If your ultimate goal is to make money from your blog, getting people to sign up so you can build a list is one aspect that’s often overlooked.
This may be because you don’t think it’s all that important. In many cases it’s because the blog owner isn’t prepared to deal with that list and doesn’t have a coherent email campaign already planned.
This is missing a huge opportunity. Many people who visit your blog are warm customers. They’ve visited your site because it contained useful information. Chances are, if they don’t subscribe by RSS feed and there is no email opt-in box, they’ll forget all about you.
A lost opportunity.
Choosing Your Sign-Up Box
When you subscribe to an autoresponder service you’ll be given an opportunity to design your own opt-in box. It can be customized for subscribers to add as much information as you like, if you feel you can use those extra fields for a useful purpose.
Trouble is, the more questions you ask – and first-time visitors don’t know you and you haven’t really built any kind of relationship with them – the less inclined they will be to sign up. If you ask for a physical address, you’ll probably lose them because they’ll imagine their postal mail box being stuffed with things they don’t want. If you need subscribers’ physical addresses, say to send a free gift, deal with that later and separately.
So keep your opt-in box short.
If you have a WordPress site you can use one of the many free plug-ins to create an attractive opt-in box. If you want something fancier, then you can pay, but a good autoresponder service such as AWeber or Social Monkee have a good choice of customizable email opt-in box templates.
Still worried? All the best autoresponder services offer great tutorials and blogs where you can pick up tips from others.
Subscribing to an autoresponder service is the best idea. It will save you time and you’ll be able to split your email campaigns into different categories, and schedule emails to be sent weeks ahead – very convenient if you’re going on vacation. You’ll be provided with helpful stats too, so you can better manage your campaigns.
Double opt-in procedures will also keep you CAN-Spam compliant.
You’ll be able to choose an overall color scheme that fits in with your blog. Just remember that it shouldn’t blend in too well – it should feature prominently on your pages.
You may have to experiment. Most will tell you to place your opt-in box above the fold so it’s highly visible; in the right sidebar at the top is often the best place. If after a few weeks you’re not getting a good sign up rate you could try putting it at the bottom of the page, after your content.
Your written content, as much as you want to believe it’s read and enjoyed all the way through, isn’t. People scan text, and if you don’t have sub-heads that keep them moving down the page, they’ll never get to your opt-in box. Watch your stats and keep experimenting until you’re happy.
Make People WANT to Sign Up
You’re asking a visitor for something of value when they sign up, so give them something of value in return. Add a short video about what they can expect if they do sign up. This could be a monthly newsletter, coupons, tips or even an e-course.
Show your face and that video will build trust. You’ll get many more sign-ups that way. And always remember to stress that you hate spam and will never sell or share their email address with anyone else.
Give them Something Good
The best carrot for getting lots of folks to sign up is by offering something really useful, like a free eBook. Not just a PLR (Private Label Rights) eBook that’s exactly the same as everyone else in your niche is giving away, make it unique and original.
Planning is important if you want to be successful online. Your blog, email campaign and social media presence must all tie in together. That little opt-in box, when it’s functioning properly and bringing you loads of new subscribers, will be part of that success.
Offering people an incentive to sign up works better than any other way – do you agree?