How Many Newsletter Subscribers Are You Losing Every Week?
Even with blogs, podcasts, YouTube, Facebook, social bookmarks, and everything else that's new on the Web, the humble e-mail newsletter is probably still going to be your most valuable e-marketing tool.
When I started my business, it was easy to get people to sign up to my e-mail newsletter, because it was such a novelty. But that's no longer the case; Internet users are very, very wary about giving out their e-mail address; even to people they think they know and they trust.
Put some thought and effort into your newsletter subscription page. Don't just create a Web page with a form and expect hundreds of people to sign up. A few will, but the more effort you put into convincing them to sign up, the more people will sign up. And it really is worthwhile because your newsletter is going to make a lot of money for you in the long term.
Consider these five ideas for encouraging them to sign up.
1. Give Them a Sample
Show a few sample newsletters so they know what to expect. For example, I do this at www.GihanPerera.com:
Some Web sites even offer an archive of all past newsletters. This is an excellent way of demonstrating what new subscribers will get. It also adds more valuable content to your Web site, which makes it more appealing to site visitors and search engines. For example, Hanne Christensen of Mindcraft (www.mindcraft.com.au) does this:
Rachel Green www.RachelGreen.com does the same thing for her excellent newsletter Rachel's Reflections:
2. Give Them an Incentive
Give site visitors something of value in return for signing up. For most infopreneurs, this would be an e-book, a special report or a free audio clip.
For example, I give away three bonus e-books to new subscribers at www.GihanPerera.com:
Your incentive doesn't have to be big (for example, one of my e-books is only 12 pages long). But it does have to be valuable. There are already too many low-quality "e-books" and "special reports" floating around the Internet. Don't fall into this trap - it diminishes your credibility and brand.
3. Show Testimonials
Survey your readers and ask them for testimonials about your newsletter. If you consistently deliver value, you'll get a range of glowing comments from happy readers. Use these on your sign-up page to convince new subscribers to join the list.
Here is a small sample of the sort of comments readers have given me:
"Your newsletters are outstanding. I get a fair number of different newsletters, and unlike almost all of them I actually look forward to yours."
"You are awesome! I love your style, your mind, your big A attitude! I love being on your email list."
"After 3 years it is the ONLY e-mail newsletter that I ALWAYS read and save every copy. It virtually always has something that is directly of value to me, whether it is a free give-away or an e-book packed with practical tips. I have purchased from Gihan's website and the ease of purchasing, the money-back guarantee, the follow up e-mail and the usefulness of the materials have always made it a remarkably pleasant experience. I have recommended Gihan's newsletter to others - and again, this is not something I do lightly. Well done Gihan for the ongoing value you provide to me and other readers and the longevity of your newsletter."
"Gihan you are a master at leveraging ideas and turning them into income streams. I really enjoy your down to earth, easy to read and no nonsense approach which follows throughout your books, audio products and newsletters. I would highly recommend you to anyone!"
If you don't have testimonials about the newsletter itself, start by using more general testimonials about your business, your products and services, and the value you offer; and replace them over time.
4. Reassure Them
We respect your e-mail privacy and will never disclose your e-mail address to anybody else without your permission.
Also reassure them that they can unsubscribe at any time. That allays their fear that you're going to keep bombarding them with e-mail, over and over and over again, and they can't get off the list.
5. Talk It Up!
Finally, sell them on the idea of signing up! Put as much effort into your sign-up page as you do for selling a product on your Web site or selling your services. Your newsletter will become an on-going cash flow pipeline, so treat it with the same importance as your other products.
Permission to Reprint: Yes, you may reprint this article in any of your publications - paid or free, electronic or physical, commercial or non-commercial - provided you do not edit it in any way (except for formatting changes to suit your publication style), and include this resource box with the article:
Gihan Perera is an Internet coach for speakers, trainers, consultants and other business professionals. He's the author of "Fast, Flat and Free: How the Internet Has Changed Your Business". Visit http://GihanPerera.com and get free e-books, webinars and more.
I would also appreciate receiving a copy of the issue in which it appears, if that is convenient.