Most companies think they can slap a signup form on their website and start building their list without much effort. While your signup forms might generate some activity, it probably won’t be enough to generate the amount of signups you’re hoping for. Just because it’s free and fairly simple to sign up, doesn’t mean people will take the action you want them to.
Remember, you are asking them to take an action. You’re selling them something, even if it’s free. Naturally, you need to sell people on the idea of signing up for your email list. It’s the same concept as selling your product. You have to view it that way.
Simply put, you have to answer the question “Why should someone sign up for my emails?”
Are you going to be sending them exclusive deals they can’t get anywhere else? Will you be offering a freebie (e.g. whitepaper, free trial, ebook, demo of your product, etc.) in exchange for signing up? Are you going to be sharing helpful information in your emails?
Before you start asking for signups, you need to have the answers to those questions. You need to make a list of the benefits people will receive by being on your email list. Once you’ve come up with a list of these benefits (e.g. exclusive sales, advanced notice about important events and product releases, helpful information, etc.), you need to promote them in your signup space. Let people know exactly what they stand to gain by taking the simple action of signing up for your free email list.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to test different offers to see which one gets the best response from your target audience. Just remember, having a basic signup form with no offer or no call to action isn’t the way to grow an email list.