By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies
While it’s not as sexy as social media or podcasting, email marketing is still the workhorse of any radio station’s digital strategy. If you’ve got a well-maintained email database, your station will be able to reach its listeners without fear of being negatively impacted by changes to a social network’s algorithm.
There’s an art to asking listeners to give your their email addresses. A poorly designed form will discourage people from giving you their personal information. Here are some tips to help your email forms convert more visitors to subscribers:
1. Tell people what you’re going to send them and how often.
Too many email club registration forms are vague when telling subscribers what they can expect to receive, saying things like, “Sign up for our email newsletter!”
Be sure to tell people exactly what they’ll receive and how often they’ll receive it. For example, “Want in our latest contests? Sign up to get our weekly email.”
Ideally, your station will have multiple email campaigns set up so listeners can opt in to receive just they emails the want: concert updates, contest info, morning show recaps, local music show playlists, etc.
2. Connect the form to the content on the page.
The more closely connected your email offer is to the content on the webpage, the more people that will fill it out. For example, on the Contests page of your website, offer to email people contest information; on the Concerts page, offer to send people concert updates; on the Morning Show pages, invite people to receive links to the daily podcast; etc.
3. Don’t ask for information that you don’t need.
Stations often make the mistake of asking for information that they don’t need on forms. This makes the forms longer and discourages people from signing up. The shorter the form, the better, so don’t ask people to give you information that you don’t have a plan to use.
The biggest offender here is “Phone Number.” People don’t want to give their phone numbers for one very simple reason: They don’t want to get phone calls. If you don’t need to call listeners, don’t ask for their numbers. If you do need to call them, explain why. For example, “We’ll only call you if you win our contest.”
4. Treat mobile differently.
People who browse the web on their phones while standing in line at Home Depot are much less likely to fill out a long form than people in front of a desktop computer at work, so design your email signup forms accordingly. Here on the Jacobs Media website, we only ask you to fill out a long form if you’re on a desktop computer; on mobile devices, we only ask for your email address and how frequently you’d like to receive our emails. We’d rather have your email address than nothing, so we shorten the form for mobile devices, figuring that once we have your email address, we can always get you to come back to the site and give us more information later.
A well-designed email registration form can make a big difference. Once you’ve optimized yours, here’s a list of places on your station’s website to ask listeners for their email address.
For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-968-7622.
Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.