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.

Safeguarding your SEO: Google and Pop-Ups

Closing out an ad on a mobile phone.

As a blogger or website owner, you know what happens when Google makes an announcement and how it can adversely impact your site’s rankings. In August of 2016, the big G announced it will begin penalizing websites for “intrusive interstitials” (aka pop-ups) on mobile sites in January of 2017.

Google has stated that sites with too many or aggressive pop-ups on mobile platforms will be penalized in search results. We agree with his sentiment, we’ve long suggested the use of respectful pop-ups that allow for your readers to engage with your content before asking for a subscription. This move by Google is to reduce the number of pop-ups your readers will need to go through when viewing the mobile version of your site. Removal of these pop-ups, whether they be ads or subscription forms, will improve the reader’s experience of your site on a mobile device.

To protect your site and its rankings, FeedBlitz HQ has implemented a code change to accommodate this update from Google. This code change will prevent your pop-ups from appearing at all when your site is in mobile view. (Don’t worry, it won’t affect your pop-ups on a desktop or laptop device!) An automatic update for new pop-ups moving forward, you can take action now to address and update the current pop-ups.

How to Update your Pop-up

To do this you’ll simply need to complete the following steps:

  • Navigate to your lists SmartForm Editor. You can find your SmartForms in the dashboard of your list by clicking the “I want to button” and selecting “Subscription Forms & links”. Select the form you would like to work with, then click the green Design button in the upper right. This will take you to your SmartForm Editor.
  • Look at the top of the left pane and click the Code tab, then select Popup.
  • Adjust the pop-up’s settings to your preference and copy the code. Remember, we recommend letting your reader engage with your content before firing the pop-up. Click Update Pop-Up Code and copy it to your clipboard.
  • Replace the current pop-up code on your site with the new code. Usually, your current pop-up code is in a text widget at the bottom of your sidebar or if you have a widgetized footer, it could be there.  Don’t forget to click save after replacing your old code with the new.

 

And that’s it! You’ll be in line to protect your site from possible interstitial penalizing by Google.

If not a pop-up though, what else can you do?

Consider adding a subscription form in a sidebar or the footer of your website. These forms will still be present and non-intrusive when viewed in mobile. Another option is to work with a top bar through one of our integrated apps such as SumoMe from AppSumo or OptinMonster. This will place a subscription form bar at the top of your website, and will be in prime view for new readers.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Support Team via email to 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.

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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!

Making the Most of FeedBlitz: Simplifying the Subscription Form

Making the Most of FeedBlitzThis week, we continue our look at the FeedBlitz philosophy behind subscription forms.

As mentioned last week, our approach is to keep the subscription form on your site as simple as possible.

Any extra data collection or work (such as CAPTCHAs for anti-spam, custom fields or social media authentication dialogs) will take place on a separate page.

For example, to go straight from the form on your site to sending the activation email without going through the typical interstitial page requires the following:

1) Email only form

2) No custom fields

3) A paid FeedBlitz account

4) No reason for FeedBlitz to otherwise present a CAPTCHA

When all these conditions are true the user workflow is much simpler and faster. The variable you can’t control is FeedBlitz’s security and anti-spam detection routines that decide when to put up the CAPTCHA; more on this below. [Read more...]