One huge mistake that usually more than 90% of bloggers and small business owners make, is not to start building an email list as soon as possible.
In fact, if you launch a new blog or a new business online, one of the first things you should do is create your mailing list from day one, and launch the typical weekly newsletter service and trying, little by little, to gradually transform that channel into a medium for generating trust with your audience.
Table of Contents:
- 14 Simple Tips for Building an Email List Like an Expert
- 1. Optimize your website for opt-ins
- 2. Make use of Giveaways or Lead Magnets
- 3. Use Content Upgrades
- 4. Use Call to actions (CTAs)
- 5. Use the Power of Social Media
- 6. Turn Blog Comments Into Email Subscribers
- 7. Don’t Give Them Too Many Options
- 8. Encourage Email Forwarding
- 9. Make Your Email Subscribers Feel Special (Subscriber-only Access)
- 10. Stay Active on other Blogs and Forums
- 11. Find Guest Blogging Opportunities
- 12. Motivate Customers with Special Daily Deals
- 13. Be Mobile Friendly
- 14. Create Your Own Community
- Helpful Resources:
Why Should You Start an Email List?
Building an email list is a must do. Your mailing list is a very important asset because it is a much more direct and intimate way of communicating with your readers and it is a way of building a relationship much more thoroughly, face to face with your audience. The level of attention that a person who reads an e-mail will give you, is much higher, more beneficial for your business than you can get on a blog, where you have to compete with many other distractions.
When you send an e-mail to a person and this person decides to read it, in this case, you have a very strong connection. If you try to sell a service or product to this person at some point, it is much easier to do so using the e-mail channel.
How Can I get Started?
If you’re just getting started maybe this is not the best guide for you, at this moment. First of all, you’ll need to know how to get the basics done. And for that reason, I have created a free guide with everything you need to know in order to get started on building your very first email list. Here is the link to it:
If you have already started the process of building an email list, then just sit very tight, and let’s get right into it…
14 Simple Tips for Building an Email List Like an Expert
1. Optimize your website for opt-ins
By this point, you should know already what opt-ins are…
And yes, those forms at the bottom of some pages, maybe in the sidebar or pop-ups that subscribers use to signup for your newsletter and email list, can actually cause a bad, great or cause no impression at all, when it comes to your blog.
If a reader visits your website, they’re already at least somewhat interested in what your site has to offer.
This is a great opportunity for you to get them subscribed to your email list. Make sure you include email registration forms on every single main page of your site, as well as those pages with popular products and services.
But not only is it important that you add those opt-in forms to all your articles and pages on your blog or website, but it’s also important that these forms have a perfect design and placement to catch your visitors’ attention.
With that being said, let’s look at what the experts do…
Brian Dean – Backlinko.com
Here is what I see:
 Adding an opt-in form at the top of your sidebar, is one of the easiest ways of catching your readers’ attention as soon as they get to any of your articles.
It is also very important to notice how the design of the actual form, matches perfectly fine with the design of the actual website.
 You need to give your readers a very good reason why they should subscribe to your email list. They’re not going to subscribe just because you are a nice guy.
 Make it easy for them to subscribe. There is no need for requesting so much information, ask for the email address and maybe their name if you want to personalize your emails.
2. Make use of Giveaways or Lead Magnets
A Lead Magnet is just a free gift offer to your readers in order to motivate them to subscribe to your email list. This could be any of the following things:
- A mini-Course.
- A PDF Guide on a specific topic they may like.
- Free resources (Excel sheet, Word, graphic,…).
- Exclusive video or audio only for subscribers.
- Discounts for purchases.
Just think about it: What do they really get for signing up to your email list?
A Lead Magnet increases, significantly, the number of subscriptions to your list, because you’re offering more than just the subscription, you’re really adding extra value.
You can also redirect traffic to your affiliate posts, sales pages or to posts that help improve your reader’s confidence.
3. Use Content Upgrades
What is a content upgrade and how can it help you increase your conversion rate?
A content upgrade is one specific type of lead magnet that has been created to motivate your readers after they’ve read one specific article on your blog. This as a free download of additional content that would add even more value to the readers.
So it basically works like this: After you give them a great piece of content, then you offer an even greater content that will only be available for them after they give you their email address. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
Here is how it looks:
Want to learn some great ideas for content upgrades? Check out the following article:
4. Use Call to actions (CTAs)
If you’re seriously working on building an email list, you need to know what CTAs are how to really use them for your benefit.
A call to action or CTA is just a button or link that you place in some specific areas of your blog or maybe one specific article, the purpose of this to attract potential customers into taking some specific actions and convert them into final customers, usually through a form or a landing page.
Here is a guide on how to create the best call to actions for your blog or website:
5. Use the Power of Social Media
Social networks continue to evolve as a fundamental tool for many businesses. In fact, according to recent figures, for some of the big publishers such as Fox News, Mashable, Business Insider, Condé Nast, the Atlantic and Reuters, Facebook is already sending them more traffic than the traffic referred by Google.
In fact, there are several ways in which you can grow your email list by using the power of social media:
5.1- Gathering leads by sharing links on Facebook and Twitter:
You have the ability to share links on Facebook and Twitter, and this is not only to promote your blog posts, services or products.
If you understand the basic needs of your audience, they will respond to you by giving you their attention. Once you have established trust, you have the opportunity to offer them to subscribe to your email list by sending them a link to go directly to your landing page.The secret to generating leads on Facebook is to provide thoughtful and useful content.Click To Tweet
5.2- Gathering leads directly from Facebook:
Facebook already understands that building an email list is absolutely necessary to almost any business and that’s why they offer “leads ads“, which have the potential to be a powerful tool for Entrepreneurs.
Leads ads simplify opt-in forms and allow followers to subscribe to your email list in a matter of seconds.
By using calls to action as a simple “subscribe” button, Facebook will automatically fill in the username and email address (assuming they provide accurate information on their personal profiles). This avoids the hassle of having to redirect your followers to a landing page outside of Facebook.
This is how it looks:
5.3- Optimize Youtube videos with annotations:
If you’re still not using the annotations on your YouTube channel, then you’re losing a lot of leads.
The annotations allow you to add links with calls to action that can be inserted into your videos; You can link to another video, to your channel, to a playlist, to a landing page or to re-direct the users to the subscription page of your same channel.
If you use these tactics appropriately, you can make a viewer a long-term client. This is why you should focus on building your email list all the time.
6. Turn Blog Comments Into Email Subscribers
If you’ve been running a blog or any other type of online business for some time, you probably have many comments on your website or blog.
There’s actually a good chance you have not been taking full advantage of this comments in order to also build your email list.
There are indeed, several ways in which you can turn commenters into subscribers:
6.1 – Getting your commenters subscribed to your blog using Jetpack:
Getting your readers subscribed to your blog using Jetpack Subscriptions is not like getting them subscribed to your actual email list, where you can send them emails about new content and products as you wish. This actually gets the readers subscribed to your blog, and sends them an email notification every time you publish a new article, which is also a good thing.
Here’s how you do it…
Jetpack requires you to create an account at WordPress.com and get your site connected to it, If you already have a WordPress.com account, you can also use that one.
Once you have connected Jetpack to your account at WordPress.com, you need to go to your Jetpack settings, as follows: Visit Settings » Discussion and scroll down to the Jetpack subscription section. Check the box next to blog subscription and comment subscription options. Click on the save changes, and that’s it.
6.2 – Getting your commenters into your email list:
When someone leaves a comment on your blog, they are required to enter their name, email address, and if they have one, their own website or blog URL.
All of that information stays in your WordPress database and in the comments section of your blog’s dashboard, where you usually go to manage and approve comments.
You can actually see the user data and manually email a commenter if you wish to do so, but trying to export all those emails to your list, is not an easy task. However, I’ve found a very useful guide that can help you do that in just a couple of steps.
Here is the link to the guide: How to Convert Blog Commenters into Email Subscribers
7. Don’t Give Them Too Many Options
Yes, I know you really want your readers to subscribe to your email list. I know you are really interested in building an email list that really makes a positive impact towards your business.
But we don’t want to scare our poor visitors and make them run away from our site if every time they look to a new paragraph they also find a new opt-in form.
You don’t need to have so many opt-in forms on your site that it becomes annoying for your readers. You don’t need to attack them with a “pop-up” or “screen take over” every time they visit your site.
Make sure that you have only a few forms on each page, placed on strategic locations on your site, and specially designed to give you the highest conversion rate possible.
This is why I recommend doing A/B Testing. If a form is not converting as well as you think it should, and you think it’s already located in the best spot, then play around with it, change the colors, copy heading, button style, just do as many tests as you need in order to get the conversion rate you’re looking for.
8. Encourage Email Forwarding
When you publish a new article on your blog, or you launch a brand new product in your business, I’m pretty sure that your immediately share it on your social networks, you share it in groups, forums, and communities that you are part of.
I’m pretty sure that you’ve also added some nice share buttons to every article because you want your content to be shareable so that it can reach as many people as possible.
Now, here is the good thing…
When you send an email to your subscribers, you can also include a link that allows them to forward to a friend, in case they want to forward your valuable content to someone they think will find it interesting. Make sure the link directs new readers to a page with an opt-in form.
9. Make Your Email Subscribers Feel Special (Subscriber-only Access)
Yes, building an email list requires you to put a lot of work and patience, all together, but when you actually get it done it pays really well, and I’m being serious, it pays very well…
It’s a really good idea to reward your loyal email subscribers by giving them specials deals that are only available to them, such as an exclusive discount coupon for certain product, a new guide, a free course, etc.
You need to put the same amount of work to keep your subscribers, as you did when creating your email list, otherwise, your email list will never grow.
10. Stay Active on other Blogs and Forums
Being active on forums, such as Quora, Reddit, Flipboard, etc, also making comments and responding questions on brand name blogs that are influencers in your line of business, is not only going to help you on building an email list, but also getting more traffic to your site.
I can tell you from my personal experience when I first launched Web SEO Marketers and I wasn’t getting any traffic, whatsoever, no comments on my articles, no shares (Except for the times I shared myself), my first few visitors and commenters came from comments I left on other blogs and questions I answered on forums.
11. Find Guest Blogging Opportunities
Many people think guest blogging is already dead, it’s an old-school technique, it doesn’t work anymore.
Now, let me tell you something…
They are wrong! Guest blogging is still one of the best opportunities for you to take advantage of someone else’s popularity and reputation so that you can build a name for yourself.
But here’s the thing…
Many people write a crappy article with no valuable content to offer as a guest post, just because they want to get a link from you, that’s the type of guest blogging that doesn’t work anymore.
If you’re worried about making sure that you always share top quality content with your audience, then you must be doubly concerned about the quality of a guest post you publish on someone else’s site.
You need to do your best to match the type of content that performs the best for their audience and not just worry about a silly link, the results will show up by themselves.
Take a look at this article I posted about a year ago on a colleague’s blog:
12. Motivate Customers with Special Daily Deals
Offering a daily deal can be very useful for retail businesses or those who offer local services. Offer a special discount (daily deal), it can also be a “weekly deal” through the site for a limited time only and ask people who want to take advantage of this deal to provide their email address in exchange.
13. Be Mobile Friendly
This is also another mistake that I’ve seen many people making. Have you ever checked your google analytics report just to see how what percentage of your visitors are actually coming from mobile devices?
I’ve just pulled out the report for Web SEO Marketers, for the month of April, and you can see that t 26.39% of my visitors are coming from mobile devices, while 3.10% visit my sites from tablets.
Now, this could be different for you depending on the line of business where you operate, but the true thing is that you need to optimize your site not only for the desktop version but also the mobile version.
Here is the same report for a different site I also run:
81.11% of the traffic coming to that site is coming from mobile devices, like I said before, depending on the line of business where you operate this can actually look very different, this site is a local news site, so most people look at it from their phones.
I use optinmonster in order to create opt-in forms that are optimized specifically for mobile devices, and they make it super easy.
14. Create Your Own Community
There are many platforms like BuddyPress for WordPress or any other platform that you might know of, to make it really easy to create a community and promote interaction between your brand and your customers.
Also, make sure to include a sign-up form for your email list on every page of the community.
You can start building an email list from 0, and make it grow even faster than you expect, but only if you use the right strategy and keep your audience engaged by always giving them great content and excellent deals.
- Content Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Becoming an Expert in 10 Days
- The Beginners Guide for Email List Building and Email Marketing
- Infographic: How to Get More Shares and Clicks on Facebook and Twitter
Now I want to know what are your thoughts…
What’s your biggest concern when it comes to building your email list? What are you struggling with?
Drop your comments below and I’ll try to help you the best way I can.
Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to share!