“I have hundreds of readers coming to my blog every day – but nobody ever subscribes to my newsletter. Help!?!”
This request came in via email today and I thought I’d share my reply with the 3 suggestions I offered.
Thanks for the question – I suspect you’re not alone with this problem. While a lot can probably be written on the topic, let me suggest 3 things I’ve found helpful increasing subscriber numbers.
Note: the #1 thing I did to building subscriber numbers on Digital Photography School was introduce a lightbox subscriber box. I spoke about this in my 10 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging webinar so I won’t rehash it here.
1. Ask People to Subscribe
This sounds a little too simple to be effective but I’m amazed how many people do subscribe once you mention you’ve got a newsletter. I’m also amazed how many of our regular and loyal readers don’t know we even have a newsletter, despite it being promoted around the blog.
Some semi-regular calls to subscribe can be very effective.
You can do this in a number of ways, including:
- Writing a dedicated blog post, every now and again, explaining you have a newsletter and the benefits of subscribing.
- Mentioning your newsletter in passing in your blog posts. I don’t mean every single post, but a mention now and then will work wonders.
- Promoting your newsletter across social media. I regularly mention our newsletters on Twitter, when I’m writing a newsletter and when it goes out.
The key to remember, when mentioning your newsletter regularly, is to find fresh ways to talk about it. Don’t just have the same tweet to subscribe every 2nd day.
- Mention something that is in the next newsletter, that you won’t get anywhere else.
- Mention that you’ve just hit a milestone number of subscribers to build social proof.
- Mention that it’s a milestone newsletter. We recently sent out 250th on dPS and made a bit of a big deal about it.
2. Start a Series
Announce that you’re going to be doing a series of posts, on your blog, on a topic that you know will really be useful to your readers.
I remember the first time I announced that I was going to run the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog series (the series that later became the eBook by the same name) I was amazed at how many people subscribed to my blog over the next 24 hours.