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An avenue to gather more subscribers for your ezine than any other alternative - and one that is often over-looked even by experienced online marketers - is to use a well-optimized SIGN-UP form on your website.

Obviously, this method applies only to those who have a website. But if you don't have one yet, you should think of setting one up soon.

Why should I use a sign-up form on my website?

Your website provides information. This information might include details of a product or service you sell. It might be about you, your qualifications, your experience, your business and so on. It might be general stuff about your niche - mine, for instance, is all about a health condition.

Sign up forms open up communication channels with visitors to your website.

Surfers who find your website are - presumably - interested in the information that your site provides. But once they browse through your website, and get (or fail to find) the information they are looking for, they lose contact with you forever. And you lose touch with them!

The new buzz-word on the Net today is "stickiness" - the ability of your website, your ezine, your webcast or just about anything you create online, to capture and retain the interest of your audience, and entice them to keep coming back again and again for more of the same. The aim of your website - and your ezine - should therefore be to increase "stickiness". The first step in this process is to learn how to contact your website visitors.

This is why you should have a sign-up form on your website. To capture your visitor's contact details - name, address, email id, and other demographic data.

But you can't just ask everyone who visits your site to give you this information. They have to be offered something in return. This must be something they value, that saves them trouble or solves a problem or educates them about a topic. That "something" could be your ezine.

By offering visitors to your website a chance to subscribe to your ezine, you are creating a win-win solution. Your visitor wins because (s)he is getting information of value - your ezine. You gain because you have been given permission to contact someone who might have otherwise been a "one-time casual surfer" repeatedly at regular intervals. In this way, you could probably develop a closer relationship with them, even convert them into customers.

So where should you put the sign-up form?

Put your sign up form on EVERY page of your website.

Initially, on my website, I had created a separate page for ezine sign-ups. I then placed links from all sections of my site to that page. The response rate was rather low.

I then read an article about the power of offering a sign-up form on EVERY page of a site. I then modified my website to include on every page a form by which a visitor can subscribe to my ezine.

The response rate was dramatic. I was getting around 5 new subscribers every day from my website alone!

Lesson learnt - offer an ezine sign-up form on EVERY single page of your site.

How to create a sign-up form?

The exact HTML code used to create a sign-up form varies depending on the nature of your ezine delivery system. I use a service called Aweber, which allows new subscribers to join simply by typing in their email address into a box and hitting the SUBMIT button.

If you wish to store them, further demographic details can be gathered along with your new subscribers' name and email address. All of them are optional.

A privacy statement clearly explains that the details collected are strictly confidential, and will not be hired out or sold to third-parties.

On various sites, I have seen ezine sign-up forms that vary from a simple text box to collect email addresses to a detailed questionnaire which the reader fills up and submits electronically. If you are planning that kind of sign-up form, take care not to ask too many questions - limit yourself to around five. Any more than that, and your potential subscriber might be scared away!

Now get going - add a ezine sign-up form on each page of your website, and watch your subscriber base expand and explode!

Tags: List Building


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