Selling Your Newsletter

Just because you plan to publish a newsletter, it doesn't necessarily mean that your visitors will subscribe. You need to sell them on the idea first!

So duplicate the same formula that you would use to make a sale...

·         stress benefits, while also mentioning the features

·         design a sharp offer

·         add a clear "call to action"

·         finish with the subscription form.

Do this while placing yourself inside your customer's mindset. Your Backup Response is for whom? What do they want? What are you trying to achieve?

Why should you work so hard to sell something that's free? Good question. Here's why...

Your free newsletter is not really free. It's going to cost your customer some anonymity. A name and an email address are not given lightly. And it's going to cost her some time... time to read your newsletter. Everyone (and his dog) offers a newsletter. As a result, she has to be selective.

So stress the benefits of your offer. Add a testimonial or two. Include a link to your back issues, if appropriate. Build a strong case to buy into your freebie. Dress up your newsletter with a cover for more visual impact.

Of course, make it clear that your newsletter is free. And then, tell her exactly what to do...

Subscribe!

As you'll see shortly, Solo Build It! back-issues each issue of your newsletter (if desired) and submits it to the search engines (once per issue). You can either include a link on your site to your back issues page to show off the quality you deliver, or you can reserve back issues for your subscribers' viewing only... it's your call.

One more point... guarantee to your subscribers that you'll not use their email addresses for any other purpose.

Take your time -- getting it right makes a big difference in the ultimate size of your subscriber base!

And what percentage of visitors can you realistically expect to turn into subscribers to your newsletter?

Your potential subscriber rate is difficult to predict since it depends on so many factors...

·         The type of audience your site attracts -- are you appealing to Web-savvy professionals, or Internet newbies? Newbies are generally information-gatherers who want to learn as much as they can as soon as they can. The more savvy user is fairly selective in her reading choices.

·         Your site's topic or focus -- is it a very targeted narrow niche? Or are there hundreds of sites with similar themes? In other words, if you're providing a source of information your visitor is unlikely to find anywhere else, she's more apt to subscribe. On the other hand, if you're targeting a competitive niche, you'll have to work harder at building a subscribers list.

·         Your visitor's first impression of your website -- a positive impression creates an open mindset, one that's willing to explore to learn more.

·         The quality and content of your page copy, and your site in general -- if you write poorly on your site, a visitor will likely assume that your newsletter is junk as well.

·         The persuasiveness of your subscriber campaign -- are you selling the benefits clearly and frequently enough?

·         The unobtrusiveness of your pop-ups -- recognize that not all visitors like "pop-ups." Try to use them sparingly and seamlessly. (An exit intent modal (a pop-up that shows when the visitor is about to leave the site -- is best, and will increase subscription rates.)

In fact, the percentage of visitors who readily convert into newsletter subscribers can vary greatly -- from less than half a percent, all the way up to 5 percent.

Building a substantial newsletter address list takes time and perseverance. Don't let that discourage you -- newsletter lists are famous for snowballing. Quality publications generate interest, recognition, and best of all, referrals.

Focus on quality, and your address list will build itself.