How to Convert VIEWERS into SUBSCRIBERS (and grow your channel to the moon!)

If you’re consistently making YouTube videos AND getting a good amount of views, congratulations, because that’s huge! But…

Even though people are watching your videos, are they subscribing? If not, what’s the disconnect? What can you do to start converting your viewers into faithful subscribers?

You’ve probably already heard some common strategies, like:

  • making great videos that draw people to want more
  • letting viewers know you publish regularly
  • telling viewers what’s in it for them and why they should subscribe
  • simply asking viewers to subscribe

Though the above strategies work to gain subscribers, there is one tactic even more important to focus on after someone’s discovered one of your videos, and it’s something rarely mentioned.

But, truly, the #1 thing that makes people more likely to subscribe to your channel is if you can simply get them to watch more than one of your videos.

In fact, if you can get people to watch at least 2-4 of your videos, the chances of them subscribing more than triple!

But, how can you do that? Well, keep reading to learn the 3 most effective strategies.

How to get viewers to watch more than one video

Studies have shown that over 80% of YouTube views come from people who are unsubscribed from the channels that they’re watching.

And, after watching a video from these new-to-them channels, they don’t typically choose to subscribe.

It turns out that most subscriptions occur after someone has watched 2-4 videos from a new channel. In fact, getting your new viewers to watch a second, third, or fourth video, more than TRIPLES the chances that they choose to subscribe.

So how do you do this? How do you get new viewers to watch more than one of your videos?

#1 – The Obvious: Make Good Quality Videos

I want you to think about creating YouTube videos like an art. It is a craft you’ll want to hone and perfect your skills in, from scripting your content to creating an eye-pleasing set to editing in a way that flows and keeps viewers’ attention. 

Want to make better videos? Here’s a playlist to get you started: 

Crafting quality videos goes even deeper than background or lighting, though. It’s about developing your storytelling skills to write a compelling narrative that leaves viewers wanting more. 

Think about your favorite show on primetime. What do the writers do best? They leave a sneaky cliffhanger that makes you wish it were next week already so you could watch the following episode to find out what happens. 

You can do the same thing as a YouTube creator with the Flow Method (which we’ll talk about next), and the good news is that they won’t have to wait until next week’s episode to binge your content.

#2 The Flow Method

Suggesting a video to “watch next” at the end of their videos is common practice for most YouTubers. But what percentage of viewers actually click on those recommended videos? Not many… which means that most creators are leaving tons of potential views (and subscribers) on the table.

So, how do you make a primetime, cliffhanger-type ending for your YouTube videos that leaves your viewer hungry for the “next episode”? 

Just use the Flow Method. Here’s how it works:

  1. Near the end of your video, suggest another specific video for your viewer to watch that’s a logic next step. This is NOT the algorithm’s pick or your latest video. It needs to be the most logical next step you’d guide your viewer to take. For example, if someone just watched your video about making sourdough bread, you might point them to a video on how to keep up with the process and create a system around making sourdough bread on a regular basis.
  2. Conclude your video by sharing why this next video you suggested is the logical next step.
  3. Add the video thumbnail to the end screen
  4. Point to the video (this is important!)

You picking what they should watch next in a strategic way – and bluntly pointing it out at the end of the video in a little cliffhanger way – will entice them to follow that next logical step and watch another video of yours.

#3 Optimize Your Videos for Recommendation

After someone watches one of your videos, the YouTube algorithm will start working its magic and recommend another one of your videos to see if they choose to watch it.

The algorithm shows suggested videos based on the following three things: 

  1. Topics that the viewer have previously shown interest in
  2. Videos watched by others with similar viewing habits
  3. Other videos from channels that the viewer recently watched. 

So, as you’re creating your videos, make sure they all appeal to the same viewers so that, when the algorithm recommends another one of your videos (and it will!), the chances will be high that the viewer will choose to watch it — work with the algorithm.

Here’s a little secret for you: after someone watches one of your videos, your main goal shouldn’t be to get them to subscribe (yet). Rather, it’s to get them to watch another one of your videos because, the more videos of yours they watch, the more YouTube will recommend your videos to them.

This one thing – viewers binging your video content – is more important than them subscribing. (Keep reading to learn why!)

Why Views Matter More than Subscribers

Let’s go back in time a bit. As you’re likely aware, the YouTube algorithm used to only recommend videos based on which channels viewers were subscribed to.

But… this just isn’t the case anymore. Now, the algorithm will recommend videos from channels whether viewers are subscribed or not. What YouTube figured out over the years is that people don’t always want what they say they want. A much better indicator of what they want? What they actually CHOOSE to watch.

A “subscribe” doesn’t matter nearly as much as it used to.

Don’t get me wrong. Subscribers are still helpful! They’re important for gaining social clout for sponsorships and ad revenue, they’re an automatic boost of credibility, and they make people more likely to watch your videos because of your apparent popularity. 

But… subscribers do not equate to ad revenue. Views do. And watch hours are the very most important thing. They are what you’re striving for.

A common goal of new YouTubers is to reach 1000 subscribers and get their channels monetized within 12 months, but did you know that this can actually set them up for failure? I explain why this is and show you how to get monetized much more quickly in my one-hour YouTube strategy crash course. It’s “start here” material for anyone trying to grow on YouTube, so if you haven’t already attended a showing, click HERE to grab a free ticket and learn the ropes of the algorithm. 

Gillian Perkins

Hi, I’m Gillian! I’m a marketing strategist who helps online entrepreneurs 10X their sales with FB ads + sales funnels. I love combining tech, analytics, and psychology to create powerful marketing systems. When I’m not helping my clients scale their businesses, I’m spending time with my husband and two little boys, exploring new places, or seeking out choice espresso.