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10 Content Strategies to Win More Email Subscribers

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Email marketing is still a viable medium, though many business owners have abandoned it for the flashier alternatives of social media. Email is still a big part of our lives, and if you can harness the email-reading segment of your audience, you’ll get countless new opportunities to market your products and reward your most loyal customers.

The big problem for most companies is building a reliable list of potentially interested parties. Getting users to sign up for an email blast is tough, but if you use your content strategy to cultivate new subscribers, you’ll be left with a list that’s bigger and more relevant for your business.

Try these 10 content-based strategies to make it happen:

1. Offer a signup incentive.

articleimage574Offer a signup incentive

One of the most straightforward content-related email signup strategies is simply offering your readers an exclusive, detailed piece of content in exchange for some of their information. The most traditional way of doing this is offering a detailed whitepaper through a pop-up ad or specific landing page, in exchange for a user’s name and email, with consent to receive emails from you in the future. This tactic is valuable because it instantly gives users two means of engaging with your authority: through the content of the whitepaper and top-of-mind content in regular email blasts. Select a subject for your content that hasn’t been overdone and is truly valuable to your customers.

2. Create and promote “email exclusive” content.

articleimage574 Create and promote “email exclusive” content

Another popular option is to provide exclusive content after the user already subscribes, in the form of recurring content that users can only get through your email. It’s not quite as enticing as the immediate gratification of the first option, but the recurring frequency will ensure that your readers actually open and enjoy your email blasts for months to come. The only real problem here is that your content has a much more limited audience, and you’ll have to work extra hard to maintain that line of engagement. Base your posts around a theme, or use a content series to maintain user interest.

3. Use onsite content as a lead-in to an email blast.

If you’re already engaged in an onsite content marketing program—which you should be—take advantage of your current content as a means of recruiting new email subscribers. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; at the end of your article, suggest that your readers can learn more about the subject or get special offers by signing up for your newsletters—and of course, include a link to the signup page or embed a popup. Vary your language, but feel free to include this method in several, if not all, of your blog posts.

4. Feature an email signup embedded in the blog.

If your blog is already seeing a lot of traffic and you don’t want to fluff your content up with an obvious call-to-action at the bottom, you can go the more subtle route and include a small email signup form that stays with users on the blog, no matter what they click into or how much they scroll. You can embed this form in the corner of the screen, on the side bar of the blog, or even have it in the center of the screen until your users opt to close it out.

5. Reserve portions of your articles for subscribers.

articleimage574 eserve portions of your articles for subscribers

You can also unite your email subscriber list with a list of users of your website, and hide portions of your content so that only registered users can read it. Tease users with an excellent introduction, but make the juicy second part of your most valuable articles only readable once people have submitted their information. It can be annoying for some users to have to sign up, but if they’re genuinely interested in your content, they won’t mind handing over some valuable information. Do be sure to retain at least some 100 percent public content for those wary of signing up.

6. Tease email exclusive promotions via social media.

Social media is a great tool to capture impulsive urges of those “passing through” your newsfeed. Use that to your advantage by posting teases about upcoming special offers from your email blasts. For instance, if you plan to offer a promotional code for 20% off in your latest email, tease it a few days ahead of time by saying “later this week, we’ll be rewarding all our loyal email subscribers with a  one-of-a-kind deal! Sign up now to be a part of it!” Be sure to include a link to a signup page to make it easy for your followers.

7. Use blogs as previews for larger works.

You can use your blogs as previews for much larger pieces of content, like “definitive guides” or whitepapers. You can do this either by using each successive blog post as a chapter in the defining piece, or use them as tactful lead-ins to a much broader subject. Either way, at the end of each respective piece, you can allude to the fact that it’s only a small window into a much more valuable resource—and then deliver that resource exclusively through an email blast. It builds anticipation and shows people the value they’ll be receiving.

8. Guest blog with a call-out to sign up.

Building a diverse email list is easier when tapping multiple channels, but as a marketer you traditionally only have access to your own mediums. Guest blogging allows you to tap the audiences of a related organization, vastly increasing your total signup potential. Use any of the other tactics listed here to complement your guest blogging efforts for email signup potential.

9. Spotlight an email subscriber.

If you really want to demonstrate your appreciation for your email subscribers, ask your email recipients for stories or reviews about their experiences with your company. Then, write up a post on your blog or social media profile showcasing that user and possibly rewarding him/her with a special offer or giveaway. It will greatly increase that customer’s loyalty and make all your other potential email subscribers eager to get involved in the email blast.

10. Publish the results of your email competition.

First, you’ll have to announce and publicize a competition through your email blasts. Encourage users to respond in some way, and enter them in a drawing for free products or massive discounts. Then, once you have a handful of winners selected, publish the results on every medium available to you. It will make non-subscribers interested in subscribing, and show them how much you care about your most loyal followers. Allude to future, similar giveaways to increase signups and post details about the submissions that ended up winning.

It will take some time to build up a sizable list, so don’t be discouraged if your new subscribers tend to trickle in gradually. Change up your strategies regularly to encourage new facets of your audience, and measure the impacts of each different angle to determine which strategies are most effective for your business. Keep your users interested in your email blast by rewarding them with exclusive content and promotional offers, and be sure to pepper in plenty of opportunities for conversion along the way.

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Nick Wilson

Nick is AudienceBloom's publication wizard. He works his magic to perform outreach for external content marketing campaigns.

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