7 Easy-To-Do Action
Steps For Attracting Hundreds Of
New Subscribers And Growing Your Opt-in E-mail List
I think it really goes without saying
that a newsletter is a powerful marketing tool. Any
promotions that you send to your customers and subscribers in the
future will be that much more successful because with your
newsletter you will have…
||established your credibility,
||developed a reputation as an
||cultivated a relationship with
||inspired customer loyalty,
maintained regular contact.
your subscribers useful or entertaining information that they will
benefit from, and they will come to trust you,
respect you, and buy from you.
right? But now you’re probably
left wondering, "How do I get people to subscribe?" After
all, you can write hundreds of newsletters, but if you only have a
handful of subscribers, it can be a lot of work for little reward.
The big mistake I see a lot of
e-business owners making is thinking that simply posting a
"subscribe today" box on their web sites -- and then forgetting
about it -- is going to attract subscribers by the thousands. Even
if your web site is highly trafficked, this is going to produce
You need to be prepared to
actively promote your newsletter, much the same way you would
promote any other product or service online.
Promote Your Newsletter On Your Web Site!
Yes. Definitely promote your
newsletter on your web site. But the keyword here is "promote." How
motivating is it for a visitor to give you his or her name and
e-mail address when presented with a subscribe box titled,
"Subscribe to my free newsletter"?
Why? Why should I subscribe? How will
I benefit from subscribing? What am I going to get? Just because
your newsletter is "free," doesn’t mean I want it. There are plenty
of free newsletters out there I could subscribe to. What makes yours
different or special?
You really need to "sell" your free
newsletter to potential subscribers. In one or two short, exciting
sentences clearly state the benefits of subscribing to your
newsletter. For example, if your web site was golf related, you
might say something like,
"Subscribe to the Free 'Golf Tips'
Newsletter and receive monthly tips and advice from Pro Golfers.
Improve your swing, hear about world renowned golf courses, learn
which clubs the experts prefer, plus much more!"
It sounds a lot more interesting than
"Subscribe to my free newsletter," don't you think? Visitors to your
web site will think so, too!
The other tip I’d like to share is
about where you should place your newsletter subscription box on
your web site. First of all, don’t hide it. Your goal should
be to make sure that everyone who visits your web site is offered
the opportunity to subscribe to your newsletter at least once, if
Your newsletter subscription box
should appear "above the fold" (i.e., it should be immediately
visible on the first screen) of your homepage. This is where you’ll
get the best response -- and the most subscribers!
Existing Customers A Subscription
Have you offered your existing
customers a subscription to your newsletter? If you haven’t, you
should e-mail them an offer like this as soon as possible! This is
an easy way to get a flood of new subscriptions.
And be sure to add a subscription
offer to your "thank you for ordering" page or e-mail. If someone is
interested enough in your product or service to purchase it, you can
be sure they’ll want to subscribe to your newsletter. Don’t miss
this opportunity to maintain contact with existing customers!
If you’ve offered a free subscription
to your customers but received a poor response, consider making
things a little more interesting by offering them a "special gift"
like a free article or eBook when they subscribe. This extra
incentive should dramatically boost the number of new
subscriptions you receive.
Newsletter In Your E-mail Signatures
An electronic signature – also
referred to as a "sig file" – is a three to six line footer that you
can attach to the bottom of your e-mail messages and public forum
postings. And it's a prime spot to advertise your newsletter!
Unlike a lot of other blatant
advertisements, a sig file is universally accepted, so take
advantage of this perfect opportunity to plug your newsletter!
Anyone who receives an e-mail from you will also receive your
invitation to subscribe to your newsletter.
Chances are, if you’re e-mailing
them, they already have a direct interest in your industry or niche,
so take advantage of this and offer them a free subscription right
at the bottom of any e-mail you send!
||Ad Swap With
Other Newsletters & E-zines
A great trick for increasing your
subscriber base involves contacting other newsletters that relate to
your target market and offering to swap ads with them. Tell the
newsletter owners that you'll promote their newsletter to your
subscriber base if they'll return the favor. This is a great way for
both of you to increase your readership!
Subscribers will appreciate the
recommendation of another source of quality information, and as long
as the sites you swap with are complementary and not competitive,
it's not going to hurt your business at all.
Newsletter In Newsgroups, Discussion Lists, and Forum Postings
Another good place to promote your
newsletter and locate targeted potential subscribers is in
newsgroups, discussion lists, and forums that relate directly to
your industry or niche. Simply post a brief description of your
newsletter and a link to your subscription page.
Subscribers The Opportunity To Give Gift Subscriptions
Offer or announce "gift
subscriptions" in your newsletter that encourage your current
subscribers to send gift subscriptions to friends. You can automate
your web site to send the gift subscription with a little blurb
stating whom the gift is from and what they will be receiving (and
the opportunity to unsubscribe, of course!).
A friend of mine has built most of
his mailing list doing this alone. He went from 5,000 subscribers
to over 16,000 subscribers in less than a year just using this one
Opt-in E-mail Lists
Renting e-mail addresses from
third-party list providers is a route that some new newsletter
owners choose because you are given quick access to a list of
hundreds, if not thousands, of people who have "opted" to receive
e-mail on topics that interest them.
You can usually expect to be charged
5 to 20 cents per deliverable message, and you should expect any
e-mail addresses that are "bad" or that "bounce" to be replaced by
addresses that are current.
If you decide to use a service like
this, it's absolutely critical that you find out how the
e-mail addresses were obtained. You want e-mail addresses that have
been collected ethically and responsibly, and this means that you
want the e-mail addresses of people who (a) are directly interested
in your product, industry, or field of expertise, and (b) have given
their permission and "opted-in" to the list.
If you buy lists of e-mail addresses that have been "harvested" from
newsgroups, classified ad sites, online services, etc., you’ll be
accused of spamming! These people have NOT given you permission to
contact them, and you can get into a LOT of trouble this way. Again,
I can’t overstate the importance of making sure that the e-mail
addresses you rent have been collected ethically and responsibly!
A few reputable third-party list
providers who offer targeted opt-in e-mail lists are:
Buying or renting e-mail addresses this way can get very expensive,
so you need to be sure that your entire sales process (i.e., your
web site, your sales copy, your ordering system) has been tested and
tweaked before you roll out an e-mail campaign like this in full
force. Do some tests using a few thousand addresses and you should
get a fairly accurate picture of how successful you're going to be.
Ultimately, your goal should be to
develop a relationship with your subscribers through quality
articles in your newsletter before you even consider
trying to sell them anything. Give them quality information that
they will benefit from to establish your credibility and develop a
rapport with them.
Remember that the true value lies
in the relationship that you develop with the person who owns the
e-mail address… not in the e-mail address itself. It will
be the relationship that you develop with your subscribers that will
result in big sales both now and in the future -- an important point
to keep in mind no matter how many new subscribers you attract.