Building E-Mail Subscriber Lists

Building text mail subscriber lists is always challenging as people surfing the Internet looking for content for the most part, enjoy doing this anonymously without giving you information about themselves. Often, if you do manage to entice them to your site in the first place, putting a big signup now to view the content will just get them to leave as opposed to subscribing as they really haven’t learned to trust you enough yet to give you their information so you can get into a marketing relationship with them.

And this is where their thoughts will immediately go if you present them with a signup form immediately after you get them to your site. I have experimented with this, watching the statistics on campaigns I run where I push a signup form at the person immediately after I get to my site. The bounce rates on these campaigns are extremely high. So what are some good methods to get people to buy in to subscribing to you?

First off, regarding Landing Pages. If you can assume that people start off resistant about giving you information, then don’t ask for much on your initial subscription landing page. I personally bounce back and forth between just asking for just their e-mail address, or just asking for their e-mail address and their first name only. I’d love to have their first name so I can personalize the auto-responder e-mails I send them, but I know I will lose some people by asking for this extra bit of personal information up front. Bottom line though, is you can devise strategies further on into your relationships to capture more information about those that do subscribe to you.

A second thought, and this is used by most marketers, is to offer them something of value for giving you something they value – such as your e-mail address. Many marketers, self-included, offer the prospect some form of gift in return for their initial subscription and I find this works to a point. Bribery will get some action – but they are still giving you this action carefully and with reservations. They want the gift but they are still wondering if it is a good idea to give you their e-mail address in exchange for the gift.

They are worried about what sort of relationship they are setting themselves up for such as tons of spam and selling e-mails hitting them, whether confidentiality will be protected, etc. And who can blame them – enough of this is happening out there that all of us are cautious this way. So the only conclusion I can come to is that before you get them to your Landing Page, you already have to build their trust.

Do something to earn that trust before they hit this page. You want them eager to build this bridge between the two of you before they ever even get to this page. The solution to this is somewhat different for each person, business or enterprise but also somewhat the same as well. Do something positive for them first – and if you can do it more than once beforehand before asking for the e-mail relationship.

A tough thing to ask for when you are trying to rapidly build tens of thousands of subscribers, but well worth the effort if you are trying to build the level of intimacy in your subscriber base that can actually lead to sales of your product and services offerings. Keep in mind, you should be able to automate much of the above relationship processes if you do things right so the work effort in getting their contact information won’t be inordinately high.

The above covers my primary thoughts on how to get people to sign up once they hit your landing page. Below are a number of ideas I have been using and experimenting with that for me, are helping to bring better results in capturing new subscribers.

  • Go through all your old e-mails with people and make decisions as to who you would be willing to send an e-mail to with a view to asking them to take a look at your new business and signup for the newsletter. In that newsletter, insert a “Share with Others” widget and invite them to forward the e-mail to anyone they think might be interested in what you are doing.
  • When opportunities present as you are on the phone with people, let them know what you are about with your new business and ask them if they would be interested in checking it out then get their e-mail address and let them know you are sending them a message with the details of how to check out your new venture. Be sure to have a signup form imbedded in the e-mail message you send them.
  • Make up some business cards to carry with you and, as opportunities present themselves, hand out your card and get their e-mail addresses verbally – then do the step above. Always make a point of getting back to them the same day. If you get the chance, make a point of going to trade fairs and such – great way to network.

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