Win a copy of Grocery Story this week in the City Repair forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • James Freyr
  • Greg Martin
  • Dave Burton
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Dan Boone

daily-ish signup on permies.com

 
steward
Posts: 28066
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In a couple of days we are going to start a new kickstarter. We were going to start it two months ago, but as we get better and better at this, we came to a few important conclusions:

31) The kickstarters have become the major funding source for projects at the laboratory. So the more we can maximize them and the more we do, the more we can improve the velocity of the laboratory projects.

32) In the rmh dvd kickstarter, the daily-ish email made up 40% of the income. In the cards kickstarter, the daily-ish email made up 60%. Clearly, the daily-ish email is the most important component. It is therefore wise to build the daily-ish email.

33) Postpone the next kickstarter until we build the daily-ish email a whole lot.

33a) According to the daily-ish email host, the #1 way to improve signup velocity by "1374%" is to have a thing pop up on the web site encouraging people to sign up. Adrien created something and the coderanch staff made modifcations to jforum to support it. It's been a lot of work, but the first attempt to come online might be today!

33b) Add lots of new, free content and announce it on the daily-ish email. People will forward the daily-ish email and we will see big spikes in new people getting signed up. Right? Nope, we tried and tried and tried. No change. We will put out a new free video today. A new style from bart - maybe that will make a difference.

33c) All sorts of different kinds of promotions. No change.

33d) new podcasts. No change.

33e) lots of ideas and lots of attempts at lots of things and we are seriously striking out. We cannot seems to influence the sign up rate.

33f) I think a lot of it is that everybody is so confiden that 33a will work, we're kinda just waiting until it has its first day to see how it does.


---------------------------


So! This could be coming online sometime today.

It is the exact same signup that you see here: http://www.richsoil.com/email.jsp

The difference is that it will sort of float in the lower-left corner.

When people come to permies for the very first time, they will get about 20 seconds and then it will float out from the left. It has a big "X" on it so that people can minimize it. Then it will be tucked to the corner with a "+" to be re-opened.

For non-logged-in users, it will slide out once every ten pageviews. For logged-in users it will slide out once every 100 pageviews.

So we are trying to improve our daily-ish email sign ups, and, at the same time, try to minimize the annoying factor.

When this comes online, it would be great to get feedback on how well it is or is not working.

 
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
100
dog duck fungi trees books chicken bee solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you want to leverage permies users, I'd recommend an incentive you can see on permies like the apple icon. Maybe something that spreads in positive way like bamboo or comfrey.

I was pleased to get a bunch of apples for being one of the "94." Doesn't cost you anything but the cost of implementation.
 
Posts: 155
Location: PNW, British Columbia
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A couple ideas

1) Have people sign up to the dailyish at the same time as they are signing up to the forums. My guess is that you're not doing this because the forum software is separate from aweber, but might be worth looking into.

2) Create some awesome content (I'd suggest video) and force people to sign up to the newsletter if they want to access it.

3) Give away a DVD/book to a random subscriber. Have an ally with an audience (e.g. Survival Podcast) mention it.
 
Posts: 67
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
4) To modify the "access to free content" idea, what about creating "access to the other half of free content" by, for example, making a sweet video about what dew ponds are and prompting users to sign up for the Daily-ish email in order to see the even sweeter second half about how dew ponds work.

!Taking idea to the extreme alert! (read: probably not-well thought out)
This might be scaled up by applying it to something that everybody on permies has heard about, like the RMH series. If you gave away the first video and the made the other 3 free upon joining the daily-ish, the huge amount of material to gain might get people over that hump of "nah, don't feel like signing up."
- Just a thought for when you feel like there has been enough monetary respect shown to those who made the RMH video.

5) Maybe send out a survey to learn about why people signed up for the daily-ish and why they stayed signed up. (In my case, I joined to try to win tickets to the earthworks class, and stayed because I started getting emails about really cool stuff.) Similar information about permies.com subscriptions might contain a hint as to how to get people to sign up for the daily-ish.

Then you could make a promotional video clearly explaining to people why it is in their best interest to sign up for the daily-ish. (You do this for permies.com at the end of your youtube videos.)

If my reasons for joining are a norm, then it might show that you need some big piece of "candy" to lure people into joining the daily-ish. Meaning that 4) would be more effective rather than 5).

6*) It might be useful to figure out why people give money (another survey?). (I think that after having seen the "polished/edited" films of the RMH series, I was more informed about what I would get by donating to the earthworks video.)

* related to making money rather than signing up for the daily-ish.

7) Geoff Lawton uses the "access to free content" idea very well by making it super easy to hand over one's email. Idea: up next to what is currently your TED talk, have a line where you enter your email and a shiny button that says "ACCESS TO A BUNCH OF FREE STUFF" - this could be a less annoying version of the floating banner. The "bunch of free stuff" could be clean summaries of each thread (or at least popular ones) on permies.com for those who just wants things summed up without having to read a whole thread. However, since you still need someone to write up these summaries this might not be a viable idea.
 
Posts: 45
Location: Lynnwood, WA. USA
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So, this strikes me as a two-fold issue

1) Traffic

2) Conversion


TRAFFIC
To address traffic, one of the best things I can recommend is joint venturing with other people who have big lists that overlap your target user base and get in front of them.
a) guest post on blog
b) interviews/podcasts on video or audio
c) have them email your list on your behalf
d) blog comments on OTHER PEOPLE's WEBSITES - e.g. high traffic targeted sites with your targeted audience in mind. Beekeeping, survival, raising guinea pigs for food, rabbits, chickens, etc. Make a useful comment and put your offer (headline and link) in your signature.
e) affiliate program. Set up an affiliate program to reward people for recruiting others onto your list. Find out the dollar value in a year of each new subscriber, and encourage the flock to bring on new subscribers (by doing some of the things mentioned above... linking to your email sign-up page with a specially coded link... and giving them credit - if you sign up more than 10 people I will pay you $5 or something....


I also think your YouTube Channel and Permies forums are a good place to bring traffic in - but you can see this from your views and stats.


CONVERSION

I think you have a lot of room for improvement here.

Ask yourself why someone should do business with you rather than any one of your competition and/or doing nothing. The key here is to create URGENCY (e.g. limited-time offer, contest, fixed number of copies, etc.) and DESIRE - Something they really want. The price (free) is already good - but you can boost desire by putting a dollar value on it. E.g. I am giving you a copy of my book that sells for $14.95 online, as a free downloadable PDF, if you are one of the first ten people to register today.

Here are some things to consider:

a) KILLER HEADLINE - Free Daily-ish email is cute, but it doesn't get me hot and sweaty.

b) FIND OUT WHAT THEY WANT, AND GIVE IT TO THEM. What do people want? Healthy food, take care of family, survive a crisis, be self-sufficient, feelings of accomplishment.... this is where a survey would be useful - especially a survey of the people who "convert" to post on your discussion board here, and/or pay money into the kickstarters... what are their stats (e.g. rural/urban, age, gender, livestock kept, etc.)

Important Note: Set up different offers for different lists/target audiences. Put up a squeeze page, where they are forced to opt-in to get content. Put up 5 of these with your five best offers, all targeted to different audiences. Examples:

a) Beekeeping
b) How to grow a lemon tree in Zone 4 Montana
c) Urban Permaculture
d) Raising Chickens
e) How to Be Self-Sufficient and Feed A Family Of Four For A Year on Five Acres With 25 Hours A Week Of Labor


(See how that last "topic" was very specific and really called out details to the demographic that you are targeting?


c) Put a refer-a-friend script that gets sent-out automatically after people subscribe and see your great content. "If you liked this awesome info-packed video on your favorite topic that I just sent you, enter your friends' emails here, and I'll send it to them, PLUS you'll unlock another JUICY SURPRISE for yourself."

Think how willing everyone was to refer Geoff Lawton's video pages, because the content was so awesome, and it wasn't a "sales pitch" everyone could enjoy the content even if they didn't sign up for the PDC.
I think it can sometimes be hard to find your best content, because there is so much of it and it goes to different places. I personally loved the 2-hour bricks talk that you gave in California as well as the 4-part beekeeping series you just did. That's the type of thing that people will refer their friends to, if you specifically direct them. Got to make it EASY and SPECIFIC and have WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?

Automate scripts and bonuses depending on which list they're on. (Bees, Urban, Survival, etc.) Then send them auto-responders linking them to targeted content you've already created but that they may not have FOUND yet, so they can build their relationship with you. Put in reminders to refer into every email. Put in info about your availability for speaking engagements, targeted products you've made, (eg. rocket mass heater, earthworks course, playing cards, etc.) and other projects automatically into each email. CONTENT, REFERRAL REQUEST (with reason why they should do it - bonus content to them...), SALES OFFER - every email in the auto responder.

d) WEBSITE LINKS - you have a lot of links to things on this forum that are not immediately clear to new visitors: micro heaters and wofati - I still don't know what those are. Consider in your VIDEO at the top - to have a welcome/sales message for new visitors to see and get a tour of the resources (forum, youtube, podcasts, etc... is there more? Articles at richsoil?...) and telling people to sign up right away and WHY to do it (bonus item). Then you could have a separate page called VIDEOS where you link the youtube videos you make - like a table of contents for your videos. Make it easier for newbies to understand and find/consume your content.

One of the links at the top and bottom should be your KILLER HEADLINE stating why they should sign up for the daily-ish email. What's IN IT FOR ME? why do I want more email cluttering my inbox. We know it's awesome, because we're on the list, but a lot of new people have an aversion to signing up for email lists that they fear they won't have time to read, so you have to make them REALY WANT SOMETHING they can onliy get by signing up.

e) Feature and BENEFIT - Just remember that there is a lot of permaculture lingo that the new convert (e.g. urban chicken raiser, organic gardener) may not be familiar with. When selling the email subscription, try to talk without lingo/jargon, and talk about the benefits - FIND OUT HOW TO FEED YOUR CHICKENS WITHOUT RELYING ON STORE-BOUGHT GRAIN FEED was brilliant because many people have chickens and don't like the hassle and expense of buying grain. Stating a specific amount to be saved (e.g. SAVE $24 A MONTH ON FEED) would have made it even stronger. That is much more powerful than something like "Feed Your Chickens Compost". Instead of "Learn How To Build Raised Beds With Hugelkulture" as a headline, you could say something like "IRRADICATE THE NEED FOR SUMMERTIME IRRIGATION AND RIPEN YOUR TOMATOES 4 WEEKS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE" - Subscribe to our dailyish email to find out how."

Find out the problem you're solving and point that out.

Instead of linking to the stove2 page... (why would I need that? I don't have a wood stove... what is that link, anyway?) you could say something like "Learn How One Man Heated His Home to a Balmy 70 Degrees Every Day Through The Long Montanna Winter, By Burning Nothing But Junk Mail, Which Let Him Say "BYE-BYE" To His $568/Month Bill From The Gas Company (And How You Can, Too)." That is much more of a story that people will want to click on.


Okay, apparently it is time to watch GAME OF THRONES, now.

I hope this is a helpful addition to the world-domination plot. Thanks for all your great content, Paul, and the podcasts candy, too.

Emily
 
paul wheaton
steward
Posts: 28066
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
CJ,

I like that idea. Maybe this is something where we could get a mass add like we do for the secret inner circle.

Sam,

1) I think that is possible - but I think that when people sign up to the forums, they are racing out to post something, so I think I would rather not push it right then. I would rather that they focus on their fist post.

2) This is what Jack keeps telling me. And this is what Geoff is doing. It really works. I was about to say something about the quality of subscriber and the ability for people to unsubscribe, but .... I think there is a lot of merit to the idea. So then the question becomes: what is the bait? Podcasts? Video? What do I have right now that would make good bait?

3) I've given stuff away - and while that is purely about gratitude to the peeps on the list, it is something that has not added subscribers. But I like the idea of trying to milk people from another source. But what would that other source be? I'm having a tough time imagining jack saying "hey peeps, go to paul's and sign up for his email thing, and ten people will get a copy of a book." That seems a little too ... sales-ish.


Jake,

4) - my thoughts are the same as "2" (above). The variation being a series.

7) Isn't this the same as "2"?


Emily,

So, this strikes me as a two-fold issue

1) Traffic

2) Conversion



Yup - ain't it always.

a,b,c) yup, we do that.

d) what do you have in mind for an offer?

e) well, does aweber do anything like that? Also, the email stuff and the permies web site is already running deep in the red. I'm kinda hoping it is just something obvious that I have overlooked. I get a million people per month coming to permies - it seems like there should be a way to leverage that.


I am giving you a copy of my book that sells for $14.95 online, as a free downloadable PDF, if you ...



I think this is "2" (above). And I think I'm gonna give this a try next.

a) KILLER HEADLINE - Free Daily-ish email is cute, but it doesn't get me hot and sweaty.



I agree. I think it would be more fun to call it something like "world domination email". But I haven't thought of anything fun yet.

d) WEBSITE LINKS



Not sure how this gets people to sign up, but I do like the idea that we have something like a table of contents to make sure people can find all the best stuff.


Okay, apparently it is time to watch GAME OF THRONES, now.



I still have never seen that. Is it better than firefly?

 
Jake Parkhurst
Posts: 67
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, "2" and "4" are very close. "4" emphasizes the assumption that people are more likely to do work for something if they know how good it is. Compare the following scenarios.

Scenario 1 (access to free content):
Website: "Sign up for this email list serve to get access to this cool method of saving water!"
(user thoughts: "Ooh sounds interesting.")
*signs up?*

Scenario 2 (access to the other half)
Website: "Check out our new video about saving water!"
(user thoughts: "Ooh sounds interesting.")
*click?*

... 15 minutes into an amazing info dump of how to save/harvest/store water...
Video: "That wasn't even the good stuff! To see the second half of this video, sign up for this list serve!"
(user thoughts: "Must have more!")
*signs up?*

Scenario 2 takes advantage of the ease of clicking a youtube to corral someone into watching a video that drives up their desire to learn more, thus making them more willing to put in the work (i.e. signing up for the daily-ish) to see the second half of the video.

(a side note: first half video length has a sweet spot: too long can trigger "i don't have time to watch this;" too short won't give enough information to drive up interest in seeing the second half. Unfortunately I don't know what this sweet spot is.)
 
Sam Boisseau
Posts: 155
Location: PNW, British Columbia
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

paul wheaton wrote:


Sam,

1) I think that is possible - but I think that when people sign up to the forums, they are racing out to post something, so I think I would rather not push it right then. I would rather that they focus on their fist post.





I was thinking of just a simple pre-checked check box that says "subscribe me to the daily-ish" when they're subscribing to the forum. Is that still too much?


54) You could also try this angle for forum subscribers: sell the newsletter as a daily-ish summary of the best discussions/stuff happening on the forum. Turns it into a benefit for people who don't have much time to browse the forums!


55) Create a HUGE in your face popup that comes up next time people log in, asking them to subscribe. Give people the option to say "No thanks/I'm already subscribed" or "Remind me Later". If they say no thanks, make sure people don't see the popup for a few months.




 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
313
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How difficult would it be to assign a cookie/token to accounts that are already signed up?
With that approach, only those users who are not signed up would see the pop-up.
(Of course, subscribed members who visit the site with cookies disabled would still see them.)

 
steward
Posts: 1191
Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
118
goat duck trees books chicken bee
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

paul wheaton wrote:CJ,
So then the question becomes: what is the bait? Podcasts? Video? What do I have right now that would make good bait?


Content generation-the vastly underestimated expense of anything worth doing.
I suspect that you have nothing left that would make good bait, because by your generous nature, you have already given it all away.

Repackage. I for one am too lazy/busy/distracted to mine through all the old podcasts, especially trying to piece together the history of your evolution of thought on a particular topic. But it could be a valuable topic-driven resource. Excerpts and commentaries. Best of the chicken podcasts, edited together with some additional remarks. Or do a Mystery Science Theater 3000 type commentary on some of your old podcasts with another podcaster-Paul and Jack review the 10 best ideas ever kicked around about earthworks. Erica, Jocelyn and Paul on food and recipe topics. Etc. A whole episode on meeting Seth-which of his ideas had you adopted, what was it like to meet him? to do stuff with him? to have him correct the earlier attempts? All of this content probably exists in 10 podcasts over three years, editing it together with some continuity to make it a story is work, but it repackages and builds on what you have done. Might get people to actually dig back and listen to entire archived episodes. Might be something the volunteer army could help identify segments for.

And as I said in another thread in a different forum, I think a retrospective podcast (or series) on Paul, permies.com, the Montana project-basically a narrative on how you started and the trajectory to today and the future, would be a great incentive for the new subscriber. This whole podcast thing is hard to jump into the stream if you are new.

I kind of doubt it, since you don't seem to edit out much, but is there a bloopers reel? Actually, that would not be appealing to the new listener, it's all too confusing at first anyway. But as a conversion for those who have been on the forum for a long time but never email subscribed, it might work.

Which goes to my other thread comment: segmentation of the desired new subscribers. Are you most interested in the new-to-any-part of the empire person who finds permies.com through a Google search? Or converting the reluctant long-time forum member? Or recruiting from my pool of friends. Each is valid, but requires different bait.

By no means are these ideas free/no work but they may be of less work than generating new ideas.
 
gardener
Posts: 2646
175
forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A really good thread is on mycorrhizal fungi-
http://www.permies.com/t/26210/fungi/Biochar-Mycorrhizae-High-Nitrogen#277060
John S
PDX OR
 
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
#54 is pretty much how I see the daily-ish. It is constantly drawing me in. Where as I would otherwise only come when I have a specific question, about say, nitrogen fixing trees and shrubs that work in the northeast US. Or hugelkulture, electric tractor research etc.

The Daily-ish brings the forums "alive" for me, as opposed to just a "resource/archive" of contextual information experience and opinions.
 
If you settle for what they are giving you, you deserve what you get. Fight for this tiny ad!
Dave Burton's Boot Adventures at Wheaton Labs and Basecamp
https://permies.com/t/119676/permaculture-projects/Dave-Burton-Boot-Adventures-Wheaton
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!