Everyone knows the old saying – the more email subscribers you have, the better you feel, so get folks to signup, and give them a good deal! What, you’ve never heard that one before? Something about beans? Whatever, you’re crazy.
Email newsletter subscribers are valuable soft leads that, with the right amount of gentle cajoling, could end up one day as full-fledged customers or clients. That’s why today, we’re bringing you 27 genius (if I do say so myself) strategies to boost newsletter subscribers! Can you sense the impending full inbox? I sure can! Here we go.
Blowout the incentives. One DMA report shows that 60% of users sign up for an email newsletter to receive offers and sales. So push it – push it good. Here are some incentives that might attract signups:
- Sign up now for PuppyParcel and get an adorable puppy delivered to your doorstep each week. Soon you’ll be swimming in unconditional love! And probably some poo.
Or, more realistically:
- Sign up and get cutting-edge marketing insights delivered to your inbox.
- Subscribe to our dining newsletter - we’ll dish out exclusive deals and coupons for local restaurants.
Be likeable. The same DMCA report from above also claims that 40% of respondents sign up for your newsletter because they like your brand. Put on a smile and charm the pants off of your visitors!
Embed a data capture form instead of a link to a signup page. A link to your signup page means clicking away from the main site, inputting personal info, and confirming. These multiple steps add up, as every extra click decreases your chance of fresh signups. Instead, make it as easy as possible and put the data capture form right on your page, be it in a sidebar, header, or footer.
A email sign up in the footer from JCrew
Run a contest, giveaway, or sweepstakes. Ask for email signups within your contest entry form.
Keep your email newsletter signup form short. Really short. Like maybe just ask for the email address.
Add a newsletter signup option to the comment box. Many commenting sections require that users input their email address in order to add a comment (done mainly to prevent spam). Since they’re already adding their email, why not add a “signup for our newsletter” checkbox alongside it? Any place where users are already inserting their email address is a great opportunity to add a subscriber checkbox to opt in to your email list.
Consider signup form placement. There are a few main spots most marketers choose to place their newsletter signup forms. While all these options can work, the optimal signup placement can vary depending on your site design, audience, and industry. These are recommended spots for placing your newsletter. A/B test different placements and see what works for you.
- Top of the sidebar
- Top header
- After a post
- Pop-up box
You can even try multiple newsletter signup options at once, just try to avoid coming off as spammy.
Affiliate advertising. If you know the value of a subscriber, affiliate advertising is another option for increasing your subscriber base. You’ll pay an affiliate a set amount for every time they get someone to sign up for your newsletter (basically, an ad for your newsletter on another person’s website).
The goal here is to make sure you are paying the affiliate less than the value of a new subscriber. This requires that you already have an understanding of your usual cost per lead and the value of a new lead for your business.
Offer a multi-part email educational course. One incentive for getting site visitors to sign up for your email newsletter is by promoting an email course you’ll receive when you sign up – for example, “Learn How to Start a Blog in Just 3 Days,” with a new lesson sent to subscribers each consecutive day.
Give a sneak peek. Provide part of a resource for free, promising more when a user signs up. For example, do a post on "5 Ways to Get More Traffic to Your Blog." At the bottom, have something along the lines of:
Learn more traffic techniques – sign up for our newsletter and receive our exclusive Guide to Boosting Traffic whitepaper with 4 additional strategies on increasing traffic.
Remind visitors of subscriber-only benefits. On your site, remind visitors that newsletter subscribers get exclusive benefits, like your latest and greatest white papers, or free download kits.
Amy Lynn Andrews emphasizes the exclusive tips available in her “useletter”
Consider social proof. Once you have a decent number of subscribers, consider including social proof by indicating how many email subscribers you’ve already obtained. Make sure you test this though, as some actually found this to decrease subscriptions.
Add signup options to your social media accounts. Some social media sites make it easy to add a newsletter signup option on your social network page. Facebook has numerous third-party apps that let you add custom tab options, such as an email signup!
Not all sites make it so easy though. If you have the space, try adding a newsletter signup link in your social media about section, in addition to your regular website link.
Post offers on Facebook that require an email signup to obtain. Put up an email signup gate that requires users to join your newsletter before obtaining offers. Then promote the offer on Facebook. If you’re providing something valuable, many users will gladly give their email address in exchange for a resource.
Instant offer for first-time subscribers. Try offering an instant incentive for becoming a newsletter subscriber. E-commerce sites like H&M might offer a 20% off discount voucher.
Host webinars. Use your webinar signup form to collect email addresses before viewers attend the advice. Bonus benefit: hosting a webinar gets your name out there and shows that you are a knowledge powerhouse to be reckoned with and admired. Who wouldn’t want to sign up for your newsletter?
Place your newsletter signup after your blog posts. Maybe not every one, but the good ones at least.
Add newsletter pop-ups to website. Good strategy, but make it quick to read, just (ideally) one form field asking for an email address, and a big, easy-to-click X to close out the box for those who refuse.
Take advantage of your email signature. Link to your newsletter signup page in your email signature (and have co-workers do the same).
Host exclusive giveaways for email subscribers. Host giveaways for email subscribers, but make sure to post about the giveaway on your blog and social sites so that everyone knows about the giveaway. They may sign up as a subscriber so that they can join in on the fun!
Add email signup option to your checkout page. If you’re e-commerce, add an “opt-in for our newsletter” checkbox in your checkout page. Don’t forget to remind them about the coupons they’ll get which they can use on their next order.
Always consider visitor intent. When placing your newsletter subscriber forms, always think about the mindset of user at that moment within your site’s page structure.
Your copy should vary depending on where your signup link or form is placed. For example:
- In e-commerce checkout: Opt-in for our newsletter to get coupons, special discounts, and the latest fashion news delivered straight to your inbox.
- In a blog post: Did you like this post? Sign up and we’ll send you more awesome posts like this every two weeks.
Remember, matching intent is everything. Always take a step back from the details and consider the larger scope.
Try a floating signup form. Some sites implement a floating newsletter signup form that follows the user as they scroll down your page. This can be discrete or tacky depending on how you go about it – make sure it doesn’t interfere too much with the users’ experience.
Give your newsletter an enticing name. Just calling it “the newsletter” can get stale. Instead, try something a bit more snappy like:
Try using the word “free.” While it’s already expected that an email newsletter will be free, the word itself can be quite alluring. Try adding the word “free” to your signup copy and see how it affects signups.
Be upfront about email frequency. Users get hives at the idea of having their inbox flooded with spam. Setting good precedent about how often you’ll be emailing them will help alleviate those fears. Consider using the words weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or even “periodically.”
Purchasing or renting emails. It is an option, but not a fantastic one. Those leads aren’t qualified and could make you come off as spammy, damaging your reputation. They also won’t likely be subscribers for very long. Confused users getting emails from a business they have no experience with will quickly unsubscribe from the mailing list.
If you tell me to test one more time…. Well guess what yo? I’m gonna. A/B testing your sign up forms is probably the most powerful thing you can do to increase email signups. Test button color, placement, copy, punctuation, style, etc. Go all Frankenstein on that thing.