If a visitor is new to your blog, they’re likely going to need some convincing that it’s worth coming back to time and time again. Just as with any effective call-to-action, you need to clearly demonstrate that value of subscribing to your blog. Explain what the visitor will get from the blog when subscribing. You’ll need to prove this value in as many places as you ask for someone’s email address. Which leads us to a list of the many ways of converting casual blog visitors into loyal subscribers.
Blog Sidebar Opt-In Forms
Don’t make it difficult for visitors to your blog to figure out how to opt in to your blog. Display a clear call-to-action module to subscribe to your blog, along with an RSS subscription button and a simple, one-field email opt-in form near the top of your blog—above the fold. Don’t make your visitors search through all the bells and whistles in your blog’s sidebar to subscribe. Put it right in their face, and make it stand out. Here’s an example from the Sidekick blog:
Homepage Opt-In Form
Do you have your blog listed in the navigation on your homepage? Do you have a footer with places to follow your company on social media? In the sub navigation under your blog or in the footer near your company’s contact information are great places to put a form to subscribe to the company blog. These are very common places to look for subscription options and they do not get in the way of the homepage’s main real estate areas that might be used for product-related news or information.
About Page Opt-In
Include a link to subscribe to your blog on other high-trafficked pages of your website such as your ‘About Us’ page and Press Room. These pages are likely to attract a lot of new visitors to your website, so use the opportunity to funnel them into your blog so they can learn more about you and read all of the awesome blog content you offer.
Dedicated Blog Subscribe Landing Page
In addition to the subscribe module right there on your blog, create a dedicated landing page that you can direct people to via other channels such as social media, other pages on your website, PPC, or email. This way, rather than saying, “Visit myblog.com, then look for the subscriber option at the top right. You know—right below the banner CTA,” you can say “Visit myblog.com/subscribe to be the first to receive our latest blog content!”
A great way to convince people to subscribe to your blog is while they’re actually reading the content. Within your blog posts you can drop little text-based or image-based CTAs to encourage readers to support your blog with an email address if they like what they’re currently reading. Calls-to-action are great for nudging people in the right direction without being too pushy.
Optimized Confirmation Page
Do subscribers need to confirm their email address when they opt-in to receive your blog posts in their inboxes? If so, make sure your confirmation page and emails are extra optimized to capture those necessary double opt-ins. Try adding urgency in your confirmation emails or on your confirmation page on your blog so subscribers will want to double opt-in while it’s fresh in their minds.
Pop-up or Slide-In Form
Pop-up subscribe forms don’t reduce a site’s bounce rate. In fact, this technique does quite the opposite and increases conversions by more than 100%. If you’re looking for a pop-up option that’s slightly less in-your-face, you could try adding a slide-in subscribe form that pops up after a reader has already gone through a certain percentage of the content.
Pitch Your Newsletter on Social Media
Are you leveraging evangelists (both internal within your company and external) to gain more subscribers? Are you regularly scheduling messages on social asking for your followers to also subscribe? Have you ever tried using blog content for outreach or PR? These are all great ways to amplify your blog and gain unexpected subscribers.
‘Subscribe’ Checkbox on Landing Page Forms
If your blogging software is integrated with the rest of your marketing software, this trick is very easy to implement. At the simplest level, you need to have control over the fields on your landing page forms as well as the ability to export a list of people who opt in to your blog through these forms so you can add them to your blog subscriber list.
A/B Test Headlines, Calls-to-Action, and Button Copy
As you’re implementing all these subscribe features on your blog, homepage, in email, etc., make sure you’re constantly testing which messaging works best for your target personas. The copy you use has to be relatable, actionable, and must motivate and incentivize a casual reader to continue receiving content on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
By following these straightforward tips, you’ll convert your blog visitors into loyal customers who come back time and again to read your blogs.