Email is often the lifeblood of a business. After all, if someone visits a site and leaves, that company needs a way to get in touch with them. As such, you can provide a major service to a company by getting more people to sign up. “How?” you ask? Read on…
Today’s question comes from Char V. who asks, “I’m working with a small business client and not many people are signing up for their email list. What can I do to improve their sign-up rates?”
As you already know, one of the reasons that copywriting is so valuable is that it can directly and immediately impact a business’ bottom line. You write great words and then people take the action the business wants them to take. In this case, you copy is going to get more people signed up for their email list.
The first thing to figure out is what the benefit is for someone of signing up for those emails. Many companies will offer a freebie in order to get people to sign up—something like a free ebook, a free audio program or even a discount on their first purchase.
If that’s the case with your client, base your benefit on that freebie. A discount is a pretty obvious benefit in and of itself, but in the case of an ebook or some other freebie, you can’t just tell people what the freebie is…you have to explain why it’s valuable.
For example, if your client is giving away an ebook called the “Top 5 Pro Tips for At-Home Brewing,” you can’t just rely on that title to excite people. What’s the benefit? Well, you have to actually know something about the ebook to be sure, but in this case it could be that it helps people brew better tasting, better quality beer. It may also help people avoid common brewing mistakes. Or it may help people to get started without making costly mistakes and purchasing the wrong items.
You can—and should—explore writing up versions with different benefits if there are more than one. Your client should test different lines.
Now, if your client isn’t giving away a freebie (and you can’t convince them to find or create one), you have to focus on the benefits of being on the newsletter list, itself. So…what are they? Do people get tips and tools? Do they get special access to discounts or events? What will people get out of being on this list?
Now that you’ve got your benefit, let’s talk about where to put it. Since the action you want people to take is to sign up, this copy should be everywhere that your client has a sign up box and button. Write a headline that conveys the benefit.
You also need to make it clear that people are signing up for a newsletter list. In a two-step process, a process in which someone clicks on a button and a sign up box pops up, you can put that copy in that pop-up box. Just make sure people know what they’re signing up for. If people are expecting just a free ebook, but they get the free ebook and a weekly newsletter subscription, there’s a good chance that some of them will complain and/or mark these emails as spam, which can affect your client’s ability to send email at all.
You also need to make sure that the call to action is straightforward and makes it clear to the reader what he or she is getting and what will happen next. You may even be able to get away with making the button the call to action, saying simply “Sign Up Now!”
In a two step process, the button/CTA could say “Get the Free Ebook!” while the copy in the pop-up sign up box conveys that they’ll get the ebook and the newsletter and the button in that box could say “Sign Up.” In either case, people will have a good idea of what they’re getting.
Creating copy that focuses on the benefits of what your client is giving away and/or the benefits of being on their email list is certain to increase your client’s email subscription rates. Plus, too, you can work with your client to refine this message through testing other iterations and ideas. Your work is valuable and this is the kind of project that immediately shows just how much.
Your turn! Have you worked on email subscription projects with clients? What were your challenges and your successes? Let us know in the comments below!