This summer I watched several episodes of a reality television show called The Antonio Treatment. Antonio is a pierced and tattooed interior designer who converts boring spaces (rooms, garages, shops, etc.) into crazy awesome ones (it’s cool, I promise!). In one episode, he was redoing a little vintage clothing shop in Los Angeles. He mentioned how the cash register area (which he called the point of sale) was in a dark corner at the back of the store, and how bad this was for business. He suggested that the point of sale needed to be in the MIDDLE of the store where it was easily accessible from everywhere. You want to make buying your product as easy and comfortable as possible for your customers, right?
As I was watching that episode, I had an epiphany. In order to get more newsletter subscribers, you need to put your point of sale (your newsletter opt-in form) as close to where your readers will be as possible.
You want to “make sales” (get subscribers), right? Then you need to have MULTIPLE points of sale! How? Keep reading!
Today’s post is short (compared to my last several posts), sweet, and to the point. Good? Good!
[All of the points in this post are briefly shown in the video below]
1. Popup Domination
Popup Domination is a premium WordPress plugin that displays a lightbox popup to people when they first visit your blog. I have it set to display a few seconds after the visitor lands here on the blog. Here’s what it looks like:
Bam! First point of sale! The reader is hopefully intrigued by the knife-wielding psycho and wants to subscribe to my newsletter.
I know people find these annoying, but man, are they effective! The majority of my new subscribers subscribe via that popup (probably about 60%). And I don’t feel too bad about the popup being annoying because I know my ebook is something that will really help people.
Popup Domination is $77 and, in my opinion, worth every penny.
EDIT: Yes, a lot of you find popups annoying, and I’m sorry if that’s the case. My blog, my rules. If you want to access my content for FREE, you have to deal with a popup being shown to you once every 10 days that takes all of 2 seconds to close if you don’t like it. Big effing deal! Can I see a show of hands of people who would pay money to access the content on this blog if they didn’t have to deal with a popup? Yeah, that’s what I thought :)
Yeah, this is the standard opt-in form placement on pretty much every blog, and mine is no different. You want to put it at or near the top of your sidebar. Not only is this the most-looked-at real estate on the blog, but it’s where people are trained to look for newsletter opt-ins if they want to sign up. Here’s what mine looks like.
Again, pretty standard stuff, right? About 15% of my subscriptions come through the sidebar.
Let’s keep going!
3. The Newsletter page
If you look up in my navigation menu right below the header image, you’ll see that “Newsletter” is one of the pages you can click on. It looks like this:
If you go there, you’ll see that I’ve written a couple short paragraphs about what the Blogging Bookshelf newsletter is and what you can expect. Then at the bottom of the page you’ll find a conveniently-placed opt-in form that looks like this:
I’ve only gotten 3 subscriptions from my newsletter page, but who knows if they would have subscribed had the page not been there?
4. The box after every post
After every post here on Blogging Bookshelf is a little tan/orange box with some social media badges in it. There’s also a link there to subscribe to my newsletter (the link takes people to the Newsletter page). This is a recent addition to the blog and I’m not sure how effective it is yet. Here’s what it looks like:
This box is created by a plugin called Socialize. It’s awesome for adding all of the social media badges you need to the tops AND bottoms of every post, but you can also insert custom html into the box. That’s how I put the links to my subscriptions in there.
I’d like to have an actual form in that box so that people don’t have to click through to the newsletter page, but I haven’t implemented it yet. It’s on the list, with about a bazillion other things.
5. The check box under the comment form
Ah… This little guy is awesome. I’ve had a lot of people ask me about the little check box under the comment form that says, “Get your free copy of 101 Ways You’re Killing Your Blog while you’re at it!” Check it out:
It’s actually a free plugin called Qoate Newsletter Signup. It’s super easy to use and is super great.
I’d say about 15% of my new subscriptions come through this. There is an option in the plugin to have the box checked by default, and undoubtedly that would get you more subscribers, but that’s a little too invasive and sneaky for me. I don’t want people to be tricked into subscribing to my newsletter, you know?
Other potential points of sale?
So thanks for helping me grow my mailing list, reality TV! I never could have done it without you.
So what other options are there for points of sale on your blog?
I’ve considered adding an opt-in form in the blog’s footer. I don’t know how effective it would be or how many people would end up signing up through the form, but it never hurts to give them the option, right? I also have a couple different squeeze pages for the blog that I use to get people signed up, and I’ll talk about them in further detail in the future.
Got any other ideas for increasing the number of newsletter subscribers you get on your blog?
What has worked well for you on your blog?