Capturing email subscribers - what are the methods that work well?

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For one of my sites, I am struggling to get email subscribers. The site is currently ads-free and as I am trying to position it as an authority resource ran by an expert (and not a marketer/SEO), I never used any aggressive methods (pop-ups, locked content, etc.).
Right now I have:
- a simple form in the sidebar which says something along the lines of "subscribe to our newsletter to get all the updates", with a whopping 0.03% conversion rate
- a slide-in form that appears after the visitor reads 60% of the content, it takes half of the screen on mobile and is rather small on desktop. Conversion rate = 0.4%

I guess at these rates it will take me forever to build a decent list, so it seems like I need to use something more intrusive.

What would you suggest? Exit intent? Pics-heavy or text-only? What kind of conversion rates are you getting?

My niche is collectible items.
I am using MailOptin Wordpress plugin (premium).

Thanks in advance!
 

CCarter

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Perhaps a better call to action on why they should give up their email to you. Also try mentioning “we do not spam! We hate spam!” Cause people are wary of giving away direct access to them.

Simply ask yourself if it was you would you sign up?

I do not recommend incentivizing your email list cause it sort of taints it with freeloaders, however perhaps giving them a bonus X that’s invaluable to them might help.

Also how often are you sending emails? Cause a good newsletter is invaluable and people will share and forward it if it provides great value. Meaning word of mouth will get your audience to give recommendation to their friends on why they should sign-up to the newsletter themselves.
 
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perhaps try things like giving early access to your latest content aka when the articles are written but you havent hit the publsh button yet, let your subscribers get the content 24 hours before the rest of the world.

Also don't froget to use power words in your call to action, instead of "subscribe to our newsletter" try something along the lines of "Get exclusive access to the latest content and news", make people feel that by giving you their email address they are special, cause everybody loves to feel special.

If you have got balls then you could use the approach of making them feel special by giving them early access and potentially also exclusive content, but then add scarecity to your call to action, like "opportunity closes on whatever date/in x amount of days (then simply track their ip and then make sure that they don't get it again).
 
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Thank you CCarter and lion1978 for your suggestions.

I will implement the following:
1. Make sure the forms clearly state "zero spam".
2. Promise early access to content to subscribers using power words.

Have any of you plated with exit intent pop-ups? Does it work or simply pisses people off? :smile:
 

CCarter

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Have any of you plated with exit intent pop-ups? Does it work or simply pisses people off? :smile:
Try it and see what happens. I give free code to a real on exit popup in the DevSeries: https://www.buildersociety.com/threads/exit-intent-popup-devseries.1524/

Another variation would be the ones where the mouse moves outside the window.

When I mean try it, see if subscriptions go up or not. If they do then keep it. I would make sure to disregard users who are know members so they don’t see it every-time they go to your blog, would get rather annoying. Deploy it where you think it makes sense.

On A SAAS I would do it on the pricing page and create an account page. Not necessarily the blog cause my audience regularly returns to read new content and I have no interest in pissing them off.