The Art of Acquisition: Insider Tips for Newsletter Subscriber Growth (Part 1)
By Bobby Johnson
May 31, 2023
By Bobby Johnson
May 31, 2023
Every marketer knows the value of a beefy subscriber list. Email marketing is still one of the most efficient forms of marketing: the average ROI is $36 back for every dollar put in.
The bigger your list, the further your email marketing spreads. Of course, we’re not just talking about email. Your database of leads is useful for many avenues of outreach.
Today we’re taking a look at the best methods of growing your list: the art of acquisition, if you will. Email may be a reliable form of marketing, but the best practices on how to get more subscribers can change from year to year.
That’s why we’re using only the most current data to find out what still works and to identify up-and-coming new ideas you can use to grow your own database.
One of the best ways to grow your database is to structure your website around lead capture. It sounds simple, but some of the easiest changes that could be made to grab more subscribers simply go unused.
We’ve compiled a quick list of strategies here to check your own website against, to make sure you aren’t missing any opportunities.
Don’t throw rotten fruit: we know pop-ups drive you nuts. They bug everybody. But, the fact is, they are still shockingly effective at nabbing subscribers. Recent data shows pop-ups have a 7% click-through rate on desktop and a 10% click-through rate on mobile.
You’ll want to balance the utility of the pop-ups with the frequency: annoying website visitors until they run away is, shall we say, counter-productive. Instead of having the pop-up appear the moment the user lands on the page (leading with the hard sell), have the prompt go off after they’ve spent some time on the site.
Think of the user. They came to your website for a reason. They’re looking for information, they have a problem, or they’ve got questions. They didn’t land there by accident. Let them find their answer for a second before bombarding them.
Once they’ve found what they were looking for (or even have spent a few seconds on your website to see it may be useful), then have the pop-up or slide-in come in to say “Hey, we were useful weren’t we?” Not in those exact words, but if your website visitor has a positive association with your brand (you’ve already helped them with information), they’re more likely to keep associating.
Let them find value, and then offer more.
Obviously your website should have an opt-in for the newsletter, a contact form for leads, and lead-capturing sign-ups for content like whitepapers, discounts, or trials. These should be prominently displayed on pretty much every remotely relevant page, and they shouldn’t require a lot of digging.
Keep your prompts short. The longer it takes to fill out your sign-up, the higher the opportunity cost becomes, and the more likely a visitor is going to bail mid-form. A name, a company, and an email/phone number are really all you need.
Including more isn’t wrong, per se, and it’s certainly more useful for data capture, but our attention spans are just shorter these days. We don’t have to like it, but we should be aware of it when designing the forms we’re asking people to fill out.
Widgets are your friend. Many email marketing platforms and CRMs have widgets that let users add themselves directly to your database with the click of a button. Use them. They save you time, they skip any middle step between the user and your actual, functional list, and they’re usually simple to create. Most also come with attention-grabbing graphics and simple UI, the kind that attract leads.
These are solid ways of signing up, and your website should have all of them. But what all subscribers need are a reason to sign up.
People aren’t always quick to fling their name and email at the first person that asks for it. There are security concerns, sure, but people also just don’t like to go through the effort (and the potential spam) unless they feel like they’re getting something in return.
That’s where content and value come in. If you treat “growing your list” as a transaction, it’ll be much easier to develop techniques that draw people in.
This is what whitepapers were designed for, and they’re still effective. Every brand is part of an industry, which means every company has industry experts on staff. Leverage these people in your company, let them share their insights (and hire a good writer, of course). Run some surveys on platforms like 1Q, find your own data, and create some original insights.
Visitors will be happy to fork over their name and email address to get access to new data, expert insights, and fresh ideas in and adjacent to their industry.
Check out our latest whitepaper, the 2023 Experiential Marketing Trend Report, for a solid example of how to leverage useful data in a digestible way.
Templates, podcasts/videos with notable guests, and infographics can also be great forms of content that encourage potential leads to sign up.
It may seem like cheating, and maybe it is, but another way to increase your database of contacts is to offer literal value.
What you can offer in exchange for an email is going to depend greatly on the size of your company and what kind of services you offer. But there’s almost always something you can hand out, even if it’s just helpful updates. A discount, a coupon, or even access to a free trial or a new feature of your service can entice a potential customer.
Use giveaways, prizes, and competitions to limit how many freebies you’re giving away to save a little cash. Even the possibility of winning a single prize can get hundreds (or thousands) of people to toss in their email on the off chance they could win.
The art of acquisition is complex: which is why we’re going to come back next week. For part 2, we’re looking at the exciting and unpredictable world of social media. Specifically, how to leverage the latest trends and hottest platforms to capture leads and boost databases and subscription lists.
We’re also going to show you where the mines are buried, so to speak, to help you keep your newsletter and subscription-growing practices legal in every region.
If you’re looking to get more personalized help with your email marketing or lead capture, reach out to Inspira Marketing today.
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