This Is How You Get More Blog Subscribers Without Annoying Your Readers

For most marketers, building a blog subscription list is tricky.

But it doesn’t have to be.

The problem is that the offer to subscribe is often really annoying.

Like a pop up banner that takes over the screen before the blog post is done loading.

Or a dozen different buttons and fields with “subscribe to our blog” in H2 sized font plastered everywhere.

Neither of those examples yield great results… the reader gets annoyed and the marketer doesn’t get more subscribers.

I know. I’m guilty of doing this.

In fact, it’s because I realized I was doing this wrong on my own startup blog, that I decided to write this post.

Cause what happened is that I made two changes and suddenly I started getting a lot more notifications that people were subscribing to my blog.

Here’s what I did. So you can try it too. 

1) Give readers a good reason why they should subscribe.

Readers glaze over “subscribe to my blog, click here and enter your email.”

If that’s your call-to-action you just wasted 53 characters.

It’s not about you, it’s about them.

If I had a nickel for every time David Cancel said that to me, or one of my teammates at Drift, I’d be writing this blog post on an iPhone X instead of an iPhone 7 (yeah, that’s an Apple joke)

Tell readers why a subscription is valuable to them. And get creative. Explain why their life would be better if they regularly read your content.

Just a few weeks ago, “subscribe to my blog” was my call-to-action on my startup blog.

Weak sauce.

I’m surprised Dave Gerhardt didn’t set up an intervention for me. “Dan, we’re all here because we love you, but your calls-to-action on your startup blog are crap. It’s not about you. It’s about them!”

2) Ask for a subscription at the right time.

Think about it like this.

Imagine you go on a blind date (I love date analogies to explain marketing best practices).

You heard great things about this guy from your friend.

You walk into a restaurant and the first thing he says is “what’s your phone number so I can text you later to plan our next date?”

You’d be like “ummm, no I’m not sure I even like you yet.

That’s no different than when someone finds your blog post on Twitter, clicks to read it and seconds after the page loads, a popup banner appears and says “subscribe to my blog.”

That reader doesn’t know if they like your content yet and they certainly don’t know if they want to come back.

So how do you fix this issue?

Make your call-to-action smarter.

We do that on Drift’s blog using the Build Your Blog Subscriber Playbook.

This Playbook is smart. We set it up to wait until someone has read a significant amount of a blog post before we present them with our subscribe offer.

Here’s how it looks on our blog:

What happened when I made the switch to Drift

So like I was saying… my own startup blog didn’t adhere to these rules.

And honestly, I wasn’t getting many subscribers (maybe one or two a month).

So I installed Drift, and set up the Build A Blog Subscriber Playbook to offer the blog subscription after scrolling down 30% of the page with this message.

And you know what? Suddenly I was getting Drift notifications every other day that someone new had subscribed to my blog.

It’s still a bit early to tell what the exact increase in subscribers is, but it’s significant. And that’s awesome, because it took me only a couple minutes.

In fact I made a four minute video to show you how to set up this Playbook if you want to try it yourself.

You can set up smart offers like this too. This Playbook comes pre-packaged with our Starter, Pro and Enterprise Plans.

If you’re already a Drift customer, you can go build this Playbook right now.

If you’re not a Drift customer, get a demo or subscribe to our Starter Plan to start generating more blog subscribers today.