While most of us are aware that “the money is in the list,” we also know that it can be very difficult to get that list in the first place. Struggling to get that first dozen or so sign ups is one frustration many small business owners encounter, but one which is even more common is the dreaded sign up plateau.
This refers to the time in your campaign when you’ve been stuck at the same number of opt-ins for weeks at a time. Whether you are just starting your newsletter campaign or you’re seasoned pro looking to boost results, here are 3 ways to double your mailing list quickly.
Ask people to sign up.
Ok, so it might seem a bit ridiculous to call this a “tip”, but you may be surprised how many people out there are simply not asking others to sign up for their newsletters. If they are asking, then it is possible they just aren’t asking the right way!
For example, many site owners create opt-in forms that blend in with their site so well that no one even notices them. As a general rule, try using the secondary color in your site’s palette as the background color for your sign up box. Let’s say your site uses three colors: teal, forest green, and sky blue. The background is forest green, and most of the objects are teal. Only a few lines or text here and there is sky blue, so it would be your secondary or accent color. When you create your opt-in box, make the background sky blue and most of the text could be that forest green color. It will stand out while still tying in with your site’s palette.
Another tip that many overlook is the “Sign Up” button on the form. With many auto responder programs, this button is automatically set to say “Sign Up,” but some of us change that to something we think is more witty. Things like “Gimme” or “Let’s Go” and the like are commonly used in place of the traditional text. Studies have shown, however, that given many other options, visitors are up to 28% more likely to click on a button that either says “click here” or “sign up.” Why fix what isn’t broken?
Create a custom Facebook welcome page.
You do know that you should have a Facebook page for your site, right? If not, that should be your first step – go get one set up and then come back to read this.
Traditionally, new visitors to a Facebook page are greeted with that page’s news feed. This is all fine, but what if you could make your page stand out by creating a full-page opt-in or advertisement for your website? Good news! You can do exactly that with a simple Involver Application. Involver allows anyone to use up to two of their applications for free on any page, and one of them just happens to create custom Facebook tabs which can then be set as your “home” page.
If you don’t want to use an Involver application on your page, you will need to code the page yourself using iFrames or have someone else do it for you. If you happen to be lucky enough to already have FBML on your Facebook, then that is still a viable option as well! With so many ways of doing it, there is really no reason not to get one set up for yourself today.
Create a “tips or questions” opt-in
The common opt-in form asks for a name and email. Sometimes there is a variation to this with a business name or occupation field, but for the most part, opt-in forms are pretty short and boring. This is great when they are going to be sitting on the sidelines of a website, but why not try creating one with a life and purpose all its own?
Try creating an opt-in that asks for something extra, like a suggestion for the site or an upcoming event, or any burning questions your visitors might have for you. You can even take it a step further by stating on the squeeze page that each entry qualifies that person for a drawing to win something. This will quickly raise the number of subscriptions to your list, as well as create the image of a site owner who talks with his or her visitors rather than just at them.
With most auto responders, you are able to create multiple opt-in forms which link to the same newsletter or list, so this large opt-in won’t require a whole separate list or additional headache.
Implementing these three strategies won’t take you more than one day. After that, it is time to track and test or simply watch those subscription numbers rise!