Bloggers listen up! You NEED an email. Seriously, you need one. You might not have anything to sell. You might never have plans to sell anything ever. This doesn’t matter. Your email list is the only list of subscribers/followers that you actually OWN. You might have eleventy-billion Instagram followers or a gazillion Facebook fans, but on those platforms you could always fall pray to the ever changing algorithms. We ALL know what an impact those can have on our engagement.
Having your ‘own‘ list of subscribers means that you can communicate with them whenever you want and (baring undelivered emails) your message will land in their inbox and have a chance of being seen. Unlike the vast, ever changing social media feeds.
In previous posts I have talked more about why you need an email list and I have also walked you through a simple RSS newsletter set up. Today, I wanted to share with you how you can grow that list of subscribers quickly.
What are the benefits?
Building your email list can be added to the back-burner where the task can invariably remain for a long time. However, I think we need to realise the importance of building our lists and maintaining them. Through your list you can gain direct contact with your audience, you can build a relationship with them, and if appropriate, in the future you can sell to them.
What you need before you start to grow your email list.
You’re going to be collecting lots of email addresses so you need a great list building software. This will allow you to store them, organise them and make it super easy to communicate with your followers.
I use Convertkit (this is an affiliate link, but I would share it with you even if it wasn’t!) as it’s made specifically for bloggers by bloggers. It has such great functionality and is really easy to use. However, if you want to start for free, MailChimp has a free option, which could be a good place to start. So set yourself up with an account and let’s get started!
ways to grow your email list fast
When you’re growing your list you will need to include copy on the sign up forms. It’s really important to pick your copy carefully on these forms to make it as attractive as possible. No-one wants to subscribe. They certainly don’t want to do it just so they never miss a post. That is just not incentive enough. You need to give them something helpful, desirable; something that is worth trading their email address for.
- Use an opt in reward
The idea is that you need to create something that people will want and give it to them for free if they sign up. You don’t have to think big on this one, sometimes a simple one page printable is all you need to make people consider signing up. Think of something you can create using an old post perhaps? Could you add some information to an old post? A printable, an additional resource? This could be your opt-in reward.
- Give away a discount or coupon
Make sure that the product you giveaway is highly specific to the topic of your content. If you give away an iPad you will get the world and his wife entering, when they aren’t going to be interested genuinely in your content.
- Use Snip.ly or Birdsong to add a link & call to action to any link you share (from a 3rd party).
Programmes like these make it possible to add your opt in to someone else’s site via a specially created link. Super clever!
- Update Your Email Signature
Why not pop your opt in freebie on your email signature? Make the most of all those emails you send.
- Pin your call to action to a group board on Pinterest
Use the power of Pinterest group boards to spread your opt in freebie’s pin to people far and wide.
- Create a pin for your post and a separate pin highlighting the freebie.
This way you can promote both with out cluttering your pin with too much text. You could even try 3 different pins for your opt in and test which works best.
- Run a challenge
Free challenges are a great way to build your email list. I’ve now done four; Project Productivity, The 2016 Wrap Party, Let’s Get Visible and Ignite Your Audience. People LOVE a challenge and it can also be a wonderful way to demonstrate how you work and show your experience. You are giving your audience a chance to connect with you and develop the know, like and trust factor.
- Ask your existing subscribers for referrals
If your friend recommends something to you, you are more likely to try it yourself. Basic social proof in action. So why not get the people already on your list to spread the word for you and share your sign up page with their friends.
- Use a good opt in plugin
You want to use the best plugin you can; the more sophisticated your option plugin is the more valuable information it will give you. This information can then help you to further build your list. It’s also important to have a plugin that is customisable, so it fits with your blog design and colour scheme.
- Add your opt in to your menu
A great way to highlight your freebie is to include it in your menu. This way it will be prominent and hopefully its positioning will lead to more clicks.
- Pin a tweet with a call to action to join your list
This is a super simple one, just pin a tweet you have sent out highlighting your opt in freebie. That way it will be seen by all those who land on your profile.
- Include a call to action in your social media bios
An effective place to add a call to action to an opt in or to your list generally is in all of your social media bios.
- Static ‘Welcome mat’ landing page
You could utilise a welcome mat which covers the homepage when someone arrives on your site. The reader can then either opt in or X out of the landing page to see your site. If the offer is good enough they tend to work really well. Although it’s more of an aggressive marketing tactic than the others I have mentioned here.
- Update your forum signature with a link to your landing page
If you are a member of any forums then pop a link to your opt in page in your forum signature.
- Plan your rewards
People who build their email lists fast are people who make it a priority and give people lots of opportunity to sign up. They have forms at different places on their blogs, put sign up boxes on posts offering different and creative incentives to get people to subscribe.
- Post in Facebook Groups
Most Facebook groups have a promo day. Simply make a spreadsheet with the groups you contribute to and their respective promo days and then you can add your link and support others too on those days.
- Facebook Page Cover Image
Change your cover image or add an overlay (as I’ve done) to highlight a current freebie.
- Set Your Facebook Page’s Call to Action Button
Change the call to action button to direct people straight to your opt in page. Mine goes to the opt in page for the free challenge I show in the page image.
- Add to your Facebook personal profile
Add your opt in call to action to your personal ‘about’ on your Facebook profile.
- Post to Medium
You could also post your archived or new posts on Medium and include your opt in’s there too.
- Guest post and create a freebie specific to that post – opt in
Guest posting is a great way to widen your audience, but lots of people waste an opportunity. People might read your guest post and may even pop to your site but after that they probably forget about you. However, if you create a specific content upgrade for your guest post, then those people will opt in and then will be on your list so you can develop a relationship with them.
- Create A Resource Library
This is a wonderful benefit to your readers, but you might be thinking well they can already get all of those freebies from my blog already. What Resource library does is it provides the reader with convenience which should never be underestimated. Instead of having to opt in to 20 difference forms. They opt in once and get access to this treasure trove of content upgrades.
- Gate Your Blog Posts
Another idea is to gate a portion of your post. So for example, I wrote a post all about sponsored posts covering how to negotiate and what to charge. I then gated the specifics of the ‘what to charge’ section and send it out in return for email addresses.
- Share a opt-in offer on Reddit
Simple share you opt in on Reddit within the rules of the site of course!
- Post in niche forums
If you frequent niche forums then you can probably find the opportunity to add your opt in links there too!
- Exit intent Popup
An exit intent pop up is a clever piece of technology. It lies dormant until someone moves their mouse up to the X to close the page, then it springs into action to share a must-have freebie.
- Speak at an event
If you intend to speak at an event it is really easy to give the audience either a copy of your slides or a relevant download. Just set up a form in your auto responder, use bit.ly to change the link to something short and custom and pop it on your last slide.
- Be a Podcast guest
Podcasts are big news and many have large audiences. So if you can get on one, then it will be good for your exposure. As with guest posting, create a custom, relevant download and offer it to the listeners.
- Create a quiz
People love quizzes and always want to know what the outcome is for them. So creating a quiz as an opt in freebie is awesome. Your quiz could be serious and in depth or short and fun! Check out my quiz the Blogging Roadmap.
- Offer subscriber only offers
A great sign up incentive is to offer discounts with brands you work with or even discounts off your own products.
- Add opt in forms to top old posts
Go back through your Google Analytics and add an opt in form to these high trafficked posts.
- Add content upgrades to top old posts
Take things a step further by adding content upgrades to these top performing posts to make opting in even more desirable.
- Share in LinkedIn groups
Take to LinkedIn to share your opt in freebies.
- Do a list/freebie swap
Why not partner with another blogger and offer each others freebie to your list? The perfect collaboration.
- Feature opt ins in sidebar/hello bar
Keep your opt in form prominent by popping it in your sidebar or even use a hello bar across the top of your page.
- Use social proof – add sub/followers together – X followers/subscribers.
Showing that a bajillion people have also signed up would be a great example of social proof as it would encourage more people to join purely on the basis of the numbers. However, if you have got a bajillion subscribers you could add together all your subscribers and followers and give this combined number stating it is all subscribers/followers. The larger number will be more effective.
- Run a webinar
Webinars are awesome list builders. Pop a sign up form on your blog and share it on social media. After the live webinar you can still use it as an opt in freebie too.
- Create an ebook
Although ebooks wouldn’t be my top opt in freebie idea, they are popular. Creating a valuable ebook which you then giveaway as an opt in freebie can be powerful.
- Add opt in forms to successful old posts
This is really easy and relatively quick to do and I covered it in how to make your blog sticky, but adding an opt in form to your high performing posts can be a great way to redirect that traffic to your mailing list.
- Answer Questions on Quora
Are you focused on growing your email list? Have you tried any of these methods to build your subscriber list?
- Put your freebie on your 404 page
Utilise your 404 page so that when someone clicks on a bad link and end up on your 404 page, you can offer them a freebie right on that page and convert them to a subscriber.
As well as growing your email list you need to think of servicing your existing subscribers too. Regularly giving them incentives to remain on your list, after they have received their freebie. So you could provide them with regular content that isn’t on your blog or helpful tips and tricks. In my opinion you should be providing this incentive content once a week.
There you have it 41 ways to grow your email list quickly. I hope