Today we’re talking all things outros. You know, those little snippets at the end of podcasts…when you usually hit SKIP! (Don’t pretend you don’t!) But in reality, outros house a whole chunk of important information and should be a part of your podcast episodes.
Let me elaborate by way of an analogy…
The most important part of a really great sandwich is obviously the filling. But the bread, whether that be sourdough, ciabatta, or two thick slices of farm loaf, still serves a very necessary purpose as the vehicle of said delicious filling to your eagerly waiting taste buds.
Where am I going with this analogy? (Besides to the kitchen for a snack, that is!) The fact of the matter is that your podcast content will always be the most important part of your episodes. It’s what will keep your listeners hooked on your show and keep them coming back episode after episode, season after season. But your episode intro and outro both serve important functions. They sandwich, if you will, your valuable content, and serve it up professionally to your listeners.
Most podcasters don’t need much convincing of the importance of an intro. They’re a fairly easy sell, as they set up each episode for the main event – your amazing content!
(You can check out What You NEED To Include In Your Podcast Intro here.)
But what about an outro?
But often, an outro is overlooked. Due to the fact that listeners tend to believe they’re already gotten the best from the episode. It’s the same reason why you tend to leave the cinema as soon as the final scene plays out. You’ve enjoyed what you came for, and now you’re moving on.
But podcast outros also play a vital role!
They serve important functional purposes. They can tie up the episode, share your call-to-action (more on those later!), and can help whet your listeners’ appetites by offering sneak peeks or teaser information about what to expect from the next episode.
But outros also serve an “aesthetic” purpose. They finish off the episode, so to speak, and help give another level of professionalism to your podcast.
But even if you’re convinced you should have an outro, or you already have one as part of your episodes, how do you get them heard?
Well, that’s the aim of this post – to help you make your whole episode so engaging your listeners can’t help but listen until the last nanosecond!
So here are our top must-haves when it comes to an effective podcast outro…
1. The Basics
First up, an effective podcast episode outro should contain the basics. This includes the name of your show, as well as your name and that of any co-hosts or guests who joined you on the episode.
You want to use your outro as a way to reinforce your brand and enhance your image in the minds of your listeners. Including these basics, as well as things like the episode title, number, or where you are in the season can help orientate your listener once again. Just like a pilot lets you know where you are when you land, so including your episode basics in your outro helps ground the listener firmly within your podcast, and reinforces your show in their minds.
2. A Call-To-Action
Possibly one of the most important functions of an outro is the call-to-action it typically houses. This is where you invite the casual listener to become part of your loyal podcast community by asking them to subscribe or follow your show. It’s where you tell them about your Patreon page, your new website, or about all that great merch you’ve just launched. If you’ve played your cards right, and your listener has invested their time into listening to your episode right up until the end, your outro can then leverage this high engagement by then making the request for the desired action.
But one piece of advice. You want to limit your calls-to-action in your outros! You may have many things you’d like to share with your listeners, but too many requests can be overwhelming, and will likely result in none of the actions being taken. Certainly not the outcome you were hoping for! 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.
We’re covered the “what”, now onto the “how”…
You now know “what” an effective outro should contain, but the fact still remains that most outros tend to remain unheard. So, now we need to cover the “how” of making your listeners stick around til the very end of your episodes.
These are “how” elements are what you need to include in your outro to keep your listeners hooked!
3. Music or Sound Effects
Music and sound effects are one of the greatest ways to keep listeners engaged with your content. And you should be harnessing the power of sound to keep listeners’ ears glued to your outro!
You can use fun sound effects or great music to switch up the pace, or create a new level of intrigue all the way to the end of your episode. Music or carefully placed sound effects in your outro can help keep your unique flavor all the way to the end of each installment.
And remember, your specific use of music and sound effects are also just a super effective way to help cultivate a brand identity and mark a podcast as “yours” not matter where in an episode a listener finds themself.
Important! Remember to pay attention to copyright laws when you’re picking your music! Check out this post on Podcasts And Royalty Free Music PLUS 12 Resources For Royalty Free Music And Sound Effects.
4. An Easter Egg (or Two!)
Obviously, not a real Easter egg! I’m talking about something you’ve hidden within your outro – something that requires listeners stick around in order to “find”. No one has mastered the art of the easter egg quite like the Marvel franchise. What other movie do you know where everyone sits around during the credits? No questions asked – everyone just sits there while the credits roll…waiting in anticipation.
And why? For that special scene we KNOW is there! We want to see that little bit of hidden information, or some sort of clue as to what could happen in the next movie.
Easter eggs are super effective for two key reasons. 1) We simply don’t want that great experience – whether that be an amazing film or your podcast – to end. We had such a great ride that we’re sorry that it has to come to a close, and we just want that little extra entertainment. But I also think it’s because we want something else to look forward to. We want to be filled in, even just a little, as to what will happen next.
You can utilize some of this Marvel magic…
Find a way to include some sort of Easter egg in your episodes to keep listeners intrigued by and engaged with your podcast, well after the “main event” is over.
Your Easter egg could be the answer to a riddle you shared earlier, something you hinted at either in the current episode or a previous episode, a reveal for the next episode, or even fun outtakes from your guest interview – all of these could be great draw cards keeping your listeners engaged right to the end!
5. A Teaser
In the same vein as Easter eggs, you could also include teasers in your outros to keep your listeners from hitting “skip”. 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.
If you’re featuring another great guest on an upcoming episode, you could have them record a brief message letting your listeners know what’s coming up and share this in your outro. If you place a little hint somewhere in the episode that lets listeners know they need to stick around until the end to find out who your next guest is, you’ll start building the habit of listening to your episodes all the way through, because they know something exciting is shared at the end.
6. Listener Feedback Requests
Another way to engage listeners throughout your outro is to include an invitation for their participation. You could put in a request for them to share their thoughts on the episode with you, and then provide the space for them to be able to do that. You could also ask your listeners to answer a specific, episode-related question that you only ask at the end of your episode.
If you then feature some of the top answers to these questions, or you share some of the reviews or feedback that you received in the next episode’s outro, there will be even greater incentive to stick around and participate if it means a shoutout from a favorite podcast host!
7. Sponsorship Thanks or Recognition
You could also use your outro to give recognition to your sponsors. It is important when giving recognition to sponsors that you always make sure that you abide by any stipulations you are contractually required to fulfill in your mentions. This may mean that you should also include these acknowledgements in your intro, or somewhere else in the episode, but your outro could be where you share any special offers you have for your listeners in connection with your sponsors.
And by letting your listeners know that you have exciting offers to share with them at the end of the episode, if you’ve aligned your sponsors with the needs and interests of your audience, keeping them tuned in until the end of your episode should be an easy conversion.
8. Your Unique Spin
Lastly, an effective outro is one that personifies all that your show is about. It needs to feel like a natural extension of you and all that your podcast is. So feel free to have fun with creating a unique outro that keeps listeners hanging on until the final second runs out.
You know your audience, and so you should have a pretty good idea of what makes them tick, and what kind of hook to include to keep them listening through to your outro. Couple that knowledge with some of the above ideas, and all that makes your show unique and you’ll have a winning combo!
Make your outro memorable, fun, and authentically yours, and it will be another effective way that you serve your audience and build that deep connection with your podcast community.
Related read: How To Build A Strong Podcast Community
A podcast outro is another effective place to showcase your personality, enhance your overall brand, and cement yourself and your show in the hearts and minds of your listeners. But, the real trick when it comes to outros is getting your listeners to stick around long enough to hear them!
So add that catchy jingle, hide that Easter egg Marvel-style, or use your creativity and entice your listeners to stick around until that final second. Be sure to also include all the necessary episode basics and your all-important call to action, and you’re well on your way to creating an incredibly effective outro!
But above all, as with every aspect of your podcast, you want your outro to ring true to you and your show’s identity. Be authentically, creatively you, and allow your uniqueness to permeate the entirety of your episodes. Then each aspect of your show will effectively fulfill its purpose, which will then lead to long-lasting podcasting success!