Despite what doomsday preachers would have you believe— email is still a critical part of any successful marketing strategy.
Why? Most people check their email every day. Email is also one of the highest revenue-generators, making $40 for every $1 in spend. Email is additionally one of the best ways to drive traffic to a blog according to Wordable. Its share keeps increasing year-on-year.
This post is all about generating more email signups. Let’s get started.
Make it really easy to sign up
Making it easy to sign up is probably the most underrated technique there is. Despite that so many people completely miss the point.
You can keep going around in circles whether you need the first name or last name from the person signing up. But the thing is —all you need is the email address.
The simpler your ask the more likely is it for someone to subscribe.
But, what about first name personalization? After the first few emails, first name personalization gets old.
If you feel that not asking for the first name is too much of a risk, just try by removing the name field and see if the form completion rate is going up. If not, there’s always time to put back the form field.
The fewer the steps— the more inclined a customer is going to be to subscribe.
Now that the first barrier is out of the way, here’s what’s next
Sell the offer well
Most people sign up to an email newsletter courtesy of the offer on the table— the lead magnet, a checklist, the value you give them as a subscriber and so on.
That means you need to bring this offer front and center so that the offer attracts more signups.
Use as many adjectives to sell the idea as possible. Highlight the benefits the end user is to receive.
The people reading about the offer should be enticed into subscribing. You need to get them to like you for what you offer and have them charmed off their feet.
Sweep them off their feet by selling all the benefits you’re going to offer members of your newsletter. For instance, BetterProposals sells the idea that as a subscriber you can get free proposal templates.
Their free templates page takes a visitor to 79 free templates all listed one after the other. Clicking through any template reveals a signup form. The way they sell the offer makes all the difference. Headlines and sub headlines are the highlights in a copy.
Encourage people to forward or share the newsletter
Forwarding the newsletter is a sure-fire way to get more newsletter subscribers. Encourage your subscribers to share the newsletters they get.
When encouraging people to share the newsletter have the basics in place first.
The people seeing these newsletters, i.e., the people who are receiving the shared newsletter should have a way of signing up.
Asking your loyal and the current crop of subscribers to forward and share the email can be a good way to get more people who have the same outlook subscribe to you.
Where to ideally place the opt-in form that people can see
This again is something easy to do. Place the opt-in form on your homepage and places where it’s easy to see.
However, it’s easy to forget that the blog’s pages and other pages drive a lot of traffic. Subscription boxes are absent on these pages. But the truth is the bulk of the traffic is to these pages. You can also go ahead and craft specific lead magnets for some of the highest traffic grabbers and see an instant uptick in the number of signups.
An easy way is to highlight the opt-in form at the header of every page.
The form should be present across the site on each page.
Use QR codes
Quick Response or QR codes can encourage people to sign up to your email list even offline. If they’re looking at a billboard or poster with your QR code on them, they can simply scan the image and sign up to the list.
If you haven’t seen a QR code these patterns are in the shape of rectangular blacks and whites.
Once scanned these QR codes load a website. There are endless ways to add QR codes. Posters and product packaging are some of the obvious places to add them.
Ideally, the visitors should see a mobile version of the signup form. It’s not complicated.
Give them more choice
One way to keep your list growing is by sending content routinely that helps people. That means people need to have control over the content they get.
If you are hitting a lot of unsubscribes that means people are getting way more content than they’d have liked. You need to get them more control regarding the content they get.
The solution is to use a light subscription.
You could for instance offer plans that give them just one email per week, or a monthly digest that summarizes what happened. The key is to not make them unhappy so they remain on the list.
If you’re not sure how to lighten the subscription options consider conducting a survey on your site or asking your customers on email. You can also look into keywords that are driving traffic to your blog and create more of that content to share as part of newsletters. I explain about keyword research on my blog Kamayobloggers.
Showcase social proof
When it comes to making your case, hard numbers can make a big difference. Once the list is a few hundred members strong, start displaying your subscriber numbers. This demonstrates to visitors the authority you have with social proof. People look and learn from what other people are doing and newsletters are no different. Social proof gives ample reason for visitors to sign up.
Paperform for instance highlights the fact that over 6000 businesses use Paperform for their marketing needs.
Test the headlines, the placement of the form or the lead magnets you’re offering.
Compare one sign up form to its variation to see which one generates more leads. Once you try these different strategies and see the results you will be able to develop an offer that improves your opt-in rates.
Growing new subscribers and adding them to your list is entirely possible if you explore these new ways. Just think of how valuable you can make the offer and how enticing it appears to the end user. When creating an email signup form use the best design principles. Improve ctr and use better copy and rely on consistent testing to make this happen.
There are many techniques to make the whole thing really successful. However, these are some of the key areas you need to focus on.
Always test to find out what works and what doesn’t.
About the Author
George Mathew is a freelance writer and blogger who’s worked with several SaaS brands over the years. He specializes in long-form content for SaaS and B2B brands and has seen his work published on CrazyEgg, Kissmetrics and Coschedule. He blogs at ThinkingNE.com