It doesn’t matter which website or blog you go to—most of them make one fundamental mistake. And it’s a mistake that can be easily avoided, if only you did one tiny little thing.
That tiny little thing is placing the ‘subscribe’ button in the right place. And to understand the right place, we have to understand a tiny little quirk of human behaviour.
So here’s what we tend to do in real life.
Let’s say we’re meeting a stranger. At what point do you give that stranger your contact details? At the beginning of the meeting, or at the end? The answer is, you give them your contact details both at the beginning and again at the end.
When we first tend to meet a person we don’t know, we immediately give them our business card. Notice that at this point we don’t know the result of the meeting.
If it’s a business meeting, maybe we’ll do business and maybe we won’t. Maybe we’ll like the person and maybe we won’t. Maybe we’ll agree to their terms or maybe we won’t.
But we give them our business cards anyway.
And we do this action because we’re introducing ourselves, but also saying that we can be easily contacted. This quick gesture of giving out a business card, instantly gives the stranger the ability to get in touch with you.
The same concept applies on a website or a blog.
When we put a subscribe button at the top of the blog or website, we’re saying we can be contacted.
But you also have to realise that your subscribe button is not the reason why the visitor has come to your blog or website. They’ve come to your blog or website for their own selfish motives.
For instance, I went to a blog today that gave me ’10 WordPress Plugins That Increase My Search Engine Rankings’. I instantly downloaded the plugins, got distracted and closed the page.
And the blog lost the opportunity to make me a subscriber.
And it’s very likely that hundreds, if not thousands of visitors just like me would have done the very same thing. They got what they wanted and now they’re off on their merry way.
But what if there was a subscribe button at the bottom of the blog?
Do you think that would have somehow changed my behaviour? What if there was a line that said: “Would you like to get goodies or smart articles like this in future? If so, simply subscribe via email or RSS”.
Do you think I would have clicked away? Or would I have subscribed? It depends on the content of the page, right?
If the content was great (and was indeed very useful) then my selfish motive would kick in and I would subscribe. But there was no prompt. No subscribe button at the end of the page. No next step.
And so I left.
And so did a hundred, if not a thousand people after me. Those subscribers are leaving by the truckload, not because they want to leave, but because you won’t give them a simple instruction to stay and join the conversation.
So what should you do in the next five minutes?
You should do the following:
1) You should put a subscribe button at the top of the page.
2) You should then make sure you have a subscribe/take action button at the bottom and a little teaser that encourages me to subscribe.
This simple act alone may not quadruple your subscribers.
It may quintuple them. It may double them. Who knows! But if you’ve got great content, you’ll see a definite increase in subscribers, that’s for sure.
So remember that business meeting with the stranger? You gave your card at the start of the meeting. And then at the end of the meeting, you gave that person an action plan.
You told them: I’ll call you. Or you call me. Or email me. Or whatever. Without that simple action plan or next step you’d have been wasting your time. And we don’t like wasting our time, do we?
So there you have it.
A five-minute action plan. Put it in place, and watch your subscriber numbers go up, up and away.
(Sean’s note: Yes, we take our own advice most of the time. Our website at Psychotactics.com has a subscribe button and precise teaser, but the blogs don’t. So guess which of the two has the better hit/subscribe ratio! Seems like it’s time for my own five-minute action plan, eh?).
Next Step: Want to learn more about website marketing? Find the entire website marketing series in text, audio with cartoons!
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Melinda | SuperWAHM says
Sean, are you talking about subscribing to RSS or subscribing to a newsletter list?