"Publishers have found that newsletter subscribers are more loyal and drive more revenue. The New York Times, for instance, discovered that subscribers to its free newsletters were twice as likely than non-email subscribers to convert into paying members." -What's New in Publishing
Not only big publishers experience this high conversion rate among publisher email subscribers. McKinsey & Co found that across industries, email was 40X more effective than social media at acquiring new customers. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) found that email generated $44 for every $1 spent.
Whether your goal is to generate revenues through ads as a niche publisher or promote a physical business, email can greatly enhance your efforts. But to achieve these results, you need to grow email subscribers who are engaged and interested. These 5 tips will help you do it faster.
1. Keep Your Form Short
How often do we over-complicate things in online publishing? But, remember: From the reader's side of things, everything must be simple and streamlined to grow a following.
Research shows that form length impacts whether people sign up. The length of the form should be comparable to the value you're offering. So if you're giving away a chance to win an all-expense-paid vacation in exchange for an email, people will "suffer" through a longer form. But If you're just trying to get people to sign up for emails, they may not yet see enough value to take time to fill out extra fields.
Bottom line, keep it simple. Studies show any form over three fields starts significantly losing people.
2. Use Triggered Emails
To grow email newsletter subscribers, you must attract more than you lose--a net gain. Otherwise, you've just created a funnel that drains out instead of helping you meet publishing goals. Setting up triggered emails is a great way to instantly recognize a new subscriber and give them a taste of what it will be like to be on this list.
Create a compelling email to welcome new publisher email subscribers. Make an impression and help them look forward to the next "installment" and want to remain subscribed.
3. Run a Contest
Contests both grow email subscribers and engage the ones you have so you can keep them. Promote your contest through social media and email. Make the prize both relevant to your niche audience and generous enough that people want to sign up to enter.
The success of a contest is in its share-ability on social media, email, and other mediums. People should want to share this contest with friends to increase the chances that someone they know wins.
A New York Times study uncovered the five primary reasons people share on social media. We share to:
- Offer value to others
- Define ourselves both as sharers and by what we share
- To grow connections with others
- Self-gratification (It feels good to share)
- To get the word out about brands we like
Tapping into one or more of these with your contest helps you grow publisher email subscribers faster and more efficiently. Take this to the next level, by adding a refer-a-friend feature that gives someone extra entries for everyone who mentions them when entering the contest.
At the heart of the matter, contests incentivize people to subscribe. This is what makes them so powerful. The power of email is that people want to subscribe because of value offered.
Astrology.com leveraged Admiral's email subscription tools to incentivize their audience to turn off ad blockers and sign up for email. They don't simply ask someone to subscribe as if the subscriber is doing them a favor. Instead, their offer reads like this: "Astrology.com is the most comprehensive content and tarot readings. We know you don't like ads, so we promise to keep them non-obtrusive. Please consider turning off your ad-blocker and supporting astrology.com. Disable ad-blocker for free. Show me how. Subscribe to our daily Tarot Newsletter." Astrology.com quickly added 6000 new email subscribers and has been used as an emal list growth case study in Admiral webinars.
For those looking for guidance from the stars in a convenient daily email, astrology.com offers incredible value. They make the case for why a viewer should enable ads to enjoy the content.
4. Create Compelling Copy
Keep this in mind. People see "Sign up for our email" all the time. It's exhausting. Compelling copy demonstrates the value in signing up for your list and not someone else's.
Compelling Copy Examples We Love
Note the active and enticing language the below niche publishers use to grow email lists and generate fans/customers.
- BestReviews.com: "Stay connected! Get exclusive content, advice, and tips from BestReviews delivered to your inbox."
- GearPatrol.com: "Sign Up for the Daily Dispatch. The day's best product roundups, reviews, and gear news packed into one handy, daily email."
- Musclesforlife.com: "The Advanced Guide to Building Muscle, Staying Lean, And Getting Strong. Order a Copy." The button says, "I want this".
5. Leverage the First Party Relationships to Deliver More Relevant Content
Yes, you should create visually stunning emails that people notice and want to view. Give people a reason to click and stay subscribed. But in first party relationships, you can go beyond that. You absolutely should. Once you grow email subscribers to a certain point, you'll begin to notice differences in how certain people interact with your emails.
Use this information to segment publisher email subscribers and deliver emails to each segment based upon collected data that shows:
- Top interests
- Job role or socioeconomic differences
- Delivery time to gets the most opens
- Types of email content that earns more clicks back to your site
- Geographic and age variances
According to MailChimp's research, segmented emails have a 14% higher open rate and a 100% higher click-through rate. Research from the Direct Marketing Association found that revenues increased by as much as 760% when segmentation was used in email campaigns.
Creating more relevant content helps you grow your email list organically because you'll have fewer unsubscribers and more subscribers sharing your emails with others. You don't have this kind of power on social media or in organic search.