I can not tell you how many clients I’ve had that have requested an email sign up on their website, collected email addresses, and went on to send out – nothing. Email newsletters are an excellent way to keep in touch with prospective clients, buyers and readers.
Once upon a time email newsletters were flying around and filling up people’s inboxes like noones business. These days it’s a more select and discerning audience out there, only signing up when they really want to, and only allowing a select few into their sacred inbox (not a euphemism). When people are browsing around the internet there is an absolute deluge of content out there. In their email inbox are mostly things that they’ve actually OPTED to read. So all in all it’s pretty ace when someone actually signs up for your content. Go you!
How do you get people to sign up you may ask?
First you’ll need to sign up for an email marketing program, to help you manage your reader lists and create your emails. I personally like Mailchimp – it’s easy to use and even a little bit fun. It’s free till you grow your reader list to 2000. You can also look into Campaign Monitor.
Next you’ll need to put a sign up form on your site. If you you’re on a wordpress site, you’ll need to install the Mailchimp plugin on your site (if that’s who you’re going with) and create a form.
Where should I stick that form?
There are a few places that work well and fit within usual website conventions. Don’t get too in your users’ face – but you can still definitely have more than one!
- The very top of the website (what we like to call the utility section, where you might sometimes find a login or search function)
- The main menu
- The sidebar of your blog (if you have one!)
- A checkbox in your contact or checkout form (you might need to look into plugins that integrate your contact form or ecommerce plugin)
- At the bottom of your posts
- In your footer (or footer widgets)
- As a pop up – this would require a pop up plugin – something like PopupAlly
I added forms and no one signed up. Now I’m sad.
If you have good, useful content, then people should hopefully be inclined to sign up. Make sure you have some compelling content with your sign up form – “stay up to date with our articles”, “get our articles delivered to your inbox” etc.
If it’s slow going, they might need a little incentive. Here are some ideas:
- A giveaway
- Offer a discount code for your store
- Offer exclusive content
- Tell them they’ll be the first to know about new sales before the public
You get the idea.
I’ve got subscribers! Now what?
You need to think about what kind of content your users would like to receive. It depends on your website, if you’re a shop maybe you want to tell people about sales and new products. If you’re a blog you’ll want to get in touch with your readers and update them on new content. Make sure you think about what your users will actually WANT to read, not just what you want to tell them. Get too salesy and they’ll hit that unsubscribe button and break up with you.
Once you’ve sorted out that content, you’ll need to go into your chosen email marketing service and start putting it into a template. This is where a lot of people come unglued. I’m telling you, it’s not as difficult as you think, JUST DO IT! Get in there and have a go. Mailchimp has lots of templates that you can use as a base. Then add your logo, choose your fonts and colours and start putting in your content. A bit of playing around and I’m sure you can make it work.
If you really do hit a wall or just want it to be absolutely pixel perfect – you can definitely get in touch with me, I can make you a template specifically for your brand and needs as well as recommend content. But I do recommend that if you have the time, you give it a go.
Good luck – and happy sending!