You've got a blog and you’ve heard about how important growing your email list is.
You've seen others grow their subscribers to a huge number and you want to do the same.
The ugly truth is that it takes time and most people give up before they get close or get chance to figure out what does work. Don’t be that person.
I was almost that person but I held out a little longer and found what tactics worked.
In this post, I’m going to show you why email is so important. I’ll give you specific steps to grow your email list; these are actionable and will take your email list to the next level.
Are you missing the biggest opportunity to grow your blog?
Good old email.
Those who have spread rumors of the death of email marketing are sadly mistaken. It’s alive and well.
And while it’s not as effective as it once was, it’s still far more effective at driving sales than any other channel – Especially from an ROI perspective.
Studies have shown that email marketing has a potential ROI of 4,300%. Well, depending on how you use it.
Why is email so effective?
There are plenty of reasons, here are a few:
- It’s personal.
- It’s immediate.
- Your list is really your list (unlike building a following on Facebook, for example).
There are also other benefits:
- Subscribers are more likely to buy your products/services.
- Subscribers are more likely to engage with you (e.g. share/comment).
- You’ll get traffic to your content (as long as it’s relevant).
You can use your list to build buzz about your products/services and market them directly to your subscribers (note: if you don’t have a product, you could promote a popular product that has an affiliate program).
That doesn't mean you should be blasting your email list with promotions, take a soft sell approach and focus on the benefits.
But, that’s a discussion for another time because today I want to help you optimize your blog so that it can convert more readers into subscribers.
Are you ready to take your list to the next level?
6 Effective conversion tweaks to grow your email list
#1 – Remove distractions
The main reason why people aren’t subscribing to your list is because there are too many distractions.
A lot of people add various badges to their blogs, that’s great but you need to ask yourself if they hold any value.
The main reason for adding a badge to your blog should be to leverage social proof. If the badge in question is easily attainable – that won’t help anyone.
You should also consider removing Twitter widgets and Facebook widgets – once someone leaves your site, even to go to Facebook, chances are they won’t come back.
Instead, keep your opt-in forms prominent and use some basic social media icons further down the page, possibly in your footer.
#2 – Offer your readers something they cannot refuse
You need to ask yourself whether your offer is compelling enough.
If you’re just offering free updates you will definitely get more people on your list, but not many.
Put together a ‘bribe’ or ‘lead magnet’ that you can give away to your readers in exchange for their email address.
There are two key things to consider when you put together your own bribe:
- Relevance – your bribe has to be relevant and solve a problem that your audience is facing.
- Perceived value – I say perceived rather than just value because it’s all about how you frame your bribe. For example, a “marketing toolbox” sounds better than an eBook and a piece of software sounds better than a PDF guide.
There are plenty of things you can offer your readers:
- Lists of resources/tools.
- Exclusive software.
- Discounts on other products/services.
- A course.
- An exclusive interview.
You can also add a call to action within your bribe to promote your product or service.
#3 – Add targeted opt-in bribes
Earlier I mentioned the importance of relevance when using bribes to build your list.
There’s an easy way to make sure what you offer is as relevant as possible.
It’s called the “Content Upgrade”.
The idea is that you create a special bonus that goes along with specific blog posts.
You add a call to action in your blog posts like this:
When the link is clicked, you will see a popover like this:
Brian Dean used this tactic to increase conversions by 785% in one day, check out his post to find out more.
In order to do this yourself, you have a few options:
- LeadPages– They have a feature called “LeadBoxes” which is what Brian used in the example above. You can also use LeadPages to build high converting landing pages quickly; I’ll talk about these in more detail in a moment. Sue Anne and I have both used this to great effect.
- SumoMe – Noah Kagan released a handy app as part of the SumoMe toolkit, it’s called Leads. There aren’t as many features but it’s more cost-effective.
#4 – Start utilizing landing pages to build your list
Landing pages are a great way to build your list.
They are pages that are designed with a single goal and no distractions. You can direct traffic to them and you’ll get significantly higher conversions due to how focused they are.
Here is an example:
The above page converts at around 44% currently, that’s without any split testing to optimize it further.
I created this in around 15 minutes using LeadPages and that includes the time taken to write the copy.
LeadPages is a monthly/annual subscription based tool but for WordPress users, there are plenty of landing page plugins available.
#5 – Do something special with your home page
If you’re running a blog and your home page is just a list of your posts, you could be wasting a huge opportunity to grow your email list.
Instead of displaying a bunch of blog posts, try turning it into a landing page with an option to skip and go directly to your blog.
This is how Noah Kagan does it on OKDork.com:
#6 – Always be testing
While best practice tips have their place and will get you in a great position to grow your list, you need to test things for yourself.
Test everything – copy, colors, images and even button text.
It all makes a difference.
Just optimizing minor elements can have a far bigger impact than most people realize.
Tools like LeadPages have split testing built-in but there are also tools like Optimizely which allow you to import a page and tweak it on the fly without the need to get a developer involved.
Over to you
Which list building tactics are working for you? And which do you plan to test out for yourself?
About the author: Adam Connell is the Founder of Blogging Wizard, a blog focused on helping bloggers to increase their traffic and email subscribers. If you want to blog smarter and not harder, download his free guide and learn how you can leverage the influencers of others to boost your traffic and authority.