I’ve just reached the halfway point in my self-inflicted challenge to increase my email list subscribers by 25% in a month and I’ve got another update for you about my progress, what’s working, and what’s not.
Now on to this week’s update…
As a quick reminder, my goal was to generate 285 new subscribers this month, which would represent a 25% increase in the number of Free Tips Newsletter subscribers I got last month. In order to reach that goal, I need to average approximately 9.5 subscribers per day.
THIS WEEK’S RESULTS – A BIG BREAKTHROUGH!
In the last 7 days I’ve gotten 116 new subscribers! This is a 69% increase compared to what I got in the first week of this challenge and it puts my total number of new subscribers this month already up to 185 subscribers in just 14 days.
That means I’m averaging 13 subscribers a day and am on pace to shatter my goal of a 25% increase this month. I’m not sure I can maintain my current pace, but if I do then I’m on track to get more than 400 email subscribers this month which would be pretty amazing. And most importantly, this week I made a real breakthrough with a new tactic that proved incredibly effective to attract new email subscribers.
HOW I DID IT: EXCLUSIVE MAILING LIST CONTENT
I tried several things this week including continuing to tweak my sign up forms and re-sharing old “greatest hits” content from my site on social media (both of which I detailed in last week’s update). Those have continued to be helpful, but there was something that I tried for the first time on Saturday that really jumpstarted my email signups this week and that’s what I’d like to discuss in more detail here.
My Free Tips Newsletter features a lot of exclusive content that isn’t available on this website, but I’ve always just promoted it in more general terms. I assumed that talking about the overall things that the newsletter had to offer (tips to grow your fanbase, book more gigs, etc.) would be a compelling enough offer for people interested in that sort of thing to sign up.
But recently, I started wondering if the response would be different if I offered a single piece of specific content as a lure to get people to sign up for the newsletter, so that’s exactly what I decided to try.
I decided that in order to make it as compelling as possible to my audience, I wanted to come up with an idea for an article that would sound very valuable and have the broadest possible appeal. I could offer an article just about Facebook, or Youtube, or websites, but lots of comics aren’t interested in those things. I wanted something that EVERY comic would hopefully be interested in and, of course, a topic that I had an opinion about and valuable information to share.
After giving it some thought, here’s what I came up with: an article about 10 Huge Opportunities I See For Comedians.
My hope was that any comic who was a reader of Connected Comedy would be intrigued enough at that title to warrant signing up for me email list in order to be able to see what those opportunities were. And since the only way they could get that information was to be a subscriber of my email list, that many of them would go ahead and sign up.
It hasn’t even been 24 hours since I posted the news that I would be releasing that article to subscribers only later this week and the results have been pretty great.
Of the 232 people who have visited that page, 33 of them have subscribed to my email list. That’s a 14% conversion rate and a clear sign that offering a specific piece of exclusive content is a great way to turn regular readers of your content into subscribers. Plus, this is clearly a tactic that would be easy for me to repeat if I wanted to – I wouldn’t do it all the time but occasionally creating content just for my subscribers and notifying non-subscribers about its upcoming release is an easy way to drive new subscriptions.
HOW I DID IT: FACEBOOK ADS
The other thing I did this week that helped spike subscriptions was to spend a little money on targeted Facebook ads. This is something I’ve done on and off since I launched Connected Comedy and it was really to credit for the early growth of the site.
This week I decided to just run some “Sponsored Story” ads with some specific targeting. Here’s a look at what the ad I ran looked like and who it targeted:
In case you’re not familiar with how Facebook’s sponsored story ads work, anybody who fit my demographic targeting would see that ad run with a heads up that their friend already liked Connected Comedy. Since I know most comedians are friends with other comedians, this ad tends to work pretty well in terms of reaching my target audience.
And while the prices for these kind of ads can vary greatly, in this case it was pretty cost effective. I decided to spend $10 per day on the ad for a total spend of $70 this week. But here’s what I got for that investment: 390 people clicked the ad and 268 of those people actually then “Liked” my Facebook page.
I’m not able to tell exactly how many of them wound up joining my email list, but I’m sure several of them did. And even if they didn’t, I got them as Facebook fans and they’ll have plenty of other chances to eventually join my email list.
I’m a huge proponent of Facebook ads (if used in a smart way) and I’m very happy with what I got for my $70 investment in them this week.
I’m way ahead of my 25% increase pace at this point so I’m definitely going to keep doing what’s been working, but I’m sure I’ll also come up with a couple new things to try next week to see what else I can find that might continue to build on this momentum. And I’ll be curious to see how many more subscribers I get from the exclusive newsletter post tease, since I won’t be sending that to my mailing list for a couple days still.