In this post I’m going to show you a few really cool lessons I’ve learned while building my subscriber list… a level that I think it genuinely attainable by any business.
1. Give subscribe instructions in your resource box (used to end articles). Give a brief 1 or 2 line description of the benefits of subscribing to your ezine. Give specific subscribe url or email addresses. Give both options if available.
2. Give subscribe instructions in your signature file. Have several well tested signature files handy. When you see a name that you don’t recognize or don’t think is a subscriber, use this signature file.
3. Ask others to recommend your publication on their “thank you” page. This is most often done on an exchange basis. That is, you recommend good ezines and they reciprocate on their site. This works great because someone who has just signed up for one is ezine is very inclined to subscribe to other similar ezines.
4. Ask subscribers to pass on copies of your ezine to friends and associates. If it contains lots of useful information then they will. People like to pass on useful tips to friends.
5. Always include your subscribe instructions in every issue. This allows current subscribers to easily change the email they subscribed under. It also allows former subscribers to resubscribe when they come across an old issue. Finally, it allows those reading pass along copies to easily subscribe.
6. Exchange ads with other ezine publishers. Make these ads your well-tested ads seeking new subscribers. Remember the ad must tell the potential subscriber “what’s in it for me.” If you offer more than one way to subscribe give them all. Some people prefer using email to subscribe, others prefer using an online form. Make it easy for the potential subscriber to use his preference.
7. Purchase ezine ads in carefully chosen publications. Again, make these your well-tested ads seeking new subscribers. Code (key) the ad so that you can track results. Keep using the ads that work and stop using those that don’t.
8. Swap editorial recommendations with other well written ezines. Personal recommendations get much better results than just plain ads. Since you are capitalizing on your readers familiarity and trust in you, don’t recommend ezines that offer little real value.
9. Put a subscribe form on EVERY page of your website, if appropriate. The more chances a site visitor has to subscribe the more likely he is to subscribe. Ask them to subscribe in the page copy too! If one of the primary purposes of your website is to get new list members, place your subscription opportunity very prominently on your homepage.
11. Send a short note to those requesting autoresponder reports, etc., suggesting they subscribe. Point out that they get valuable information (such as in the report) in every issue of your newsletter. Give them a REASON to subscribe. Maybe offer them a free ebook or bonus for subscribing.
12. Put a short blurb across the top or bottom of some of your autoresponder messages asking for subscribers. This works great if the report requested from the autoresponder was originally published as an ezine article. You can simply say that “to get similar valuable tips and information regularly, be sure to subscribe to our ezine.”
13. List your ezine in every ezine directory that you can find – where it is appropriate. Take the time to come up with a good, benefits rich description of your ezine. Give specific subscription instructions. Since many ezine directories list ezines in alphabetical order, if you are just planning your ezine, choose a name that starts with letters near the beginning of the alphabet. Many people scan only the listings at the beginning of the directories. This will give you a marginal edge.
14. Turn articles and individual issues of your ezine into webpages. Add metatags, and submit these to the search engines. Be careful not to over submit though. You want to avoid spam penalties. However, ezine articles make excellent, content-rich webpages.
15. Post copies of your ezine with useful articles on discussion boards. If you are going to post the entire issue, you should get approval from the board’s owner first. You can also just post a note with a link to the entire issue posted on your site. Observe good discussion board netiquette. Often you will have written an article that very clearly answers a question. This is the perfect opportunity to post the article, or a link to the article.
16. Email authors of popular books on your area of expertise. Suggest they list your ezine in the resources section of the next revision of their book. Offer to send a sample copy so that they can see the quality of your ezine.
17. Always ask new contacts to subscribe. When someone emails you offering joint ventures, article submissions, or asking for more information, don’t miss this opportunity. The most subtle way to do this is with a good signature block. However, when responding to their email, you should ask them to join your list.
18. Send electronic greeting cards which include an invitation to subscribe. This should not be the main part of the card though or you could be accused of spamming. However, when sending special occasion cards, etc, this is the perfect opportunity to let potential subscribers know that you offer a list that meets their needs.
19. Post ads in “discussion lists” specifically set up for this purpose. There are many lists at egroups/onelist that were set up specifically to allow subscribers to post ads. Advertise your ezine here. If the ads are written well enough you will get subscribers. Be prepared for a lot of email from posting to these groups. Note when the top posting to the email list was posted and submit your posting closes to this time to give your posting the best chance of being near the top. Most people who post to these list undoubtedly don’t read most issues. However, you will get some subscribers using this method.
20. Seek subscribers offline. Enclose a business card advertising your ezine in letters to businesses, friends, etc. There are many different avenues here such as: – Have a printed blurb advertising your ezine on your stationery. – Advertise in inexpensive mail order type newsletters. – Have advertising specialty items such as pens, calculators, keychain printed up. Give these out to appropriate parties in meetings, on airplanes, at parties, etc. Use discretion but don’t miss golden opportunities to grow your list.
21. Never subscribe someone who did not explicitly request they be added to your list. It does little good to have a huge list and then have your business terminated because of spamming. This will only damage your reputation and certainly not gain you many loyal long-time readers.