Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

EMAIL MARKETING: How I grew my email list 5 percent in one day with one small website update 

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Email works. It’s not dead. People still get emails and even read some of them. And that’s one reason why email subscriber lists are one important aspect of any content marketing strategy.

Email marketing is an easy way to stay connected with people who actually want to read our stuff. I’m assuming here that none of my awesome readers are spammers. Only send things worth sending and – more importantly – worth reading.

I’ve been using the Jetpack email tool on this blog. You sign up and can then set the frequency of emails being delivered as the reader. You can get posts immediately, once daily or all in one email once a week. Once you click the double opt-in email you can set that up.

I know my email subscribers are loyal and few unsubscribe. The list has been growing steadily. You can sign up on several places on the site:

  • Sidebar
  • Footer
  • A pop up that appears after 22 seconds
  • Another sign-up from at the bottom of all posts

See, I really want you to sign up. LOL.

Anyway, those things worked, like many things in digital marketing – somewhat slowly, but steadily. I thought it was time to try some new things. There are still forms in the:

  • Sidebar
  • Footer

But, I:

  • Moved the form from the bottom of all posts to the top of posts.
  • Delayed the pop up to 45 seconds.

And the email list grew by 5 percent in one day. It was enough for me to notice while casually checking metrics that day.

So the form on the top looks like this:


It’s right below the headline and the picture – before the full story.

It’s right there but doesn’t seem in the way to me. And you don’t have to sign up to read more. But yet, people do. The rest of the story is right there and is not gated by the form.

At the end of the article, the form is gone and only share buttons remain:

It’ll be interesting to see if that leads to an increase in social sharing and social referral traffic. After one day, I haven’t seen that trend yet and social traffic for the day before the change and the one after was virtually the same. I also didn’t see any kind of spike in traffic as a whole, so it wasn’t like I was converting the same percentage but there was more traffic. Simply more were opting in.

Having the form at the end of articles is pretty standard. Having it at the top, not so much. That might also be the reason – people are noticing it in an usual place and were ignoring it where it’s expected. Additionally, people are done reading at the bottom and are probably leaving by that point. The power of new is likely at work here. New things get attention.

Related: How many enewsletters are too many?

The trick in growing and keeping audiences is to always adjust what’s working and what could be improved. Just because everyone else puts the form at the end of posts doesn’t mean you should follow the trend. Especially not if you can prove success with something else.

Bonus tip:

I use the WordPress Insert Code plugin to easily accomplish the placement of the form:


Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe and I'm the Vice President of Content Marketing Strategy, Americas, at ScribbleLive, which is based in Toronto and is a global content marketing software company. Before I started at ScribbleLive I was VP of Content Marketing and Conversion at MedTouch, a Boston-based company that helps healthcare organizations with digital marketing. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph ctrappe@christophtrappe.com 319-389-9853

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