4 More Ways to Increase Newsletter Sign Ups on Your WordPress or BuddyPress Website

4 More Ways to Increase Newsletter Sign Ups on Your WordPress or BuddyPress Website

NewsletterI’m on a bit of a run with email lists at the moment. On Monday, I compared AWeber with MailChimp. On Tuesday, I showed you how to set up your list. And yesterday, I walked you through installing sign up forms on your WordPress blog.

Today, we are going to go through a few strategies that you can employ in order to boost subscribers to your blog’s newsletter.

As is often the case, Sarah has been kind enough to do some of the work for me with her article, 7 Ways to Increase Newsletter Signups on Your WordPress or BuddyPress Website. But today, I have a few other suggestions. In fact, as the title of this article may suggest, I have 4 more ways in which you can increase newsletter sign ups.

1. Guest Posting & Landing Pages

I’m sure you’ve heard of guest posting. Despite the occasional criticism it seems to attract these days, it is still a great way of getting new, targeted visitors to your blog.

You can use guest posts as an effective way of increasing your subscriber base.

Say you run a blog on motorbikes. You write an awesome guest post at a pretty big motoring blog. Instead of simply linking back to your blog’s homepage, why not instead link back to a special “landing page”? This would be a page that is specifically aimed at the visitors you are pointing to that page.

Take our motorbike example. Say your guest post is all about motorbike engines (you can tell I know about motorbikes, right?). At the end of the post, you provide a link back to a landing page which asks the visitor to subscribe to a newsletter that offers weekly updates on the latest engines (you know, or something like that…).

Okay, so it’s not a great example, but the theory is sound:

  1. Write for targeted visitors
  2. They click on your link
  3. Offer them something that will be of interest to them
  4. They subscribe

If you want to know more about designing a great landing page, check out this article by Copyblogger.

2. Feature Box

This is a good’un – but then I would say that, as I use it on my own blog. A feature box is not at all dissimilar from what you think it may be. It is a big fat box that sits on the prime section of your blog, screaming for attention.

Feature Box
This is your garden-variety feature box.

Feature boxes have some typical characteristics:

  1. They feature prominently near the top of your blog, and usually only on the home page.
  2. They grab the visitor’s attention with an eye-catching header.
  3. They give a few key reasons as to why it is in the visitor’s interest to sign up.
  4. They offer some form of “social proof” (which in the above example, is Chris Brogan’s mini testimonial).

Take it from me – feature boxes can produce pretty good conversion rates. Out of all of the web forms on my blog, it performs the best. It is generally the first thing the visitor sees, so it is simply a case of making your copy compelling enough (I say simply, but that is actually the hard bit).

Some blog themes now come pre-loaded with feature box functionality. Thesis promotes it pretty heavily. If you are so inclined, you can manually code a feature box into most themes with relative ease. Or you can rely upon your trusty web designer to do it for you!

3. Post Footer Sign Up Form

Believe it or not, the bottom of your post is a good place to grab the attention of your reader. If they have read all through your post, then they may well be interested enough to sign up to your list. Simple concept, no? The opt-in form doesn’t have to be anything fancy – just something that leads on naturally from the end of the article.

Post Footer Sign Up Form
This is what my blog's post footer sign up form looks like.

Put yourself in their shoes. You are interested enough in a blog post to read all the way through it. By extension, you may then be interested in what else the blog has to offer. You are immediately presented with an option to sign up for related content. Sounds like it might be a tempter, doesn’t it?

Incentivize, Mk II

If you have read Sarah’s original article on increasing newsletter sign ups, you will have noticed her tip for providing an incentive. I would like to expand upon that and give you a few different examples of what you might offer:

  • eBook – this has been done to death. You can offer an eBook, but a lot of people these days are used to it and won’t necessarily see it as much of an incentive.
  • Competition entry – you don’t have to give away something of material value – you might for instance give someone an hour’s free coaching if you offered such a service.
  • Video – I like this one. It’s a bit different. Offer a video (or series of videos) in return for an email address.
  • A course – this is a bit old fashioned, but it can still be effective. The newsletter can be the incentive itself. If you truly have something of value to offer (rather than simply throwing affiliate offers at people), then offer it up on center stage and don’t be afraid to sell it!