• Michael Linsin

The Power of a Simple Call-to-Action

For the past ten months I've been losing subscribers at Smart Classroom Management at an alarming rate, and up until a few days ago I didn't know why.

Now, it isn't unusual to have a small percentage of readers unsubscribe each week; .2% or so is typical for every blog. You can also lose some because of hard bounces. But I wasn't gaining enough subscribers to overcome the losses. In fact, I went from over 125,000 subscribers to just under 115,000 in less than a year. Yikes!

I was definitely concerned. But because most schools were shut down to in-person learning due to the pandemic, I didn't think it was terribly unusual. There was one thing nagging me, however: My traffic was excellent. My articles were being shared and there were a lot of comments on my posts.

Hundreds of readers per day should have been subscribing. They just weren't.

Still, I chalked it up to Covid. I kept my head down and just kept writing and waiting (and hoping) it would turn around. And then three days ago a reader emailed me to let me know that the call-to-action link that I leave at the bottom of every article wasn't working.

I actually wrote about this strategy a few weeks ago. Here's what my CTA says:

If you haven’t done so already, please join us. It’s free! Click here and begin receiving classroom management articles like this one in your email box every week.

The problem was the "Click here" link. It would send readers to a sign-up form that was no longer valid. You see, about ten months ago I redesigned the form but didn't realize that doing so changed its URL. The upshot was that I had 568 articles that had a CTA link that didn't work.

The reason I didn't catch it straightaway was that I also have a subscribe button at the top of every page that was valid. So I was getting some subscribers. Unfortunately, it was a tiny percentage of what I should have been getting.

The CTA strategy of asking readers to subscribe is far more effective. My mistake and subsequent oversight underscores just how powerful a CTA can be. It's clear now that one of the big reasons I grew to 125,000 subscribers was because of it.

What's amazing to me is that very few bloggers use this strategy or realize how effective it is. Even Scott, my own partner here at Renegade Blogger, has to be reminded (often) to include a CTA at the bottom of each article. (Are you reading this, Beagle?)

So the lesson is this: Include a CTA that expressly asks your readers to subscribe to your email list at the bottom of every single article.

Just like this:

If you haven't done so already, please joins us. Click here and begin getting articles like this one in your email box.

PS - One more lesson, this one for me: Every so often, check your links!

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