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May 12, 2008

How To Get And Keep More Loyal Ezine Subscribers

When I noticed an automatically generated note from one of my email list hosting accounts at ProfitAutomation warning me that the account was approaching the 200,000 subscriber limit, and that I needed to increase its size, I realized that I finally had all of the subscribers that I really “needed.” That account is one of five that I have with ProfitAutomation, and I also have one with Aweber.

So, while I still have a goal of building my database to over 1 million subscribers before the end of 2008, subconsciously I have to admit… that’s somewhat for “bragging rights.”

As I studied list building over the years, I eventually realized that a more important question than how to grow your list is “How do you keep loyal subscribers.”

Growing a large list is fairly simple… depending upon your definition of large.

It’s as simple as:

– Having a subscribe box on every page of your website

– Having a subscribe box somewhere in the backend of each sales processes

– Giving people a very specific reason for subscribing (telling them what benefit they’ll gain from being on your list)

– Using testimonials from happy subscribers to prove that other already enjoy your ezine

– Focusing your ezine on a tightly niched topic that your audience has a real interest in

There are other things that you can do such as joint ventures, and finding ways to get in front of other publishers’ audiences, but it all centers around answering the question of “What’s in it for me?” that all of your potential subscribers have.

Once you get subscribers though, how do you keep them?

My friend Paul Myers, in his ebook, “The Amazing List Machine” taught me that you simply deliver to your subscribers what you promised them when they first joined your list.

If your ezine is on affiliate marketing, then your content teaches them affiliate marketing.

If your ezine is on website traffic generation then your content teaches them about website traffic generation.

If your ezine is on cooking (as one of mine is) then you teach them to cook.

Sounds fairly simple doesn’t it?

If you give your subscribers what you promised them when you enticed them to join your list, they should stay on your list, and read your newsletters, provided their needs don’t change.

For many ezine publishers, the tougher question becomes “How do I monetize my list without driving off subscribers.” After all, isn’t that why most of us started a newsletter?

Yes, it’s fun writing something that people enjoy reading. It’s nice getting emails telling you how long they’ve been a subscriber, and how much of a difference your lessons have made in their lives.

However, that won’t put food on your table. So, how do you monetize your list?

The answer is that you offer them goods and services directly related to the topic of your list. If your list is on cooking, then you offer them cookbooks, and cooking gadgets, and perhaps cooking videos… or live workshops.

If you ezine is about list-building then you offer them supplemental courses on list-building. You offer them software that automates the process more. You offer them case-studies that show how others are building large, responsive lists.

The whole process is fairly simple when you step back and look at it. You entice subscribers to join your list by promising them exactly what they want (that you can deliver). You keep them by delivering what you promised. Finally, you monetize your list by selling them things that make it easier for them to get what they were looking for when they first joined your list.

Take a few minutes now and examine your process. Honestly look for weak points in your system… and then fix them. Then you too will one day realize the you no longer need to focus on growing your list. Then the challenge becomes deepening the relationship that you have with list members, although you should have been focused on that all along too 🙂

Willie Crawford has been running an online business, largely driven by email marketing, since late-1996. He is the author of the popular ebook “How I Boosted My Ezine Sign-Up Rate By 5200 MORE Subscribers Per Month – Virtually Overnight – And You Can Too.” Get your copy now at