sly : marketing

Make it hard to find

I don’t have the answer to this one. I’m writing, because I want you to think about what I have been thinking about lately, and at the same time, what I’m about to tell you is my latest test.

We are all looking for a successful method to build our e-mail list. We want that e-mail list to be huge. The more people who are subscribing, the more people will see our messages. That’s it.

The testing

I’ve been testing different methods, and the method with the best result was using a pop-over. A good looking pop-over with a good trigger, brings in a lot of new subscribers.

But, there are at least two major problems with a pop-over:

It’s easy to get attention. The hard part is to earn the attention. We’ll interrupt our readers, trying to convince them to join our newsletter, and in the end, that’s what they’ll remember. I’m not necessary saying it’s a bad thing, what I’m saying is this:

It’s important that they’ll join; a newsletter is a powerful method to build strong relationships with our readers. It’s part of how we’ll turn them from readers into customers – by focusing on relationships. In the end we’ll make them trust us, because we’re delivering high quality content, again and again.

The question

It’s not all about numbers though. Maybe, instead, we should make the subscription to the newsletter “hard to find”.

Think about this for a minute – the harder it is to find, the higher quality leads we’ll be receiving.

There are several reasons why this might be important. First, I’m currently using AWeber, and I’m paying for each of my subscribers. The more subscribers on my list, the more I have to pay each month. It doesn’t matter if they’re paying customers or if they’re just reading my content. I’ll be paying for them, every single month, as long as they’re subscribers.

We all want readers who are interested in what we have to offer. We want them to stay with us for a long time, and we want them to engage with our content. And, if we’re selling, we want them to buy. The more interested they are when they subscribe, the more quality they’ll be bringing to our business.

It’s a lot easier to sell to someone who’s been reading your content and who found the “hard-to-find” subscription, than to someone who just discovered you via Google.

Your turn

Like I said, I don’t have the answer. I’m testing a hard to find subscription at the moment, and I’m not receiving as many subscribers as before, but there are some new ones on a daily basis. I find it interesting to experiment, but right now, I’d love to have your opinion.

The definition of hard to find, is that the reader need to take a closer look at your site in order to find it. It shouldn’t be close to impossible to find, it’s just that I’m thinking that it should’t be the first thing they see when they visit.

Should we make our newsletter subscriptions hard to find?

(have you found mine yet?)

8 responses to “Make it hard to find”

  1. Felix Lee says:

    This is a very interesting topic for me. I’m actually a person who prefers quality over quantity. I personally think it’s a good thing that the newsletter subscription is hard to find; you can filter out those who really read your material from those who just happened to pass by, and happened to click on your shocking speedy pop-up who would never buy from you cause they really have no clue what you’re talking about. You may have more subscribers in number, but not many will still buy, so what’s the point?

    • Hi Felix,

      I’m with you. I’m also a man that prefers quality over quantity. And, I want all my readers to have a great experience on my blog. That’s why I stopped with annoying ads, and no more popovers. I want them to find what they’re looking for, by looking all over my blog.


  2. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Jens, posture! I weed out lazy people to find diligent, driven folks by placing the form at the bottom of my cash gifting squeeze page. Get a clear picture of who you wish to attract. Thanks!

  3. Mi Muba says:

    Sometimes a huge email list becomes a headache because we keep sending sales pitches and never get any good response. So we need to identify who are the lazy craps in our email list who just registered to get a free product and now sending our each pitch to spam folder. That is why it is better to develop an email list by just promising to provide best value in future and don’t offer anything right then. Otherwise many freebie grabbers will enter an email which they created for this purpose and you would be happy to have a huge but worthless email list.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post which has a very unique point of view on the topic.

    • That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking about. I have had a fairly large list, and every time I did send an email to it, I didn’t get much respond. The quality of the list was terrible. I want feedback, that’s why I am building my list.


  4. Jane says:

    I make sure that I only target the “serious” group of people. Also it depends on what we offer as an incentive. If it is something that attracts the lazy crowd, our list will be useless too.

    I also do a regular cleanup of my list.

    • Hi Jane,

      I haven’t been doing a regular cleanup of my list. I’ve been thinking about doing it once a week, but my regular cleanup is once every 3-4 months and that’s no good. I used to have “good” incentives, I thought they were good, but because it was free, it only attracted a lazy crowd and most of them unsubscribed soon after. Now, I’m testing different methods to find the right crowd.


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