The Mistake I Made for 10 Years (It Makes Me Cringe)

Only recently did I realize I was making a HUGE mistake with my 5,000 Member social group.  I was constantly driving traffic to my website, but I failed to effectively capture the email addresses of those who were not ready to pay dues. Sure, I had a standard sign-up form (generated by Constant Contact) that appeared on every page, but I didn’t realize there is a FAR better way to capture emails. 

 

BRIBES!  Yup, EVERYONE who has a social group should be offering a bribe in exchange for an email address. A bribe (also known as an ethical bribe) is a freebie that has value. A user will give you their email in exchange for the freebie.

 

Sample Bribes:

Mom’s Club of NYC – “5 Zoos That You Can Get Into for FREE”

Colorado Newbie Hikers  – “10 Must-Haves for Every Hike”

Chicago Foodies – “Where to Find the 7 Best Taco Food Trucks”

 

Here are the STEPS YOU need to take so you do not make the same mistake I did:

-          Create a “bribe”. Here are the bribes I created for my social group:

  • “Want to expand your social circle? Laura Occhipinti (founder) shares 5 steps to making friends via NJYP.”
  • “Get My 4 Must Read Speed Dating Tips”

-          Now connect the bribe to your email marketing service.  Depending on your budget, you can use something like LeadPages.Net  (I pay $197 a year) or you can use an auto-responder (assuming you are already paying for an email marketing service like Mailchimp or Constant Contact). Here are the directions on how to do this using MailChimp, http://eepurl.com/gYZQ

-          Create an attractive image that users will click to get the bribe. Below are the images I used.

 

-          Now that you have all the pieces, put them together.

  • Add your attractive images to your website,
  • Have it link to the email sign-up form,
  • Once users add their email to the sign-up form, the auto-responder will send them the bribe.

 

I still cringe when I think about all of the people who came across my website, checked it out, but then left  because they didn’t have time to join, or weren’t ready to join etc. Either way, they most likely forgot about my website and how they found it.  Thus, creating a system with a bribe is one of the FIRST things you should do.

 

Want to see if your bribe is of value? Please comment with your group name and proposed bribe title.

 

Pro-Tips
Place at least one bribe ABOVE the fold on the home page.

Make sure EVERY page of your website has a bribe on it.

Test it out!  Pretend you are a user and make sure it works from start to finish.

 

@GrowYourGroup - Are These 6 Things Missing from Your Website?

I, Laura Occhipinti, founded New Jersey Young Professionals in 2004. I have 5,000+ dues paying Members on my Ning website and 11,000 Young Professionals on my mailing list. You can download a copy of My Favorite Tools (Hint: The BEST ones are FREE). 

 

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Comment by Laura Occhipinti on July 16, 2014 at 10:25am

Thanks Garfield!

Comment by Garfield Creator on July 15, 2014 at 11:50pm

Great advice, Laura. Love it. Reminds me when I was writing a blog about Palm Pilots and I created a free template for a Palm App called Bonsai. I was surprised at how many emails I collected.  It just works to offer something on your site/blog.

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