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Janet Roberts

Top 5 Strategies to Sabotage Growth
By Janet Roberts



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Any newsletter covering email publishing will, sooner or later, give you a quick list of sure-fire techniques to explode your list from zero to 10,000 in just a few easy steps.

(It's always the same list, too.)

What nobody ever mentions are the pitfalls that can sabotage even the best list-building program:

Top 5 Strategies to Sabotage List Growth

  • No subscription box or newsletter mention on the home page.

  • Failure to register a domain name that's the same as the list name.

  • No consistent list-promotion strategy.

  • Using a less-than-reputable co-registration company to get subscriber leads.

  • Too much time lost in the subscription process.

The Details

  • No subscription box or newsletter mention on the home page.

  • Yes, you must have a clearly articulated focus, well-written articles that nail your audience's interests and a readable layout.

    But, if nobody can find the subscribe box on your Web site, nobody will see your dynamite layout or read your fabulous articles.

    Post an active invitation to your newsletter on each page of your site. Not just a label ("Newsletter") but also a request ("Sign up for our weekly newsletter."). If you can express a benefit, that's even better ("Sign up for exclusive news and deals in our weekly newsletter.")

  • Failure to register a domain name that's the same as the list name.

  • This emphasizes your list identity and makes it easy for people to find you even if they don't remember your Web site.

  • No consistent list-promotion strategy.

  • You should be doing something at least once a month to seek new audiences, spread the word or find new ways to sign up subscribers. In a future Ezine-Tip, we'll map out a year-long promotion plan you can adapt for your own needs.

    If you follow such a plan, share it with us.

  • Using a less-than-reputable co-registration company to get subscriber leads.

  • How certain are you that your co-registration company is sending you genuine opt-in leads? Have you checked lately to see what kinds of newsletters are being promoted with yours? Are they compatible or do they not reflect your interests?

    Managed properly, co-registration can still bring in a good supply of subscriber leads, but as with everything else in the email-publishing sector, you have to know with whom you're dealing and how compatible your joint promotion efforts are.

  • Too much time lost in the subscription process.

  • If you don't send confirmations or welcome messages right away, you risk losing your new readers' attention. This is especially important if you manage subscriptions by hand instead of using an automated list-management program or if a week or longer lapses before your next newsletter goes out.

    You should also use a sign-up process that takes no more two steps: A request, submitted via email or a Web form, and a confirmation. A 2002 study of newsletter processes by Jakob Nielsen said the whole process should take no more than two minutes.

("Ezine Usability: Emotional Connections, The 'Wall of Text' and Subscribing:")

Ezine-Tips for June 17, 2003

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