If you’re a blogger, you’ve likely heard that building an email list is crucial for your success. By getting readers to commit their email address, you can share your latest updates with them directly and start to build your trust and authority.
But it can be difficult to convert visitors into subscribers, especially in today’s environment of information overload and over-crowded inboxes. This post will outline a few tips you can use to increase your email subscriber count.
1. Put Your Signup Form in the Sidebar as Well as Below Posts
If you want subscribers, you must make the signup form your main call to action, and multiple placements helps a lot. Your sidebar is there on every page, for one, so make sure your form is displayed there prominently.
It is also a great idea to add a signup directly below each of your posts. You can use Google Analytics to tag different signup links and track how much each one gets used. If your sidebar one isn’t converting, for example, you can adjust its positioning, tweak the colors or image, or remove some other widget that you think might be distracting visitors.
2. Offer Some Benefit for Prospective Subscribers
In the earliest days of email, we looked forward to every piece of mail. Not anymore! Signing merely receive site updates, even if they’re “exclusive” isn’t usually enough to hook very many people. Instead, you need to give them something of value: possibly a free ebook, short report or premium video.
This doesn’t even need to be extra work. You could package together some of your best articles into an easy-to-read PDF and offer that as your bonus. This also depends on the niche of your website, as a tech-savvy audience will probably need a lot more convincing to give up their email.
3. Eliminate (Or at Least Minimize) Other Possible User Actions
If you try to put everything under the sun (links to related posts, 15 social sharing icons, an advertisement AND your optin form) in your call-to-action areas, visitors will face choice paralysis and most likely not take any action. By eliminating clutter and highlighting the benefits of subscribing, you encourage users to sign up to your list, from which you can further connect with them.
This problem can emerge gradually, as we often add plugins and widgets one by one and it will likely all look fine to us. But try to put yourself in the shoes of a new visitor. Does she really need to see all of that?
4. Use a Plugin for Easy Modification of Signup Forms
A signup form should be visually appealing and it needs grab the eye of your visitors. This means that in order to maximize your success it is necessary to test a number of variations and see how they perform. You will likely want to try different colors, buttons, and images or covers for the ebook or benefit you are offering. Doing this testing could involve coding everything by hand into your blog theme files, but this is a lot of effort.
Instead, you can utilize a WordPress plugin that will do all of the work for you.
There are a few different options, some free and some paid, but we recommend Optinskin. You can choose from a number of preset “skins” and customize them to your heart’s content. It integrates easily with all email providers and can be added to various areas of your blog theme at the click of a button. Finally, it has robust optimization features to help you test our variations.
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