I know I need e-mail subscribers in order to make this blog work. But for the first few months on Savvy Sexy Social, I was having a tough time figuring out how to rope ‘em in.
I mean, why weren’t people just automatically signing up because of how awesome I am? My site is SO pretty and my opt-in form is screaming their names! It was a mystery to me for way too long.
But then I put myself in the perspective of my readers (duh, Amy… something you’re always supposed to do). I thought about why they were here, what I was doing for them, and how I could leverage that help to ask them to be a part of a deeper community on Savvy Sexy Social.
First, I switched to Aweber.
When it comes to choosing a host for your e-mail subscribers, I definitely recommend Mailchimp and Aweber (affiliate). I started Savvy Sexy Social on Mailchimp and realized that I was more interested in the analytics of my newsletters and how I can better target my readers, which is a more savvy feature of Aweber. So before I had a decent following, I switched.
There are A LOT of things I love about Mailchimp, like their gorgeous user interface and great e-mail template design, so don’t shy away. Just make sure when you’re choosing one you weigh all your options. Once you pick, you should really try to stick with it because exporting and importing can be a bit of a mess with different programs’ opt-in rules. (Read more about that transition here.)
I decided on a format for my e-mails.
When I was using Mailchimp, I had a template that was very aesthetically pleasing. But I realized that the communication that I was sending out didn’t need a lot of jpegs and buttons. So, I decided on the classic Savvy Sexy Social banner followed by just my text. This works for me and I get better conversions from my subscribers with this setup. No matter what works for you, stick with it. You don’t want your e-mails to look unfamiliar every time they go out.
I posted a large opt-in form in the sidebar of the blog, in addition to a few other places.
If you’re reading this on the blog, then you can clearly see my e-mail form to your right. You may have also come across my light box form when you first visited. And if you want to know why I think you should subscribe, I have a button for that, too. No matter how many places you ask for an opt-in to your e-mail list, just think about where people will look for it, or if you can answer any of their questions first, and get them to go there.
I created a free gift.
This is little trick that seals the deal. The point of a blog like mine is to give away free tips and advice so that you can build trust and hope to do business with your readers in the future. So the more you give away, the better position you’re in to grow those relationships. Creating an ebook, video series, report, or workbook to give away in return for someone’s e-mail address is by far the best way to have someone make the decision. They already have access to your WHOLE blog for free which does not require opting in. So give them that extra something to help them give in to their curiousity and join your e-mail community. This got me around 80% of my subscribers.
Do people opt-in just to get the free material and then opt-out? Yeah, I have a few people do that to me. But, quite frankly I thank anyone that opts-out of my e-mail newsletter because it shows me that our relationship is not a right fit, and I’m not going to make any more of an impression on them than I’ve already attempted, no matter how hard I try. I only need people around that trust me and want to learn more. Don’t get mad at unsubscribers. They were never going to buy from you in the first place.
I stay in contact.
If you’re going to have an e-mail list, you can’t just let it sit around for weeks or months without any correspondence. You’ll be sad to see your unsubscribe rate rise because people forgot who you are and the relationship you built with them. I write e-mails twice a week now. I used to write daily, but I realized writing daily was for me and not necessarily for my readers. So now I just write more often on the site and correspond with the most important information through e-mail to keep my subscribers excited to read. No matter your schedule, don’t lose contact because you’ill lose your list quickly.