Email marketing is hotter than ever. “The money is in the list” is on the lips of every successful guru giving free advice. But, your newsletter is not the only worthwhile subscription service on your site. And, all of your offers don’t have to be delivered via email. Read on to discover what other subscriptions you can easily offer and promote and why you should to ensure your name stays in front of your audience.
Cover the Basics
I’ve read, listened to, and watched interviews with countless successful online entrepreneurs and every one of them states that they wished they had started a newsletter as soon as their first site launched. Having permission to constantly send your target audience news, helpful tips, and special offers keeps your name ever present and your opportunity to convert high.
One of the best ways to encourage folks to subscribe to your newsletter is to offer them something of value in exchange for giving you their email address. This is known as an ethical bribe. I offer one on Blogaid. It’s an ebook titled What Every Site Owner Should Know.
Now, if you click that link, you’ll notice that it goes to a page that tells you more about the ebook and the newsletter. Even though you’ll also find this offer at the top of the sidebar on every page, I can’t link to a sidebar. So, consider making a landing page like this that highlights your gift and you can link directly to it.
Another place to consider offering the subscription to your newsletter is at the end of every post. A super plugin for that is OptinSkin.f you don’t want something that looks so much like an ad as that, perhaps try a more subtle but equally effective approach. Scroll down to the bottom of this post and see the check boxes below the comment box. The last one allows folks to quickly subscribe to the newsletter, and they still get the free ebook.
RSS Feed Subscription
Newsletters and other email deliveries are not the only subscription services on your site. All WordPress sites come with RSS feeds available. To maximize their capabilities, I run my raw feeds through Feedburner, which is a free service. (For more on RSS feeds and what FeedBurner can do for you, visit the Site Owners Starter Guideand scroll down to the RSS Feed section.)
Folks can subscribe to the feed for all of my blog posts in either a feed reader or via email. Beyond that, they can also subscribe to specific categories, like the popular Tips Tuesday posts, which most folks prefer to receive via email so they never miss one. (To learn how to make Categories available for subscription, read Harness the Power of WordPress Categories.) And, I send the category feed for the BlogAid Podcast through Feedburner to properly format it for iTunes, which brings me to my next point.
A podcast on iTunes offers another way folks can subscribe to you. Now, you may not be in a position or want to start a regular podcast, or interview guests. That’s okay. You can still take advantage of being present on iTunes or other audio services with any sort of recording. Cinchcast makes it super simple to record via your phone. Perhaps you can read a blog post and make it available as an audio download. A rather inexpensive USB mic/headset is super for recording audio to your computer too. (That’s what I use for Skype calls with clients and to record the voice over for video tutorials! See the recording software I use on the Resources page.) And, the new Stitcher app is a great iTunes alternative that is catching on.
The point is, audio recordings are becoming more popular with folks on the go who don’t have time to read your blog or watch a video. They can subscribe to your podcast and automatically receive and consume your content in their preferred medium. And, that brings me to the next subscription opportunity.
YouTube is the second largest search engine next to its owner, Google. Find a way to get on it. Maybe you don’t want to be in front of the camera or do video tutorials. Fine. Turn a PowerPoint presentation into a video. (And you can turn it into a slideshow and post it to SlideShare too.) People can subscribe to your YouTube Channel.
And, let me tell you a little secret about that. The folks who subscribe to the BlogAid Channel don’t always come to my blog to read tutorials. They strongly prefer seeing videos. YouTube is where they found me, and that’s where they subscribed, which makes it even more important to post there regularly.
Beyond the free videos on YouTube, I also offer a free WordPress Video Tutorial Starter package that includes the full-length versions of the tutorials they saw on YouTube. People subscribe to it every day. And, every two weeks I send them an auto-responder email with links to more free bonus material and special offers.
Zero Obligation Subscriptions
This may seem like an odd thing to say, but you can get a huge number of subscribers by making a zero-obligation offer. I can hear you asking me, “Now wait a minute, if there is no obligation to give you my email to get the free gift, how do you get subscribers?”
Maybe it will just be easier to show you what I mean. Go take a look at this page for my free report on MailChimp Signup Forms, Plugins, and Widgets.
You’ll see that you don’t have to give anything to get it. Simply download the file. But, read the last paragraph in the description on the right. It states that if you want another free ebook, subscribe to the newsletter. And, I’ve conveniently included a signup form at the bottom of the page. Every day I see notifications of two downloads within minutes of each other.
And, if folks only download the free report, every page of it includes a link to BlogAid and I encourage readers to share it with other folks they think it will help. Want something to go viral? Make it the good stuff, make it free, and encourage folks to take it and share it. That brings traffic to my site that I may never have reached otherwise, and potentially more subscribers.
How About You?
How many subscription offers to you promote on your site? Do you promote the same offer in multiple places? Has this post given you ideas? Share them and your subscription tips in the comments.