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Five Secrets to Email List Growth

by Tom Kulzer  |  
May 27, 2008

Building a list of responsive subscribers via a Web site that has a bit of traffic and quality content is surprisingly easy.

But sometimes, when working with users, we're surprised to see low conversion rates. So, we take a look into just why that might be.

Here are five factors to consider when growing your list.

1. Make your sign-up form easy to find

Too often, we find newsletter sign-up buttons on Web pages tucked away somewhere out of the obvious. When I see a page like this, my first thought is always "this must be a lower priority on the list of actions that the site owner wants visitors to gravitate toward."

That's a shame, because email, like no other technology, gives us the opportunity to turn one-time, anonymous visitors into engaged subscribers with whom we have the ability to develop beneficial relationships.

And yet, when I do speak with those with hard-to-find sign-up placements, I often find that they do understand the importance of email. They just don't have optimal placement for their sign-up forms.

Make sure you have forms (as opposed to buttons) published in hard-to-miss locations on your pages, and on as many pages where the form is relevant. Remember that nearly every page on your site has the potential to be a landing page, particularly in the case of visitors arriving from search engines.

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Tom Kulzer is CEO and founder of email marketing software firm AWeber (, which helps small business customers manage opt-in email newsletters.

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  • by Marleen Prater Tue Jun 3, 2008 via web

    Good article, Tom, you are right on with everything. I have found the newsletter box on the top right corner of my website gets noticed. Thanks.

  • by Sharron Wed Jun 4, 2008 via web

    I followed the link from NFIB Smart Brief newsletter to get the 5 Tips to email growth list. I did not mind putting in my email address to get to the next step which I thought was going to give me the 5 tips - but then I had to fill out a long form answering questions I really didn't want to answer and develop a password. Then once I was in your sight I had to "find" the article about the 5 tips.

    And then behold - in tip #3 the headline reads "Don't ask for too much information" contradicting what I just had to do to get this article! Not good for your integrity.

    Here's my 2 cents - Your information looks great and as a veteren advertising professional I'm sure I'll be interested but - I felt a sort of bait and switch game going on by having to give more info than my name and email and having to answering questions just to get the article.

    I lost some respect for the newsletter host NFIB SmartBrief (and I will write them) who provided your link - if the Headline states get 5 tips - the reader shoud be able to get 5 tips with one click and then be given the choice to pursue signing up on your site.

    So think about it - I already have a negative attitude about your offerings even though I pursued the article.

    How many people do you think did the same thing I did but clicked out without following through after seeing the info they had to fill out to get the article and left with a "negative attitude"?

    Just some food for thought for your marketing strategists!

  • by Terry Thu Jun 5, 2008 via web

    I whole heartedly agree with Sharon. The link from the OPEI newsletter to this article was too compicated & violated your own rules.

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