Email is a very powerful tool for any business growth. Whether you are running a blog or a service related or a café shop website, asking users to subscribe for the email newsletter is a very common thing in almost every website you see out there. There are also some different kind of website who doesn’t directly ask to subscribe their newsletter on a straight forward way instead, they will ask you provide your email address on their website so that they can send you some “Exclusive Tips for Online Lead Generation” or may be some “In-depth scan of your Website’s SEO Problems” or have any sorts of click-bait titles in those subscription form and after you provide your email, they can use it for various email marketing opportunities.
I’ve personally seen many of my clients spending hundreds of dollars on this kind of email marketing or newsletter business and eventually they end up losing all of their money they have invested on this project. That is why today in this article I’m going to share 5 crucial mistakes that you should definitely avoid if you are also planning to put a newsletter section on your website or maybe thinking about starting up a new “Lead Generation”, “SEO Service” or some sort of email marketing business, where getting the as many subscriptions as possible is the key of your business model.
Before getting any deeper into this topic I must confess that there is no such magical wand available which will make each and every single user who visit your site to fill up your subscription form, instead what I’m going to show you here is what are the things that you should and should not do to maximize your subscriber list. Also before all of this I think I should briefly explain email marketing itself, so that if someone doesn’t have much idea about it, they’ll get clear picture in the latter part of this article.
How Newsletter or Email Marketing works?
The first thing that you have to understand is that Newsletter and general Email Marketing has completely different kind of aims regarding what they are going to send on your email. Newsletters generally used by blog or any kind of article or news based websites to keep you in the loop with their new article. As an example, let’s assume that you are a foodie and you always like to read new recipes so that you can cook and try it out. Now in the universe of internet there are millions of food blog or recipe websites, but among all of them you have some favorite websites. It is not possible for anyone to keep track of every single post on each of those websites, right? This is where Newsletter comes in, after you subscribe for their newsletter, they will send you an email either every time they publish a new post or maybe in weekly manner – which is much more convenient to keep updated with the new articles from your favorite websites.
Email Marketing is completely the other site of this coin. There might be a hand few companies out there who does it in almost the right way. The concept of email marketing is a bit evil if you think deeply. The way email marketing works is, let’s say you have created a website and you are thinking about making your website SEO strong. So, after you Google your problem you end up on a website where you will see a form asking for your email and website address. They will say that they are asking this is because they are going to scan your website code and send you a detailed report about your website SEO issues.
But unfortunately in 99.9999% what actually happens is that site is run by a person who is an affiliate marketer of some SEO firm who does completely shitty work and relies of affiliate business only. So after that person gets your email he/she will run your url on a system which will generate a vague report regarding your website where most of the things mentioned on that report Google doesn’t care about that in 2016 while calculating SEO rankings. After this that person will push you to get some SEO plans as he/she will earn affiliate money out of it.
Now when all of these things are done, these people sell these email ids in batches to shittier companies, who will send you unnecessary promotional emails for which you haven’t subscribed ever. Have you ever received tons of promotional emails in your mailbox and ask yourself, when did I subscribed for these? Well guess what, you didn’t your email ids has been manually entered into the system after purchasing it in batches from some person running an email marketing site.
So, now as you have got the idea about newsletter & email marketing in general and how they work, lets jump into those 5 things that you should avoid in your blog and email marketing sites, so that not only you get more users, moreover you will get stable subscribers – which is the most import thing.
1. “People are not dumb” – Accept it!
I’ve seen so many email marketing websites, everyone is using some different kind of style to lure more people to subscribe. Some uses just a simple email form; some even shows an enormous amount of current subscriber below the form in hope that it will give users trust to enter their email id. These are definitely not good business model. Please, don’t build your business upon asking for user email and then selling them affiliate products. These are very shady business model and will never survive in the long run.
Instead, try to build up a very authoritative website with quality content and always stay 100% honest towards your users. Just try to come up with a new idea that will be helpful to people and make a website about it. You don’t have to do what others are doing. Try to do something in which you are good at.
If you do not have quality contents in your website, no one will subscribe to your email list intentionally. Even if you put some insane numbers below your subscription form and show people that many others has also been subscribed, trust me it won’t help you in the long run. Some might subscribe your site in hope that it delivers some quality stuffs in their email but when they realize that it’s a waste, they will definitely subscribe from your list.
In some countries there are laws regarding unnecessary emails, so you might get some legal trouble for it. So, don’t try to convince people to submit their emails in your site, instead make such an awesome website with quality content that they will subscribe happily and will remain a subscriber forever.
2. Get rid of Optin Overlays or forms at the Beginning of the page
Email subscription is not just about you and your site, there are a lot of human psychology involved into this. So, when a person comes to your website for the first time and within few seconds you show him an optin overlay asking the user to subscribe to the email list for a free eBook or a free course or some coupon or article update, it’s just insanely annoying.
Understand this – when a person is visiting your site for the first time, he/she has no idea what your site is about, whether or not that person likes the design on your site, the contents of your site keeping aside making a decision for subscribing to your email list. When a person is coming to your site, give them room to explore your site, engage with your site and you can show them the subscription form after they have read at least 90% of the article. In this way the under doesn’t get annoyed or feel forced to subscribe.
No matter what, never ever user those overlay optins, they are really annoying and trust me if any user ever feels annoy with your site, he/she will never ever subscribe. Also don’t use SumoMe forms either because they are very annoying too when they drop down from the top and hides the content.
Always remember this, whenever you hide or overlay your content to show something else, it become annoying. Because the user didn’t come to your website to see those option forms. They came because of your contents of the website. So, let them consume that peacefully, but alongside of the content after they have reached at the end of the site show them the subscription forms may be with a subtle animation at the bottom right corner of your website. In this way they will get annoyed as you have blocked him for seeing the content for certain period of time and you will have much higher rate of conversion.
I’ve also seen some websites, especially the email marketing based websites to put the email subscription form at the top of the website. Don’t ever do that. It not just reduces the credibility of your website, it also makes your website suspicious in the eyes of the user. If I land on a site that ask for my email at the very beginning, I will just close that site, because as soon as I see that it gives me a feeling that the main focus of their website is gathering email ids and not providing quality content or services.
3. Have a well-designed website
The first step of creating authority around your website is having a good design. If I land on a website which has no logo or very bad designed rookie logo along with a bad design, the first feeling that any user will get is that they are not very trustworthy. This is how human psychology works. Make sure you have a well-designed website and a very clear focus towards your content.
Another thing that boost the trustworthiness of your website of company is having a EV SSL Certificate that shows the green bar up top. I know they are costly and also time consuming, but trust me if you already have your company registered, it is much better to pay more and get a EV SSL instead of normal SSL. EV Green-bar SSLs really brings a huge trust in user’s eye and if you are running a email marketing business, trust is everything. If the user can’t trust you or your company, why will they give you their emails?
4. Be clear about what you are doing
One of the major problem that I see on most sites is there is no clear cut indication about what they are trying to offer to the users. I’ve seen this problem mainly in the email marketing based websites. If you are selling affiliate product be very honest about it. Do not try to fool your users. Always remember in the war of SEO and internet ranking, having a very strong authoritative website is very important.
At the beginning of your website try to add a small video and explain users what you are offering. How it will help the users. If you are selling any affiliated product tell the reason. Why you are selling an affiliated product and not doing it by yourself. Also to which company you are affiliated with and why do you think that company is better than the other similar companies.
Always remember, trust is the most important thing in the world. So, if you can’t make your users trust you or your website, they will never give you their email ids.
5. Always use 2-step email verification for your subscribers
Now-a-days almost every major email listing companies allow users to enable 2-step email verification for their email list, whether it is mailchimp or aweber – so take proper advantage of it. Many people say that do not enable the 2-step email verification process as you will lose a significant amount of subscriber due to this.
Though it is true but still is a very important thing to do with all of your email list because if a user is filling up your subscription form and then they are so lazy to click on a single link to verify the subscription, then they are probably not much interested in your work at the first place. So, even if you send them emails, they will probably delete it without opening or might raise a complaint against you.
But if you enable 2-step email verification then you will only get long time interested subscribers only. Who are truly interested about your product or content. Moreover, this will reduce your spammy subscription emails too.
Always remember that to get successful in any online business, you have to provide something genuine in a nice useful way. Always stay honest to your users and never ever cover your content with overlay or forms asking for email address. Instead use those forms in a much more intelligent way so that it never covers any content or cause any kind of annoyance.
Hope this article will help you generate more subscriber for your business. If you have any other thoughts about it, feel free to share them in the comment section. I would love to carry on this conversation with you in the comments. Also if you want you can follow me on twitter @iSaumya.