7 Mistakes You’re Making with Your Subscription Forms

Proceed with Caution if you're guilty of one of these seven subscription form mistakes!

Having your own little corner of the World Wide Web to write about anything, to engage with like-minded individuals, and to spark conversation is an incredibly wonderful, intoxicating feeling. You’re pouring your heart and soul into your work; your enthusiasm propels you forward in pursuit of your latest goal. Maybe you’ve just started your personal or business blog, or maybe you’ve been at this for a few years now. Regardless, the feeling of knowing you own that space and people are interested in what you have to say, how you can help them, is like no other.

Checking your site analytics offers encouragement to continue in your mission. People are visiting your site, interested in the content you provide; the proof is in the numbers. However, you start noticing not everything is going in the direction you’d like. People are visiting your site, but they aren’t signing up for your list. If they visit and are interested, wouldn’t they want to receive updates from you? What’s stopping them from entering their email address?

Why aren’t people signing up?

There can be many reasons why people will visit your website and choose not to sign up for your mailing list. They’re short on time, they don’t find the content valuable enough to be invited into their inboxes, or they could have even clicked onto your site by accident. You can easily run yourself tired attempting to address every possible reason visitors do not join your list, yet we suggest focusing on one item to tackle this issue.

You want to begin with the first place many publishers fumble—your subscription forms. Being in email marketing for the past decade, we’ve seen it all when it comes to these forms. The good, the bad, and the ones that should’ve never been taken live. With this knowledge in hand, we’ve devised 7 of the most common mistakes we see when it comes to subscription forms. Sometimes it’s better to know what not to do to, to narrow down what to do.

7 Mistakes to Avoid with Your Subscription Forms

  1. Your reader can’t find your subscription form. It may sound like common sense, but think about it: Do you have a lot going on with your site? Flashy graphics, ads, pop-ups, the works? Your subscription form  may be getting lost in the sea of shiny objects. As the site owner, you easily spot your form right away, but  things can get crowded for a new visitor. Consider reducing the number of distractions on your homepage or adding a simple pop-up form that appears after someone has been on your site for 30 – 60 seconds.

  1. Too many subscription forms. It’s tempting to overdo it when it comes to subscription forms. You want to make it incredibly easy for someone to subscribe, so you add a subscription form in every location possible. Header bar? Check. Pop-up? Check. Sidebar? Got it. At the bottom of every post? You betcha. One more in the footer, just in case? Of course!

    These forms are wonderful options to grow your list when they’re used in moderation. Adding all the form options you can, where you can, not only annoys your visitor but leaves you looking desperate to get subscribers. Choose 2-3 different formats and work with those for a month. Then try another combination of subscription forms. Test which ones are the most effective for your site and go from there. In this case, less can easily equal more, and desperation is never a good look for any site.

  1. Aggressive forms that are too in your face. Similar to walking into a store to make a purchase and having a sales associate immediately approach you, asking questions and offering suggestions, you don’t want your subscription forms to be equally as aggressive or annoying. Using all caps, for example, is rarely necessary, as are bright, neon colors which do not match the scheme of your site. Aggressive forms can be a huge turn off for individuals considering signing up for our list. When you’re working with your forms, put yourself in the shoes of a brand new site visitor to your site and work from this frame of mind.

  1. Not offering value in exchange for their email address. Value, in this sense, is not referring to an incentive. While offering an incentive is a phenomenal way to encourage readers to become subscribers (more on that later), this mistake is referring to the content you use on your form. Which site would you be more motivated to join?

    • “Sign up for the latest DIY crafts!“ or “Never run out of craft ideas again!”

    • “Get my weekly recipes straight to your inbox!” or “Meal Planning Made Easy!”

      Let your subscribers know what they’re getting from you and why they should submit their email address by tweaking your offer line. Anyone can send another DIY craft or a weekly recipe, but you’re offering something a little more special. Let your readers know they’ll be receiving more than another email to crowd their inbox; they’re signing up for something that is going to make their life more entertaining, easier, simpler, etc.

  1. The incentive has nothing to do with the content you’re offering. Now, this is quite common when publishers first begin offering incentives. Thinking “as long as I offer something, people will surely sign up” right? Not always. The incentive you offer should make sense for your readers. It’s a direct indication of the type of content they can expect to receive from you on a regular basis. If your incentive is off topic from their reason for visiting your site in the first place, there’s no real value in submitting their email to receive it.

  1. Requesting too much information. More common in small businesses or with professional content marketers, asking for too much information can hugely deter interested parties from signing up to your list. Begin with the basics of name and email address, then should you need more information, request it via a single-email Funnel once their subscription is confirmed. The less work your reader has to do in the beginning, the more likely they are to confirm their subscription. Not to mention, this could be the very beginning of your relationship with this new reader. Ease into things before you ask for all their personal details.

  1. Your reader cannot easily close the pop-up. Not only does your visitor see the pop-up as intrusive, especially if it appears right away, they can’t get it off their screen. It’s common for readers to ignore or close out a pop-up then continue on to submit their email address later, after reading through some of your content and know you a little better. However, if they are unable to close the pop-up on its initial appearance, they’re more likely to leave your site as opposed to sticking around to see the content. Take careful measure to check your subscription forms on different browsers and multiple devices if possible to avoid this mistake.

Turning Readers into Subscribers

It’s not impossible to turn readers into subscribers., yet, it can take some before and after testing to figure out what works best for your site. The key is taking your excitement for the content you’re producing and offering it in a way that shows value, respect and appreciation for your potential subscribers. Working in this manner will guide your readers and subscribers to cherish your corner of the internet almost as much as you do. When this happens, your mailing list will grow with your rising site analytics.

If you have any questions on the subscription form mistakes mentioned above or anything else email marketing-related, simply send our team an email at support@feedblitz.com. You can also chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

Guest Post: Getting Smart with SmartForms

Creating products and features to help our publishers thrive is our mission here at FeedBlitz HQ. After being contacted by today’s guest blogger and told of her great success using our SmartForms, we were more than happy to feature her on the FeedBlitz Blog. Read on for how this publisher used our SmartForm Subscription Forms to increase her signups and her sales!

I’ve been a FeedBlitz client for about 8 years, and while my business as a full-time author and writing coach has changed drastically since I first read Phil Hollows’ Listbuilding for Bloggers and signed on, it’s been awesome to discover that each time I need a new feature, FeedBlitz already has it in place.

Coincidentally, FeedBlitz’s recent “Growing Your List” blog post series launched around the time I hired a consulting firm to restructure my business and redesign my website. While the firm’s professionals worked behind the scenes on tech details far outside the bounds of my skill set, I was able to keep pace on a parallel track using FeedBlitz’s blog to grow my list and increase accessibility to my blog, seasonal newsletters, and income-generating autoresponders.
When restructuring my business first began, it was hard not to feel overwhelmed – I confess to getting lost down the rabbit hole of business webinars, lunch hour online chats about IT features beyond my understanding, and even enrolling in a few e-courses that just weren’t right for my business needs at the time. But one take-away from all that self-guided learning was that everyone seemed in agreement about at least one thing: getting a person’s email address via a pop-up form on your website would be essential for continued, successful online marketing and engagement.
Cue, Feedblitz’s blog post on SmartForms, which I’d been aware of for quite some time but hadn’t yet made time to understand. Within minutes of creating the form, I had a customized template set to my liking, and within hours, new subscribers were signing on. Thanks to additional blog posts in FeedBlitz’s series, I also understood I ought to offer an incentive to folks for sharing their email address, and thanks to pro tips from folks like Janelle at Zen Courses, I was finally starting to understand that my archive of over 2,000 blog posts in 10 years was a gold mine waiting to be upgraded, shared, re-linked, and properly tagged.
So I customized my SmartForm to match my new branding, then tied it to a brief autoresponder that starts with a free downloadable PDF titled “Top 5 Tools that Changed My Life as a Self-Employed Writer.” My list doubled in two months and continues to passively grow every week, slow and steady. Some of these subscribers were readers who had followed my blog for years, and had simply never seen or opted to enter their email address into the sidebar widget I used for subscriptions. Now—they’ll never miss a post, AND I can assure they get “first dibs” on discounts or limited time offers I only make available to this select group.

“My list doubled in two months and continues to passively grow every week, slow and steady.”

More importantly, new visitors to my site get to meet me first and foremost through the positive experience of a free PDF. They opt-in, so there’s nothing SPAM-like about it, and after a few messages from me about what I do, plus links to several free trials, the autoresponder finishes. They don’t hear from me again until my seasonal newsletter goes out, and click-through rates on those have also doubled.

How does it all add up, you might wonder? SmartForms helped me expand my audience, first and foremost, and that’s priceless. They also help me gather key information about my clients and audience, via custom fields. But more than all of that, this self-running feature helps me generate income.

Because of the positive experience folks are having getting a free PDF and a tasteful, SPAM-free set of emails linking them to free trials they’re interested in, eventually a handful of those subscribers become paying clients. And it all started with the SmartForm…

Katey Schultz is an author, writing coach, and founder of Maximum Impact: Precision Courses for Writers, Artists, & Trailblazers. Learn more at www.kateyschultz.com.

Thank you, Katey, for taking the time to talk about your experience with FeedBlitz SmartForm Subscription Forms. If you are a FeedBlitz Publisher and would like to share your experience and possibly be featured on the blog as a Case Study or Guest Post, please send us an email and let’s get the conversation started.

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Grow Your List with Subscribe by Text

Do you speak at events, host live streaming sessions, or produce a podcast? If so, our Subscribe via Text option is the ideal tool to have on hand for your listeners to easily and quickly join your list.

To get started with this option, select the Subscribe by Text / SMS option under Lists. From here you will be prompted to select your mailing list, if you have more than one available.

Screenshot of FeedBlitz Dashboard showing Subscribe via Text Option

Subscribe via text is enabled on all mailing lists. The default text code is your mailing list ID, however you can set this code to be any unique code like. Once a listener or viewer texts the designated code to the number 1.781.262.3877, they will receive an automated text message containing a link to your subscription form.

Click to set up the text as noted above. You are able to designate as many codes as you’d like, and can customize the message your listeners receive:

Pro Tip: Speaking or attending multiple conferences? Create new codes along with custom fields for each conference. This will tag your subscribers so you are able to easily differentiate which subscriber came from which conference.

Standard text message and data rates may apply for your subscribers. Separate codes will need to be used for individual mailing lists.

If you have any questions, simply send our Support Team an email at support@feedblitz.com, or you can chat or give us a call 1.877.692.5489 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. We also have plenty of great support available 24/7 in our online Help Forum and YouTube channel!

Sending Email Automatically: An Introduction to Funnels (formerly known as Autoresponders)

Mailboxes visually representing autoresponders

One of the many bonuses of an email marketing platform is how easy it can be to have it run itself. Incentives and offers are automatically sent to new subscribers, current subscribers are introduced to the other services, an email campaign used to systematically launch a new course or product. And all of this is taking place, running seamlessly, like a well-oiled machine.

Sounds wonderful and ideal, right? Of course it does! And what if we told you that with a small amount of setup, you can be sending this out (and more) in no time? We’d be telling the truth, because you most definitely can and during the month of February we are not only going to show you how, but ways to maximize the process as well.

It’s time to discuss one of the FeedBlitz staff’s most prized tools and one of our Publisher’s most valued email marketing tactics: Funnels.

What is a Funnel?

A Funnel is a sequence of automatic email messages sent to selected subscribers per rules designated by the publisher. A Funnel can include a sequence of emails to be sent or a single email. It can contain any information desired by the publisher, be attached to particular email lists or act as a stand-alone list. Different from an On Demand or Newsflash mailing, Funnels are sent automatically when a set action has been completed. Using specific tagging, a publisher decides which subscribers – old or new – will receive this correspondence and on what schedule.

What is the purpose of Funnels?

There are many reasons our publishers use Funnels. While the list below is far from all-inclusive, it does highlight many of the ways we have seen our publishers put Funnels to great use:

  • Welcome Emails – Sent automatically once a subscriber confirms their subscription.
  • Incentive Delivery – Publishers often use a Funnel to deliver an incentive offered for subscription.
  • Reader Rewards – Have a subscriber hit a milestone in their subscription to your site – 6 months, 1 year, etc.? Automatically send them a reward of your choice via email.
  • Email Courses – Free email courses are a great way to increase subscriber engagement or earn a passive income if fee-based.
  • Product Launches / Sales Funnel – Have a new launch coming up in the next few months? Increase interest by creating a new Funnel for interested parties. Automatically send out email correspondence leading up to the launch.
  • Outreach of Services – We can’t always write about everything at the same time on our website, therefore Funnels are a great tactic to employ when wanting to inform your subscribers of your services, past writings, and other offers in a strategic manner.

As you can see, there is a wide array of uses for Funnels. They have also shown to be greatly effective in re-engagement campaigns targeted towards lost or inactive readers during a list hygiene. Creativity, personalization, engagement, these are all reasons Funnels are a favorite tool of publishers and FeedBlitz staff alike.

Homework:

Now that you are aware of the power a Funnel wields, it’s time to think about how you can use them to your advantage. The best way to maximize the effectiveness of a Funnel is to plan out its purpose and functionality. Your homework for this week is to:

  • Think of at least one Funnel (a sequence of emails or a single email Funnel) you can set up that would help increase your branding, offer an incentive, or introduce readers to another service offering.

or

  • Review your current Funnels and select at least one (or one series) that could use an update or TLC.

Once you have your ideas in place and text drafted, we’ll be back next week to walk you through the process of setting up your Funnels. A true set-it-and-forget-it email marketing tactic, once Funnels are in place, they continue to work for your benefit with little to no management.

Have questions on where to find Autoresponders or any of our other FeedBlitz features? Send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Growing Your List: Bonus Tips and Tricks

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Now that you have a solid framework in place including customized subscription forms, subscription process and email template, or are currently working to get things in line, we would like to share a few tips on fine tuning the process. Below are a few things our FeedBlitz Support Staff does to take our publisher’s to the next level and ensure streamlined and cohesive email marketing.

Mailing Schedule

FeedBlitz offers a variety of mailing schedules for your convenience as a publisher. Express is our most common setting as mailings are sent twice in one hour. We poll active feeds every 15 minutes and send new postings in the next available Express mailing with this schedule.  However if you post multiple times a day, it may be best to mail once daily with All New Posts to avoid over-sending emails to your subscribers. Adjust this schedule under your Mailing List’s Settings tab as seen below:

Newsletter Settings - FeedBlitz.png

Newsletter Settings - FeedBlitz (1).png

You can use these controls to adjust your mailings to what suits both your site and your subscribers.

Auto-Posting to Social Channels

FeedBlitz publishers are able to link their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to their feeds for automatic posting to these social channels. Doing so in the Site Dashboard, select I want to…Set Up a New….Social Media Posting, this takes out the extra step of manually posting their content. Social updates are posted within 30 minutes of publishing a new post, not on the same schedule as email notifications. We recommend using this feature to broaden the reach of your content and reach possible new subscribers across all social channels.

Color Matching to Your Site

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Matching your FeedBlitz materials to your site’s branding is even easier with the color matching plugin for Google Chrome called Eye Dropper. Our Support Team uses this tool frequently to match colors for our publishers. We’ve found it to be a quick, reliable tool to enhance branding cohesiveness between a publisher’s website and their FeedBlitz mailings.

Subscription Options – Daily or Weekly Updates

If you post multiple times a day, even multiple times a week, we recommend offering subscription options to your readers. This allows your reader to choose how frequently they hear from you and has shown to be very effective in subscriber retention (more on that below).

Did you know? The most common reason we see for unsubscription is due to too many updates. As a publisher, it can be difficult to determine the exact amount of mailings each subscriber would prefer. Offering varying subscription options allows your readers to choose the frequency that suits them best.

To create this option, start with separate mailing lists for each possible mailing, i.e. On Demand, Daily, or Weekly. Once these lists are in place, follow along the steps in this video from our FeedBlitz Support YouTube Channel to create subscription forms with new options. 

Trouble viewing this video? Please click here.

The Unsubscribe Page

When someone unsubscribes from your list they are taken first to a page to confirm their request, then redirected to a default FeedBlitz page announcing their request is complete. This second page is where you can step in and redirect them to a new landing page. Here you can offer an incentive for staying, an option to subscribe to fewer updates from you, mention you are sorry to see them go, or even invite them to stay in touch on various social networks. Our publishers with multiple subscription options have found redirecting users to a page offering a new delivery option can be quite effective in retaining subscribers.

To redirect this URL, navigate to your Mailing List Settings, and under Subscriber Interaction, Activation and Notification, click the standard FeedBlitz opt-out page, then enter the new URL here:

Activation Link Boxes - Opt Out Redirect.png

Opt-In Offers

If you are really interested in driving the growth of your list, an opt-in offer, or incentive for subscribing, is one of the best tactics you can employ. Make this offer the focus of your subscription pop up to grab a reader’s attention or add it to your post footer subscription boxes to incentivize readers to join your list. Your opt-in offer can be anything your readers would find of value – a free PDF download, access to an archived webinar or podcast not available on your site, a checklist of sorts. The options here are plenty, with the focus on providing a solution to your readers’ problems, peaking their interest into joining your list to receive the free material not readily available to others who visit your site.

Welcome Emails

A welcome email completes the fully customized subscription process. Sent as a single email Funnel, these emails are automatically delivered to new subscribers once they confirm their subscription. This is a great way to deliver any incentive or opt-in you offered for new subscribers, as well as a surprise bonus coupon, downloadable or webinar. It brings the subscription process full circle and further engages your new subscriber.

Both the Opt-In Offers and Welcome Emails lead us into our February focus which is on our Funnels feature. Funnels are one of our favorite tools at FeedBlitz and one which our publishers have really put to great use. We’re very excited to be diving into them more in depth over these upcoming weeks! Used for a variety of reasons including increasing engagement, establishing re-engagement, marketing campaigns, online courses and more, Funnels are the next area of focus for publishers once they have the framework of their account up and running.

Have questions on the tips mentioned above or any of our FeedBlitz features? Send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Growing Your List: Send Something Worth Reading

You have an excited, interested new subscriber who has completed the full customized subscription process, and just a few hours or days later, they receive the first post from you and are filled with a great sense of underwhelm. They skim the article, scroll to the bottom and click unsubscribe.

Not the scenario we’re all hoping for, right? This can easily happen to a publisher who doesn’t pay much attention to how their content is being delivered. In today’s post we are going to introduce the EZ Template Editor available to FeedBlitz publishers and point out a few, simple ways you can maximize its offerings to create aesthetically appealing, clean and reader-friendly emails for your subscribers.

Why should I care about my email template?

Looks aren’t everything, but when you’re talking about online marketing (emails included) and you only have an estimated 8 seconds to capture someone’s attention, looks matter a lot more than you’d think. It’s true your subscribers follow you because they’re interested in the content, however the delivery of that content holds a near equal value.

Before we get started, pull up your current email template and ask yourself these questions:

  • Is it aesthetically appealing?
  • Does it look like it came from my website?
  • If you’re sending multiple posts, are you sending the full posts or short summaries?
  • IS IT MOBILE RESPONSIVE? *Bolded and capitalized to hit the importance of that one detail, of course.
  • Can I easily pinpoint the focus of my email?
  • Does it give clear options for forwarding to friends, unsubscribing, reading past issues, and more?
  • Are my social links highlighted?
  • And possibly the most important question: Is there room for improvement here?

If your answer is NO to any of the above questions, keep reading. If your answers are all YES to the above, keep reading still as there’s always something new you could learn.

How do I get started editing my template?

This is a very common question our support team gets on a regular basis, and so we created the below video from our FeedBlitz Support YouTube channel which walks you through the steps of setting up a new design with our EZ Template Editor.

Having trouble viewing this video? Click here.

Interested in checking out more great videos from our Support team? Head over to our YouTube channel  for tutorials and introductions to help maximize your FeedBlitz publishing experience!

While this video walks you through only the beginning stages of creating and editing your email template, you can see it leaves room for heightened customization to your liking. Sharing as much or as little information as you’d like, color matching to your website’s branding, incorporating your social accounts for added visual bonus, and adjusting your content layout to your liking are all features you have control over in your template.

Feature Highlight: All email templates created with our EZ Template Editor are fully responsive! Considering 53% of email is opened and read on a mobile device, this is one less thing for you to worry about.

You can always preview your template or access prior drafts when working in the template editor. Once you have a near finished  product, we suggest checking your template through the orange Troubleshoot button on your Mailing List dashboard. Here you can select either a Preview which will open in a new browser window, or send a Test Email which gives a stronger idea of what your subscribers will be receiving.

Pro Tip: Check your email template on multiple browsers (Chrome, Firefox, etc.) and multiple devices (computer, phone, tablet), as well as multiple email clients (Gmail, AOL, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.) if possible. This will let you see how a variety of clients and browsers register your email and will assist you in double checking margins, image widths, post truncation, gauge responsiveness and much more.

For those of you who are satisfied with their EZ Template design and are looking to take things a step further, we offer the Advanced Template Editor (ATE). Working in the ATE does require basic coding knowledge, but it offers the opportunity to incorporate custom fields, forms and multiple RSS channels in one email. To learn more about the ATE editor, please contact our Support Team for further assistance.

Coming up next week on the FeedBlitz blog, we’ll be adding in a few bonus tips and tricks from our Support Team. You have the basics in place and now it’s time to fine tune the process to position you for growth now and for the rest of the year.

Love the EZ Template Editor but find yourself questioning how you can improve your template? Contact our Support Team support@feedblitz.com for a basic template review and we’ll send you a few ideas to enhance your template design!

If you have any questions on any of our FeedBlitz features, send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, check out our Help Forum, chat with us online or give us a call at 1.877.692.5498.  Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Growing Your List: Customize the Full Experience

Last week we explored how using SmartForms can help grow your list, (need a reminder? Check our parts one and two! ) this week we’re taking you through why and how to customize what happens after a person hits Subscribe.

Congratulations! They hit Subscribe! Now what happens?

Once a reader presses the magical button to send their email address to your list, you might think the process is finished, however that’s not the case. There’s a few more steps in the subscription process before they have officially joined your list.

  1. Reader enters his or her information and hits Subscribe.
  2. Reader is notified to check their email to complete the subscription.
  3. An email arrives in the reader’s inbox with a link to activate their subscription.
  4. The new subscriber is redirected to a welcome page.

When you begin a mailing list in FeedBlitz, this process is automatically generated with default information. While the default information is great, think about the goldmine of branding possibilities in these small, but very important, steps.

What are the benefits of customizing the subscription process?

Publishers can have many reasons for wanting to customize the subscription process, however these are our top three benefits we’ve identified throughout our clients:

  1. Consistent branding of your site. One of the oldest marketing concepts (The Rule of 7) stands behind the principle of a person needing to be touched by a message 7 times before it begins to resonate. These touches can be through any medium, which includes the placement of  your logo or branding through all steps of the subscription process.

  2. Showing your personality. Editing the text to show your site’s personality, be it professional, conversational, strategic or familiar, gives the reader an additional sense of who you are as a publisher or company. These small details can have a great impact in increasing an individual’s know, like and trust factor.

  3. Guide your reader exactly where you want. Walk your readers through the subscription process to increase the likelihood of clicking the activation link, as well as sticking around on your site once the process is completed.

How do I customize the full subscription process?

To begin editing these steps, log into your FeedBlitz account and you will find this under your mailing list settings as shown below:

Mailing List – I want to… – Change – Settings – Third Tab: Subscriber Interaction, Activation and Notification

Let’s take a look a closer look at each step and how we can customize it:

  • Default activation reminder page: This directs the reader to check their email to complete the activation process. To customize, simply add a new page to your website (check out this example here) which offers this information. Back in your mailing list settings, select the highlighted text “the FeedBlitz default activation reminder page” and entering the URL for your new page in the top blank:

  • Default activation email: This is the email sent to your reader with the activation link. Simple tips to customize include adding your logo to the top, editing the text to mimic the voice of your blog, and replacing “Thank you, The FeedBlitz Team” with your closing and name. There’s a lot of possibilities here to customize, test a few and see what works.

Pro Tip: Less is more with this email! The primary focus is for the reader to click the activation link and confirm their subscription. Too much clutter can distract from the main purpose of the email.

  • Default landing page: If you only customize one of the steps, let it be this one! When the activation link is clicked, this will be the page your new subscriber sees. You can redirect them to your homepage, create a new “Thank you for subscribing!” page, or even list your most popular blog posts. It’s much easier to keep a reader on your site then it is for them to return to your site on their own. Redirect this page  by clicking on the highlighted text “the FeedBlitz default landing page” and entering the desired URL in the second blank:

*Note: We will be covering how to customize the Opt-Out Completion page in a future post!

Now that you know how to customize your subscription path, take a look below at an example of a blog which is set to at the default and another that has customized each step of the process:

Default

Customized

Pretty big difference, wouldn’t you agree? Both sets accomplish the same task, but which do you prefer visually? Which set would you want your reader to see?

Time to Take Action:

  • Pick at least one of the three steps and decide how to customize it.
  • Log into your FeedBlitz account and customize the step you chose.

You can knock out all three, of course, but if that seems a bit much, pick one and go from there.  Remember you will only need to edit this once and then you’re set.

Next week in our list growing email series, it’s Template Design 101 time. We’ll be showing you how to take your email template up a notch to keep readers visually engaged and send emails they’ll want to pass along to friends.

Do you have questions on the subscription process discussed above or any of our FeedBlitz features? Send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Growing Your List: Enhancing Your Subscription Forms Part 2

On our mission to help you grow your list of subscribers, we covered in greater depth the value of customized subscription forms in our earlier post this week. (Need a refresher? Check it out here). Your homework from Tuesday’s post was to start creating a new (or reevaluate your current) SmartForm. Now that you’ve worked with our editing program and are on your way to creating a sleek, customized SmartForm subscription form to capture new readers, today we are going to talk about the various ways you can add your forms to your site.

What form will your subscription form take?

FeedBlitz SmartForms offer a variety of display options. We walk you through these below:

  • Sidebar Widget - Arguably the most popular placement for a subscription form, the sidebar widget can be as simple or complex depending on what you desire for your site.

 

Did you know? Our FeedBlitz SmartForms automatically sense who’s a subscriber and who’s not. That means the sidebar widgets collapse and the popups do not appear to those who are already subscribed.

  • Subscription Page - A separate subscription page is ideal for those interested in adding additional text such as your company’s Terms and Conditions or Privacy Policy, additional fields (date of birth, company, website, etc.), or you would prefer to have a subscription page link.

  • Popup - You determine how many page views and how many seconds (20-30 seconds is average) before the Popup appears, as well as the number of days the popup appears again to non-subscribers. This form option is also great for opt in offers or grabbing a reader’s attention.

  • Post footer - How many times have you read a blog post and at the end you notice a line or a box that reads something along the lines of: Like what you read above? Subscribe to get our updates direct to your inbox! Imagine someone who hasn’t been to your site stumbles upon your post. If they make it all the way to the end, odds are high they’re interested and wouldn’t mind hearing a bit more. A subscription form in the footer of your post is an ideal place to capitalize on new readers and capture their information.

Choose as many or as few forms as you’d like and create them to be as simple or complex as your site requires. The most important step is having at least one customized subscription form that fits your branding, that’s easily visible for your readers to use. This one step is incredibly valuable in establishing the tools to grow your list over the coming months.

Next week we’ll show you how to fully optimize what happens after a reader enters their email address and hits Subscribe. Hint: It’s a goldmine of customization points which many don’t apply!

As always, if you have any questions on the above or on any of our FeedBlitz features, you can email us at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

Do you have a SmartForm Success Story? Send us an email support@feedblitz.com, we’d love to hear more about it and your site may even be featured on the FeedBlitz blog!

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Growing Your List: Enhancing Your Subscription Forms Part 1

It’s no secret we here at FeedBlitz love the start of a new year and the excitement it brings. Many publishers see this as a time to set new goals, create new editorial calendars, and determine how they can have a greater impact with their website. It’s all very exhilarating, and we enjoy seeing our clients light up with fresh eyes for the new year.

A common goal for many of our publishers is to grow their list, widening their net of readers and prospective clients. (We wholeheartedly agree as this goal is a Top 5 FeedBlitz priority as well!) We’re all too familiar with how frustrating it can be trying to grow your list. Common questions we often hear include:

Should I blog more? Email more or less often?
Do I Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest enough?
Offer a contest? Join a course? Go on a business retreat?

Hit pause. Before you become overwhelmed, we’re here to help. We are dedicating the month of January to helping you grow your list, using the free tools available through your FeedBlitz publisher account. Our goal over these next few weeks is for you to set yourself in a prime position grow your list; not only now, but for the rest of the year.

This week’s focus is enhancing your subscription forms to encourage readers to submit their email addresses. For a majority of publishers, their subscription form is the most important Call to Action (CTA) their site has, so it’s the best place to start in maximizing your list growth potential.

Why should I customize my subscription forms?

Simple answer: To increase brand consistency, user experience and highlight your primary CTA.

Your site should offer readers a personalized experience, unique only to you. Going the extra step in creating customized subscription forms allows you the opportunity for brand expression when shaping that experience. Think of the personal touches certain hotel chains offer, the branded shipping some retailers use as opposed to bare boxes. These small details help create a full experience package.

As your subscription form is most likely the premier CTA on your site, the question isn’t “Why should I customize?” but rather “Why am I not customizing my subscription forms?”

Getting Started with FeedBlitz SmartForms

Since the release date in early March of 2015, our SmartForms subscription forms have taken a variety of shapes and sizes. Once our publishers began working with them, we’ve really seen great examples of flexibility and customization. Getting started with SmartForms is easy and we walk you through the steps here in this quick, 4:32 minute video:

Having trouble viewing this video? Click here.

Did you know we have a FeedBlitz Support YouTube channel with tons of videos like this one? Check it out here and see how you can up the ante with your email marketing!

It really is that simple to create a sleek, customized subscription form to match the branding. Mimic the colors of your site, pull in your logo for the header, change your font, the size of your boxes and more, all while being able to Save and Preview before it ever goes live on your site.

Pro Tip: When you’re designing your SmartForm, add a Classic Form to your page to capture potential subscribers. No need to miss anyone while you’re debating on whether the Sky Blue or Ocean Blue subscribe button will be most effective!

Worried about having your form be responsive? No need to think twice (unless you have a separate template for your mobile site). Our SmartForms are set to max-width and are naturally responsive for all screen sizes.

Now that we’ve gone through the process of why and how to set up a customized SmartForm for your site, we’d like to send you off with a bit of homework:

  • Log in to your FeedBlitz account and test out setting up and customizing a new SmartForm subscription form for your site.
  • If you already have one in place, examine it to make sure your form still fits your site’s message and branding.

Later this week we’ll be back with the different format options and placements you can use for your SmartForms. As always, if you have any questions on the above or on any of our FeedBlitz features, you can email us at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

Do you have a SmartForm Success Story? Send us an email support@feedblitz.com, we’d love to hear more about it and your site may even be featured on the FeedBlitz blog!

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!