How to Boost Email Newsletter Opt-in Rates

It takes a decent amount of time to pull together a newsletter that offers valuable information, is fun to read and is aesthetically pleasing.  It is all a waste if no one is reading it! Building an email newsletter database can be tricky but it’s a great source for future prospects to turn into valuable clients and customers. Boosting email newsletter opt-in rates will benefit by following a few simple tips:

Make signing up as simple as possible

This key piece of advice may seem fairly obvious but it is often times these types of things that are looked over.  It is important in any marketing plan to think about how the public will view your marketing plan. Having a clear and simple newsletter sign up form on your main webpage near the top and in bold font is so important.  A web surfer is unlikely to visit your page searching for your newsletter sign up form so hiding it in the contact us section is a huge mistake.

On the other side of the coin, the more in-your-face approach with your sign up form, such as pop-up screens or those floating bits of advertising are just as bad if not worse.  These types of forms are quite visible to visitors but often are only effective in annoying the visitor of your webpage and very rarely have a decent follow through of those willing to sign up.

When it comes to the form itself, the shorter the better.  Asking a ton of questions about how they heard about you or what type of information they are looking for is sometimes more information than visitors are willing to give.  Keeping it short and simple asking only for a name and email address is typically best.  With this basic information you’ll be able to contact them and gather this type of information from there if you’re really that interested.

Make them want to sign up

Web surfers have become increasingly more wary of giving out their email or other contact information thanks to annoying spammers and the prevalence of account hackers.  You can’t blame people; we all have those email accounts receiving what would be a metric ton of junk mail if it were snail mail.  In order to get a visitor of your webpage or blog to actually want to receive more information from you, you’ll need to convince the reader that you have something of value to send them and you have to be a credible source.

Again, from the visitors prospective, why would they want to sign up for your newsletter? What makes what you have to say so special?  These are the questions you must answer in the content of your pages and various marketing pieces and should be reiterated around the newsletter opt-in form.

Showcase your value and follow through

It is important for any sort of a decent conversion rate that there is a clear exchange of will take place when the visitor submits their contact information.  This will be the call for action for your new prospective clients to sign up in order for them to receive well, you fill in the blank.  A few examples would be:

  • Exclusive discounts
  • Insider tips or other educational material
  • Exclusive breaking news information
  • A freebie

If you have an established newsletter campaign in effect you may want to consider allowing browsers to download a previous newsletter to get a sense of what type of information you’re sending out and what they can expect to receive from you.

Show them some credibility

Having a downloadable archived collection of past newsletter not only helps readers sample your work but it will also build confidence that you’re not going to sell off their email address to spammers.  Sharing your content and complete transparency will always build credibility in every case, especially when trying to build a newsletter database.

It also never hurts to let the prospect know upfront that you will not share their contact information with anyone for any reason.  Those lengthy privacy policies are reserved for mega-giant corporations with a crack law team.  For a small business keep it light and to the point.

You know from your own experience that people like keywords like, “free,” “quick,” “easy” and “commitment free” when considering to sign up for anything! Who doesn’t like things that are free and seem to provide great value?

There are many ways to help build a hefty newsletter database but being able to convert the browsers of your website, blog, and various social networks into newsletter subscribers is a fantastic start.  These readers are already interested in what you have to say, just make it simple for them to return back to you and for you to keep in contact.

Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs.org, BizWarriors.com and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley).

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