Despite the social media boom, email marketing is still going strong. In fact, it’s more important than ever before. In the last year, more than 66% of all adult online shoppers in the US made a purchase from an email.
Your customers are being bombarded with ads and social media messages from all corners. Email marketing is your direct ticket to their inbox where you can enjoy their undivided attention.
This is why collecting emails on your blog and building your subscriber list should be your number one priority.
Here are a few creative ways you can do that.
1. Give Your Audience a Strong Reason To Subscribe
When a visitor subscribes to your mailing list, he’s actually giving you access to his email inbox. But why would someone do that if there’s no real incentive for them.
Trust me, “Get Free Email Updates” is not a strong reason. You need to give them something tangible that gives them real value. It’ll help if your blog content is really high quality. Clear, well-researched, concise and highly actionable content usually pulls subscribers on its own.
But in most cases you’d need to offer something extra like an eBook, a free course or any other freebie (or list magnets as I tend to call them) to get subscribers.
Make the “What’s in it for me?” part crystal clear to your visitors. They should know exactly what they’re getting. For example, here’s how Neil Patel clearly communicates the value of his freebie and entices the reader to download it.
Just make sure your freebie (list magnet) is a part of your core services or offer. It needs to be relevant to your target audience. An irrelevant freebie will attract irrelevant people. You can’t convert them into paid customers because they didn’t come for your services in the first place.
So ideally, your freebie should be a sample of your paid product or services. For example, if you’re building your list to sell an eBook, your freebie can be the first few pages of the book.
2. Play With User Psychology Using Persuasive Popups
Most internet users find email popups annoying. But popups still have the highest conversion rates. There’s a smart way you can make your popups less annoying though. In fact, you can make them irresistible for your readers.
How? By using persuasive copy.
It doesn’t have to be long either. You just need to play with the minds of your readers. Here’s a great example.
See the effect? The readers will think twice before clicking “No, I have enough traffic”.
But apart from persuasive copy, another reason why these type of popups work really well is because they give the readers two options. Research shows that giving your visitors a Yes and a No option increases opt-ins.
Here’s another example. Look how the negative option plays with the reader’s phycology.
3. Create Strategic Blogging Partnerships
A great way to boost your email list is by using the strength of a more established blog and by creating partnerships with other bloggers. This will give you access to their subscribers and allow you to route users to your list. There can be several types of partnerships.
– Guest Posts
– Free Reports
The trick here is to choose a website that is
a- Popular and has a sizeable readership and social following
b- Relevant to your niche
You’d need to reach out to dozens of websites with your offer, and the success rate will be low. So be prepared for it. But even if you manage to get 5-6 partnerships working, you can attract many subscribers.
In return for your free offer, blogs will give you a backlink. Instead of linking to your homepage, create a separate squeeze page with a freebie, and route the readers to it. It will give you much more tangible results. You can use tools like Lead Pages, WPLanding pages etc. to create good landing pages.
4. Offer Content Upgrades with Every Post
Another super smart way to get people on your list is by offering content upgrades at the end of every post. A content upgrade is something that makes your blog post more useful and actionable. It can be a checklist, a report, a secret trick or anything else that adds further value to the post. But instead of giving it for free, offer it in return for the reader’s email.
This works so well because by the time the reader gets to the end of the post, he’s already convinced that you have real value to offer. So now when he sees a content upgrade, he’s ready to give his email for it.
5. Convert Your Homepage into a Landing Page
You can massively increase your sign ups by converting your website’s homepage into a distraction free landing page with an opt-in form. Here’s a great example.
Notice how this page has minimum distractions. The visitor’s complete focus is on the opt-in box. You can add a link to your blog at the bottom just in case a reader doesn’t want to subscribe (like the example below).
6. Use Multiple Opt-in Boxes with Contrasting Colors
Placing your opt-in box just in the sidebar and hoping for people to subscribe is not a very good strategy. You need to place your email form at multiple places to get the reader’s attention.
Place one in the sidebar, one in the header, at the end of every post, use popups etc. SumoMe is a free plugin that can create high conversion delayed popups for you.
Use odd contrasting colors for all your email forms. They should be clearly visible and not blend with your blog theme easily. They might look odd, but they get noticed and are very effective.
Here’s a good example of multiple boxes on one page.
7. Invest in Facebook Advertising
Facebook advertising is a list builder’s dream (if you know how to use them effectively). Among all the different paid advertising channels I’ve used, Facebook ads are the most cost effective with the highest click through rate.
But to make them work really well, you need three things.
– An inviting freebie
– A high conversion landing page
– An eye catching Facebook ad
Create multiple ads with different images of your freebie. Start with small budgets and see what converts better. Also try to be as specific in targeting your audience as possible.
Facebook ads are almost like a traffic switch. You just need to activate them to start building your list.
8. Place a Giant List Magnet in Your Blog Header
Placing your list magnet (freebie) in a full-screen header can significantly increase your signups. The header will remain constant throughout your blog so even if a reader lands on an internal page of your blog, he’d still be able to see it.
Here are a couple of great examples.
Jon Morrow’s Boostblogtraffic.com
Bamidele Onibalusi’s WritersInCharge.com
9. Use Social Proof To Gain Subscribers
Using social proof can play a crucial role in convincing your visitors to subscribe to your list. It builds your credibility and convinces your visitors that you have something of real value to offer.
There are two possibilities in this.
a- You are an experienced blogger with more than 1000 subscribers and high profile clients. You can simply mention the number of subscribers you have with your opt-in box.
b- You are a new blogger with just a few hundred subscribers. Of course, you can’t boast about those numbers. So instead, use reader testimonials to your advantage (like this)
10. Convert Your About Page into a Squeeze Page
For most blogs, the “About” page is the most frequently visited page. After landing on the homepage or an internal page, readers head straight to the about page to know more about the person behind the blog.
Most people waste this space by describing their long boring story. Don’t make that mistake.
There’s no harm in introducing yourself, but you need to make the traffic on this page count by adding more calls to action within your content and by using an opt-in box on this page.
11. Create Interview Roundup Posts
If you want to bring in lots of easy traffic to your blog, and convert it into subscribers, create an interview roundup post with the top influencers in your niche. People love to read frank and to-the-point tips from the established leaders in their niche.
Plus, every expert featured in your post will most likely share the post with his/her followers as well. So you’ll get lots of exposure and free traffic.
To make this work, create just one question and send it to as many influencers as possible, asking them for a concise answer. When all (or some) of them respond, compile their responses in one post and publish it.
Wrapping It Up
List building is more important than before because it helps you reach your reader’s inbox and get his undivided attention. All the tips I’ve shared in this post work wonderfully well when used as a part of a broader list building plan.
What list building techniques are you using? Have you tried any of the ones I shared in this post? I’d love to hear your comments.