Wow, your traffic numbers look awesome! Growing faster than kudzu in a southern state, you’ve got the whole thing licked! Kudos. Kick back and relax, job well done.
But wait a second.
Getting traffic to your site through your SEO and content marketing initiatives is only half the story. Once the visitor arrives, you want to keep them coming back. If the visitors stay, see, and vamoose again, never to return, your efforts are being wasted.
Which is why Jay here at Convince & Convert, and every other leading content driven blogger, focuses so much energy on the one of the most mundane elements of the web site: The email list.
Turning a visitor into an email subscriber is the best way make the most of your web site. Email subscriptions also provides you with a range of benefits that no other content delivery channel outside of your web site can deliver.
Here are some insights for your consideration:
Better than Facebook
We all know how few people who like your page on Facebook actually see your posts. Facebook will happily extract money from you to improve that (hey, buddy, wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to your post readership, capiche?) – but ultimately they are in business to serve themselves, not you.
Moreover, a like is like an air kiss – trivial, inconsequential, and largely irrelevant, because it’s missing one key element: Commitment.
Dual opt in. Captchas. Getting on to a list takes work. But that effort translates into commitment – email subscribers will be your biggest fans because they’ve gone to all this effort. Moreover, with industry average open rates in the 20% range, you’re going to do a lot better with a mailing than with your Facebook posts.
And guess who owns the list you create? YOU DO. If you’re relying on platforms like Facebook for lead or revenue generation, job #1 for you is to get the visitor off that platform and on to your site – and then to your list, where you can keep and control them.
That combination of commitment and ownership brings you resilience. If traffic slumps because Facebook changes the news feed algorithm (again), or your search engine rankings suddenly change, your email list acts as insurance. You can use it to generate further revenues and rebuild web site traffic while you come to terms what the platforms have done to you this time. Lists are also portable – you can take them with you, providing greater flexibility and robustness as and when you need it. You’re not tied to a given vendor, service or platform.
Five Top Tips for Growing your List
1. Make email subscription forms clear, visible, and above the fold. Obvious, right? You’d be surprised how often this basic rule is overlooked.
2. Use popups respectfully – say, on or after the third page in the session, and not as soon as the page loads. If the visitor has stuck around that long, they’re interested enough for you to ask for a subscription. But don’t be that web site. Treat them the way you’d want to be treated with your popups.
3. Put a form at the end of each post, between the post and the comments. Someone’s got that far and wants to comment? They’ve read the whole darned post, it’s great time to ask them for the opportunity to read more … in their inbox.
4. Have a relevant incentive. “Free” is a powerful word. Join and get your free XYZ will work with all of these approaches to grow your list faster.
5. Experiment! Sometimes simply changing the time of day you mail can make a huge difference in open rates. Test, optimize, rinse and repeat.