Guest Post By: Jessica Meher
Let’s face it, getting people, a lot of people, to actually subscribe to a mailing list isn’t easy. With an overwhelming amount of email already flooding our inboxes, enticing people to sign up for even more email is a growing challenge. But for most of us, email is an important part of our marketing strategy and increasing the amount of opt-ins is a critical factor to the effectiveness of our email programs.
Here are some quick tips and tricks to increase email subscriptions:
1. Don’t keep your email subscription a secret.
A typical problem I find with most websites is not seeing the option to join a mailing list. You can’t increase your opt-ins if no one knows where or how to sign up for it. The first thing you should do is include a “sign-up” form on your website and blog, and a link to the form in your email signature, social media channels, and other locations. Make sure to only include it where appropriate though.
2. Demonstrate immediate value.
As part of your sign-up form, don’t just say “Subscribe to our Newsletter” or “Get our email.” Borrrriiinngg. Instead, include something that shows value. Tell visitors that by subscribing, they’ll receive great content, deals, savings or other great stuff. In order for your visitors to willingly fork over their email address, you need to answer the question “what’s in it for me?”
3. Give a special “Subscribers Only” incentive.
Another great way to get more opt-ins is to give subscribers exclusive access to something, whether it is free content, coupons, resources, etc. For example, if you offer whitepapers on your website, include a spot on that page that states “Get access to exclusive whitepapers not available on this website! Sign-up below.” Or, give first time subscribers a special gift. Just make sure you keep your promise.
4. Give ‘em a sneak peek.
One of the best marketing offers I’ve seen was from a guy who promoted an educational “5 step” email series. To encourage people to subscribe to the series, he included a short video teaser of the first step. Next to the video was a form and call-to-action: “Want to see the rest? Sign up and receive tips 2-5.” Needless to say, I signed up for his mailing list.
Try including a teaser of your own and see what works. It could be a video, a link to a document, a coupon, or an article from your newsletter. When done effectively, sneak-peeks can be used to lure new subscribers.
5. Show authority.
Numbers are powerful. Once your list starts to gain some traction, publicly show how many subscribers you have. This creates authority and proof that your email subscription is worth it.
6. Make your email shareable.
Let your subscribers do some of the work for you! When appropriate, include a “Forward to a Friend” link in your email campaigns. Some email marketing applications even enable you to use tools like AddThis, which recipients can use to share your email via social media. Also include social sharing functionality on a landing page where your email sign-up is located.
7. Test what works & what doesn’t.
The only way to really know what works best is to test your subscription options. Try testing different offers, headlines, form placements or incentives. Use tools like Google Optimizer (free) or Visual Website Optimizer to perform A/B split testing. Testing your sign-up form will provide insight into the types of offers that work best for your audience.
Once you start trying and testing different strategies, you’ll end up with a powerful offer that drastically increases your opt-ins.
Looking for more? Check out: 5 (More) Tips on Hot to Get People to Subscribe to Your Email – a new follow-up post to this one!
Do you have any great stories or ideas for increasing email subscribers? Let us know in the comments below!
And if you're hunting for additional email marketing advice, you can also read our curated post – Not Your Grandma's Email Marketing Tips – for a compiled list of insightful, instructive email marketing articles that'll help your campaigns kick butt!
About the Author: Jessica Meher is an emerging thought leader in the technology industry and is marketing manager at HubSpot, a fast-growing software company based in Cambridge, MA. You can connect with Jessica on LinkedIn and Twitter.