As Online Habits Evolve, Businesses Use New Tactics to Communicate with Prospective Customers and Clients
BOULDER, Colo., June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Email marketing is still the highest-converting sales channel online -- and there are no signs saying that's going to change.
But email opt-in practices are shifting. Building a mailing list using traditional methods - such as offering the company newsletter in exchange for a prospect's email address - is getting more difficult. Businesses must offer more actual and perceived value.
So if email opt-ins are the key to achieving success with content marketing, but getting people to sign up is getting significantly harder, what are smart online marketers doing to grow their lists?
Savvy business owners are using "free paywalls" - in which prospects get access to a protected library of content using a chosen username and password - to boost opt-in rates and increase sales. This is the same concept that newspapers and magazines are using for paid subscriptions to their online content, but the idea here is lead generation and nurturing before the sale.
When prospects register, they get access to an online space with a large library of content that is updated and sent out over time. Site owners bring registered users back into the membership area every time they release a new piece of content, with notification by email.
The site owner has the potential to build trust and affinity in that space, as well as send out targeted promotions that are customized based on individual users needs, behavior, and interests. Business websites using this model have a significantly higher perceived value than regular email autoresponders or newsletters.
In May 2013, popular online marketing site Copyblogger launched a redesign using this model. My Copyblogger is free at the basic level, and includes access to fourteen high-quality e-books and a twenty-part email course on smarter online marketing. There's also an option to pay for advanced training in another area of the membership backend.
Copyblogger Media used Premise, their membership site software for WordPress, to build the registration backend (something that would have cost tens of thousands of dollars not long ago). Premise's simple interface makes it easy to build a point-and-click and easy-to-manage free or paid membership area.
Best of all -- when Copyblogger launched MyCopyblogger, their email sign-ups increased by 400% over the previous approach. And their paid training program has thousands of members after less than two months.
"We're using our own product, the exact same software that we provide to our customers," says Brian Clark, founder and CEO of Copyblogger Media. "In fact, our philosophy is to build products that we want and need first, since we're first and foremost online publishers and marketers just like our customers are."
Copyblogger Media is a privately held American web application company based in Boulder, Colorado. The company provides a suite of software and online training services that help small businesses acquire and retain customers by using online content marketing.
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