You know you need an email list, but nobody signs up. You change things around, but the problem persists.
How can you get email subscribers? You could help your customers with their bleeding neck problems if only they would sign up.
If you are struggling to grow a responsive email list, here are five strategies that you may not have used.
Give people a real reason to be interested in you. Be unique.
You can achieve uniqueness in many ways:
- Make your personal appearance distinctive
- Use words differently
- Let your personality shine through
- Be uniquely helpful
- Have an unusual website design
Ideally, you would stand out in all of these areas.
Your style will push some people away. That’s fine. You need to be yourself to get anyone to relate to you in any meaningful way, so offending those who don’t relate is par for the course. If you aren’t pushing some readers away, then you are not being personable enough.
Email Sign-Up Incentives
Sign-up incentives are not enough. Your own computer gives out another groan whenever you give out your email address and download another ‘life-changing’ PDF (Pointless, Dysfunctional & Futile) freebie.
The world’s computers are filling up with PDF files, self-serving videos and other giveaways that are only a 5% match for their users’ needs.
The concept of an incentive is a sound one; its execution is where the idea breaks down.
Be different; listen to your prospective subscribers. Find out what they need. If your email signup incentive meets their needs then more prospects will sign up, more will actually go through your freebie, and more will open your next email.
Narrow Your List Ambitions
Your blog is highly focused and designed to appeal to your ideal customer. You can have one thousand website visitors on your list or fifty subscribers who think of you as their mentor.
A small, highly focused and homogenous group of email subscribers should be your goal, rather than the magic 1K individuals with disparate interests and needs.
Multiple Sign-Up Opportunities
All your free resources, uniqueness, and personality are just so many wasted electrons unless they achieve their target of converting prospects into subscribers.
You probably have an email management system such as GetResponse, but there is more to building an active list than an on-site customer signup form. Users need to be able to sign up quickly, but they have to notice your subscription form. We are all becoming blind to on-page forms and other website components that we are not immediately looking for.
Popups are universally annoying and opinions vary regarding how effective are. Most bloggers rate them highly, but some high-profile blog contributors think that the annoyance factor is so high that their adverse effect is counter-productive.
Installing a free Hello Bar on your site gives you an extra, unobtrusive way to offer a subscription form to your site’s users. The bar across the top of the screen is not so common that we have all become blind to it, it’s free and customizable. Link your Hello Bar to your email signup form, and let your email marketing program take over.
Interstitials, sometimes called pop-overs or light boxes, are another alternative to think about, but these also annoy users, and Google plans to penalize sites that use them, so you would do well to avoid them.
Landing page software is another option to consider, but it is expensive, so you need to know that your lifetime customer value is going to make it worthwhile. You can build your own landing pages just by putting your sign up form on a page that has no other links or visitor distractions. This Blog Herald post shows you how to set up your own landing page.
Do you delete emails from friends unread? No. Most of us only delete commercial emails without opening them?
The takeaway here is that if you want subscribers to open your emails, they must feel a personal bond with you. If a customer thinks that tomorrow, next week, or next month that you are going to be pitching them for a sale they will not even glance at your unopened message header. Most people think that spam equates to unwanted email, so to them, you are a spammer. They will label your email as spam, even though they signed up to receive your missives.
You have to smile and shake subscribers’ hands. You have to hug them and kiss their babies.
Your job as a blogger is to build personal relationships with your readers. They must get to know the real you. That includes your bad hair days, the times you cut yourself shaving and the times your son crashes the car. Stand out by being honest. Subscribers will bond with you on a much deeper level if you acknowledge your flaws rather than trying to pretend you are perfect.
Your Priorities Now
Take a few steps back:
- Ask friends (not your mother) what they really think
- Become more personal and unique in your writing and blog design
- Make it easier for visitors to sign up
- Give those who subscribe to your list incentives that are genuinely useful
- Treat your customers as friends rather than leads
Love your subscribers and they will love you back and will be more likely to buy from you.