There’s a fine line between social follower and email subscriber.

In today’s digital age, social media plays an integral role in the way we communicate. “Likes” and “shares” from your online followers may be easy to come by, but ultimately, you want to convert these fans into subscribers — something that constitutes a slightly more arduous task.

When social visitors find themselves in the unfamiliar territory that is your website, these five tricks will keep them engaged and (hopefully) turn them into subscribers:

1. Social Follow Buttons

Provide social sharing buttons with every piece of content you create, so your visitors have an easy way to share the content they find most interesting. Include social follow buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or any other relevant networks on which you maintain a presence.

Unlike social media icons, which lead visitors to your social profiles, social media sharing buttons encourage them to promote content from your website directly via their personal profiles. Having your content shared will keep your posts and images in people’s newsfeeds and timelines — helping to generate conversations and engagement surrounding your brand.

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2. RSS Feed

RSS feeds may not be as popular as they once were, but they can certainly still be an effective part of your content strategy. RSS feeds simplify the way users find and digest the vast array of content available online.

Offering a main feed or multiple specialized feeds increases the odds that people who do follow you via RSS will come back to read about their favorite topics. The key is finding the most entertaining and relevant content before others do, and being the first to promote it in your feed.

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3. Link to Your Premium Content

Your website serves as a digital billboard, giving users a sneak peek at your products or services. You want readers to be able to easily access your most valuable content, thereby gaining an intimate understanding of what your brand has to offer.

If you’ve generated whitepapers, ebooks, or other types of gated content, make sure to include prominent links to these throughout your website. Once you’ve gathered the email addresses of those who download your premium content offerings, you can add them to your mailing lists and send regular updates to get them hooked on your brand.

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4. Email Newsletter Signup

Make sure every page on your website includes a link to subscribe to your email newsletter. Ideally, you should create an entire page explaining what subscribers can expect from your content.

Think about what your target audience is likely trying to accomplish and how you can best communicate that need. Remember: the more intriguing your target audience finds your content, the more likely they’ll be to subscribe to your newsletter.

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5. A Pop-Up

While most online users aren’t fond of pop-ups, if they’re deployed effectively they can be a major asset in building your email subscriber list. You can trigger pop-up forms based on how long visitors have been on your site, or when they reach the bottom of your post. Be sure to test which strategy works best for your audience specifically.

Avoid setting pop-ups to appear the first moment people arrive on your site, so you won’t turn potential fans off from your brand immediately. While you want to convert as many visitors as possible, you also want to maintain a positive reputation in the process.

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Author Ami Foote

A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Ami is a staff writer at L&T. She has previously written for Ireland.com, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Britax Child Safety, and a variety of non-profits around the country. On a good day, you can find Ami obsessively consuming one or all of the following: folk music, NPR, black coffee, jeopardy, or Guinness.

More posts by Ami Foote