As you develop an online venture and learn how to become a better online business owner and marketer, you’re going to reach certain points at which you’ll almost feel as though there’s a barrier blocking your continued progress. You’ll encounter those barriers regardless of the niche in which you operate; it doesn’t matter whether you’re running a clothing boutique or a vape shop like V2 Cigs UK.
The first of those barriers is generating traffic, and the second barrier is generating sales from that traffic. Once you’ve gotten past those two barriers, though, you’re going to encounter the third barrier: keeping your traffic on an upward trajectory even as Google’s ranking algorithms change. No matter how good a job you’ve done with SEO, an algorithm change is eventually going to cause a temporary reduction in organic traffic.
A Mailing List Can Help Your Business Cope With Ranking Algorithm Changes
As you gain experience in online marketing, you’ll learn that changes in Google’s ranking algorithm are nothing to worry about. If you continue to do the right things, your traffic will always trend up over the long term. In the meantime, though, you need to do something that can help you control your traffic in the short term. You need a new traffic source, and that means you need a mailing list.
If your website is using an off-the-shelf e-commerce solution like Shopify or WooCommerce, there’s a good chance that your website already has a signup form for a mailing list. There’s also a very good chance that you’re going about it the wrong way and that your list has no subscribers – and that’s where this guide comes in. With these simple tips, you can grow absolutely any mailing list.
Present Your Signup Form the Right Way
If you want people to join your mailing list, you need to present the subscription form in an appealing way. It should be obvious enough that people can’t miss it, but you should also be very careful about distracting people away from the e-commerce experience when they’re viewing commercial content such as product pages. You might consider displaying the signup form in a different way on product pages than on blog posts and other non-commercial pages.
Many websites use scripts to make their mailing list signup forms appear on top of the content. Displaying your subscription form in a popup ensures that no one will miss it. If you’re going to use a popup, though, you should consider the timing carefully. If the popup appears before visitors have a chance to look at your site’s content, they’ll close the popup without reading it.
If you use a popup for your subscription form, resist the temptation to animate it. The animated mailing list popup is outdated from an aesthetic standpoint, and animations can also slow some web browsers down.
Offer a Reward for Mailing List Subscriptions
You’ve probably seen the standard mailing list invitation on hundreds of different websites: “Subscribe to our mailing list to be notified about the latest deals and events!” Has that invitation ever convinced you to join a mailing list? Probably not.
Practically every e-commerce business, online publication or just about any other type of website worth its salt has a mailing list. That means the people who visit your website are getting bombarded with subscription forms everywhere they go online. The average person’s default response is to ignore most subscription forms, so you need a way to break through the static. The way to do that is by offering a worthwhile reward for signing up.
Practical Examples of Rewards for Mailing List Subscriptions
Here are three practical examples of rewards that may encourage people to sign up for your mailing list.
- You can offer a single-use coupon code as a reward for the subscription. It’s usually possible to get your e-commerce platform to generate coupon codes automatically, but you’ll need to monitor carefully to ensure that the coupons don’t hurt your profitability.
- You can offer a content upgrade by giving the user an e-book with bonus content similar to what’s on the page the user is currently viewing. Suppose, for example, that your website has a blog post about the most efficient and functional desks for a home office. You could create a mailing list subscription offer for that blog post saying, “Did you enjoy this article? Join our mailing list and instantly download our e-book showcasing the year’s trendiest home office layouts!” If a user enjoys the blog post, he or she will probably want to see the e-book.
- You can hold a promotion in which you give a prize such as a free product to a random mailing list subscriber. To ensure that subscribers stay on your mailing list, you should say that all members are eligible to win all giveaways as long as their subscriptions are active.
Of these three offers, the first one is most likely to generate an immediate sale. If you aren’t careful, though, offering coupon codes can end up meaning that you lose a percentage of almost every sale you make. The costs associated with the second and third offers, in comparison, are much more controllable. The cost of creating an e-book or other content upgrade is a one-time expense.
The cost of holding a monthly giveaway, meanwhile, is miniscule in comparison to the revenue that you’ll earn from your mailing list once you have a significant number of subscribers. It’s also an expense that you can write off.
How to Earn Revenue From Your Mailing List
The ultimate goal in starting a mailing list is to earn money from it. You should know before beginning, though, that your list will need to have a very large number of subscribers before it will generate significant revenue. You probably won’t generate sales from every newsletter you send until you have thousands of subscribers.
Once you do have a substantial base of subscribers, you should work hard to ensure that your newsletters always provide value. The headline is always a vital aspect of a newsletter because no one will open your newsletters unless they have compelling headlines. The content of a newsletter, however, is even more important than the headline. If your subscribers are expecting the content that’s informative or entertaining, you should strive to deliver it. If your subscribers expect great deals, you should make sure that your offers are compelling. If you don’t deliver value with every newsletter, people will stop reading them.