As per statistics, there are 3.6 billion email accounts in 2013. Almost everyone, who has an access to internet, has at least one email address. As a digital publisher this is something of business for you. After all this is the most effective way through which you can get your message to reach your target audience and curb a niche of your own. An email list is one of the most important assets for an online business; from publishers to marketers.
Almost 56% of the businesses say they plan to increase their email marketing efforts in 2013. But before doing anything you should have a long enough list of subscribers at your credit to get the maximum benefit out of it. Before starting anything you should remember 25% of your data gets useless every year. Let’s look at few effective ways to grow your email list fast.
1. Keep the Subscription Form Very Much Visible
Let’s start with the most important thing, the subscription form. Many publishers feel too shy to keep the subscription form visible on the face of the site. Even if they keep it on the site they hide it under the wraps. But if you really want to increase your email list you can’t downplay it. In fact, keep the subscription form on each and every page of your site.
There are two pages which are most visited on a site, the home page and the about us page. For blog sites home page is the most important one. Make sure you have your subscription form right on the Home page, in the first fold itself. You can place it on any side, right or left, but it should be there. For example, popular sites like Kissmetrics and Problogger have kept their signup forms on both the left and right sides, respectively. And both the sites have placed them in the very first fold, as these are the areas which attract the maximum eyeballs.
Having a signup form isn’t effective enough, make sure you have placed it in the right place so to convert better. Always make sure to keep it absolutely on the top of the side bar, this position does matter a lot in terms of increasing subscription.
You can also place your subscription form on the header or footer bar too. Though there is no guarantee it will get you good results, still you need to do your own testing, as it has also worked very well for many.
Try to place as many subscription forms as you can, it will help your readers take notice.You should definitely have a form at the bottom of each page too. In fact, putting a signup form under each and every article has turned out to be one of the best conversion places. If a visitor have scrolled down to the end of the article, that means he or she has definitely liked your post. This is the best time when you should ask them to sign-up, and chances of you being successful will be much higher.
You can also add a copy of the subscription form in the comment section too. If someone is trying to comment on your post, it means you have managed to engage the person successfully. It’s the perfect time to capture their data, and it’s extremely popular among the publishers. Most of them ask the reader to sign up, when someone try to comment on a post for the first time. Starting from Huffington post, Problogger to Kissmetrics, every one follows this rule.
You can even have a light box with a subscription form. This has proved to be a great option for getting more and more readers subscribed. You may think it to be a little annoying for your readers, but try it out first then only decide. Sites like SocialMediaExaminer have increased their subscription through this method, and there are many more like this one.
Ask for bare minimum information in the subscription form, in fact just the email id is enough for you to get them signed up. You can gather more information about them later on.
2. Produce Quality Content for Your Newsletters
Getting your visitors subscribe for your newsletter is tough, but the real challenge is in retaining them. The only thing which can retain your subscribers and hold their interest is to create lots of informative and engaging content. Take the example of ‘Moz Top 10’, the newsletter of Moz.com. Moz curates and provides its subscribers with the top 10 news coverage of the inbound marketing industry. Similarly, you can also share the links to your own articles in your newsletter to keep you readers on top of your blog coverage.
Tip: 64% of the people have said, they open the mail because of the subject line. So take extra care while crafting subject lines for your newsletters. Ultimately, this is what is going to decide whether it will be trashed or opened.
3. Create Value Based ‘Call-to-Action’
People love to get something for free. Capitalize this human nature to increase your email list. Create a valuable white paper, a guide book or something similar to these which has real value to your new subscriber. Remember, your offer should be extremely compelling so that your audience can not ignore that under any circumstances. The giveaway should be beneficial to your reader. Also make sure you are able to deliver it as promised.
4. Leverage Your Existing Email List
You might have an existing email list with you; leverage it to get more subscribers. You can send them a wake up mail to make them active once again. You can also request them to share it with their friends and peers. And for that make sure you have the social sharing option in your mail and it should be prominently placed in the mail. It has been seen, emails with social sharing buttons have 158% higher click through rate. Also make sure the process is fast and easy.
5. Use Social Media to Get Subscriptions
You can use social media in various ways to get more subscribers. You can run discussions on your newsletter topics in social media. Share it on LinkedIn and Twitter, share a subscription form on your Facebook page in a customized tab. You can even run contest and share your giveaways on these platforms, where you can ask for their email addresses for registration and seek permission to send them newsletters.
You can also let the audience do social sign in, where by they will be able to subscribe to your newsletters through their social media login (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) without creating any separate user account for your site. This is becoming an increasingly popular practice now a days.
6. Create Multiple Sets of Newsletters to Tap Your Targeted Niche
Analyze your email list to understand your audience. You may have audiences with different interests from around the world. They might belong to different time zones too. Create and schedule newsletters keeping all these factors in mind. Ultimately, you should send customized newsletters for different set of audiences to keep it relevant for them. Not only that, to get better response and a higher open rate, you should schedule it accordingly. Studies shows that emails sent on Mondays gets the maximum response and conversions.
7. Use Email Marketing Solutions for Optimised NewsLetters
To increase your mailing list, you need to create a nice and appealing email newsletter which your readers would love to read and share. It’s not enough to have great content to create an excellent mailer. You need to give it a nice presentation, measure and compare the response you get from each and every email you send out and then only you will be able to decide upon a particular format.
There are many email marketing solutions available in the market, to help you out, like MailChimp, AWeber, iContact, GetResponse to name a few. These services provide you with multiple email templates to choose from. You can select a couple of them for a few campaigns, according to the content need.
These services also help you in tracking your email performance and do your own testing. It is extremely important to know what works for you and what doesn’t. On the basis of the report, you can decide which format to be retained and which needs to be left out.
The services includes setting up customized sign-up forms on your social media pages as well as your website, which enables you convert your visitors, fans and followers into email subscribers easily.
Do your own AB testing. Try out different templates, placement and pick best time to send your newsletter. On the basis of the findings, finalize a plan best suited for you.
Image Credit: Woorank