Top 4 Reasons Your List Isn’t Growing
Somewhere along the way, someone told you what great things email marketing can do for your business. So you took their advice, read the Getting Started Guide and got to work crafting emails. People subscribed, sales were great and you were happy as a clam, but then something happened. Sign-ups dwindled. Now, you get a few new subscribers here and there, but your list isn’t growing. Here are some really simple things you can do to rev up your list-building engine and attract new subscribers.
By Rebecca Swayze November 30, 2010
Somewhere along the way, someone told you what great things email marketing can do for your business. They explained that you’ll get lots of new leads and sales will soar, just by sending a monthly newsletter and keeping customers in the loop.
So you took their advice, read the Getting Started Guide and got to work crafting emails. And they were right! People subscribed, sales were great and you were happy as a clam…but then something happened. Sign-ups dwindled. Now, you get a few new subscribers here and there, but your list isn’t growing.
We’ve heard this before! Not to fret. After the initial flurry of sign-ups when your list is new, it’s completely normal to have a slump in growth. Lucky for you, there are some really simple things you can do to rev up your list-building engine and attract new subscribers. Keep reading to find out why your list isn’t growing and how to fix it!
Your Form Isn’t On Every Page
This is the simplest part of growing a list, yet such an oversight for so many companies. They know that it’s important to have a web form in a prominent location on the homepage, but forget that most people visiting their site won’t always land there.
When coming from Google, Facebook or a link shared on a blog, visitors will very rarely end up directly on your landing page. They’re probably directed to an article, or a specific page on your site that relates more closely to what they are looking for instead.
Plan of Action: Put your inline web form in an easy-to-find, consistent spot on every single page of your site. In most cases, the web form should be above the fold – the section of your site that is visible without scrolling.
Remember that not all visitors have the same screen resolution, so the location of your form can change. Using website analytics software such as Google Analytics, you can see what percentage of your users use different resolutions, then if you use Firefox you can use the Firesizer add-on to see what your page looks like on different resolutions.
Your Offer Isn’t Compelling
Take a look at your current web form. Do you request only a small amount of information, or do you ask for specifics? Although the information you’re trying to collect is certainly helpful after the fact, requiring a lot of your visitors at sign up can also be seen as a barrier to entry.
No matter how much value you’re delivering to your subscribers, your emails still take up real estate in their inboxes. Visitors to your website, who haven’t yet experienced the value you’re delivering in your messages, already get a ton of emails every day.
Plan of Action: Give visitors a reason to subscribe. Clearly and concisely detail the benefits of subscribing and use bullet points and bold text to tell them why they’re going to be better off getting your emails.
Tip the scale in your favor by offering an incentive to people who fill out your web form. This is something in addition to your original offer. Then, split test different versions of your form to accurately track which incentive works best.
You Aren’t Using Social Media
According to Marketing Sherpa’s 2010 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, over 70% of email marketers surveyed by consider “competition with social media for recipients’ time and attention” an important challenge for 2010.
If you’re on the fence about using popular services like Twitter and Facebook, now’s the time to test the waters. You may have existing customers on your email list, but social media instantly puts you in the presence of thousands of potential subscribers who are already spending their time on these social networking sites.
You Don’t Encourage Forwarding
Word-of-mouth is one of the oldest and most powerful means of advertising, and email offers the perfect venue for suggesting it to your subscribers. If they’re on your list and getting value from your messages, chances are they know others who would also benefit.
Plan of Action: Devote a section of your current newsletter to encourage subscribers to send the message on to their friends by forwarding it. Then, include a link to your sign-up page or hosted web form so that new readers can sign up right from your email.
Note: This isn’t the same as a “tell-a-friend” form. You should only email people who are asking to be subscribed. Any message that you send to someone who hasn’t asked for it is spam, and spam is not good for business. Capiche?
List building isn’t easy. Demonstrating why someone should give you direct access to their inbox is hard work.
If your efforts don’t take the above circumstances into consideration, try a few of our suggestions, then come back and tell us how they worked!