If you want to grow your website or business, an email list is truly an asset that you want to be consistently growing and building into.
Through an email list, you can build a long-term connection with your people, allowing relationships and trust to build.
Showing up, staying consistent and being helpful are three things that will take your email list from an obligation to a delight when you realize just how much it affects your success.
So, why does it matter? Why is building your email list important?
#1: Off the top, you own your email list. You have no real ownership over social media.
If Twitter tomorrow decided to demolish, that is an entire following you’ve lost. Having people on your email list is something that belongs to you and keeps you in control.
#2: Email is up close and personal. Guaranteed, people are not hanging out on your website every minute of every day or watching for your next social media update.
But, they are on their email. So, why not meet them right where they are? This builds relationship, loyalty and trust.
#3: Your email list leads to profit. When done right, your mailing list has the potential to make you thousands of dollars in sales simply by sending some emails.
Every person on your list is a potential customer, client, or reader.
I’ve put together ten formulas to help you get more email subscribers, starting today.
How To Build Your Email List
1. Use a Reliable Email Marketing Tool
Before anything else, you need an email marketing tool where you can store your subscribers' emails, create opt-in forms (a signup form where your visitors will enter their info to subscribe), and send emails. Remember, your opt-in form is your home base of getting people to jump in with you. Here are some really good email marketing tools that I've tried:
- Aweber: Aweber comes out as a strong email marketing tool. They have multiple email templates, they are straightforward and they allow drag and drop images which other programs do not. Plans start at $19/month.
- MadMimi (currently using): MadMimi is a more recent program to come on the scene and people rave about them. They are very easy to use, have incredible customer support and their interface is clean and intuitive. Though, they don’t offer as many templates as others. Also, some certain type of content is prohibited. Pricing: FREE for the first 100 subscribers, then starts at $10/month.
2. Make it Super Easy To Sign Up
People love convenience. To get the most engagement, make it as easy for people as possible! Lead them into it and make it simple. In other words, don’t make people fill out a twenty question survey or make them go on a hunt to find out where exactly to sign-up. Here's a good example:
Take a look at how they added the opt-in box in a visible part of their website and how they only request 2 information (email & email frequency).
3. Put Your Opt-in Form in Multiple Places
Not only does this have to do with ease and convenience for people, but the more often people see things, the more likely they are to sign up. By putting it in multiple places, you’re giving your opt-in lots of exposure and you are building an awesome case as to just why people need to sign up for your list! Here are some ideas:
- Homepage: Wherever people land when they first get to your website, make sure your opt-in is clearly seen. It can be a popup form or a featured box added somewhere above the fold. Here's a good example:
- After Your Blog Post: You’re writing killer blog content. Hook people into your email list by plugging it right after they read your words.
- About Page: One of the first pages people visit when they go on a website for the first time is the about page. Put your opt-in there so they can continue to know you.
- Top Bar: When a website has a top bar, it catches their eye. Use your aesthetic and smart copy and do it well. I recommend using SumoMe's Smart Bar app, it's an opt-in form that shows on your top bar. Here's an example:
- Footer: So often people will head straight to the footer when they can’t find something! This is a smart spot for an opt-in.
- Registration: Whether people are buying products or services, give the option for them to be added into your email list as well.
- Newsletter Sign up Option on Comment Box: I mean, it is just smart as they are engaging with you already.
- Your Email Signature: Giving visibility to your opt-in by having it in your email signature gets it before a lot of people. Just think about how many emails you send.
SumoMe helps me build beautiful and effective opt-ins like popup email opt-in, scrollbox & welcome mat (most effective opt-in!). So if you need great opt-in forms, I highly recommend them. It's free!
4. Make Your Opt-In Pop
Make sure that your opt-in box is noticeable. Use an odd design, or use brighter colors or colors that oppose your website background's color. Experiment with different background colors, font size, or button colors (or size).
For example, you have a white background, use a brighter background with a really bright call-to-action button with bold fonts. Make sure that your headline pops as well! Here’s an example:
5. Offer Incentive
People love free things and are more likely to sign up for an email list if it means that they’re going to get something free for it. Either, they’ll be attracted to your list because they really want that free thing or it is a reward for joining. Rewarding people for engagement is always a good idea.
Incentive ideas: Ebook, worksheets, downloads, webinar, video, private Facebook group, challenge, email course, etc. The options are endless! Here's an example:
6. Offer Content Upgrade
Uhm, what the heck is “Content Upgrade”? It’s the same as "offering an incentive" tactic but for this one, you're offering a specific bonus that is relevant to the content that your visitors are currently reading (in exchange for their email address).
For example, you’re blogging about SEO tips, you might as well offer a printable SEO checklist. BUT.. in order for your readers to get an access to your “SEO Checklist”, they need to sign up on your email list first. Here’s an example:
My favorite tool for content upgrade? LeadPages' lead boxes (popup box!)
7. Run a Contest or Giveaway
Giveaways are a cost-incentive way to pull people into your email list and they have the potential to go viral or at least, reach a lot of people in a short period of time. It involves offering an item or service to people and their entry is signing up to your newsletter.
Here's an interesting case study: How They Went from Zero to 150,000 Email Subscribers
8. Use A Catchy Headline
Get creative and innovative about the headline you use to have people sign up for your email list. For example, if you just keep saying, “sign up for my newsletter.” Nothing about that sets you apart. But if you use something particular to your brand and speaks of exclusivity, you’ll get a much stronger response. Here's a good resource for you:
9. Clearly State What They’re Getting
People want to know what they are in for! They are also very protective of their email and so they want to know what exactly they are signing up for. So, are you offering updates, exclusive content, discounts? Get clear on that and involve it in how you talk about your list and opt-ins. Here's an example:
10. Add Social Proof
People want to know that you are legitimate and good at what you do. Nothing speaks more to that than numbers! By using social proof such as, “Join 10,000 subscribers…,” you are giving yourself credibility.
11. Produce Amazing Content Consistently
Stay on top of your email list. Make it a priority. Plan out your content and schedule it in advance if it is overwhelming to you. Produce content in your email list that give high value to people; that they would run and line up for.
Chances are your subscribers would be happy to spread how awesome it is to be a part of your email list!
12. Use Social Media!
Social media is a powerful tool to bring people to your opt-in and have them sign up. Everything in business online is truly connected. When you do well in one area, it affects others. When you neglect one, it makes a difference to other areas in your business.
For example, when you use social media well, that can increase your mailing list. When you do your mailing list well, that can increase your social media.
- Consider Twitter lead generation or Facebook Ads. These are both paid options but can stay fairly cost-effective with big impact.
- Use the call-to-action button, “Sign Up” on your Facebook Page. It's located at the bottom right of the cover photo part. All you have to do is to enter the URL of the landing page of your opt-in form.
- LinkedIn Posts. Use LinkedIn to give exposure and credibility to your email list and plug it before that audience.
- Use Pinterest to promote your opt-in. Pinterest is a massive social sharing platform. Give exposure to the free things you’re offering when people sign up with their email.
Your email list is a powerful tool for your business waiting to happen. Invest in it and it will become a major asset for your business.