I’ve been subscribing to a lot of marketing blogs lately.
Exciting life, right? But this is important research – a professor once told me the best way to become a better writer is to read, and he was absolutely right. You need to soak in everything written about a topic to write about it yourself. There’s no better way to learn about your target audience.
My dance of “go to blog, find ‘subscribe’ button, enter my email, wait for validation email” is pretty routine at this point. But when I joined the mailing list for ProBlogger, where Darren Rowse shares advice on how to monetize and grow a blog, something unexpected happened. I’d call this one of the best blog subscriber onboarding tactics I’ve ever seen.
I got this PDF – six months’ worth of blog posts – for free when I subscribed to ProBlogger. And I didn’t even ask for it.
You see, plenty of companies and blogs offer freebies in exchange for your email address. It’s nothing new, and it’s nothing terribly impressive.
Many of those blogs also do another thing Darren did: send new subscribers a link to their most popular posts or valuable site content they may not know about. Again, this is standard onboarding.
In a flurry of blog subscriptions, Darren stood out to me because he gave me a gift. I didn’t expect to get a list of blog post ideas. I saw it in my inbox and said, “Wow, that was nice. I could actually use that.”
And of course I could use that, because Darren knows his audience. He knows people are coming to his site to improve their blogs. With more than a decade of blogging experience, he knows generating topics is one of the hardest parts of successful writing. So he’s decided to help new subscribers out – for free.
The mentality shift behind this is huge. Think about it – if you tell me I can get your free resource in exchange for an email, that’s a transaction. You’re like everyone else in the world who wants something from me.
But if I give you my email address expecting one thing – blog updates – and get something unexpected on top, that’s a gift. You stand out in my mind. I might even write a blog post about you.
Consider using this subscriber onboarding method to send helpful resources to your audience. It may be as easy as removing all mention of a free tool you already provide to new subscribers – so it’ll be a surprise when they get it. Or do what Darren did, and think of something your audience would love to have, build it and give it to them unexpectedly. You’ll stand out, build loyalty and make a lot of people smile.