Implementing growth strategies for your subscription base is a vital part of optimizing growth for your small business. A major step to success is understanding how to retain your current customer base and attract new subscribers. In essence, you want to create fresh content that engages your subscribers and keeps them coming back for more. Here are some more helpful tips for growing your small business' subscription base.
Get to know your subscribers
The first step in optimizing your subscriber list is getting to know the people who are on it. Learn about your customers by collecting useful data and information about them by installing an analytics tool on your website such as Google Analytics or Kissmetrics. These tools provide all kinds of important metrics like how many visits per month, per week, and per day your site gets, a visitor's location, as well as a paid conversion rate. A site like CrazyEgg will give you a "heatmap" of your site that shows what areas are drawing clicks, and more importantly what areas are not. The more information you can gather about visitors' clicking and browsing habits the better, so you can tailor your email marketing campaign accordingly.
Give the people what they want
The O'Jays summed up a successful subscription strategy best when they sang,"Give the people what they want," in their 1975 chart-topping R&B song. Seems easy enough to do, especially when you can follow the adage, "write about what you know," which goes along with giving your customers what they want. You should be an expert on your products and services. It all really starts with the content you create. Is your newsletter, blog post or informational email cool and entertaining? Does it display expert knowledge about your product, service and field. Are you giving your customer value-added information that they want and need? The key is to avoid being flat and boring. Also, don't waste your customer's time with irrelevant information. Give the people the quality content they want and you'll have the best chance that they'll keep coming back for more.
Think outside the box
Thinking out side the box should be meant figuratively and literally. You must be creative to stand out in a crowded inbox, thousands of other small business sites and social media pages. Your email heading should entice a click-to-open, and your content should drive your audience over to your site. Create interesting and fun interactions that would appeal to your audience while being useful. If you're a hometown bakery, provide a fun how-to videos and secret recipes on your site about making pie crust or bread from scratch. Post photos of your best cupcakes or cookies. Include a "treat of the day" on Instagram or Twitter sites, and add the links in your email. You can also attract customers customers to your site by adding your link to your social media pages.
Invite them to subscribe
This might sound like common sense, but many small business owners fail to reach out with a simple link to allow for easy subscription on their site. You can also include subscription information on social pages, printed brochures, signup sheets at seminars, sales events and more. Always remember you are in business to attract and retain customers, and to ultimately sell your product or service. Building a strong subscription base often starts with a simple "please subscribe" invitation. Don't hesitate to be aggressive in your effort to grow your list this way.
Word of mouth goes a long way in the business world. If you can get a happy, enthusiastic customer to help spread the word about your business, then consider rewarding their loyalty. For instance, offer a subscription referral reward if a current subscriber refers a friend to join your list, or better yet, to your company for a sale. Maybe offer a product discount, a free sample or some other perk. New customers generated from happy customers is arguably the best kind of growth your business can experience.
This article was written by Lori Melton for CBS Small Business Pulse
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