When you create a blog or newsletter, you want people to read and enjoy your content. But the true goal isn’t just occasional readers: You want subscribers who return regularly and interact with your company’s online presence.
When website visitors subscribe to your blog or newsletter and give you their email address, they move into your sales process and become leads to convert to customers. After that, you can close the sale and provide customer delight by exceeding their expectations.
We’ll explain six ways to make people more likely to subscribe to your online content.
How to gain blog subscribers
If you’re providing consistent, meaningful blog content, consider the following best practices to attract and keep subscribers.
1. Make your subscribe button easy to find.
An accessible subscribe button is the most obvious way to get more blog or newsletter subscribers, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t consider this carefully. Many content providers assume having a subscribe button is enough. However, it’s essential to draw your readers’ eyes toward your subscribe button and make clicking it an easy decision.
First, select an optimal location for your subscribe button. Subscribe buttons are often placed at the top-right portion of a blog, where most people’s eyes naturally go, similar to this Lifehacker blog:
Image credit: Lifehacker
You can also place your subscribe button as a call to action at the bottom of the page. This example from the Say Yes blog, which invites readers to subscribe to its newsletter:
Image credit: Say Yes
Another option is having a pop-up appear as readers are leaving your page, requesting them to subscribe. There’s no downside – they’ll either leave the site or enter their email address to join your subscriber list.
Tip: Follow these email marketing best practices when communicating with subscribers. Just because they subscribed to your blog doesn’t mean they want to be bombarded with promotional emails.
2. Offer an incentive for subscribing.
People often want something in return for their email address, so it makes sense to encourage people to subscribe to your blog or newsletter by offering a gift. Your incentive doesn’t have to be a spectacular offer, like “$100 off your next purchase.” It can be as simple as providing a free e-book.
Tip: Create exclusive or premium content for your blog subscribers, such as video marketing material like training sessions and guides.
For example, the Goop blog presents a pop-up offering a 10% discount on products and exclusive access to other items. The exclusivity focus encourages users to sign up because otherwise they’ll feel like they’re missing out.
Image credit: Goop
Here’s another incentive from Copyblogger that entices with free training:
Image credit: Copyblogger
3. Create a dedicated subscription landing page.
If you promote your blog or newsletter via email, social media or a website, use a link that sends visitors to a dedicated landing page. This eliminates any confusion visitors might encounter if they arrive at your blog and have to hunt for a subscribe button.
Here’s an example landing page from Apartment Therapy:
Image credit: Apartment Therapy
4. Make your content easy to read.
Everyone’s busy, so people appreciate content they can skim and still derive valuable information from. To make your articles easy to skim, consider white space – the space around the text. Thoughtful white space usage can make an article look much more appealing.
For example, consider this article, which appears as a sea of text:
But this article version provides more white space and is easier to skim:
In addition to adding white space, simplify your articles as much as possible. Remove all jargon and use concise, easy-to-read language. Well-designed content will make readers more inclined to subscribe to your blog or newsletter.
Tip: To create a stellar website design, clearly define your goals, carefully plan your site map and content strategy, and test the website for user-friendliness.
5. Leverage social proof to draw more subscribers.
Showing prospective subscribers how many people already subscribe to your content can make them feel comfortable joining the crowd. When readers know your blog or newsletter is popular, they’re reassured that they’ll obtain treasured, engaging and helpful content.
Here’s an example from Backlinko:
Image credit: Backlinko
6. Make sure people can find you.
To gain more subscribers, you’ll need to be highly visible. Here are six ways to ensure people encounter your blog or newsletter:
- Make your blog accessible from your website. Put a link to your blog or newsletter on your website’s primary navigation bar. A prominent link will help increase subscribers and overall customer satisfaction.
- Increase your social presence. If you want to be seen, you must be where your potential subscribers are – social media. A study from Uswitch found that Americans spend more than 1,300 hours annually on social media. That’s equal to 3.56 hours per day. Consequently, social media can be an excellent brand marketing platform. Every time you write a new article, share it on your social sites. Encourage others to share your articles by including social sharing buttons.
- Contribute to other sites. By writing articles for websites with a higher domain authority than your own, you can gain valuable backlinks to your site, more eyes on your articles and, ultimately, more subscribers.
- Optimize posts for search engines. Each post should revolve around one keyword or key phrase. Repeat the keyword throughout the post so it ranks highly on search engines. You can also use the keyword in the post title (preferably in the beginning), make your posts at least 600 words and use the keyword in image alt tags. Use SEO tools to enhance your ranking. If you use WordPress, multiple free plugins can help you boost your blog posts’ SEO.
- Create backlinks. Put links to your blog on all your digital assets, including websites, social media platforms and email signatures. Also put it in your biography wherever it’s posted, including on guest posts and comments you make on others’ blogs. These backlinks will drive traffic to your blog and contribute to your organic SEO.
- Leverage influencers. Many brands reach out to social media influencers to give them a product demo or to ask for a quote. The next step is letting the influencer know your post with their quote or mention is online so they can link to it. This will generate traffic from the influencer’s following and help your search ranking.
Tip: Beware of influencer marketing fraud. Fake influencers can inflate their follower counts or buy followers, so your product isn’t getting the exposure you think it is if you use these influencers.
Mistakes to avoid when trying to boost subscribers
While you want to obtain more subscribers, some strategies are sure to backfire. Here are some mistakes to avoid:
- Revealing a pop-up subscription banner that covers the screen before your post loads
- Interrupting your post content with multiple subscription requests
- Asking people to subscribe without telling them why
- Misleading subscribers about the content or the frequency of your posts
- Providing outdated content
- Adding new content infrequently or inconsistently
- Giving general or common sense advice that readers can find anywhere
- Failing to make your blog or newsletter mobile-friendly
- Uploading poor-quality images or error-riddled writing
- Using too much jargon
- Writing what you want without thinking about the readers’ needs
As with all digital marketing strategies, you may have to experiment with your blog or newsletter techniques to improve engagement and add subscribers. Stay with it, and you’re sure to see improved subscriber counts.
Sarah Quinn contributed to the writing and research in this article.