One of my main goals for 2013 is to make what I have better. I have a lot of stuff going on, and if it isn’t working there is a reason. Rather than jumping to the next big thing, my primary objective this year is to double my online income by optimizing my existing (profitable or potentially profitable) platforms.
You hear it time and again, but it’s true. Your biggest profit portal is your email list. When you need new clients or are running a big sale, this is your warm market. These are the people who are going to be easiest to connect with and convert into sales. While the email list for this blog clips right along without much intervention these days, every blog is different. I use Magic Action Box on The Work at Home Wife and it converts like crazy. I tried it on my two other main blogs and it was a total flop. I also tried Viper Bar without much success. It was time to get back to the basics. I am happy to say these basic tactics still work, and I could almost guarantee they are going to work on any site.
A Great Opt-In Offer – It doesn’t matter what your topic is there is something you can offer your email subscribers – and ONLY your email subscribers. There are so many other ways to subscribe to content these days you almost have to present something they can’t find elsewhere. On my sites, that is usually short 5-7 page reports or checklists. You may be able to offer a special discount or free trial. If you don’t have time to write a report yourself, there are several quality PLR producers such as Nicole Dean and Tiffany Dow that offer reports for around $1 per page. I’ve found it to be a pretty good investment.
Promise (and Deliver) More – With social media being what it is today, you might need to sweeten the subscriber pot. After all, why should someone sign up for your emails when they are going to get the same content, or more, by following you on Facebook or Twitter? Handing over that email address is still a big deal. Promise these people a little something extra on occasion. And then deliver.
Promote Your Offer – You have a great offer. People should subscribe. You should probably let them know! In addition to your on-site opt-in boxes, promote your list off-site as well. I always get new subscribes when I share my link on my social networks. Don’t assume these people aren’t interested. If they know they are going to get a little more, they may sign up.
Lightbox – Pop-up boxes have come a long way. And they work when done correctly. I have one that is converting at 8.5%. That’s pretty rocking in terms of average opt-in conversion rates. I use AWeber for my email marketing and it allows me to set the duration and frequency. Mine is currently set to only display after 60 seconds and once every 60 days. If a person has been on your site for over 60 seconds there is a pretty good chance your new reader is enjoying what they see. Offer them more.
Add Share Buttons – Another new feature on AWeber is sharing buttons within the email. This allows subscribers to share your newsletter with their networks. When they do, those people will have the opportunity to join right on that archive page without ever having to come to my site.
Create Designated Opt-In Boxes – Now that we know I promote my newsletter through a number of avenues, how am I going to keep track of what’s working and what’s not? That is the purpose of this experiment. I create a new webform for every tactic I use; Magic Action Box, Lightbox, Facebook, Home Page, Sidebar, etc. If you see an avenue isn’t working, nix it!
Things I Still Need to Do
My efforts are not over and I do not consider myself an expert at this point. I still have a lot of optimizing and experimenting to do. Two things on my To Do List:
- Create a dedicated opt-in page – Not a fan of writing copy. But, I see several Sellers on Fiverr offering this type of service. If they can at least get me started – I don’t expect them to learn my entire business plan for $5 – I can take it from there.
- Email Solo Ads – I have been hearing great things about email solo ads. This is where you purchase a dedicated email from someone with an existing list of your target subscribers. This has to be done carefully as it can be a big expense. But it is definitely something I would like to try after I get an opt-in page together.
Why Is This So Important?
This should go without saying, but I am sure there are a few that are still in the “but I have Facebook and Twitter camp.” I cannot stress enough how much more you can do with a list of people that are so genuinely interested in your content and your business that they are willing to give you a one-way ticket to their inbox. This is a powerful marketing tool. Why do you think so many of the flash sale and daily deal sites keep their offerings under lock-and-email address?
Go look at your Facebook Insights for your average status update. What percentage of your followers are you reaching? How many click-throughs are you getting on Twitter? The open rate on my lists currently is 33% – 50+% depending on the list. Keep in mind, even if 50% of your Facebook followers are seeing your updates, how many are engaging? The people opening my newsletters are engaged and have already taken a big step towards conversion.
And that is the next reason to focus on getting more email subscribers. Sales. I don’t care what you are selling you have already breeched the trustworthy threshold when someone becomes an email subscriber. Take a look at how many Pages you Like on Facebook. Would you be willing to give all of those people your email address? I know I wouldn’t.
Now go forth and grow your list. And please let me know in the comments what avenues you have found successful for jump-starting your newsletter campaigns.