Increase Newsletter Subscriptions: Blogs, Discussion Lists, and Web Forums
Obviously, we all want everyone in the world to be as interested as we are in our newsletter, and more importantly our products and services. The fact is, many more would be if they knew about it.
In order for potential customers to subscribe to your newsletter, you must first make them aware that it exists. One way to get more subscribers to your newsletter is to regularly participate in industry-relevant blogs, email discussion lists and web forums.
There are blogs, discussion lists and web forums on virtually every subject. Because of this diversity, you can attract highly targeted markets. So if your newsletter is about web development you should engage in web development blogs, discussion lists and web forums. Popular sites have several thousand members, giving you great exposure to a targeted market which in turn can help increase newsletter subscriptions.
Before you start contributing, though, take some time to follow blogs, lists and forums to get a feel for the audience and what their core discussions are about. Think about ways that you can provide value to the forum. What can you bring to the table that will highlight your company as an trusted expert. After getting a feel for a particular blog, discussion list or forum, you will be better prepared to contribute good value to the community.
Here are 5 ways to authenticate your authority in a professional way in blogs, lists and forums:
1. Be brief
A short, to-the-point approach comes across much more professionally than long winded essays on a subject. Remember these sites are about interactivity, not monologues.
2. Be focused
Steer clear of issues that are not your area of expertise or issues that are sensitive to other users in the community. While it might be tempting to express your personal views on every subject, force yourself to contribute only to those issues that are relevant to your expertise.
3. Be an enthusiastic communicator
Wake people up with your language and inspire them to find out more about your suggestions, comments, tips. Be supportive of other ideas or concerns and optimistic in your response. Even when disagreeing with a post, you might start by saying “I completely understand where you might think….in my experience, however,…” rather than “I totally disagree with you…”
4. Be an ambassador
Remember, you are representing your brand. Don’t be lured into heated discussions or become defensive if a forum contains negative comments about your products or services. Professionally clarify negative impressions and use the opportunity to provide answers or correct misinformation. Also, don’t be shy about talking about interesting interviews, resources or articles that you have developed on a particular subject. That’s why you’re there. Just make it relevant to the discussion. Don’t force information into a conversation if it doesn’t add value to it.
5. Be consistent
As a member of a community, it takes time to establish trust with other members. The best way to build trust is to have a consistent presence in the community. Don’t get overly involved at the beginning and then disappear, showing up only irregularly. To keep current on a community’s pulse, you must be in the community with regularity. Determine from the beginning how much time you are able to invest and be consistent with your investment.
Blogs, discussion lists and forums have different signature mechanisms. Most allow you to include a link to your own web site along with your name. Others allow you to provide a complete signature block. In these cases, you have to choose your signature line very carefully. Beside your name, you can include your job title, company name, service name, slogan, phone number. Try not to make your signature look like an ad. It is recommended that you have at least two types of signatures, one shorter and one longer.
Having a consistent presence in relevant industry blogs, discussion lists and forums will increase your exposure to potential customers and give you insight about what customers in the industry want and need. Like in any community, the more you give, the more you get. Over time, as trust builds and your expertise is authenticated, your brand awareness will increase along with your customer’s confidence in your ability to serve them.