How To Meet Your 2013 Marketing Resolutions: Part 2

You want to see your list of subscribers grow. But does your growth rate look like this?

A flat line is better than a declining one, but every business owner wants to see their growth going UP. And maybe for 2013, you’ve vowed that you will do something to make sure that you will see growth throughout the year. Now you need a plan. Here it is:

1. Check Your Sign Up Forms

The first thing you should do (yes, in January) is work on your online signup process. Most email marketing service providers will show you how your sign up form is performing. It might look something like this:

What you should focus on is the number of people signing up based on unique views. Total views will include people that have returned to your site (which you want), but unique views will count each person once. This will tell you how people react to your form, and the number that subscribed/number of people who see the form is your conversion rate. In the image above, that’s the S/UD column.

Keep in mind, most conversion rates on websites are pretty low. If your rate is greater than 10%, you might want to skip ahead.

If you need to improve your conversion rate…

Split test your sign up forms. Split testing provides a means of comparing two or more unique strategies for opt-in forms, side by side, in a controlled experiment. The idea is you’ll be able to find what your form should look like and say in order to bring you the most conversions possible. If you don’t test, you won’t know.

By testing and then analyzing results, you can get a better understanding of what your website visitors and subscribers respond best to.

And it’s not always about finding the right color or words that attract the most people. It also involves learning what problems are preventing people from signing up. Are you asking too many questions? Is the form easy to access? Testing possible pain points will let you know if your sign up form is living up to its fullest potential.

Check out this guide to split testing and get started.

If your conversion rate is high, but your subscriber growth is low…

Your sign up form is doing its job, but people may have trouble finding the form on your page. You can try:

  • Adding a pop-up form to supplement the form you already have stuck on the page. These forms tend to outperform the ones you see stuck on the page. You can play with the settings so the form will come up only once per person, every time or every x number of days.
  • Changing the location of your form. If your form is at the bottom of the page, try moving it to the top. Or if you have the form on your “contact us” page, try moving it to the homepage.
  • Adding additional forms on other pages of your site. Along the same lines, try adding forms to multiple pages of your site for maximum exposure.

Testing and experimenting with location isn’t a one-off task. You should continue to fine-tune your sign up forms throughout the year. Make time once a month to look at your stats and figure out some tests for the next month.

Your sign up form plays a huge role in your growth rate, but it’s not the only factor…

2. Seize Offline Opportunities For Growth

Once you’ve worked out a plan for making your forms better, it’s time to look at your offline efforts. Do you have a store or office that people visit? These visitors can become subscribers, so think about all your offline interactions and how you can get subscribers out of them.

You can have a sign up sheet available for people to fill out, such as this one:

You can hand out cards like this:

Or you can use the OnSpot Social app on your iPad to collect subscribers:

These suggestions don’t only apply to permanent locations; if you travel to conferences and trade shows you can also collect subscriber information. Just make sure you are only adding people who specifically requested to be added to your email list.

3. Encourage Social Media Followers To Subscribe

Over half of Americans have a profile on a social media site. Because of this, most businesses know they should get on social media as well. And they do: 94% of all businesses with a marketing department use social media.

Social media platforms are another place to collect email subscribers, and another area you want to focus on right away. You can:

  • Get people to sign up on Facebook. Most email service providers will allow you to put up a form on Facebook, and that form will live in one of your tabs. You can also use an app such as GroSocial, which allows you to set up custom tabs, one of which helps you to turn likes into subscribers.
  • Use Pinterest to show off your “gated” content. Some Pinterest users have set it up so their pinned content (covers, art, crafts, downloadables, etc.) takes people who click on it to a page that requires an email sign up. Keep in mind that you must give them access to what you promised if you use this method.
  • Mention and link to your email list on sites like Twitter. You can easily pass along the link to your website or sign up page and tell people why they should sign up to your list.

Make sure you check back regularly throughout the year and push your email campaign to your social media followers.

Want more options for collecting subscriber information? There are many apps out there for shopping carts, social media, CRMs, etc. that work with email marketing services. If you’re an AWeber user, check out your options here.

Next Up: Improving Your Messages

Are people reading your emails? And if so, are they then clicking on your links? We’ll look at how to determine how your emails are doing and what you can do to improve. Sign up for email updates below so you don’t miss out.


  1. Emmanuel Uduezue

    1/15/2013 6:34 pm

    Thanks for sharing this strategies to build a business online. Your points hit the right spots in me and motivates me to do better as a blogger.

  2. Chimezirim Odimba

    1/16/2013 12:41 am

    You’ve pointed out a lot of important facts. I like this one in particular: “If your conversion rate is high, but your subscriber growth is low, Your sign up form is doing its job, but people may have trouble finding the form on your page.”

    In this regard, there is also a big need to spend quality time marketing your squeeze page. In other words, you need to add traffic generation to the mix.

  3. Davide Di Prossimo

    1/16/2013 7:56 am

    Hi Crystal, thanks for this article, cool stuff.
    Yes I’d love seeing my subscriber line going up a little every day. That is probably something everyone wants I suppose.
    You are absolutely right about split testing, the only thing is you have to have time to do all of that. Owning a website is a big commitment and doing everything takes a lot of time. But again, you are 100% right. In fact, planning to do that once a month is probably the best approach.
    I have never thought of using Twitter for passing along the link of my sign up form. Thanks Crystal. That is very clever I think. And then why not posting on all social networks? You may even create a nice-cool-looking landing page just for the sign up form, with some bullet points emphasizing the benefits associated with signing up, and then post that link on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc.

  4. Randall Magwood

    1/16/2013 6:59 pm

    I like the OnSpot Social app. I’ve been trying to come up with ideas to collect opt-in customers from the customers who comes in to a barber shop client in my area. But now i know. Thanks alot, and great post.

  5. Luther Wood

    1/17/2013 5:29 pm

    I am totally lost when it comes to building a list. I’ve read everything I see about building a list and it seems to me they assume you have a website that is drawing traffic already. Mine don’t!:-( Where do I start to build a list if no one is there to woo to sign on? How does one begin from zero and build a list?

  6. Crystal Gouldey

    1/18/2013 8:13 am

    Luther – It’s true that if you don’t have an audience to interact with, you won’t have anyone to ask to subscribe. If your website isn’t drawing traffic yet, you might want to look at other sources – do you interact with people offline? Or is your business active on social media?

    If the answer is “no” to the alternatives, you’ll need to focus on getting traffic first, then all the tips you’ve read about building a list can be put to use.

  7. Denise

    1/22/2013 4:30 pm

    Where in Aweber can I see how my sign up form is performing?

  8. Crystal Gouldey

    1/23/2013 8:13 am

    Denise – Go to the Web Forms page in your account. That page lists all the forms you’re using and their stats.

  9. Tess

    2/16/2013 7:22 am

    I too agree with you. Making use of all the opportunities that are available to make your campaign more successful. A good knowledge and effort are essential for the success of social media campaign.