In this technologically driven world, it has become critical for the business to become digital too. No business owner can overlook the importance of having a digital presence for their business. Without an online presence, a business will lose out on good opportunities as most of its customers and prospects are online. There is where marketing methods like blogging come into the picture. But, is having a blog sufficient to reach prospects and reap its overall benefits? Of course not! Once you have a blog, you need to ensure that it receives visitors; visitors convert into prospects, and ultimately prospects convert into customers. So, how do you ensure that your blog reaches the target audience and receives visitors? follow.it is a tool that helps you solve this problem.
follow.it works on a simple concept – readers want new and interesting content while publishers want readers. It has been seen that readers frequently miss out on new content as they are not alerted when relevant content gets published. Even common alert tools like newsletters, RSS feeds, social media posts have seen a lower chance of being seen by the reader. There are several reasons behind it, right from the reluctance of the user to subscribe to lower chances of seeing the updates. Though follow.it uses the term feed, it should not be confused with RSS feeds.
follow.it offers a way to:
- Turn your website visitors into followers.
- Make sure they receive notifications (automatically) when you publish new posts.
- Maximize chances that they see the notifications and click on them.
A feed is created when an RSS feed or website URL is set up on the feed set-up page. This is the feed users can subscribe to using follow.it.
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USP of follow.it
- It offers optimization of every step in the customer acquisition funnel.
- It can be used by bloggers as well as readers.
- Feeds can be classified into categories.
- It allows for discovering new feeds.
- Gives a graphical representation of statistics for better understanding.
- Allows monitoring of different parameters like Clicks on Messages, Unfollows, and more.
- It provides your visitors with a better way to follow your business and its content.
- Designed to increase recurring visitors and follows.
- Offers at a glance view of all the feeds followed.
- Follow form can be embedded with WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace, Tumblr, and Wix.
- Option to set what content will be visible to the followers in their notifications.
- Allows publishers to switch from FeedBurner and import the subscribers. It can be done via the FeedBurner alternative and RSS redirect plugin in the case of WordPress. The first step is to download the list of subscribers and export them to CSV.
- The basic plan is free, irrespective of the number of followers. Premium features are available at fair pricing.
How does follow.it work?
The process of follow.it is completely automatic, so publishers do not have to worry about crafting rewarding newsletters. They can use their time for creating better, creative, and useful content for their readers. The basic process of follow.it is as –
- On the feed set-up page, you enter your website URL (or RSS feed) – this will set up your feed on follow.it.
- You embed the following options on your website (subscription form, icons, etc.).
- Visitors follow you.
- You publish a new story.
- it servers pick up the new story and send out a notification to all the followers via the delivery channel they have chosen.
Follow.it subscription form
Follow.it ensures that most of the people can see that they can follow you. It can be through a subscription form placed visibly on your website. The form can be easily designed from the interactive builder to match your website. Existing subscription forms can also be connected with follow.it feeds. Users can also follow you through the follow icon placed on your website or through the follow.it feed directory. When a user clicks on the follow icon on your site, they will be taken to a lean subscription page allowing them to sign up.
Subscription & Email delivery options
When you want people to follow you, it is important to give them what they want. You cannot fill their inbox with spam emails or content that is not relevant to them. Follow.it makes sure that following your feed is easy. They have also made unfollowing easy so that users feel they are in control.
Along with the email entry field, the screens also show social media icons that allow users to follow you with a single click. This ensures user convenience and increases your conversion rate. They also give users the choice to decide what news they want to get and pick the preferred delivery channels. There is also a provision to add filters based on tags, authors, or keywords to make it easier to choose what they want. Publishers have the option of disabling the filter. follow.it encourages readers to opt for mail subscriptions to receive content but there are other channels also that readers can pick.
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User signup & activation process
Once a user becomes a follower, you need to make the follower active. Activation of users can be done through Smart Opt-in, social media sign-ups, or through existing login of follow.it. There are 2 processes for activation.
The first process is a single opt-in, and it can result in maximum followers. In this process, no confirmation is required and a user becomes an active subscriber as soon as he enters the email id. But this method is not considered legal in several countries as it results in spam emails or emails with typing mistakes.
The second process of activation is double opt-in. Here the user has to confirm his subscription through a verification link received over email. This method ensures that users who receive content actually want it. This method also ensures that the emails are not marked as spam, thus ensuring that your reputation is not hampered. With the second method, it is also easy to move the list to any other provider.
Notification & email delivery
The next step in the funnel is the delivery of notifications. follow.it emphasizes on high deliverability by running optimizations on the email before sending it. They ensure that the mail does not contain any elements that trigger the sensitive spam filters. As the mails do not land in Junk, there is a high probability of it being read by the user. To ensure high deliverability, follow.it team also maintains an excellent IP reputation and domain reputation. The top-notch deliverability rate of follow.it has been confirmed by several independent tools performing email analysis.
Multiple delivery channels
To maximize chances that the notifications received by users are seen and clicked, follow.it uses multiple techniques. They use multiple delivery channels and emphasize follow by email. The mails are designed to encourage subscription by users.
Apart from emails, users can also follow feed through news pages, RSS feeds, and more. When users receive the same story on multiple channels, there is a higher likelihood of the story getting clicked. The time of sending messages is based on an analysis of when a user is most likely to click the notification.
It also allows publishers to set their preferred time for sending messages. For newspaper delivery, the mail is sent once in 24 hours and at a specific time of the day. follow.it also analyses other factors that can influence clicks like tailored subject lines, filtering the feed, and more. The performance of titles can be tracked in the statistics.
To optimize the content and delivery, follow.it provides important analytics to track the performance of mails sent. Based on these statistics, publishers can further optimize their next content and emails. Analytics also give out new follows and unfollows, reasons for unfollowing, total followers, and total visitors that turned into followers. Publishers can also check the messages sent, the clicks received on the messages, and the popularity of articles.
Bloggers need to get visitors to come back to their website. So, a retention tool like follow.it plays a critical role. It has scientifically optimized each step of the funnel, these helping publishers achieve better results with their content. follow.it is one of the few retention tools that not only thinks about publishers but also think about subscribers. It empowers the subscribers with several options like limiting the news they will receive, giving out the average number of stories they will receive in a week, and more. Users can set filters for keywords, tags, authors, popularity, and more. It also allows them to choose their output channels.
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follow.it is constantly enhancing the tool and adding new features to empower users and publishers. The basic plan of follow.it offers major features, and it is free for followers. 2 further advanced plans come with enhanced features like access to historical data in statistics, higher visibility of feeds in follow.it directory, email alerts if a user subscribed or unsubscribed, add pictures in the directory, fix or alert publishers on broken RSS feeds, and access reasons why a user unsubscribed.