Subscribe for newsletter concept. Subscribe button with cursor on the computer screen. Open message with document. Paper airplane icon. Vector illustration

Back in the early days of blogging, there were a lot of bloggers writing such good content that I’d sign up to get email updates so I wouldn’t miss a post. But your business website? Probably not quite as enthralling. If you have a newsletter, then you probably put a newsletter signup right on your website. But you may have noticed that people probably aren’t signing up in droves. The truth is, people are unlikely to sign up for your newsletter without a good reason, and just slapping a signup box on your website isn’t going to be enough if your website isn’t filled with “don’t miss” content. There are ways to get more signups though.

Write Compelling Content

You may have gotten tired of me saying this, but compelling content is the best thing you can do for your website. It’s good for pretty much all things. It’s great for your website traffic. It’s great for your conversion rate, and it’s great for getting people to sign up for your newsletter.

This may be more complicated to do on a business website than say on a mommy blogger website. But, it can be done. Here is a quick list of some content types that could engage your audience.

  1. Educational Articles: Write informative articles that teach your audience something new or help them solve a problem related to your industry or niche.
  2. How-to Guides and Tutorials: Provide step-by-step instructions or tutorials on how to use your products or services effectively, or how to accomplish specific tasks relevant to your audience.
  3. Case Studies: Share real-life examples of how your products or services have helped customers achieve their goals or overcome challenges. Case studies add credibility and demonstrate the value of your offerings.
  4. Industry News and Updates: Keep your audience informed about the latest trends, news, and developments in your industry. Offer insights and analysis to help them stay ahead of the curve.
  5. Interviews and Q&A Sessions: Conduct interviews with industry experts, thought leaders, or customers to share their insights, experiences, and perspectives. Alternatively, host Q&A sessions where you answer questions from your audience.
  6. Lists and Roundups: Create lists of resources, tools, or tips relevant to your audience’s interests or needs. Round up curated content from other sources in your industry to provide valuable insights in one place.
  7. Product Updates and Announcements: Share news about product launches, updates, or new features. Highlight the benefits and improvements to encourage users to try or upgrade to your offerings.
  8. Customer Stories and Testimonials: Feature success stories, testimonials, or user-generated content that showcases how your products or services have made a positive impact on your customers’ lives or businesses.
  9. Behind-the-Scenes Content: Offer a glimpse behind the scenes of your business, such as company culture, employee spotlights, or the process of creating your products or delivering your services.
  10. Interactive Content: Create interactive content such as quizzes, polls, surveys, or calculators to engage your audience and encourage participation.
  11. Sales and Deals: If you’ve got a popular product or service and offer specials, this is a great way to get people interested in signing up for your newsletter so they don’t miss a sale.

Optimize Subscription Forms

You hear about search engine optimization, but you may not have heard about optimizing your subscription forms. But just having a subscribe box like this may not be very enticing.

Tips for optimizing your subscribe box

Visible Placement: Place the subscription box prominently on your website, preferably above the fold, where visitors can easily see it without scrolling. Consider placing it in the header, sidebar, or as a pop-up overlay. Putting it at the bottom or in the footer will almost guarantee you wno’t get subscriptions.

Clear Call-to-Action (CTA): Use compelling language for your CTA button such as “Subscribe Now,” “Join Us,” or “Get Updates.” Make sure it stands out visually with contrasting colors.

Minimalist Design: Keep the subscription box design clean and simple. Avoid cluttering it with too much text or unnecessary fields. A minimalist design will reduce distractions and make it easier for visitors to focus on subscribing. The less required fields the better.

Brief Explanation: Provide a brief and clear explanation of the benefits of subscribing to your newsletter. Highlight what subscribers will receive, such as exclusive content, updates, discounts, or valuable information.

Social Proof: Incorporate social proof elements such as the number of existing subscribers, testimonials, or logos of reputable companies or organizations that endorse your newsletter.

Privacy Assurance: Assure visitors that their privacy is protected by including a brief note about your privacy policy and how you handle their personal information. This helps build trust and encourages sign-ups, and make a note that they can unsubscribe at any time.

Incentives: Offer incentives to encourage subscriptions, such as a free e-book, discount code, or access to exclusive content for new subscribers. If someone signs up for your newsletter, they are trusting you with their email address. They should get something in return. People love free stuff.

Run a Contest

One of the easiest ways to get signups on your newsletter is to run a contest. Be careful to pay attention to any federal or state rules regarding contests. But, having a contest where one winner is selected to receive some free goods or services is a great way to increase your subscriber count. Very recently I was at a college basketball game where they had a QR code on the big screen. Sign up and get entered to win free tickets to another game and some merch. You better believe I signed right up. Did I know that meant I was signing up to get their emails? Yes. But it was a worthwhile exchange in my opinion. (I didn’t win, FYI.)

Add a newsletter checkbox on your contact forms

You an connect your forms to your newsletter service pretty easily (and I plan to write about that tomorrow) so an easy way to increase potential new subscribers is to add a little checkbox to any forms, including your blog comment boxes, with a sentence that allows people to sign up for your newsletter. It can be as simple as a checkbox that says “Yes! I’d love to receive emails with more information on specials, deals, coupons, and more.” Make it enticing so someone wants to sign up, not just a “Sign up for my newsletter” sentence.

Host a Webinar

Have you heard of a “Lunch and Learn?” This is a short webinar held over a lunch period where people can login over lunch and learn about a new topic or trend. If you plan to host any kind of webinars like this, make signing up for your newsletter part of the deal. They get the free webinar, you get their email.

A few more tips for your newsletter

Don’t forget to set up your welcome email! It’s one of the most important parts of your newsletter onboarding. Each subscriber should get an email so they know they were successful with their sign up, so they know what to expect in regard to the newsletters, and to start building that relationship.

Don’t send too frequently. One of the primary reasons I end up unsubscribing to newsletters is because they email too often. Know your audience and plan accordingly.

Write great subject lines. The subject line is a dealbreaker for your newsletter. If that subject line doesn’t entice your reader to click through, then there’s a good chance they will not even open the email. You need to craft a compelling subject line. “Monthly newsletter…” doesn’t cut it.

Pick one call to action. People who do read your newsletter aren’t going to take multiple actions. If you have lots of buttons and links, understand that people aren’t going to follow them all. The better option is to focus your energy on one action you want them to take rather than several.

Don’t forget your unsubscribe link. Not only is a good practice, it’s required by law. But, you can also craft a really nice unsubscribe page to talk people into maybe staying around.

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Amy Masson, Web Developer

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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