When I started AllFacebook I spent every day tracking the number of new subscribers to the site. While I was growing the site at a good rate, I began reading up on site optimization and came up with a single change that increased new daily subscribers by 400 percent.
A Prominent Subscription Box
As I searched around the larger publications I noticed that a number of them had begun using a design which placed the subscription box at the top right of the page. I also noticed a number of major offenders who weren’t prioritizing new subscriber acquisition in their site design. The greatest offender of all is Techcrunch, and with their latest design they’ve become an even greater offender. Take a look at the following page and tell me if you can find a subscription box (hint: you can’t).
Funny enough, their last design at least had a subscription link, although it still wasn’t prominent. I always wondered why these sites hesitated to prioritize new subscriber acquisition. For Techcrunch it’s pretty clear that advertising has taken a priority. Now let’s take a look at Mashable’s homepage to see the contrast. I’ve highlighted all the subscription calls to action in red.
I’d say a solid 20 percent of Mashable’s content that’s “above the fold” (visible to most new visitors without having to scroll) is dedicated to subscribing. After seeing sites like Mashable adopt a similar strategy I decided to try it out on AllFacebook. I brought the daily email up to the top and I added what was an “innovation” at the time: the inclusion of the like box.
After implementing the above design, I saw daily email subscribers and Facebook fans increase by over 400 percent. Still missing from AllFacebook is the Twitter follow button which makes it easy for a visitor to subscribe without leaving the page. Don’t underestimate the ability of making it easy for visitors to subscribe!
Side note: you may notice that this site doesn’t have a prominent subscribe box. While you can subscribe here, I’m considering making some subtle changes to increase subscriber rates. Also since this is my personal blog I’m not to concerned with subscription rates :)