a blog post. If done properly, this can especially be a great way to net new email subscribers because they’ve just read your post, and hopefully received value from it. Of course, we can’t forgot the ol’ popup. There’s always been a debate about using pop-ups. However, they’re proven to be effective if done right. One example I like to refer to is on Jay Baer’s blog, Convince and Convert.
Instead of hitting readers with a pop-up right out of the gate, Jay has it setup so that a pop-up will appear towards the end of a post. This seems like a better way to go about it, and you get the effectiveness of a pop-up without causing as much blood to boil.
What tips would you add to this?
Photo credit: Matt Wilson