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by Anna Wybieralska Dec 7, 2020

So your hard work has paid off and you have finally started to see some organic traffic to your blog, what now?

This is the time to focus on converting those casual readers into subscribers to your email list, and while it might sound like an obvious next step, it’s much easier said than done.  With that in mind, here are 8 tried and tested ways you can convert your blog’s readers into subscribers.

Let’s get started.

CTA optimization

Let’s get some obvious stuff out of the way first, CTA optimization...

Including a “strong and personalized message” has been shown to increase conversion rates by over 202%. So for, example, if you’re a real estate agent you might use something like “Get The Latest NYC Real Estate Tips In Your Inbox, Instead of a generic CTA like “Join Our Newsletter Today!” to make things more personal. 

The location of your CTA is as important as the text it displays and the incentives you’re providing. You can offer more than one spot for visitors to sign up for your newsletter. Keep in mind though, that too many can be overwhelming. A good starting point would be to include a CTA above-the-fold, meaning within the first 5 seconds of reading time, usually in the header of the screen and another either along the side in a floating box or at the bottom as an option at the end of the blog post. Grow & Convert have done a great study on this that is well worth reading.

If your CTA is a button, you should test different color combinations as this has also been shown to have an impact on conversion rates. For example, Dmix conducted a study of the same button on the same landing page but in a different color, the red button outperformed the green button by an incredible 34%. 

The truth is that there’s an almost endless number of factors that need to be taken into account when optimizing your CTAs. Far more than we can discuss in a single section of a single blog post. Start your research with Neil Patel or HubSpot to learn more.

Checkboxes and headlines

Remember to add a simple opt-in checkbox whenever you are requesting your readers email address for other reasons. For example:

  • When you’re offering a downloadable asset (like an ebook) 
  • If you offer user accounts, then add a newsletter checkbox to the sign up form.

What’s not so obvious is that it is equally as important to make it clear that you’re careful with their data. Explicitly tell them you won't sell or share or spam them. We’ve all seen those little “we’re good with your data” headlines under checkboxes to join a list, and they’re so ubiquitous because they work.

Content upgrades

After you have written your well-thought-out content piece on a specific topic that has used accessible language and is ready to be posted on schedule, now is the time to add in a little something extra. Maybe it's a downloadable materials checklist for your how-to post you are getting ready to publish. Or you have an eBook or white paper about the topic that could be downloaded or emailed to them. Remember that added value makes your customers happy and it can help with converting your blog readers into dedicated subscribers.

Upgrades provide a link or form to fill out asking for their email address so that the reader can receive their extra content.

Social landing pages

Social media snippets are short and sweet introductions to your work that incite curiosity (hopefully, you have already been effectively using social media to promote your blogs instead of just using the “post and hope” method).

It sounds counterintuitive to build your list from social channels - you already have them there, so what’s the point?

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can (and do) change their algorithms to reduce organic reach whenever they feel like it. Unlike your social profiles, you own your email list. No one can take it away from you or impact its reach. When doing this you should set up an entire landing page that is centered around what your newsletter offers, the frequency of announcements, and an easy to fill opt-in form optimized for social traffic. Consider a social media giveaway or competition to further increase sign-ups and/or social traction of the landing page itself.

Testing and redesigning

We know you know you should be doing this. But are you doing it? 

Don’t put it off - you haven’t by chance landed on a well optimized landing page without testing. You’re leaving conversions (and therefore money) on the table. Test, test and test again.

Test your CTAs, test your header bars, test your content, and test everything else while you’re at it. The smallest changes can make the biggest differences. You may find that adding a link at the bottom of each blog post is the best spot for increased page views, or you might find that it never gets used. Without data and testing, you’ll never know what is working (and more importantly, what isn’t). 

High-quality blog posts delivered on time, every time

The main benefit of a newsletter subscription is that it removes the need to keep checking in to see if anything new has posted. If you aren't posting frequently, then what’s the point in them signing up? Quality content that is consistently posted inspires people to come back for more.

If you don’t have the time to manage your blog in house, then there are blog writing services out there that can do the hard work for you. Hard work being the operative word here because that’s exactly what blog management is (when it’s done properly).

For example, blogs can be a very useful way to boost your rankings in search results. Keyword optimization is very important for that process. Creating a blog that has been clearly created just to include a lot of taglines and keywords is easy. However, if the content is unreadable because it’s been written for Google instead of your visitors, it’s not going to bring in subscribers. 

Incentives, rewards and exclusivity

Offering rewards for signing up is a very popular idea and is a proven method to engage people who see their data as a commodity with value. People are far more likely to want to give out their contact information if they will be getting something in return. Your blog’s content is freely available without joining your list, they might want something more...

Offering a discount, for example, on their first purchase if they sign up is one of the most common ideas and has the bonus benefit of encouraging a sale. This is particularly effective when you combine it with exit popups that grab their attention before people try to leave your site. In some cases, they can increase subscriber conversion rates up to 30%.

Exclusivity plays a factor in this too, especially in certain B2C industries. If visitors to your site as a guest get a 10% discount on certain items for an event, offering 15% to newsletter subscribers is an instant boost to the feeling of being “on the inside” and a desire to be part of the upgraded group. The takeaway? If you want to convert blog readers into subscribers it's worth considering adding a small "bait" in order to get them interested for longer.

About the author

Scott Stevens founded The Content Panel and loves writing about writing almost as much as he loves reading about writing. More than anything, he loves talking about himself in the third person.

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