They say that content is king, and in this day and age, this couldn’t be more accurate. Writing content that attracts visitors to your site is one thing, but keeping those visitors coming back for more is another.
I am currently working with a company and running their blog section, which includes managing the weekly email campaigns and I have learned a few things over the two years of managing it.
Driving traffic to our site is vital in order to generate leads. But I have found that more value comes out of the regular visitors, and the visitors who become subscribers. Those are the visitors that become customers. And regular customers at that.
So, how do you convert your readers into subscribers? And how do those become loyal customers? We took a look.
*This article was written by Dave Schneider. You can learn more about Dave at the bottom of this post.
- How to Make Your First $100 Blogging
- 6 Things You’re Doing That Hurt Your Blog
- 11 Foolproof Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic
- How to Diversify Your Traffic as a Blogger
#1. Content That Will Hook the Reader
The first thing I did when I took over the blog was make sure that the content that I was delivering was content that would resonate with a reader. It needed to be something that would educate, inform and leave a lasting impression. It would need to be content that a reader would read, share and save for future use.
So, what I did was overhaul the entire blog. Not only did I want the generic articles with the right keywords that were just created to heighten SEO. I wanted clickable and resonating content. I brought in breaking news and controversial topics. Yes, I did make sure that everything related back to the core of the company and its messaging to the customer, but I needed to ensure that the reader walked away with some good, hands-on knowledge.
Emails with the articles went out three times a week. For a period of six months, I watched what drew in the most traffic, what generated the lowest bounce rates, and what kept readers exploring the rest of the site!
With the generation of this content, I found that I had readers visiting and revisiting the sight until they got familiar with our brand. And with this, I could hook them into subscribing to our newsletters in order to get the latest news and knowledge sent straight to them every few days.
#2. Pop-Up Opt-Ins
The next thing I had to take a look at was the opt-in to the subscription list. Honestly, I was initially very wary of any kind of opt-in that would remotely impact the visitors time on the page. I, for one, hate a pop up when I am trying to scroll through a site and couldn’t imagine anyone actually filling it out.
The problem came, however, when after about three months, I noticed a pattern of at least 200 unsubscribes a week from my 100k strong mailing list. Slowly but surely my list was diminishing, and my possible conversions were decreasing.
After some research and arm-twisting with the development team, we decided to AB test a pop-up opt-in on the site. I must say here how much I love AB testing and the fact that most development teams are totally ready to test anything you want to give them to try and prove that you are wrong! We trialed the pop-up for the period of a month using different copy every week and trialing the different location and format of the pop-up.
I watched the weeks closely to see which placement got more subscriptions, which copy worked better and which type of pop-up worked. The pop-up opt-in form that worked the best for us, and that is still currently active on the site was a slide in from the bottom of the page, with two simple forms to fill out. Once the form was completed, it took the reader straight back to what they were reading.
It was located on the home page for first-time visitors and the blog page for repeat readers. If the reader has already subscribed, it won’t show again. I made sure that the wording was quirky and lighthearted and that I optimized the CTA (call to action) so that it was bright and drew attention. After a month of this going live, I noticed an increase of at least 300 to 350 new subscribers a week, making up for and even topping the subscribers we were losing.
#3. Content for Your Reader by Your Reader
One of the ways that I love hooking and retaining great return readers and converting them into subscribers or even customers is by including them. I have often reached out to my readers asking them to contribute to the blog, to make comment, or to simply let us know their opinion. I allow comment sections to be added to the blog and monitor them on a daily basis. Naturally, you need to make sure that you get rid of a lot of spam and inappropriate comments, but for the rest, I use it!
Should a reader comment with their viewpoint, ask a question, or make additional comments to the article, I interact with them on the comment section. Should they have something substantial to add, I add in our email address and ask them to email me to contact for future comments on articles. Not only have I just bagged a frequent reader, but I have also attracted about 20 more. That person will now be sharing these articles with their connections and everyone on the comment section will see that opinions are taken into account.
Another way of getting your readers to contribute is by running campaigns for them to submit their article, video or social posts in order to be featured in the next mailer or on our social media. Once again, the reach and engagement can be huge when you get loyal, and excitable readers submitting their articles and videos.
Lastly, I conduct surveys. This is not only a great way to get to know your reader and their interests, but it is a great way to get their feedback into what they want to read about. I insert links to short, impactful surveys into my social posts which are all under a minute long to complete.
The last surveys I asked was about how the readers would be saving money as the economy tightened. I provided about six multiple choice answers and fired it off. I received about 135 responses, which was a record for the company. I then took it further, hoping to attract even more loyal readers. I posted an article showing these results and then asked them to comment in the article the most unique way they would be saving money. The most unique answer would receive a discount on their next purchase. From that campaign alone, I generated about 150 more subscribers to my list.
#4. Loyalty Comes with Effort
What you need to keep in mind at all times is that you are facing millions of websites and billions of pages of competition. In order to gain subscribers and loyal readers, you not only need to stand out, but you need to make an effort in including them and surprising and delighting them at all stages. Knowing what your reader wants, and going beyond this is a great way of hooking those regular readers and making sure that they keep coming back for more!
About the Author:
Dave Schneider is the marketing manager at Albacross, the free B2B lead generation platform. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world and has visited over 65 countries.