Advice For Writers

Three Ways to Increase Email Subscription Conversions

Today I’m discussing how to increase Email subscription conversions, because building a large, healthy list of subscribers is critical to your success.

While I’ve read documented cases of independent authors building huge fanbases and selling tons of books without mailing lists, a strong subscriber base improves the odds that you’ll achieve success.

I recently conducted a real-time experiment on my website, utilizing a pop-up subscription box to attract visitors into joining my list. What worked? 

Keep the Graphics Simple

I learned this the hard way. You’re welcome to design a fancy popup graphic in Photoshop or your favorite image editing software.

But bare bones often wins the day.

I thought this graphic was pretty cool. Creepy, misty background. Four of my books in Kindle and paperback form, prominently displayed. And a simple message overlaid, inviting people to join.

The results? 

A 0.39% conversion rate. That’s right. I converted one email subscriber for every 250-plus people who viewed my popup. And I thought that was decent. 

Then I tested a simpler popup.

I created this popup in a few minutes using MailerLite’s form creator. My results were pretty much identical to the fancy graphic, and this form was so much easier to build. 

But the results remained poor.

Offer a Free Story

Wait? I poured my soul into my story, and now you want me to give it away? That sounds like poor business practice.

Bear with me. I price my Kindle novels at $4.99 these days. Paperbacks are usually around $15. I don’t want to be known as “the free thriller guy”, and I suspect readers equate cheap prices with low quality. Pricing is part of branding, and I sell my novels at full price.

However, a freebie isn’t a giveaway if I receive value in return. And a qualified reader joining my subscriber list brings long-term value.

Some authors give away full novels, or even box sets in exchange for a reader’s email address. Others donate short stories, novellas, and even fan art.

In my experience, novellas convert as well as full novels, and that’s what I give away on my website. 

A/B Test Pop-Ups 

I can’t believe the difference this made. My previous pop-ups appeared in the center of the screen a few seconds after the visitor landed on my homepage. 

Then a created a new pop-up form that slid in from the bottom right of the screen. 

I like the green button better than the red. But basically it’s the same pop-up as before, except it slides onto the screen and sits in the lower right corner. Less obtrusive.

The results amazed me. My conversion rate jumped to 2.18% – one subscriber for every 46 visitors!

Then I switched my giveaway from a free screen background to a novella.

Boom. Conversion rate popped up to 3.04%. One subscriber for every 33 page visitors.

From start to finish, these three testing methods improved my conversion rate by almost 8x. 

I hope you found this article helpful. Remember to test everything – your graphics, text, colors, and even your pop-up style. And build that subscriber list.

Keep writing!

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