Having the right incentive for your mailing list can double, triple, or quadruple your sign-ups.  It also asserts your position as an authority in your field and creates return customers.

But how do you decide what to offer as an incentive?

The right incentive for your mailing list will:

  • Entice people to sign up
  • Offer something of value
  • Keep your customers coming back
  • Not give away your ‘secrets’
  • Complement your products

You should never, ever have the ‘newsletter’ (and please never use that word!) be the incentive because, honestly, no one wants that.  No one wants to JUST get emails from you.  We’re a ‘me’ society and we want to know right away what we are going to get from you for free.  So make it something good, something your clients really NEED, and you’ll have them hooked from the start.

Want to see some stellar examples?

Stephanie of Space Cadet Creations hand-dyes the most beautiful yarns I’ve ever seen.  Her incentive is actually an e-book that tells you how to use hand-dyed yarn.  It answers the question she was constantly getting asked at craft shows and it also eliminates a barrier to buy for the customer, who may have been wondering how to use this slightly different yarn.

Megan Auman creates breathtaking jewelry out of steel.  Her incentive is free shipping on your next purchase.  This also eliminates that barrier to buy because who doesn’t love free shipping?

Tara Gentile coaches entrepreneurs to be their best.  Getting on her email list means you get access to 3+ hours of recorded coaching calls.  Not only does this introduce you to who Tara is and what she does, but it gives you the value of 3 hours of her wisdom.

An incentive works best when it complements your work and gets rid of a barrier to buy.  If you’re a jewelry maker, how about a style guide to show how to pair your jewelry for different seasons?  If you are a web designer, how about giving a little worksheet for people to fill out to get their ideas flowing about what they want from their site?  If you’re a coach, how about creating an e-book from past blog posts that resonated with your audience?

What’s your incentive for your mailing list subscribers?  Please share in the comments below. 

And if you are still trying to think of an incentive, tell me what your business is.  I’d love to give you some ideas.