Increase subscribers by offering a prize draw?

So the Marketing Pilgrim blog is offering a prize draw for anyone that subscribes to their blog and as the amount of subscribers increases, the prize gets better. Oddly though there only appear to be 7 blogs linking to the blog post itself. Or maybe 8 now. You’d think there’d be more. This I suppose is very like the old competitions to get people to sign up to newsletters though subscribing and unsubscribing to RSS is much easier and there’s no fear of getting further spammed.

Still I wonder is this a way of getting genuine subscribers? Regular readers who do not sub might sign up but I guess the barrier to entry for RSS subscribers is still high or they would have already signed-up. Maybe IE7 will start changing that along with other common applications that start incorporating RSS reading technology.

How would you try and increase the number of subscribers to your blog? I’m not sold on something gimmicky like winning an iPod. I have an icon or two on the sidebar telling people how they can subscribe. Should there be an option in every post? Or on the most popular posts? But then what is the need to have more RSS subscribers besides the ego boost of seeing x dozen people have to suffer your links to YouTube?

4 Responses to “Increase subscribers by offering a prize draw?”

  1. MJ says:

    It’s not just subscribing to their RSS feed though. There’s a heap of “watch the sponsored adverts and wait for a MONTH for the sheeecret message.

    Then there’s this:
    “Those who email the correct text to us, within 24 hours of it being posted, will be entered to win an iPod Shuffle MP3 player.”

    Oh, an iPod Shuffle. RRP £55. A bit disingenuous when the iPod they show on the web site is a Black Video iPod (RRP £189 at least).

    So it’s partly a method to get you poring over their advertising partners web site and partly Bait and Switch.


    Personally I’d try “content”. That seems to work.

  2. Rob says:

    I don’t really see the point of having tonnes of subscribers (my blog hovers around the 40 mark, so it is just as well).

  3. That draw seems pretty lame to me Damien.

    The barriers to getting people subscribed to RSS feeds, as you say, are still very high. Having said that with firefox 2 – it’s one click on the feed and one click to confirm. Still to get that far you have to already know about feeds and be set up with a feedreader. The future is when reading feeds is more integrated into email applications. Or even if services likes netvibes are integrated into ISPs websites.

    As for how to try and increase the number of subscribers on your blog. We just did a special on our blog on how blogs are being designed to be more effective. In particular how some blogs are going about getting more subscribers. Timely to your post!

    I think:

    1) You have to make the rss icon very prominent and definitely above the fold.
    2) Probably good to have an explanation of how to subscribe for those that are new to rss.
    3) Offer an email feed for those that aren’t up in the world of feeds yet.
    4) Ask for subscriptions.
    5) Get your blog out to more people.

    We’re working on it at the moment. Subscriber count is rising. Can tell you more in time 🙂

  4. […] The Bebo Award, run off the Irish Awards Bebo profile is going well enough. 100 profiles have been entered. The more profiles, the better the prize. Right now the prize is an iPod Shuffle. It will turn into an iPod Nano if over 400 people are entered and it will become something a little better again if over 1000 profiles are entered. Hat tip to the marketing pilgrim. bebo blogs ireland irishblogs […]