It may not seem as sexy as the latest social media tools, but getting more people to subscribe to your email mailing list is still the absolute best thing you can do to ensure a connection to your fanbase and (hopefully) continue to grow it.
But getting people to join your mailing list is one of the most common things comedians struggle to do. While it’s not an easy task, it’s also not impossible as long as you understand a few basic things about how you should approach building your list.
Here’s a simple five step plan to get yourself more subscribers…
1. Give People A Reason To Join
This is by far the most important thing to consider when it comes to your mailing list. Before you ask anybody to join your list, you need to spend some time thinking about the reason they should join. What value will you provide to people who give you their email address?
The vast majority of comedians fail to consider this and that’s why most struggle to grow their email lists. No matter what you do, nobody is going to join your mailing list unless they believe they’re going to receive value from doing so – and even if they join initially, they will unsubscribe if they’re not receiving value from the emails you send.
I’ve written more extensively about how (and why) you need to provide value to your mailing list, so I won’t go into too much detail here. Just remember, you need to give people a reason to join your list that provides more value to them (content, access, etc.) than it does to you (the ability to spam them with promotions of your stuff).
On Connected Comedy, my “mailing list” is actually my Free Tips Newsletter, through which the value to subscribers is clearly spelled out. I’m offering free tips that can’t be found anywhere else on my site and exclusive offers to anybody that joins the list. That’s a compelling offer and it’s why people join – I’ve given them a reason (and value) as opposed to just asking them to join my mailing list.
2. Choose The Right Service To Power Your Mailing List
If you’re serious about your career and growing your fanbase, then you should be serious about the tool you use to manage your mailing list. It’s probably the most important tool you’ll have in connecting with your fanbase, so you want to make sure that you have as much power and flexibility as possible to build and manage your list. That’s why I recommend choosing a tool that’s specifically made for this purpose.
There’s a couple different options out there, but I strongly recommend using AWeber email list software to manage and build your list. It’s what I use for my mailing list and it’s a great tool that offers you lots of different ways to capture email addresses (easily customizable signup form templates, popup windows, etc.), and incredible flexibility to manage your list (see who clicked what links in your emails, track open rates, send follow up emails only to people who took certain actions, sort the list by location, etc.).
There are other professional services out there besides AWeber that you can use (such as Mailchimp), but I’ve found AWeber to be the best by far. Regardless which one you choose, it’s important to invest in using a mailing list software and not just relying on a Google, Yahoo, or some other less-functional, less-professional mailing list service.
There’s a reason professional mailing list services exist, and that’s because they make it MUCH easier to grow and use your list.
3. Create A Specific Page On Your Website To Capture Mailing List Signups
Once you know the reason you’re going to give people to join your list and you’ve signed up for a professional software like AWeber to power the list, the next thing you’re going to want to do is create a specific page on your website designed to entice people to join your list.
You’ll want this page to have more than just a signup form – it’s really a “sales” page where you spell out exactly what people will get if they join your mailing list and make a convincing argument of the value that it will provide to them.
That’s exactly what I did on my Free Tips Newsletter signup page, and the results have been amazing. Since I created this page, 38% of the people who visit the page actually join my email list! I know this because AWeber provides me with these kind of statistics, which also allows me to measure how to improve that rate by making any changes to my “pitch” – another reason why AWeber is so valuable.
It’s great to have your mailing list signup form in your sidebar or on every page of your site, but don’t forget to create a specific page whose sole purpose is to convince people to sign up to your list. You’ll find it’s much more effective than your sidebar forms. And once you’ve created your page…
4. Drive People To Your Signup Page
Once you’ve got your signup page created, the next thing you need to do is focus on driving people to that page. This is where you can leverage your social media following and the content on your site to do so.
You can post links to the page on your Twitter or Facebook accounts, post videos on YouTube asking people to check out the page and join your mailing list (with the same pitch of the value your list is now going to provide), and you can mention the list to fans who see you perform live.
Also, you should place links to the page on every piece of content you create at the bottom of the post – just like you’ll see I’ve done at the bottom of this post. Once your signup page is created, you can rely on it to do the “selling” for you, but you should then focus your efforts on driving people to that page.
5. Deliver What You Promised
As you get more people joining your email list, then you have to live up to what you promised them on the signup page. If you promised them valuable content, then you have to deliver that value and not just start spamming them with different things. People joined your list expecting certain things (based on whatever you promised on the signup page), and if you don’t deliver those things then those people will unsubscribe from your list just as quickly as they subscribed.
It’s never easy to grow your mailing list, but if you follow these steps I guarantee you’ll start to get a lot more people to join your mailing list and it will develop into the single best tool you can have to connect with your fanbase. Email is not dead…it’s just misunderstood.