Using email to advertise products and services is a marketing technique that’s been around since the 1990s. Because emails are quick to type up, easy to send, effortless to monitor via services like MailChimp, and cost absolutely nothing to implement, they continue to be used by businesses big and small today. Emails are also a great way to connect with customers, cultivate your brand, and drive traffic to your website. Your recipients can freely share emails with their friends or family, which takes on the task of spreading your message for you.
But before you can reap the benefits of email marketing, you have to have one thing in place – subscribers. On the one hand, more people today have and regularly utilize email accounts than they did in the 1990s. On the other hand, the average person already finds their inbox to be a little too cramped. Getting your customers and clients to sign up for your newsletter, blog, coupons and courses can be a challenge, but with these six tips, you can hopefully add a few more names to that hefty subscriber list.
Give Your Newsletter a Name: Nobody really wants to sign up for another newsletter or another company email, but people generally like receiving the daily paper at the front door, and seeing the latest magazine in their mailbox. By giving your email a clever name, like “This Week’s Beat” or “From Jason’s Desk” or “The Creative Corner,” you’re creating the sense that what you’re providing is a piece of literature worth reading, as opposed to just another slice of spam they can get from any company. If you really want to take it a step further, don’t just send them a typical email newsletter. Add a few elements that make it look like a newspaper or magazine so that they’ll continuously be excited to open it.
Give a Good Reason to Sign Up: In order to gain a new subscriber, you have to create a scenario in which getting your newsletter is a better deal than not getting your newsletter. You have to offer something that is worth the 15 seconds it takes to type a name and email address into your little subscriber box, worth getting the new email notification each week or month when your information is delivered, and worth the minute or two it takes to read through the email’s content. In other words, you have to work hard to demonstrate your email’s value.
People like to save money, not in theory, but in ways that they can identify and measure and prove for themselves. Including coupons in your emails, or offering a discount on products and services to first-time subscribers, tends to be more effective than just trying to convey your content’s importance or worth.
Make Signing Up Fast & Easy: Your website users shouldn’t have to spend more than a few seconds on your page before they find a place to subscribe to your email. This call to action should be made obvious and it should be placed in multiple areas throughout your site. You may want to do some A/B testing to determine the best locations. Once your user is ready to make the commitment, make the process as quick and painless as possible. The faster signing up is to complete, the more likely they are to go through with it. This is not the time to ask for demographic information, invite them to take a survey, or advertise a new product. Snag their name and email, send them a confirmation link, and be done.
Allow Subscribers to Sign Up Anywhere: Don’t just leave it to your website’s pop-ups ads, header or homepage to get the job done. You should be sneaking in opportunities to sign up for your newsletter or company email everywhere. Add a link to your social media pages. Stick it in your email signature. Include it at the bottom of your blog posts. While you definitely don’t want to advertise products in the middle of the email subscription signup process, there’s no reason why you can’t advertise the email subscription signup process at the end of a customer’s product purchase.
Step Beyond the Digital World: Just because your subscribers are receiving your newsletter, coupons or courses online, doesn’t mean they have to learn about it or even sign up online. Are you teaching a lecture? Giving a presentation? Appearing at a conference? Attending a community event? These are all great opportunities for you to mention the benefits of signing up for your weekly or monthly email. By recording the names and email addresses of those interested in your attendance, you can later plug them into your subscriber list. Do you have business cards, brochures, sales letters, posters, or flyers? These hardcopy advertisements are great places to promote your newsletter as well.
Don’t Overdo It: No matter how interesting your content is, how valuable your courses are, or how much cash your coupons save, nobody wants to receive your emails all the time. Unless your subscribers have signed up for a 14-day or 30-day program where they receive nuggets of information at the start of each morning, or unless you’re having a big blowout sale that only happens once or twice a year, emailing your subscribers everyday, or multiple times a day, is probably too much. Not only will emailing too frequently burn through all your content at the speed of light, your subscribers won’t have time to go through everything you send them, and many are likely to get annoyed and unsubscribe. A weekly or monthly email to your customers or clients should suffice.
When encouraging email recipient signups, you should be frank about how often you plan to send messages. Someone who is okay with monthly emails, may not be okay with weekly or daily emails. These individuals will quickly become frustrated when they start receiving messages from you more frequently than what was specified. If you plan to send out a lot of emails, consider organizing the information into categories and allowing your subscribers to choose which categories they join.