There is a famous idiom (great word, right?) – “strike while the iron is hot”. Never is that truer when you are trying to convert your blog’s visitors into subscribers.
There is one thing that we must all remember when designing our blogs and trying to figure out how to maximize our subscription rates – you cannot expect people to look for a way to sign up. You have to bring the option to them. Even when you are dealing with the most targeted of visitors; someone who wants to read every scrap of content you have – you still have to make it easy for them to connect with you.
So when trying to boost subscriptions to your newsletter, you need to target the areas on your blog where people are already engaged, then give them the option to sign up.
One such screamingly obvious place is in your comments section. If a reader has decided to place a comment, they are obviously interested in your content. By extension, they are more likely than the average reader to be interested in joining your email list. So make it easy for them and give them the option!
If you are an AWeber user, this is fortunately possible with just a few quick clicks.
First of all, your need to install their AWeber Web Form Plugin (which incidentally is a great way of implementing AWeber web forms on your WordPress blog).
Once you have installed and activated the plugin, click on “AWeber Web Form” in your blog’s settings tab.
Next, you need to authenticate your plugin (i.e. link it to your AWeber account). Don’t worry – this is a piece of cake. Just follow the onscreen instructions:
You’ll now have a few simple options:
We’re interested in the “Subscribe By Commenting” section. The process is very simple:
- Select the list that you want visitors who comment to have the option to subscribe to.
- Check the first box to include an option to sign up below your comments form.
- Check the second box if you would also like to include an option when visitors register to your blog.
- Finally, enter the text that will be shown next to the check box. Replace the standard text with something enticing, to increase the chances of an interested visitor subscribing.
And that is it! The end result will look a little something like this:
Whilst the feature is simple to implement and can be a powerful way of boosting your subscription rate, there are two features that I would like to see implemented in future versions:
- Formatting options. I am not particularly keen on the font size or the placement of the check box (I would prefer there to be some white space between it and the “Submit Comment” button). There is no way I can format the placement and style of the check box and accompanying text without delving into my blog’s CSS files and making manual changes. Options within the plugin’s settings would be a welcome addition.
- An option to have the box checked as standard. This is an option that is available in a “competing” plugin: Newsletter Sign-up. It may be worth your while exploring that option, especially if you are not an AWeber user, as it offers integration with a multitude of email marketing services.
So there you have it folks! In just a few short minutes you can have a whole new method of connecting with some of your most engaged readers.
Creative Commons image courtesy of William Hook