Six weeks ago I made an easy list-building tweak. Since then I’ve experienced a 345-percent increase in the number of newsletter signups I receive per month at my website.
And if you’re like me, you’ll want to kick yourself when you learn how small the tweak is.
Six weeks is a very small sample size, but I have every reason to believe the increase is not a fluke. In 2013, the inbound-marketing company HubSpot made the same change I did and more than doubled its number of subscribers in three months.
Here’s what I did: I added a check-box field to all of my landing-page forms so visitors can subscribe to my newsletter with just one click.
This is what the check box looks like:
The key to this tactic is having lead magnets (also known as opt-in offers and incentives) that are targeted to your audience’s needs. I have six. HubSpot has several dozen.
Keep in mind that the check box doesn’t have to be for a newsletter list — it can be for any lead-generation list. And you can add more than one check box to the bottom of your forms.
These Aren’t Brand-New Leads, However
HubSpot makes a good point about the new subscribers: “They won’t impact new lead generation directly. Think about it — these people are subscribing because they’re filling out forms for your lead gen offers. In other words, they’re already leads.
“But that doesn’t mean it’s not useful to capture existing leads as blog subscribers, too. These are people who have the potential to share your content to others in their social networks, and those people might not be leads yet. Furthermore, free blog content is a great way to nurture existing leads into customers — and customers into promoters.”
How Setup Works in Mailchimp
I’ll walk you through how to set up check boxes in Mailchimp. If you don’t use Mailchimp, my hope is you’ll understand the concept and be able to implement it with your software.
Step 1: Add a new field to your forms.
In Mailchimp go to: lists > [name of the list you want to add the check box to] > signup forms > general forms > signup form. Scroll down until you see your signup form. It should look something like this:
To the right of your form, click on the “add a field” tab. Then click on “Check Boxes.” It looks like this:
Add text to the Check Box fields. I use “Newsletter Signup” and “Yes, please sign me up for The Solopreneur Life Newsletter.” Don’t make the box “selected by default.” You want this to be an opt-in, not an opt-out.
Grab the code that Mailchimp generates for embedded forms and use it to replace the existing code that’s in your landing page’s form.
Step 2: Set up a workflow to add opt-ins to your list.
When you receive opt-in notifications from Mailchimp, there will be a field that indicates whether the person opting in clicked on your check box.
Add the opt-ins to your subscriber list so they can begin receiving what they signed up for. I haven’t found an automated process in Mailchimp for adding new subscribers (let me know if one exists), so I add the names manually.
Step 3: Set up a “welcome” email.
A “welcome” email is optional, but I recommend it. In your welcome email, explain to your new subscribers what they have signed up for, what they’ll receive, and how often.