If you want to grow your blog, brand or make money with affiliate marketing, one of the super ingredients to success is your mailing list; as they say ‘the money is in the list’. The biggest mistake you could be making is not collecting email addresses. One of the common reasons why people leave out collecting email addresses is cost; they simply find it easy to scrap an autoresponder as things like hosting is a must.
The reasons why your email list is very important according to Neil Patel:
- Your email list of subscribers can be the biggest source of repeated traffic to your site. Growing this list will ensure you can get viewers to your site every time you publish a new post or release a new product.
- Email marketing has a better conversion rate compared to other marketing avenues.
- You can monetize your email list multiple times with multiple products.
Here is a list of tricks tried and tested that you can use to double your mailing list in an Infographic.
1. Turn Your About Page into a Squeeze Page
Everyone knows that a home page and blog roll receive the most attention and traffic. If the content on these pages are good then naturally the website visitor wants to know about the author and that’s when they hit the ‘About’ page link. A good intro and a unique selling proposition are a must in your about page. You should also have some kind of social proof to say you are not a novice or at the least have been recognised by authority figures in your niche. This is when you subtly remind your viewers to join your mailing list. You should be explaining the benefits of joining the list and set the expectation upfront.
Expert Result: Brian Dean from Backlinko increased his about page email opt-in rate by 5.8%.
2. Add ‘Subscribe To’ Email Option Next to Comments
People who comment are action takers; they are commenting either because they like your content or they simply disagree with you. Either group is fine as they are more proactive than users who simply view the content and did not leave a comment or socially share. How you reply to people who disagree with you is important. If there point is valid and you have not thought about it, gracefully agree with them and avoid having an argument. If they have misunderstood, try and clarify the point and don’t forget to thank them either way.
Expert Result: Brian Dean increased his email subscribers by 214 in a few weeks by adding a subscribe checkbox next to comments.
3. Stick to Single Opt-in Page
Double opt-in is where a user enters their email address in one page, then confirms the details in another page. You lose one fourth of the potential subscribers when you have 2 pages to opt-in. Stick to a single page to opt-in and use a confirmation email where the subscriber has to click on a link to confirm their opt-in.
Expert Result: Avoid losing 25% of subscribers on double opt-in pages.
4. Use a Pop-up Specific to a Page
When you use a pop-up specific to a page, you can target what the user wants. If the viewer is looking at a blog post about content marketing then you could offer a content marketing eBook for opting-in. This is targeted at the user and the page they are in. Page specific pop-up has a better conversion rate. Note – your subscription offer is the same eBook to all subscribers and you are merely having pop-ups in highly targeted pages.
Expert Result: Brian Dean achieved 65% increase in opt-in rate using page specific pop-ups.
5. Post specific Bonus Content
Another great idea to collect email addresses is to provide bonus content specific to each post. Imagine the same scenario above – content marketing. As a bonus you could provide content marketing or social media tips. You could even have extra pointers only available to your subscribers. Note – your bonus content will vary based on the specific page or post. This tactic slowly helps build a bonus content area for one post at a time.
Expert Result: Brian Harris form VideoFruit increased his email opt-in rate by 12.2% by providing post specific bonus content.
6. Author Bio Call to Action
Most online marketers agree that a call to action in your author bio is a must as this area stands out. If the content is great the viewer’s naturally scroll down to the author bio before deciding whether to go to the about page or not. One of the best tricks to increase email subscription is to have a call to action – ‘sign-up to my mailing list’ in the author bio. You can do this even if you are the only author in your blog but definitely something you can try as a guest blogger in authority sites. Note – Not all authority sites would allow this, so you may want to check with the site owner.
Expert Result: Brian Harris achieved an email conversion rate of 0.6% by asking users to sign-up in his author bio box.
7. Opt-in at Exit
When the user has shown intent for leaving your site, you can throw the dice one last time and take a chance. The viewer is leaving the site either because they found what they wanted and they are done or they did not like what they saw. Either way you can take a chance and find out for yourself. Some people don’t like this option and consider this annoying, the choice is yours.
Expert Result: Brian Harris achieved an email opt-in rate of 3.3% by asking users to sign-up when they exit his site.
8. Contest or Give Away Opt-in
You can host a competition or provide a give-away to collect email addresses. The condition of entry to the competition is leaving the email address for inclusion in your email list. The contest or give away ideas could range from a discount coupon, free hosting, free plugin or even advertising space on your website for a limited time.
Expert Result: Brian Harris achieved an email conversion rate of 39% by hosting a contest.
9. Promote the Benefits of Opting-in
Simply having a few opt-in boxes in your blog will not give you a mailing list. You have to actively promote the benefit of your mailing list. Tell users why they should sign-up and what benefits they are going to enjoy. You can also promote your mailing list benefits in your posts once in a while and ask users to sign-up.
Expert Result: Blog Tyrant aka Ramsay Taplin achieved 10,000 email subscribers in a short time frame using this tactic.
10. Build Your Brand by Guest Blogging
When you start a blog no one knows you or your blog exists and the only way to get the word out is by guest posting on popular authority sites. Some find it hard to approach an authority site and creating some pillar content should give you much needed confidence. Don’t think viewers on the authority sites are all hooked in, if you provide unique content you will get attention.
Expert Result: Blog (like a) Tyrant to a big mailing list using guest blogging.
11. Opt-in Option in Home Page
Have you seen sites where they dedicate top half of their home page to collect email addresses? They do this because it works. You don’t have to dedicate your home page for this but at least have an opt-in box in this high traffic area.
Expert Result: Ramsay achieved 10K mailing list using opt-in on the home page.
12. Send New Commenters to a Thank You Page with Opt-In
You can use a plugin to send new commenters to a thank you page. The thank you page should have some of your popular posts and an option to opt-in.
Expert Result: Tap your way to a huge list by using thank you page opt-in just as Taplin did.
13. Make Your Opt-in Box Colour Eye Catching
You can experiment with different colour combinations for your opt-in box. Your objective is to make the sign-up box stand out. You can also change the sign-up button colour and text to something like “Let’s Go”. Test and see what works better.
Expert Result: You already know Taplin’s result; he is just saying – “dude just stand out from the crowd”.
14. Use an Opt-in box Slider
The sliding opt-in box is becoming very popular and is a very good alternative to pop-up boxes as some consider these annoying. The slider is a non-intrusive way of saying hey, you can leave your email address for future updates or to get our free ebook.
Expert Result: BufferApp team gets 400 new sign-ups each week from their opt-in box slider.
15. Opt-in with HelloBar
HelloBar is a bar at the top or bottom of a web page that is dedicated to collecting email addresses. The cool feature of HelloBar is that you can have different variations and test them simultaneously. For example, you could have two designs of your HelloBar and every second visitor to your site will get the second design. You can collect some email addresses over time and see which design performs better and make it your design choice.
Expert Result: BufferApp team gets 350 new sign-ups each week from their HelloBar.
16. Email Opt-in on Sidebar
This is an old fashioned trick that still works. Reason, the sidebar is visible on all pages and is prominent. By making your email sign-up box easily accessible you can drive more email conversion.
Expert Result: BufferApp team got 149 new sign-ups per week from their opt-in box on the sidebar.
17. Cross Promote to Other Bloggers Email List
You could team up with another blogger in your niche and cross promote each other’s mailing list for mutual benefit. This is a nice tactic that is targeted as people in the mailing list are from the same niche. The drawback of this tactic is that you would need a decent email list to cross promote someone else. You also need to find a blogger with a similar size mailing list. Don’t just promote any blogger to your mailing list; promote them if their quality and ethics matches yours.
18. Use Email Sign-up Button in Facebook
If you don’t have a Facebook fan page, now is the time to create one. There are many benefits to having a Facebook fan page compared to a personal page such as the ability to advertise and building a better brand following and recognition. One other benefit is you can drive people to sign-up to your email list from the fan page.
19. Make Your Opt-in Box Unique, Non-Intrusive and Visible
This is a simple tip that can exponentially grow your list if done correctly. The footer is traditionally not a good place for an email sign-up box as it is not visible. Make your sign-up box unique with design, colour and message. Use an opt-in offer that acts like a lead magnet. Create something awesome and give it away to your email subscribers.
20. Use a Combination of the Above
The best results are achieved by combining a few strategies together. Don’t just put your sign-up box in a stand-alone subscribe page and hope you collect email addresses. Sell your opt-in benefits. Make sure you have an opt-in option in your home page and about page. Ensure they are visible and stand out. Choose what suits your preference. Be careful with combining the above tips as some work well together and some don’t.
Using one or two of the above tactics can steadily increase the number of email subscribers but if you use a few of them, you can see exponential growth. If you want to use a pop-up then a slider is not a great idea to combine as you are overdoing it and will most likely annoy your website visitors. The key is to have a tempting opt-in offer and combine a few of the tactics above. Choose what works for you and continually test and improve.
Create a big email list; it’s your turn now – go for it. Please try not to annoy or spam people. Good luck gathering emails, the candidates are waiting for you…