The art of enticing new subscribers depends on the kinds of emails you send and the kind of people you’re trying to attract. Realize that by offering lots of enticements to get folks to sign up you will get a percentage of members that open your emails only occasionally. Conversely, by understating the value of your emails, or not promoting the signup link enough, your list will likely be made up of very loyal readers, you just won’t have lots of them.
1. Why should someone sign up? Tell them.
Ask yourself why someone should sign up to get your emails. Is it because they’ll get tips that can help them run their business or coupons that will save them money? And then make your case clearly to prospective subscribers. Don’t just ask them to sign up for your emails; instead, ask them to sign up for your emails to get exclusive, email-only deals and discounts (or whatever the reward might be).
2. Ask when they’re most likely to say yes.
As with most things, timing is everything. So make sure you ask people to join your list when they’re most likely to say yes: after they’ve just bought something they love from your store, or after they’ve finished a great meal at your restaurant, or when they’ve just read the most fascinating article on your web site. So be sure to incorporate your ‘join now’ link and teaser into the parts of your site – and business – where people are most likely to jump at the chance.
3. Make it easy.
Keep your signup process short and sweet. Ask only for the information you truly need (if you’re not planning on using people’s birthdate information later, don’t trouble people for it). And by all means don’t mislead people. (You’ve seen signups that ask only for your email address followed by a ‘join’ button – but instead of joining you’re greeted by 20 more fields and a survey about your spending habits. No thank you!) Make signing up a pleasant, fast experience, and you’ll lose fewer people along the way.
4. Offer something in return.
Consider offering people a bit of instant gratification for joining. Maybe new subscribers get 10% off their next purchase, or access to a special article with how-to tips, or a chance to win a $50 gift certificate. Remember that you can customize the thank-you screen that greets new subscribers. Get creative and make the thank-you screen itself a printable coupon, or include a link to the how-to tips, or just let them know their name is in the drawing for that $50 gift certificate.
5. Bottom line, keep it simple.
Make it easy for folks to sign up and be straightforward about what they’re signing up for. Remember that most people feel like they already receive too many emails. When you let them know what’s in it for them, they’ll be more likely to sign up.