It's common business knowledge to not give attention to your competitors.
But I am not a big fan of rules.
Ashley Ambirge is the copywriting / marketing / vodka-drinking authority on the web. Her marketing is like crack to everyone who falls into her sales funnel because how can you not love everything she ever creates? Am I fan-girling out too hard? Probably.
When I was taking her copywriting course, we had an after class discussion and I asked her how to entice people to sign up for my newsletter.
"Stop calling it a newsletter," was her advice.
My mind was like: *insert loud bomb explosion noise*.
Essentially what she told us was that when people think of the word "newsletter" they think of their colossal inbox full of a multitude of unread "newsletters" full of pitches and other worthless information. She told us that the inbox is a sacred place to many people and the last thing they want is another "newsletter" to never read.
She even has a post all about this topic. (YEAH that's right, continuing to break rules.)
This is her e-mail opt-in:
Awesome, yes? It is fresh, vivid, and actually tells you what you are going to get by giving up your email address.
Let's look at the hilarious Erika Napoletano's opt-in:
Right to the point. Once again, no "newsletter".
And then the amazing Chris Guillebeau's opt-in:
Sounds absolutely inciting, right? Of course you want to change the world!
It also just dawned on me that the secret to success might be having a hard to spell last name... Seriously.
An important question to ask yourself is what do your readers get from subscribing to your newsletter?
Did you create a free PDF? Do you have a free course to give away? Do you have free templates? What will your newsletters be about? Do you talk about Etsy brand building, copywriting, pizza, baseball, etc.? You have to describe the benefit they get, or else they won't sign up.
All of this ties into what I mention in every post: You have to have an ultimate vision for where you are going with your company.
Most people sign up for newsletters because they want to be a part of the ultimate vision a business has. Your copy for your opt-in just helps that process. Why do people sign up for Ash's newsletter? Because her intelligence is uncanny and by being a part of her newsletter you hope that you will learn something to apply to your own business so you can become a marketing/copywriting badass also. Or you like vodka. Either or.
You could have a marvelous opt-in on your page, but if your newsletters don't live up to the vision and the promise you make in your opt-in, the retention won't last.
Mentioning subscribing... if you found this information useful, get this and oodles of other tips to become a badass in your industry by clicking: here.