The concept of native advertising has become increasingly hot recently. If you’re not familiar with the term “native advertising” it means content that is put in with the regular “stream” of organic content on social networks (or other non-digital mediums) and labeled as “sponsored.” For example, here’s a native ad from my newsfeed on Facebook. We’ve all seen ads like this by now. But one smart way to drive more clicks and build your email list is to send the traffic from ads like this to specific content posts on your website that have already been identified as “high performers” in terms of visitor to email conversions, social shares, and/or commenting. In addition, Twitter recently came out with its “Lead Generation cards” feature (which is free). It allows you to easily collect email optins by offering some sort of content incentive. Here’s one I found from Ryan Deiss, co-founder of DigitalMarketer.com. Note: If you want to find out more about how to use Twitter lead generation cards, I cover it (along with how to steal your competitors followers) in this free video here. As it turns out, I found Ryan’s ad before he was using Twitter lead gen. cards. I actually converted to an email list subscriber simply as a result of reading an insightful article post on his blog. Ironically, the article I was reading was all about how he and his business had achieved 259% ROI with native ads and non-squeeze page content (blog posts). I get the sense that in order to convert with paid traffic being sent to blog post content, you really have to figure out what’s most likely to convert in advance and make sure those pages are optimized for capturing email optins. Otherwise you’ll be going through a process of trial and error which will require more investment to get right. And if if you want a good laugh, check out “Last Week Tonight’s” bit with John Oliver on certain controversial forms of native ads (NSFW), see below.
This is a new concept that I’m developing and working to implement right now. I subscribe to dozens of newsletters and read a wide blogs, but I have never seen ANYONE do anything close this idea, with maybe one exception (which I’ll show you in a second). “The VIP Treatment” is my term for a strategy where you treat existing email subscribers differently when they visit your blog versus non-email subscribers. Specifically, here’s what you do:
Mixergy.com helped to popularize this strategy. The idea is that in order to gain entry to a website’s content, you have to enter your email address on the homepage. One you do so, a cookie is set on your browser so the next time you come back to the site you don’t have to fill in your email again to get access. There have been a number of off-shoots of this strategy. For example, Noah Kagen used a similar strategy to help grow Appsumo’s email list to over 700,000 subscribers in record time by having this simple newsletter call-to-action sitting above the page content… But wait, there’s more to AppSumo’s “improved gateway” email capture strategy. It’s so simple, most people would miss it if they weren’t looking closely… Here it is: Any content page you visit (outside of their Browse page) will show you this header design by default… And you’ll continuously be shown this call-to-action… until you optin. So even if I’m searching for something on Google and I come across a subpage one one of AppSumo’s older offers, I’m going to see this optin header. I like how this is implemented because it’s less “annoying” that the other types of gateway email optins because I can easily bypass it… but at the same time I’ll keep being exposed to it until I sign-up. I guarantee you, this was one big factor in why AppSumo was able to grow their email list so quickly. But I’ll ask Noah just to confirm and update this section later on…
3) Expanded Guest Post (EGP). This is more a technique than a tool and one I plan to try soon. Bryan Harris from Video Fruit (Twitter hat tip to Brian Dean) shows how you can write an example and storytelling based guest post with a content upgrade hook. Bryan says he routinely gets 500 new subscribers in a week from EGPs and when done the right way it makes guest posting 100x more effective.
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