Expanding your subscriber list, whether it be for your ezine, newsletter - printed or electronic - takes persistence, and commitment. Not to mention time and letting go of the frustruation of it all.
Marketing Master, Catherine Franz, is sharing with you twenty- one methods, strategies, and ideas all located in one spot on how you can expand your list.
1. Keep your subscription form easy to find on every web page. Preferably, add it on your navigational bar. If the form is to large for the bar or page, add a hyperlink and send them to a popup or a separate page so that the previous page on your site doesn't disappear. It is easy for them to return.
2. Not only must the form be easy to see, it also needs to be easy to read. Label each field. I've seen a few where I didn't know what to enter. Be kind to computer readers suffering from dry eyes, make the font large and easy to read.
3. Do you write your own ezine articles? Add a “please subscribe here line to your byline. Begin the line with a benefit they get from subscribing and then add a few invitational words along with a URL hyperlink. Example: “Learn more about this topic. Subscribe to [name of your ezine] by visiting. . . . "
4. Generally, people are impulse buyers. So, give them that impulse. Give away a free ebook. Instead of letting them see that the ebook is free. Regularly charge for the eBook. Six dollars is a good price, just explain them that it is a limited special offer.
They will perceive it even more valuable when there is a price connected to it. An example of the wording could go like, “Normally this ebook sells for $6 at [your web site URL or even a middle man ebook site]. " Always give them a reason why you are giving it to them free. Make the reason believable.
5. Do you belong to networking groups, or attend other events? Invite everyone you meet if they would like to register for your ezine. Give them a story about the free, but not so free, ebook offer. Always, make this offer limited.
In fact, have a list of these free but-not-free ebooks, written either by you, affiliates, or from resale right products. Move them around. Put one on the calendar for January through December and then repeat them the next year. Then in the third year, change it. Also, share with them how easy it is to opt-out if they don't like the ezine and they can keep the ebook.
6. Don't stop at networking groups, contact trade or professional organizations you do or don't belong to that have a high percentage of your type of readers. Ask for the membership list. Look for the people you have identified as your gatekeepers (people that know lots of others in your target market).
For accountants, it's lawyers and bankers. Call them and introduce yourself. Ask if they could recommend your ezine to a few of their friends. You can also attend their networking events and ask, ask, ask.
7. Instead, or in addition to, calling the gatekeepers you have identified on the membership lists, you can send them a letter of introduction - a direct mail piece. The piece can ask them (a call to action) to visit your web site for more information on your newsletter and/or receive a copy of the free but-not-free ebook.
8. Share the wealth. Exchange recommendations to each other's newsletter. Be prepared for these so that it doesn't cost you valuable time when you are working on a deadline. If you work with a virtual assistant, let them respond to these opportunities. Prepare three or four examples and offer the exchanger their choice to use one that they feel is appropriate for their audience. Ask them for a reciprocal and equal announcement.
9. Make comments and include your byline at the end. Comments can be product review on Amazon, ezines you enjoy, or local newspapers. Give suggestions, share your stories on how it helped you, ask questions, or give ideas that emerged from your reading. Blogs are also good places to comment on as well.
10. It takes 7 times before people start to trust. Present them 7 opportunities to have two-way conversations with you. Not one-way conversations (you write, they read). Provide the two-way with surveys, questions, contests, games, things that they need to ask for are just a few.
If you are offering a contest, send them a testimonial from the winner. If you can, create an opportunity for many winners. It spreads the hope and attraction.
11. Use a conversational writing tone. It makes a connection. Yet, don't get lax on the grammar and spelling. Use personal pronouns (I, me, you and your). Limit the percentage of I's to half or less of the yous.
12. Spread the knowledge even further by asking your readership to forward a copy of your ezine to family members, friends, colleagues, or co-workers. Create a “please forward this ezine to" line or two. Give them an incentive, offer a free but-not-free item. This can be challenging to design.
13. Do you give presentations with slides or a projection system? Add a paragraph about your ezine and how to get it on the test slide. A test slide is the slide you leave up there when they are seating themselves. Leave it displayed until a few minutes before your presentation and then turn it off.
By turning it off, it creates a “loss feeling" and they will pay attention to it the next time you turn it on. Turn the system on with the test slide displayed and then switch to the next slide. The next slide can explain how they can get your free but-not-for-free product and the directions on how to receive it. Return to this same slide at the end of your presentation.
14. At this same presentation, pass around a clipboard asking them if they want to register for ezine. Start passing at the beginning or even before you start. Use a short piece, different colored paper, with a note about the free but-not-free item. Give them three incentives to register at that time.
15. Send out a press release every time you have a new free but-not-free item available. Send whenever you have new context, new article published, or whenever anything else occurs. Since press releases require special writing, you might want to delegate this, especially if you are challenged with writing from another perspective.
If you choose to learn the lingo, you can learn the how-tos with a Google search: Search example: “press release" and “how to". Leave in the quote marks. Don't be nervous about sending out too many, some are always missed. http://www.prweb.com/ is a great place to post your press releases.
16. Locate web sites that give out awards for outstanding ezines. Apply and keep applying. Keep tweaking. Look at previous winners and model. When you do win one, post it everywhere on your site and on every issue of your ezine for a year. Also, send out a press release when you do. If they create a press release as well, ask to use that one. Make copies of theirs and give it out at networking events. Remember, you can't win the lotto unless you play. So, get in the game, and apply. Try: http://emailuniverse.com/bestezines/ or search on Google with: “ezine award".
17. I'm frequently asked, “How much information should I ask for?" My recommendation is to KISS your subscriber form - “keep it short and simple. " Ask for the e-mail address and/or their first name. If you ask for their first name, tell them why. Example: We like to personalize our correspondence with our subscribers. "
18. Set up section for past issues of your e-newsletters. I recommend just listing their main topic or name of the article and not by date. People don't like to read things that they consider “old news". If you use a pdf format to deliver past issues there are pros and cons. The pros are: pdf files are smaller to store and send. The con is that you loose the opportunity for tagging the item for search engine listing.
19. After you post your articles in the ezine, expand or submit as is to multi-media web sites. Possibility: http://www.goarticles.com . Locations where publishers and editors will pick up the article. Normally, there are no fees paid, just opportunity for visibility. When published send out a press release. Link their site, not yours, in the press release, Send them a copy of the release.
20. Readers are tired of not getting any value and are dropping off lists fast. faster than ever. To keep them there you MUST provide valuable information (their perception not yours). The 25/75% rule (you give them 25% and sell them the remaining 75%) is acceptable. After reading thousands of ezines, I found many publishers don't come close to providing that percentage.
21. Add an invitation to all your automatic e-mail signatures. Also, mention the free but-not-free item of the month. Include an expiration date for that free but-not- free offer. Change the e-mail signatures weekly to maintain interest.
Catherine Franz, a Certified Professional Marketing & Writing Coach, specializes in product development, Internet writing and marketing, nonfiction, training. Newsletters and articles available at: http://www.abundancecenter.com blog: http://abundance.blogs.com