Want To Double Your Blog Newsletter Readers? Here’s The First of 4 Tactics That Helped Us

Double Your Blog Newsletter ReadersBloggers: are you taking advantage of every opportunity to get more subscribers?

As you’re no doubt aware, subscribers are an essential element of a successful blog. They read more, comment more and return to your blog more than more passive visitors do.

So it’s in your best interest to encourage people to become subscribers.

One way to do this is by offering an RSS feed. Another way that many successful bloggers advocate, is the blog newsletter.

Well, if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well, right?

Over the next few posts, we’ll share four tactics we’ve found effective in growing our own blog newsletter. In fact, they’re responsible for over 50% of our blog newsletter subscribers!

Blog Newsletter Grower #1: Offer Subscribe Options At The End of Posts

The idea behind this is that if someone reads to the end of an article (especially if it’s a long/detailed on), s/he must have been particularly interested/impressed with the content.

So why not see if s/he wants more like it?

Additionally, if you’re writing a series of posts on a topic, someone reading an early post in that series may want to be notified when the next post in that series is online.

How Many Readers Can This Get You?

Sample Post at End of FormWe’ve been experimenting with signup forms placed at the end of posts for a while now (example: our recent post on increasing opt-in rates via social proof – click the image at left to see that signup form).

What have we found?

Over 24% of web signups to our blog newsletter come from forms at the end of posts.

And we don’t even do it for every post! In 2+ years and 100+ posts on this blog, we’ve done this only a handful of times. And many of the posts we’ve done it on are nowhere near the main page of the blog anymore, yet the signups keep coming in.

Think of your blog posts like sales letters for your blog, with each new subscriber as a successful conversion.

Your sales letter won’t be effective if you don’t tell people what to do, right?

Ask for the subscribe!

Next Up: The Single Page Of Our Blog That Brings In Over 30% Of Our Subscribers

Adding this page to our blog was almost a no-brainer – so much so that we forgot to do it at first!

But once we did, wow… did it ever start bringing in the subscribers.

I’ll introduce you to that post soon. Until then, try out putting a signup form in your post itself. You might be surprised at the results…

Update: the rest of this series is online – see the “related posts” section at the end of this post!

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Naturally, as a permission-based email marketing company, we respect your privacy.

By:
Justin Premick is the former Director of Educational Products at AWeber.

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66 Comments

  1. I’ve already got an AWeber form on my blog’s pages, but what is easiest way to include a form at the end of one or more blog posts?

    8/4/2008 3:44 pm
  2. Russ,

    The way we do it is copy/paste the form HTML directly into the post while creating/editing it in WordPress.

    I haven’t used Blogger in a while but if I recall correctly there should be a tab to view/edit the HTML (they might call it "code view" or something like that), and you can paste into there.

    8/4/2008 4:28 pm | Follow me on Twitter
  3. Thanks, Justin

    I’ll give it a shot — I’m using WordPress

    8/4/2008 6:53 pm
  4. With blogger you can add a text element to the bottom of each page. Edit the Layout of the page, insert "Text" widget, then edit in HTML rather than Rich Text to insert the appropriate <script> tag.

    You can also use this to insert aweber analytics.

    Probably should have a <noscript> tag in there too so that the page makes sense even if JavaScript is turned off.

    Example of the finished effect at blog.riskythinking.com

    Only just gone up and it’s a new blog so can’t assess its effectiveness yet.

    8/4/2008 10:25 pm
  5. Great trick. Just implemented it on my blog.

    There’s a handy wordpress plugin that let’s you insert a batch of code using just one word, it’s called Text Replace ( http://coffee2code.com/wp-plugins/text-replace/).

    Works like this:

    :optin:

    does

    html table border yada yada aweber optin form table yada yada.

    You get the idea.

    8/5/2008 5:00 am
  6. Dear Russ, be aware..

    I’ve been testing this on WordPress (and I guess Blogger or other platform act the same too) and you should use the shorter javascript
    code as the longer one (html) gives problems sometimes.

    The "techie" stuff is easy for me as I’ve been playing with it since I started back in 1999.. yet I’m not a genius, nor a techie guy..

    Cheers!

    8/5/2008 7:11 am
  7. Thanks, Condrut. I appreciate your suggestion

    8/5/2008 7:52 am
  8. Thanks for the tip. I’ll begin testing opt-in forms at the end of posts. I’m also currently testing the new chicklet feature.

    8/5/2008 7:55 am
  9. M

    Great tips. I would just make sure if you go opt-in after every post that you make it a lenthy post or you will seem a bit desparate. I also feel if you can add a tiny testimonial from someone on your list that can encourage opt-ins.

    8/5/2008 8:25 am
  10. Jim

    Just emailed our webmaster about adding the chicklet feature. And we’ll test the optin at the end of posts as well. Thanks, M, for the advice about longer posts. Makes sense.

    8/5/2008 11:58 am
  11. Great! I’ve just implemented it on my two blogs. Looking forward to the next posts on this topic.

    8/5/2008 12:40 pm
  12. Thanks, great tips.
    I am looking forward for the next ones.

    8/5/2008 1:00 pm
  13. Thanks for these great ideas – keep them coming!

    In my opinion, If you are using WordPress it is easier to edit the post template itself.

    This means every page on your entire blog will be updated with the sign up form automatically rather than going in and manually adding :optin: to every page. You also won’t need to remember :optin: every time you post.

    You can edit the post via Presentation > Theme Editor.

    8/5/2008 2:47 pm
  14. This is excellent. Brilliant findings and I will surely instruct my web master to test this.

    Thanks

    8/5/2008 3:17 pm
  15. Thanks, Justin, because this has remained on my mind. I added one a couple months ago then took it off but continue to feel that it’s a good idea. Your statistics back that up.

    I also like the idea of putting it after long posts.

    8/5/2008 3:26 pm
  16. #M – adding a text link could work too. Also, mentioning a bonus gift at the end of each and every post should also boost sign-ups.

    # Martin – you’ve said..

    "This means every page on your entire blog will be updated with the sign up form automatically rather than going in and manually adding :optin: to every page"

    Are you using a plugin to do this?

    As I am aware of that is impossible to do it with default WP editor..

    8/5/2008 4:23 pm
  17. Thanks for the info! I think I need to (finally) jump on the WordPress bandwagon and pump up the volume for my business!

    8/5/2008 6:51 pm
  18. I too would like to know how to do a Javascript insert into WordPress.

    8/5/2008 7:36 pm
  19. I used to have trouble also, but I upgraded to WP 2.6 and to test this I put the HTML code in the first post on the homepage and the javascript code on the second post. They both look and work fine.

    I have also had those problems with older versions of WP, very annoying, but it seems they are fixed.

    8/6/2008 8:35 am
  20. Tim, how tough was the upgrade? Did you use the auto-upgrade plugin? I think I’ll try what you did and upgrade my install. So if you know of any pitfalls, let me know so I’ll be prepared. :)

    Making a site backup now….

    thanks for the tip.

    8/6/2008 8:52 am
  21. Thank you so much for this tip & all the helpful info in the comments! I just started using it on one of my blogs. Does anyone know of a WP plugin to insert this code automatically with each post?

    Thanks!

    8/6/2008 10:47 am
  22. Excellent ideas guys – many thanks!

    8/6/2008 11:19 am
  23. wordpress has a very good tutorial on upgrading to new versions just take note of transferring certain files rather than whole folders If you use a ftp client like Filezilla it is a breeze as you can delete old files easily with the program

    8/7/2008 1:42 am
  24. @Brad Isaac – Brad, the upgrade to 2.6 had to be done through a direct download from the wordpress site since my host does not have the most current version. If your blog is not too ‘entrenched’ then you can use the upgrade instrux from the WP site. If your blog is really established then be careful of the usual upgrade caveats … you can lose mods you have made to the files if any. Though if all you changed was your theme then you can back it up to your computer and add the theme back after the upgrade.

    8/7/2008 5:33 pm
  25. This is a great tip, but I’m still not sure how to add the subscription form at the bottom of my WP posts…

    8/11/2008 12:55 pm
  26. Great idea! Where do I find the HTML code to add the subscription form at the bottom of my WP posts?

    8/11/2008 8:55 pm
  27. # Mieke – come on! lol

    Ok, I fell you as you are probably a total beginner, but that’s not your fault. In order for us to help you, at least mention the problem you’re facing.. get specific!

    What you mean with "I’m stil not sure"?

    It’s about WP html editing, or is it AWEBER code cut & pasting thing?

    8/12/2008 3:11 am
  28. Wilhelmien,

    You can get the HTML by creating a signup form using the web form tool in your account.

    Mieke (and others not sure how to add the subscribe form),

    There are are 2 main ways to do this -

    1) Copy/paste the HTML to the end of your post.

    To do this, create your form in AWeber, get the HTML, then go to WordPress and edit your post. Click the "code" tab in WordPress’ HTML editor, and paste in your web form HTML.

    2) Edit your theme so that a signup form automatically appears at the end of each post, as Martin notes above.

    This 2nd way takes more knowledge of the WordPress software. I don’t recommend it if you’re not comfortable reading and working with HTML/PHP.

    Editing your theme to automatically add the form is a good idea if you don’t want to have to remember to insert the form into each post as you create it.

    However, it means your form will always appear, and that it will always say exactly the same thing (which you may not want – I prefer to customize my form headlines to fit the post).

    Lots of good tips here by all on where to add the subscribe form. Keep ‘em coming…

    8/12/2008 10:24 am | Follow me on Twitter
  29. Thanks Justin

    I was looking for a way to edit my theme, but instead I implemented the subscription form in the subscribe note created with the WP plugin ‘WhatWouldSethGodinDo".

    This plugin adds a small box above or underneath each post containing an invitation to subscribe to the RSS feed. The HTML of the invitation can be edited easily, so adding the Aweber form code is piece of cake.

    And the best part is I don’t have to remember to add the form code to every blog post I write :-)

    (You can see an example at my blog – just click my name to visit)

    Greetz!

    8/12/2008 10:33 am
  30. After reading through the replies above I can see there are lots of ways to do this but one of the easiest I’ve found is to install a plug-in called "Add Signature"

    What it enables you to do is to add any custom message (including HTML, CSS and certain other variables) at the end of every message you have posted on your blog.

    You can even set it to appear on specific types of pages like index, posts, static pages, archive and search pages. You choose where you want it to be seen.

    http://www.dagondesign.com/articles/add-signature-plugin-for-wordpress/

    It looks like this plug-in was originally intended to be a way of adding more information about the author of the blog post. But actually it’s much more flexible than this.

    I’m using this on my own blog in conjunction with the What Would Seth Godin Do plug-in which I’ve set to only show after a certain number of visits.

    I almost forgot… you can have up to 3 different signature (maybe use this to split test 3 different optin box designs?) at the bottom of your blog posts, just use the text trigger codes they give you.

    I’m really glad I found this blog post because I’d never considered adding an optin form to the bottom of each post in this way! Great idea!

    I hope this plug-in helps.

    8/22/2008 4:59 am
  31. Great idea from aweber – and wonderful to read all the helpful feedback.

    I’ve just implemented this throughout one big project and the increased response rate in new subscribers is immediate!

    Kudos to Brian Terry for the tips on the WordPress Plugin(s)

    8/24/2008 10:32 am
  32. That is some excellent advice. While it is important to get traffic to our website it is even more important to retain as much of that traffic as we can.

    8/24/2008 7:52 pm
  33. Implemented most of this, and the Aweber counter, seems to be doing the trick on a blog I do think it helps that people can see a decent number of subscribers.

    Here’s an example of it in reality
    http://www.brinkzone.com/blog/

    I’m also going to implement the dedicated signup page and put a small link at the end of every post saying something like

    "Enjoyed This Blog – Get Subscribed for Weekly Updates"

    Something along those lines, all in all this has been a good set of posts on increasing blog numbers.

    Thanks

    8/26/2008 2:53 am
  34. Brian, etc..

    Thanks! I installed the plugin and added a sig optin to one of my pages – however – I am getting this – http://www.getstartedtodayonline.com/you-have-a-dream-let-someone-else-build-it/

    A huge space in there.. any suggestions? Tx!

    9/1/2008 4:31 am
  35. Lauren

    Not sure if this was mentioned (I didn’t see it when I was reading) but does this work on wordpress.com (the free wordpress version)??

    Look forward to hearing back from you!

    6/7/2009 4:09 pm
  36. @Lauren,

    Blogs hosted on wordpress.com cannot contain JavaScript or HTML form code, making it impossible to install an AWeber sign up form directly on a wordpress.com hosted blog.

    For a working solutions, some AWeber users:

    1) Migrate to another free blog hosting service, such as blogger.com, which does allow form html

    2) Put a link to a page with an opt-in form hosted somewhere other than wordpress.com.

    3) Install WordPress on a website hosted on a web hosting provider, many of which provide simple 1-click installations. (Dreamhost, a vendor we recommend, has this feature)

    Hope this helps!

    6/8/2009 10:31 am
  37. Hi honestly i don’t know much on rss and how to get readers to subcribe but you have help me alot. But now where do i get the html code to copy from before pasting on my blog…

    7/10/2009 6:36 am
  38. Great ideas. I’ll have to start adding an opt in box to some of my posts and see how this works out!

    Thanks

    9/15/2009 8:18 am
  39. Billy Broas

    Justin or anyone else at AWeber,

    I’m launching a blog soon and one thing has been bugging me. As I see it, there are 3 different subscriber methods: 1) RSS 2) RSS feeds delivered by Email only containing post updates, and 3) Email newsletter subscribers with new posts + other content

    I’ll offer #1 for sure, but I’m torn between offering both #2 & #3 or just #3. My newsletter is the most valuable to me because I’ll use it to offer things outside of the blog and product announcements, but I don’t know if I should offer the ability to subscribe to email updates without the extra stuff.

    So how do you reconcile this? Should I offer a strictly RSS Email option or by default put all email signups in the newsletter list?

    Thanks!

    9/24/2009 1:22 pm
  40. Billy,

    As a general rule, I like to give people the ability to consume content in the medium that makes them happiest. So offering RSS and email is a given.

    As for sending only posts vs. sending posts + other material, I tend to favor the latter. Why limit yourself to communicating *only* what’s on the blog?

    Creating a "blog newsletter" (with posts and more) enables you to build extra value into the newsletter and make it more appealing. Plus, that way you have more freedom to make special offers to readers, as well as experiment with different content ideas before you put them on the public blog. It requires more work/time, but I think it’s worth it for a lot of businesses.

    Whichever you decide to go with, make sure you properly set expectations in your signup form and on your thank you page.

    Hope this helps – drop back in and let us know what you went with!

    9/24/2009 2:22 pm | Follow me on Twitter
  41. Billy Broas

    Thanks Justin,

    I was leaning toward your suggestion and just needed someone to confirm it. I think as long as I set expectations that they will be receiving more than just post updates with email, then I will be golden. After all, if all all they want is post updates then they can use the RSS option.

    Thanks again and love the blog!

    9/24/2009 2:36 pm
  42. Can anyone tell me were I can get nice opt in designs for the bottom of my posts?

    11/26/2009 2:37 pm
  43. Hey Justin,

    Great series of comments. Helped me out of a stuck spot.

    I followed the instructions and successfully created two different forms in two places on my WordPress Thesis blog:
    1. At the bottom of every post using Thesis OpenHook
    2. A separate form for a download on a landing page

    The only problem now is that I have both forms on the landing page — the one I wanted and the sign-up form that’s appearing at the bottom of every page.

    How do I remove the bottom-of-the-post form from this one page?

    12/6/2009 4:09 pm
  44. Jim,

    You might try creating a form using our new Web Form Generator. It includes a lot of stylish templates you can use to create a nice-looking form.

    To use it, go to the Web Forms page of your account.

    Marsha,

    That sounds to me like something you’d need to talk to a WordPress and/or Thesis expert about. I’m sure there’s some PHP you can use to do that, but I have no idea what it is.

    12/7/2009 9:54 am | Follow me on Twitter
  45. Justin,

    your new Web Form Generator makes it real easy to
    add the subscription option at the end of the post.

    The rest of you guys, who is having trouble with figuring
    this out, just use the Post Layout Plugin and Aweber’s new
    Web Form Generator Software, that should do the trick.

    Igor

    1/13/2010 8:04 am
  46. Well, I added this form after my posts with html and it worked fine! Thanks for the tip. Anything that helps increase subscriptions is a very good thing. :)

    8/7/2010 4:02 pm
  47. Hey there, please tell us when we will see a follow up!

    11/8/2010 10:06 pm
  48. W Pol

    Hi….thanks for this good information.I’m so happy because it’s very useful for my thesis research.I hope you will keep updating your content constantly as you have one dedicated reader here :)

    1/11/2011 3:14 pm
  49. Hi
    Where in my WordPress blog does the Javascript snippet go for a hover webform? the instructions say to put it between the body tags but a WordPress blog does not have these. Is it in the custom css?

    1/27/2011 3:07 pm
  50. P.S. It would be great if you edited the instructions in step 3 of webform creation to include this; not everyone uses regular html anymore with /body/ tags, etc.

    1/27/2011 3:09 pm
  51. I found a plugin where you can embed the aweber form and it will appear below all your post automatically.

    The plugin name is “Advertisement Management” and you can insert the the awebber Javascript Snippet to “Options 3 – Below post when open”

    Hope this helps.

    :)

    4/12/2011 8:29 pm
  52. Christian

    Hi guys,how can I create my own blog and how can I send my posts.

    5/11/2011 6:33 pm
  53. DSO

    wow….you guys seem soo much better than the several other companies out there. You offer so much more value!

    I look forward to working with you on my email and blog campaigns!

    8/13/2011 10:17 pm
  54. Here’s an email I just sent out to my list on this topic. You’d be welcome to use this as a blog post. It’s done good things for my blog and many of the people I’ve taught it to:

    —————–

    Many businesses use a blog to attract new visitors to their website and build their email list. Informative, well-written blog posts are a great way to establish credibility with your audience and get them interested in joining your email list so they can hear more from you in the future.

    That being the case, here’s a simple thing you can do to make each blog post more effective at encouraging people to join your list.

    When you end a blog post, try using a “next step” paragraph. You tell your reader what the next step is, or in other words the next things they still need to do that you haven’t been able to cover in your blog post. Then invite them to join your email list to get future information on the next steps.

    For example, if I just finished an informative blog post on how to find potential customers through Facebook, I might typically end with:

    “…and that’s how you can find potential customers for your business through Facebook. Please let me know if you have any questions.”

    But a “next step” paragraph might look like this:

    “I hope this article has given you some good ideas on how to find potential customers through Facebook. Now that you’ve found them, the next step is to know what to say to people as you make contact with them, how to properly introduce your business, and how to avoid common mistakes that people make when it comes to social marketing. I’ll be sending out information on these things by email, so if you aren’t on my email list yet then you can join below. Thank you for reading and I’ll see you in the next tutorial!”

    And then you want to make sure you place your email sign-up form right under your “next step” paragraph.

    This does several things at once:

    1) The end of your blog post is when your visitors are usually at the height of their interest in getting more information from you, and your email signup form is conveniently placed right there at the end of your post.

    2) Because you’ve mentioned several “next step” items of interest, visitors are even more interested in getting this information from you.

    3) Visitors are likely to give you an email address they regularly use because they want to see your future tutorials.

    4) If you focus in on one good tip and leave related information for future posts, your post will be shorter and much faster for you to write.

    ——————

    I, of course, had a “next step” paragraph to finish this off, but it would probably be too promotional if you were to provide this to your audience.

    Let me know if you like this kind of information. I’ve got more.

    10/7/2011 11:56 am
  55. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Jarom!

    10/7/2011 12:17 pm
  56. I’m glad you found them appropriate, Rebekah!

    10/7/2011 3:10 pm
  57. For the people who do not use WordPress:

    How to create a simple form with name, e-mail address and submit button in 1 line instead of 3 lines? How about adding a form like this to the Web form generator? That would be great!

    Thank you!

    6/23/2012 5:49 pm
  58. A

    Where’s the next article?

    6/14/2013 11:18 pm
  59. Here are the rest of the posts in this series:
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4

    6/17/2013 7:16 am