13 Powerful Tips To Covert Your First Time Visitors into RSS Subscribers
February 26, 2009
RSS has become almost a necessity these days. Why? The truth is that your subscribers make up a large percentage of your loyal readership. When a visitor encounters your blog, you have just a few seconds to convince them to come back again. And you know that the ideal way to do so, of course, is through subscribing to your RSS feed.
While we earlier discussed the marketing power of RSS feed, now the stress is put on how to promote your RSS feed effectively in order to make full and productive use of it.
Everyone wants to increase the number of people who subscribe to a blog. Here are some powerful ways to convert your first time visitors into subscribers:
Make your feed noticeable
Make sure the RSS icon is easily recognizable and big enough to be spot. If you use a little RSS icon, it would take a couple of minutes to be found, which is a good reason for your readers to give up. And you don’t want to lose potential subscribers, do you?
In the most cases, the icon alone is not enough. Adding a phrase such "Subscribe to our feed" for example, right next to the image is a good way to let people know that this is the exact place where they can subscribe.
Put your RSS button above the fold
Apart from using a big RSS icon, if possible, position the RSS icon at the very top side of your page so it simply cannot be missed. As with anything you want to promote (ads, key posts, contact form, etc) the higher on the page you have it, the more attention it will grab.
Display the RSS icon on every page
A common mistake is to have an RSS icon only on the homepage. Adding RSS to every single page on the blog will greatly increase the number of new subscribers.
Offer a full RSS feed
Many people using RSS feed readers will not subscribe to a blog with only a partial RSS feed. From the point of view of a subscriber there is nothing more frustrating than getting half of a feed or just an excerpt. People preferring partial feeds are minority.
Therefore, offering full feeds will help you grow your subscriber base. Feed advertising can compensate some of the revenue you may lose from people who subscribe to your feed but don’t visit your blog.
Divide your feed in categories
If you have many categories on your blog, it would be wise to offer an RSS feed for each of them individually. Thus, visitors interested only in specific topics will be able to subscribe to them and not to the whole blog. At the same time this could increase the overall number of RSS subscribers.
Offer email subscription
Some of your readers will refuse to use RSS no matter how much efforts you put to convince them to subscribe. The truth is that only a tiny percentage of the Internet users are familiar with the RSS feed and its usage. Studies claim that this number is fewer than 10% around the world.
This doesn’t mean that you should ignore the other 90 % of the people. Simply offer them a service that will convert your RSS feed into email. Thus, they will get your content in a way that is close to them.
There are many services that you can use to create an email form, but if you use Feedburner, you just need to go on the “Publicize” tab to activate your email subscription. Once activated, you’ll be given customization options like subscription management, communication preferences, Email branding and delivery options.
Recover unverified email subscribers
With the time going by, you will notice that some of your email subscribers will never confirm their subscription, and so you could end up losing many would-be subscribers. Fortunately, you can resolve this by emailing those unverified subscribers and reminding them about the problem.
Produce valuable and unique content
The value that your readers derive from your unique content will make them come back for more. Depending on your audience you may provide them with breaking news, deep analysis or funny stories.
Remind your readers to subscribe at the end of each article
A reader is more likely to subscribe to your blog after reading one of your great articles. Therefore, make it really easy for them to subscribe by placing an RSS icon or text based link at the end of each article.
Submit your blog’s RSS feed to RSS directories.
By submitting your RSS feed to RSS directories more people can find your feed and your blog. Here is a great list of 35 RSS directories that you can submit your feed to.
Use a subscriber count
Feedburner offers a widget that shows the number of subscribers. Once you have 100 subscribers, it is recommendable to put it on your blog. When people see that others are subscribing to your blog, they will be more likely to follow them.
Run an Ad Campaign
A smart move is to run a Google AdWords campaign to promote your feed. For that purpose you should create a landing page aiming to convert those who landed on the page into loyal readers via RSS. Use that page to describe your blog, to highlight your best content, and to ask the visitors to subscribe.
Run a contest or offer incentives to your subscribers
There are multiple ways to entice people to subscribe to your RSS feed. You can offer exclusive content only for subscribers or reward current subscribers by randomly selecting prize recipients.
Another popular way is to run a contest. By making subscribing to your RSS feed a requirement to participate, you could quickly boost the number of subscribers that you have.
The only downside to this approach is that users who subscribe solely for a prize or to participate in the contest may unsubscribe after a short period of time.
These are some of the ways that you can use to increase your subscriber base. Tell us about your personal experience. How are you promoting your RSS feeds? What works and what does not for you? And, of course, don’t forget to subscribe to PromotionWorld RSS feed.
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