If You’re Looking For More Subscribers, STOP!

If You’re Looking For More Subscribers, STOP!

Posted · 5 Comments

I’m always directing my clients to focus on traffic generating activity as one of the key priorities in their business.

But yesterday, chatting to a class of 30 women who want to go from Blog to Profit, I realised that the message about gaining subscribers that we’re being fed has been flipped the wrong way around.

There seems to be a belief that it’s all about numbers and volume, or rather that we should be hustling to get as many people on our newsletter list as humanly possible to make the best profit return, but this is not necessarily the case.

Because if all you’re focusing on is getting the maximum amount of subscribers, then you could end up working harder and paying more money for your audience without actually increasing your profit.

You could be pushing for getting as many subscribers as possible, when what you really need is a group of buyers for your product or service. And when you become so focused on getting a volume of subscribers then you can become stuck playing a numbers game where 1+1 doesn’t necessarily equal two.

Here’s why. 

I ran a competition late last year where I gave away a yoga retreat as a prize to one of my subscribers. It was a trip to Sri Lanka with flight vouchers thrown in, which would be a bloody amazing prize to win right? So amazing!

Well 7,230 other people thought so to, which was the amount of subscribers that I got by running the competition over a six week period.

I had a rough idea of my return on investment for each of my subscribers on my newsletter list… I had worked out that each person on my newsletter list was worth approximately $1 each to me per month if I was marketing my products appropriately. So adding an extra 7,230 subscribers to my list should have meant an extra $7,230 in the piggy bank each month for me right?


I'm Totally Pinnable!

I’m Totally Pinnable!

You see, what I had failed to realise at the time was that the prize was SOOO good, that people who truly didn’t give two hoots about health and wellbeing, gut health, immune healing or mindfulness and consciousness would sign up for the chance to win.

Errrybody wanted in!

So although I’d increased my list size dramatically (and I was paying Mailchimp more to house all my new subscribers), my subscribers weren’t my target buyer. Because of this, over the next few months, I saw a high (super-high) volume of un-subscribes. People who had come for the chance of a free holiday but not for the authentic message I was trying to beam out.

While I did hang on to quite a few of my new subscribers and began to form a relationship with them, it was obvious that as a result of my desire to expand my list size by using an incentive that wasn’t targeted to my desired buyer, my conversion rate to list size was completely skewed. And not in the direction I wanted.

But I’m not the only one doing this today. 

Let me tell you about a Health Coach friend of mine who was about to launch an online course on emotional eating, I headed over to her website to check out the sales page and I could see that as her free Optin offer she was giving away an eBook on ‘gluten-free’ snacks.

Do you think that she was getting a clear and concise list of subscriber who were going to be warmed up to the idea of a course on emotional eating from her Optin?

Hell no.

If she had decided to create a course titled ‘The 6 Week Solution To Going Gluten-Free’ her Optin would have been ideal, but instead, she was filling her subscriber list with the WRONG TYPE OF AUDIENCE.

Now I’m not saying that she didn’t have buyers and I’m not saying that it was fruitless of me to run my competition, but we both could have worked a lot smarter. For the majority of us who are the sole employee of our own business, wanting to profit from our space online we must focus on maximising our profit potential whenever we can.

We all desperately want to increase our lists and grow our reach, but I warn you that if you’re only going to look at the numbers and attack the online business space with a ‘Spray and Pray’ approach (which, by the way, most of us do currently) then you will be working much harder in your online business than you need to — instead of smarter and on your online business. And I’m pretty sure this wasn’t what you had in mind when you saw yourself working online.

So what do you do?

You must tailor your lead (subscriber) generation activity to the EXACT target audience you want to buy from you.

Focus on making sure that the audience you market yourself to is the exact audience who you want to buy your products or service and this goes double for making sure that where you invest your time is where your target audience and target buyer is. 

Not only is this going to increase your subscribers ‘stickyness’, but it allows you to get much (much) more specific in your marketing message without alienating your peeps.

Side-note – never be afraid that because you give away something for free relating to your topic people will not buy from you when you charge for additional information. This is operating in the zone of scarcity and the only person losing is you. Why would anyone ever buy a recipe book when there are a GAZILLION recipes online for free? It’s because of the person who has written it or because is solves a pain or need to the buyer.



If You’re Looking For More Subscribers, STOP! was last modified: June 3rd, 2015 by Alice Nicholls



5 Responses to "If You’re Looking For More Subscribers, STOP!"
  1. Caz says:

    Thanks Alice, very helpful, especially on top of yesterday. I’m happy to say my planned opt-in is exactly pitched at my ideal audience and I’ll keep what you’ve said in mind as I try to grow my list of the ‘right’ people.

  2. Peta says:

    love this. Always felt like a bit of a failure because my list is small. But then I have just over 50% open rate for every email sent out and they always seem to engage with what I post. Would much rather have that than a big sea of people that were costing me money to send emails out to! Love love love this post. It’s made me get a lot clearer on what my opt in needs to be for my professional babe website.

  3. As always such a great article – thanks Alice!

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