Building a List through Retention
When it comes to list building effectively, you should broaden your thinking. Instead of thinking, “I need to find many, many subscribers,” consider whether focusing on “net subscribers” might constitute the best use of your time. That is, think about the number of subscribers you’re gaining minus the number of subscribers you’re losing, and try to maximize that number. Now, you might think, “that sounds great, but what can I do with the concept?” Well, you can start by changing your thinking. If your list is losing dozens of subscribers each week, think more about retaining them, rather than stuffing more of them onto your list. That is, find out why they’re dropping off of your list, and implement strategies to prevent that from happening. Here are a few things I suggest you try:
1. Administer an incentivized survey to people who are leaving your list. Try to find out why they joined, why they’re leaving, and what could possibly change their minds. Additionally, offer them a gift or perhaps $5 for taking the survey. The information you collect from their answers will be well worth the expense.
2. Offer them incentives to stay. After they hit the “unsubscribe” link, have it send them to a page where they are begged to stay and offered various products or services for free. Make sure you also include on this page an option to unsubscribe if they are not deterred.
3. Improve the quality of your content. Instead of trying to retain people who are on their way out, try to prevent people from exiting altogether. You can do this by making continuous attempts to improve your content. Incorporate interviews with experts, links to audio content, links to video content, ebooks, and reports.
So where can you go from here? Start by making some changes to your list content. Improve your content, make it more enjoyable to read, and fill it with higher-value items. After you do that, find out why people are leaving and offer them incentives to stay. If you follow these steps, you should experience a nice bump in your net subscriptions. And you’ll do it all without having to generate more traffic.