Subscribe Interviews Data

Should You Say Follow Instead of Subscribe?

· Time to read: ~4 min

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That’s one of the questions Traci Long DeForge tackles this week in our 3 Questions With Traci segment. She also talks about a call to action and niche podcasts.

Q: Should I use only one specific call to action at the end of my episodes? Traci: Outlining a call to action for your podcast is important for many reasons. It gives specific directions to your listeners on how to continue the conversation with you after the podcast. It’s also the best way to generate opportunities for monetization and encourage promotion of the show when requesting ratings and reviews. You don’t necessarily have to limit yourself to one call to action (CTA) but you do have to give specific CTA’s that are clear to understand and execute. One way to use more than one call to action is to have a professional voice over close out your podcast. For example, if you have a professional voice-over record your close, then you can include a generic evergreen call to action. Your generic call to action can be to “rate, review and follow your show”. As you wrap up the show you can add in a more time sensitive CTA where you personally invite the listener to sign up for your newsletter, check out an online program on your website or follow you on a specific social platform. This option allows you to update your warm and inviting CTA based on how you want the listener to engage with you while at the same time reminding them that ratings and reviews are always appreciated.

Q: Should I update the outro of my podcast so it says FOLLOW instead of SUBSCRIBE? Traci: As of May 2021, Apple no longer uses the terminology “Subscribe” but instead uses the word “follow”. The release of iOS 14.5 saw the subscribe button be replaced by a + sign so fans can now follow the show. Likely, this change is a result of launching a paid subscription option for podcasters on the platform but it also helps clear up some confusion for new listeners. Edison Research found that 47% of people who don’t listen to podcasts thought it cost money to “subscribe” to podcasts. This shift in language will pivot perspective and will be an advantage to bring in more listeners to the medium. Other major platforms such as Spotify and Stitcher already use “follow” vs “subscribe”. Eventually you will need to update your close, simply because it will begin to sound outdated with the “subscribe” language in it. Use this as an opportunity to review all the branding elements for your show. Is it time to update cover art? Update your music bed? If so, while you are rebranding your show in other ways it’s the perfect time to go ahead and invest in a new close for your podcast. You will need to rewrite the script you or the voiceover recorded, record and then mix in your music bed to use for your episodes going forward. There’s no need to change out the close in your previously released episodes. They can be looked back on as the end of the “subscribe“era and be a fun history marker of how the industry has evolved over time.

Q: Is there such a thing as your content focus being too niche? Traci: My answer is NO. Having a specific niche for your podcast content has its advantages. Think of taking a topic that is broad like Entrepreneurship, then narrowing it down to Women Entrepreneurs and then narrowing it down again to Women In Technology. This creates a place where you can build a group of loyal evangelists listening to your show for specific content related to women in the tech space. Niche podcasts are great for providing content for often underserved areas in the market. When you have a specific niche, the downloads will be from a significantly engaged audience that is showing up to listen to exactly what it is you have to say. Wouldn’t you rather talk to highly concentrated, super engaged, content-focused people loyal to you?. Just remember to give yourself permission to own your niche and accept that you may not have as broad of a reach by choosing this path but you will have better quality stats over just quantity which can be interesting to potential sponsors who want to reach your specific targeted audience.

_Traci Long DeForge is the founder of Produce Your Podcast, and a consultant, speaker, and strategist. She can be contacted at or 912.223.9525. Visit her websites: and _
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