So you’ve got your niche locked down, you’ve recorded episodes jam-packed with killer content, and you’ve got this great buzz around your show thanks to the power of social media!
Your intro is waxed, your theme music is on point, and your artwork is amazing! But what about your outro?
“My outro?” I hear you ask quizzically, “Why do I need an outro? Surely no one listens to podcast episodes beyond the end of the actual content?”
And you are right to a degree. Many listeners do tune out as soon as “the good stuff” is presumably over, thinking that there is nothing of value left to listen to. And because of this, you may chalk a podcast outro down to something your show simply doesn’t need.
But a podcast outro is prime audio real estate for you to capitalize on! In this post, we’re covering all the bases and giving you all the outro info you need!
1. What is a Podcast Outro?
In a nutshell, a podcast outro is a short message that you record at the end of your episode or program. It can be as simple as “Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time!” to something more specialized, like an invitation to join a special mailing list, how to get exclusive content, or sneak peeks of upcoming episodes. Regardless of what your goal with the outro is, it should serve some purpose on behalf of your show.
Whereas an intro sets the tone of your podcast and whets the appetite of the listener for what’s to come, the outro can be likened to the perfect dessert, ending off the audio meal. Yes, you can skip dessert, but really, why would you want to?
Related read: What You NEED To Include In Your Podcast Intro
2. Why Your Podcast Needs an Outro
But besides the fact that dessert is delicious, outros actually play a really functional role within your podcast episodes. If each episode is a conversation with your listeners, your outro serves as a way to end that conversation and thank your listeners for their time. Thus, even your outro is a way to strengthen the relationship between you.
Outros also serve important functional purposes. They can sum up your episodes, making your key points even more memorable. They can keep your listeners tuning in each episode by offering sneak peeks or teasers, and perhaps most importantly, they are where you can share any calls to action. If you want listeners to sign up to your newsletter, become Patreon supporters, or come to your next live event, your outro is where it’s at.
In short, outros are a great space to offer even more value to your audience.
3. Key Elements of a Successful Podcast Outro
So you want to include an outro in your episodes, but don’t know what to include? We’ve got you covered!
A successful podcast outro must do three things. It must be of value to listeners, it must hold their attention, and it must add value to your episodes and your podcast as a whole.
A successful outro is one that is tailored to your specific audience. And getting that alignment of your outro and audience right is key if you want to keep your listeners listening right through to the end of your episodes.
This means that there is no “one size fits all” approach to outros. Rather, we have a list of key elements that could be included in your outros, depending on your audience and their wants and needs.
What you add to your outro could and probably should be varied quite regularly. Remember, listeners often already start tuning out as your content comes to a close, so to get them back “on the line” heaps of variety and creativity are very much needed!
Here are some of the main elements of successful podcast outros:
1. General Information
Your first order of outro business is to use your outro to share some of your podcast’s general information with your listeners. Not only does this type of information serve as a type of “orientation” to any new listeners by repeating you and your show’s basic information, but it can also help cement and build your brand in the minds of your audience.
This includes the name of your show, your name and that of any co-hosts or guests, and where and how listeners can get in contact with you.
Presenting your calls-to-action to your audience is possibly one of the most important functions of an outro. It’s where you tell your audience about all the cool content that becomes available to them if they become Patreons. It’s where you convert casual listeners to loyal audience members by asking them to follow or subscribe to your podcast. Or you could share just how your listeners can snag tickets to your upcoming live event.
Calls-to-action in your outro, if done well, can have a really high conversion rate. As the episode is now over, listeners have the opportunity to respond immediately to your CTA. As opposed to forgetting the instruction of CTAs placed in the middle of episodes.
Bonus Tip: Aim to limit your calls-to-action to a maximum of three per outro. You’re free to change them up episode to episode (and probably should, to help keep the engagement levels high) just don’t cram them all into one outro.
3. Teasers And Easter Eggs
Strategically placing exciting teasers or intriguing Easter eggs in your outros can be really effective in keeping listeners listening right to the end of every episode. And this is super important if your CTAs are in your outros!
Teasers or Easter eggs in your outro are also a great way to keep your show constantly exciting and engaging. And the best part is that you can really get creative here! You could share actual sneak peeks from your next episode if you have that available, or you could write an intriguing line or two hinting at what’s to come. Or you could even have an elaborate plan to share Easter eggs over a number of episodes as you build up to an exciting announcement. Thus building and maintaining that all-important buzz around your podcast.
4. Music or Sound Effects
Outros have got to be as well-crafted as the rest of your episode, so make sure to include some music and relevant sound effects.
You can use fun sound effects or great music to switch up the pace, or create a new level of intrigue and engagement for the last part of your episodes.
And in terms of building your brand awareness, your use of music and sound effects, even in your outro, can go a long way in reinforcing your brand in the minds of your audience. It can help identify an episode as “yours” no matter which part of the episode the listeners are hearing.
Note: While music and sound effects are a key element of a successful outro and successful podcast episodes as a whole, adding music to your podcast can be a tricky business. You need to pay serious attention to copyright laws when you’re picking your music! To help you out, read this post on Podcasts And Royalty Free Music PLUS 12 Resources For Royalty Free Music And Sound Effects.
5. Thank Yous and Other Recognition
Your outro is also the perfect space to share your thank yous and other recognitions. You can give recognition to your sponsors (remember to always make sure that you abide by any stipulations you are contractually required to fulfill in your mentions) and offer heartfelt thanks to any guests.
Not only is saying thank you and giving recognition where recognition is due just the right thing to do, it also is a way to give you a greater level of relatability with your audience, a key factor to nurturing the relationship between you.
6. Special Offers
Special offers are another excellent fit when it comes to outros. If any sponsors have given you discounts or sign-up codes, your outro is an effective place to share them. Got deals to offer on some of your new podcast merch? Let your audience know in your outro. Again, by sharing offers that require your audience to take action at the end of your episode, you can increase the chance of them actually taking that action as it becomes the ‘next step’ after hearing the offer.
7. Listener-Driven Content
The last key element to include in your outros is listener-driven content. This could be anything from shout-outs to listener requests, or even responses to some of the questions your listeners send your way.
Including listener-driven content in your episodes helps foster the relationship between podcast host and their audience by opening up the traditionally one-sided conversation that is a podcast. Making the space for your listeners’ input increases their engagement with you and your content and makes you and your overall brand all the more real in their lives.
4. Tips for Creating Effective Hooks
As I bring this post in for landing, we still need to address the rather large audio elephant in the room…no matter how much you believe that podcast outros are an asset to your episodes, the fact still remains that many outros remain unheard. They may be a fantastic space of audio real estate, but if no one ‘buying’ all that hard work of creating great outros amounts to naught.
What we need now are ways of making your listeners stick around till the very end of your episodes. You need some effective hooks to lure in your audience and keep them on the line.
So to bring this post to a close, our “outro” as it were, we’re sharing some top tips for writing creating hooks, and making sure that all that outro goodness is soaked up.
Music and sound effects are one of the greatest ways to keep listeners engaged with your content. You know that they should be a part of your outro, as we covered this under Key Elements, but use it strategically to transition into your outro to get your listeners zoning in rather than zoning out. Harness the power of sound to keep listeners’ ears glued to your outro!
2. Match Your Outro to Your Audience
We can give you our professional opinion as to what should be included in your outro, but only you really know your audience and their wants and needs. Remember, knowledge is power! Use the insights you have to make an outro that meets the needs of your audience. Are they after special offers? Do they want teasers for upcoming interviews? Or as Marvel fans, would they eat up Easter eggs (so to speak…)? Whatever they’re looking for, use this knowledge as the basis of creating your outros.
3. Keep The Quality
Just because your outro comes after your main content does not mean, by any means, that it shouldn’t also be of high quality. So don’t just throw together some outro-esque content and tack it on to your episodes. They should match the quality of the rest of your episodes if you have any hope of holding your audience’s attention right up to that last second.
4. Include Your Audience in Your Outro
Listener-driven content is not only a key element of podcast outros, but including your listeners in your outro is one of the best “hooks” there is to keep them engaged.
Include your audience in your outros, and they’ll be there! You could share shout-outs for new Patreon sign-ups, or honorable mentions for comments or reviews you receive. You could also wield the power of social media and get your listeners to send you some of their burning questions, with the promise of answering these at the end of specific episodes. The bottom line is that one of the best ways to keep your audience engaged with your outro is to include them in the process!
5. Your Unique Spin
Lastly, an effective outro is one that helps showcase what your show is about and helps build your unique identity. A successful outro is one that stays true to you, your podcast, as well as your audience. It needs to feel like a natural extension of you and all that your podcast is. And that requires that you always put your unique spin on it. Make it fun, make it entertaining, and make it value-packed, but most importantly, make it authentically yours.