If you want to grow your mailing list to a sustainable level then you need to have a website and it needs to be Optimised for sign ups.
This way you can inadvertently promote you mailing list by consistently directing people to your website to read blog posts and listen to your music.
An optimised website is one that has a single goal and that is designed in such a way as to maximise the possibility of achieving this goal.
In this case the goal is to get as many website visitors as possible to sign up to your mailing list.
When planning out your website your main focus should be to arrange content and site elements to promote your email opt-up forms.
There is no point hiding your opt-in forms at the bottom of your sidebar. People have been trained to ignore additional elements on web pages as they are so used to visiting websites that are loaded with banner ads.
If the #1 goal of your website is to get more subscribers, and it should be, then you need to make sure your offer is front and centre.
Obviously some pages will have other goals, like a video page’s primary goal will be to get people to watch the video, but make sure they can see your opt-in form clearly as they watch it.
People won’t always look at the part of the page where your opt-in sits. So if you want more sign-ups to your mailing list then you need to ensure people see your offer, and the best way to do this is to place multiple opt-in forms on your pages.
Some places you can place your forms include:
You can also use pop up and full page takeover forms, both of which have proved time and again to get more signups.
The sole function of your landing page should be to get people to sign up to your mailing list. It should be free of all distractions including site navigation.
It should have a compelling headline, a short but strong pitch, a video and an opt up form.
Landing pages perform far higher than standard website pages with opt-in forms as they don’t offer alternative options and keep visitor’s focus on the sign up form.
You want to not only make your offer sound appealing but to make people excited to be on your mailing list. At the same time ensure them that you will not abuse their contact information.
Don’t just ask people to sign up to your mailing list and offer them nothing in return. Give them a reason to share their email address with you.
“Download Our Demo” will not cut it and singles won’t produce many signups these days. You need to offer them something exclusive or of high value.
An unreleased acoustic EP or your latest album is your best option.
If you want to draw people’s attention to your Opt-in forms then you need to work on your headlines. Websites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy built huge viewership off the back of catchy headlines.
However be careful of click-bait. Don’t offer them something that you’re not going to deliver; this is illegal and will lead to a fan turning into an enemy. Words like “Free”, “Now”, “Win”, “Winning” & “Download” are all strong words to use in your headlines.
As I mentioned above, a simple “Sign Up” or “Submit” on your opt-in form buttons isn’t a very compelling way to convince someone to sign up to your mailing list. Be creative with the text you use.
If you are offering a free download in exchange for an email then consider changing the text to “Download Now”, or “Grab My Track”.
On its own this won’t amount to much but if you have a catchy headline and an enticing offer then this will help close the deal.
Don’t fill your website up with widgets, just because you think it looks a little bare. The less you have on the page the more likely it is that your fans will focus on what you want them to focus on and not on some distraction in the sidebar.
Think about what you want your fans to do when they land on a specific page and make it easy for them to do just that. Facebook Like boxes and Twitter Feeds are prime example of distracting content. You have worked hard to get someone from Twitter to your website; why give them the opportunity to leave again.
All the sign up forms on your website won’t matter if nobody sees it and you will only have so much reach from your own social media profiles. If you can make it simple to share your content then you will find that a lot of your fans will do so, especially if you ask them to do so.
Mobile browsing has surpassed desktop browsing and it is likely that your content will be seem more often on mobile devices than it is on desktops or laptops. It people can’t view your videos or photos, can’t read your text or click on your links then they will hit the back button and you will have lost an opportunity.
If your current website isn’t optimised for mobile browsing then it is time to look at fixing that.
It goes without saying, if your content isn’t engaging then your fans will leave your website as quickly as they arrived and won’t be in a rush to return. If they are on your website then you have at least part of their attention so this is your opportunity to grab it all. Don’t lie to them or make promises that you can’t keep.
If someone feels you cheated them of their time, then they will leave your site never to return.
You need to build their trust. This is a slow repetitive process but if you do it right then you will have more of their attention and in turn build even more trust.
This will lead to a loyal fan who will not only buy your music but promote all your content.
Remember, when someone gives you their email address they are giving you permission to contact them. So although they are leaving your website without buying your music or tickets, you will be able to promote your music to them over and over again at no extra cost.
There are however some responsibilities surrounding email lists. Just because someone has given you permission to contact them, they will likely not want to receive sales email after sales email.
Nurture your relationship with them by sharing more music, videos, photos, blog posts etc… with them and make them feel like they are part of your inner circle. It will be a lot easier to sell to them at a later date if they feel part of the family.
to learn how to set up your own band website, check out my guide to using WordPress.