Practical Tips and Steps
First thing you must understand is that the average Google+ user hasn’t heard about opt-in
circles and doesn’t know anything about them. So before going into details about how to
subscribe, you should start by explaining about the basic concept of the opt-in circle. Don’t
make the explanation to long, but do give your audience enough information about your
plans. So here are the steps I’d recommend:
Briefly explain about what you’re doing:
“Hello friends! I’m creating a blog notification circle here on Google Plus! The idea is that each time I share a new post on my blog, I’ll send out a notification to this circle letting them know about the post.”
What’s in it for me?
As an initiative for subscribing, a cool thing you could do (but really don’t need to if you have
great content) is promise to share exclusive giveaways or posts with that circle alone, or at
least before your share them with the rest of the world.
Call to Action – Tell people how to subscribe (in a simple way!)
“If you’d like to be included in the Blog Notification Circle and be the first to know about new
posts & tips – simply +1 this post and you’re in!”. Don’t forget to mention that people can
opt out of the circle at any time. An alternative for this is sharing the post and then quickly
adding a comment on to that post saying: “+1 this comment to be included in the notification
circle!” and then disable new comments on the post.
Create a Dedicated Image
This worked great for me in my last notification circle, so I’d highly recommend using an
eye catching bill consolidation design that clearly describes your goals and call to action.
Disabling reshares and comments on the post leaves only one option – +1’ning the post
(is that English?!). Keeping the subscription process simple makes it easier for people to
understand what they need to do in order to subscribe. When comparing this to a mailing list
signup form on a website, I always find it easier when I’m asked to only fill in my Email
Address and hit subscribe (rather than name, family name and so on).
Add all subscribers to your Opt-In Circle (Yep, this step is important…)
Great! So you’ve followed the above steps and people have asked to join your notification
circle? Now it’s it’s time to add them to the circle! Head over to “activity on this post” either by
hovering over the profile thumbnails at the bottom right of the post, or by going to the drop
down menu in the top right corner and selecting “activity on this post”. Next, hover over the
names of people who’ve +1’d the post and add them to your “Notification Circle”.
Doing this one by is definitely possible, but rather time consuming. So be sure to check out
Circloscope chrome extension and premium version which allows you to add multiple profiles
from any post to your circles at once.
Send out your first post!
When you send out the post make sure to tick the “also send email to” box, and you’re
all set. If you don’t do this, you missed the whole point and your subscribers won’t be
notified about new posts.
Important things you should note
Even though it’s rare – it’s possible that even if you’ve done everything right, you won’t see
the “Also send emails to …” checkbox. If this happens it’s probably because most people
who’ve asked to opt in aren’t following you, and in that case Google+ will not allow you to
send emails, and this is done to prevent spammer from bombarding your email with spam
The solution for this is the following – determine which people in the circle are not following
you (this can easily be done using Circloscope) and then do one of the following things:
Reach out to the non followers in order to explain the situation and ask them to follow you.
Unfortunate, but remove the non-followers from your notification circle. After doing that you
might need to create a new notification circle in order to refresh the backend system.
I’m repeating this because it’s important – let people know that they can opt out at any time.
It’s also a good idea to occasionally send out a message to your notification circle alone just
to ask and make sure they still want to be included.
Google+ notification circles are great in so many ways and can easily become a part of your
marketing tools. When writing your opt-in post remember to keep things clear and offer a
simple way for people to subscribe to your circle. Think twice before you share a post with
your notification circles and never send spam. Remind people of the option to opt-out and
most important – share great content. If you do – people will never even think about opting