You’ve started your email list. Congratulations! That’s a huge step toward growing your blog.
You’ve shared your opt-in form, invited people to subscribe, and…. crickets.
I hear you. You’re thinking, how are you actually supposed to get people to sign up for this thing?!
For a long time, I thought the same thing. Getting your email list off the ground is tough. But it can be done! I promise. Here are my nine favorite ways to skyrocket your email list!
1 | Ask!
First things first, you have to ask! How are people supposed to know you’ve got an email list if you’re not asking?
Make sure you’re inviting them to opt into your email list in at least three places on your blog.
You’ll notice that on my site I’ve got a form in the sidebar, a form that pops up from the bottom right corner if you scroll down the page, and another in the footer.
Don’t hide your opt-in form in one place; it’s going to be too easy to overlook.
But, you know, don’t be super annoying with it. Stick with 3 per page to be safe.
2 | Use Popups Instead of Embedded Forms
It’s actually been proven that opt-in popups (the ones that come up when someone clicks on a button, as opposed to the intrusive ones that show up when you arrive) have higher conversion rates than embedded forms.
So, rather than creating a form that goes right into the body your blog post, create a nice-looking button with an on-click popup enabled.
3 | Make the Button Enticing
This next trick is so important, whether we’re talking about an embedded form in your sidebar or a popup within your blog post.
Don’t be boring with the submit button! Don’t ask them to “subscribe to your newsletter” or “submit the form.”
Sure, you want to let them know they’re signing up for your newsletter. But make the button more exciting than that! Because let’s be honest, people don’t really love the idea of signing up for an email list. Inboxes are sacred, and we don’t want them more cluttered than they need to be!
Instead, show off your personality and have some fun with the submit button. For example, my buttons traditionally say something like HELL YEAH! or GIMME THE GOODS!
Isn’t that more fun than “Submit” or “Subscribe”?! You want these people to be excited about your newsletter, so say something that will excite them!
4 | Have an Opt-In Incentive
So, we’ve got forms, we’ve got popups, and we’ve got an awesome, enticing submit button. Great!
But we’re not done yet. Not even close.
While you might think your newsletter is all that and a bag of chips, it’s unlikely your readers agree. No offense! They just don’t know because they haven’t read it yet.
So, we’ve got to incentivize it. We have to give them something awesome in exchange for signing up.
I, for example, have my resource library as an opt-in incentive. It’s a password-protected page on my site full of worksheets, spreadsheets, workbooks, and more. And in order to get the password, you have to sign up for my email list.
Other bloggers will offer things like ebooks, a list of their favorite tools, etc. instead of a resource library. There are so many option for you to choose from!
Just make sure your opt-in incentive something your audience will appreciate. If you’re a food blogger, don’t offer a 30-page workbook on how to create a capsule wardrobe. While you might get some subscribers who are also interested in your recipes, it’s likely that a whole bunch of them won’t be. Plus, you’ll be missing out on the people who absolutely love your recipes, but don’t care about capsule wardrobes.
Just make it relevant!
5 | Create a Landing Page for Your Opt-In
Now that we’ve got your awesome opt-in, we want to promote it! Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest… everywhere!
But there’s one small problem: what page are you going to send them to? Sending them to your homepage isn’t ideal, because there are so many places they could go other than your opt-in. We want to focus their attention on the one thing we want them to do: get your opt-in!
This is where a landing page comes in. A landing page is a section of your website that is separate from the rest of your website, and is typically only accessible when clicking on a link via social media, an advertisement, etc.
The main goal of a landing page is to convert visitors into subscribers or customers. You do this by offering them one super awesome thing: your opt-in incentive. They only have options: sign up for you email list (to get the opt-in) or close the window.
I recommend checking out Mariana’s blog post on how to create fake Leadpages landing pages! (It doesn’t cost you anything!)
6 | Add Content Upgrades to Your Posts
Similar to an opt-in incentive, I recommend offering content upgrades in some of your posts. They’re basically opt-in incentives that are specific to the topic of a blog post. They upgrade your content! (Get it?)
Content upgrades are awesome ways to skyrocket your email list if someone comes to your blog to read one post. Imagine you have a super viral pin, but everyone is reading it and leaving. They’re not clicking around on your site, and they’re not taking the bait of your opt-in incentive.
Now imagine if that blog post had a content upgrade that directly tied into the topic. Say you write a post about how to create a budget that had a super-awesome budget spreadsheet as a content upgrade. The content upgrade is way more likely to gain you new subscribers than just the opt-in incentive alone!
I don’t recommend having a content upgrade for every single one of your blog posts, though. After a while, your regular readers are going to feel as though your only goal is to get them onto your email list, which can come off as pretty spammy.
7 | Offer Free Courses
If you’ve got a lot of tutorials on your blog, a free course would be an awesome way to skyrocket your email list! People love signing up for courses, especially if they’re free!
Traditionally, you would set up an automation with your email service provider (like Mailchimp) that sends out an email to students who have signed up every day (or so) with a new lesson. They get the lessons in order from the date they signed up.
This is especially easy if you’ve already got a lot of tutorials on a similar topic. Then you can tweak them a little bit, put together the automation, and start promoting!
Simply make sure they automation is set up so they receive the course and are on your email list so they’re getting your awesome content and sales promotions!
8 | Host Webinars
One of the biggest ways to skyrocket your email list is through webinars! It’s one of the most challenging, but potentially most rewarding, options.
Simply pick a date to host your webinar, as well as a topic to discuss. Weekends are great, but if you don’t work 8-5 M-F, people still show up for middle-of-the week webinars!
Then, create a landing page for the webinar and have people sign up with their email address to attend. An hour or so before you’re scheduled to broadcast, send them the link where the live video will be played. This ensures that only people who sign up for your email list can attend!
Co-hosting a webinar with another blogger is also a great idea. You promote the webinar to your audience, they promote it to theirs, and you both get the list of people who signed up! What a great way to grow both of your email lists!
Again, this is one of the most high-maintenance ways to grow your email list… but it’s super effective.
9 | Offer Giveaways
And finally, offer a giveaway! Depending on how you set it up, a giveaway could be an expensive option… but it doesn’t have to be!
If you’re working with a brand on a blog post, see if they’ll give you a product to give away at the end. You can add extra entries for liking your pages on Facebook, following your accounts on Twitter, and… signing up for your email list! Plus, if the brand gives you the product, it doesn’t cost you anything out of pocket!
If you don’t have the option of working with a brand, see if another blogger or two will go in on it with you. You all split the cost and promote the giveaway, and everyone gets the email addresses at the end! Just make sure you’re including that in your terms and conditions so you don’t violate CAN-SPAM.
You can also offer a giveaway on your own. The prize doesn’t have to be huge; even just $25 to Starbucks can do well! (Who doesn’t love free coffee?)
I did a giveaway during the launch of the InDesign Adventure Guide, and it ended up growing my email list by 50%! Not bad, eh?
If you decide to host a giveaway, I highly recommend offering additional entries if they refer friends. I used KingSumo for my giveaway, which enabled me to give them 3 extra entries for each friend they referred to the giveaway. And, unsurprisingly, the person who referred the most people ended up winning!
There are so many awesome ways to skyrocket your email list! Not all are easy, but if you put some time into it, they’re all worth it!
Which method are you going to try first? Let me know in the comments!