What Words Can Do For Your Subscriber Growth Rate: One Organization’s Discovery

Second Chance Animal Rescue Society (SCARS) has been running a successful email marketing campaign for awhile now. Subscribers are coming in steadily, open rates are looking good and everyone seems to be happy.

But a team of us here took a look their campaign and pointed out some areas that could be improved, specifically the sign up process, and the changes they made brought a significant increase in subscriber growth.

Are you getting as many subscribers as you could be? Have you asked others to look at your email sign up process to make sure it’s easily understood? A simple change could bring more growth. Find out what common mistakes they had on their email sign up page and how it can be fixed.

The Before

This is what SCARS sign up page looked like before we suggested changes:

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First, the good: We were all happy to see SCARS setting expectations by explaining their monthly e-newsletter and even providing a link to their broadcast archive.

Now, the bad: We found the wording that described the newsletters to be a little confusing. It first talks about the membership newsletter, which is delivered by postal mail, followed by the sentence that pitches the e-newsletter.

When we originally read it, a number of us were confused as to how often newsletters were sent and what was the difference between the membership newsletter and e-newsletter.

The After

Here’s SCARS sign up page after implementing our suggestions:

Click to enlarge

What’s been changed: The description now clearly differentiates the e-newsletters from the membership newsletters. It’s easy to figure out what your options are as a visitor and how to get what you want.

The Results

After the new wording had been live for a month, the opt-in rates of that month were compared to the month prior to the changes. The month with the changes brought a 46% increase in subscribers. The SCARS staff was very appreciative of the suggestions, and we were happy our suggestions brought such a positive outcome.

By changing their wording and making the page a little easier to understand, SCARS is now able to convert more visitors into subscribers.

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  1. Gabe Johansson

    8/20/2012 10:41 am

    That is quite an impressive increase!

    I’ve done quite a bit of split testing and I have been able to double my monthly signups with some simple changes. There is always room for improvement though!


  2. Maria

    8/20/2012 10:56 am

    This just goes to show how we think we are being clear in our message, but that is not always the case. It often takes another perspective to help us improve.

    I’ve done split testing myself, but it didn’t occur to me to run it by someone else for an opinion. So this article has given me the idea of getting that second opinion along with split testing, which should prove very useful.

  3. Robinsh

    9/20/2012 7:11 am

    I can’t believe that a little confusing words were causing a lot to the SCARS, now they might be the happiest who implemented the suggestions given by your team and now in future they would likely to check your suggestions on high priority.

    Thanks for publishing this change because now onward I’ll also take care of these small confusions that can be the reason to loose the potential subscribers.

  4. Randall Magwood

    11/11/2012 3:11 pm

    I think the fastest way to improve opt-in subscriber rates is to add a quick “lightbox” hover ad on your website. Always works well for me.