If you’re wondering what this Case Study is all about, please read the introductory post from Week One.
Last week we discussed the reasons why Suzy needs an email subscriber list, along with several popular options for adding an opt-in (sign-up) form to your travel blog and managing your list.
This week we’re discussing various methods Suzy can use to encourage site visitors to sign up for her email subscriber list.
By regularly posting fresh, interesting content to your travel blog, you’ll attract a few subscribers as some people just prefer email to an RSS Feed reader, but if you really want to build your list and get more subscribers quickly, you need to offer them something more. Something that will convince them to give you their email address, which many people guard fiercely.
Methods for attracting subscribers include:
- Exclusive content – make it clear that your newsletter includes valuable information that non-subscribers don’t get;
- Giveaways with sign-up required:
- Freebies that cost you nothing, give them to everyone who subscribes;
- Low cost items, have a monthly or quarterly drawing from your subscribers;
- More expensive items, have an annual drawing from your subscribers;
- Offering discounts on relevant products or services – ideally as your readership grows you can negotiate exclusive discounts, but at first if you can simply find and announce existing discounts and coupons to your readers, that’s a value that they’ll appreciate;
There are literally thousands of people and companies out there who will give you eBooks, Reports, and other things to give away – they’re counting on the chance that at least some of the people that you give them to will also visit their website, maybe purchase something from them, and possibly even sign up for their subscriber list too. The key is to find those items that are relevant to your travel niche and of interest to your readers.
Don’t be afraid to approach retailers or manufacturers of relevant products or services to ask them if they’d be interested in partnering with you for a giveaway. Many manufacturers have low-cost items they can give away, and are willing to offer a discount coupon for other items to your readers – for them it represents brand-building and customer acquisition, for you it builds your subscriber list.
Also, if you are able to regularly partner with related companies to offer giveaways, consider NOT requiring subscription to your list to enter, but only announce the giveaways in advance to your subscribers. If you allow anyone to enter, but give your subscribers first notice, that by itself convinces more people to sign up for your email list. I only recommend this method if you’re doing frequent giveaways.
One fact of life that everyone who sends out a newsletter has to deal with is unsubscribes. It happens. People unsubscribe for a wide variety of reasons, but if you get a high percentage of your readers unsubscribing, that tells you that you’re not offering enough value to them. By making sure that every issue contains something unique, relevant, and valuable, you’ll keep your unsubscribes low.
Stay tuned! It’s been a long road, but next week we’ll begin to talk about ways that Suzy can monetize her travel blog – the ultimate goal, so that she can someday slow down the crazy busy pace of her life as a travel writer!
What techniques do you use to increase subscribers? Share your advice!