Are you confused about how to go about growing your email list?
Does the fact that hardly anyone subscribes frustrate you? Are you weighing up whether increasing your social media following would be better?
According to Jon Cifuentes from his study of 1300 marketers, email marketing still provides the best ROI. In fact, he found mid-sized business on average enjoy a 246% ROI from email marketing. Mike May of MediaPost’s Email Insider came to a similar conclusion. He says for every $1 business spend on email marketing they generate $40 in ROI.
Want to enjoy such ROI?
If so, the real question is - how can you build your list fast? What tactics do you need to apply?
There is a lot of information about tactics, and much of it is good. But using tactics alone will not yield much by way of results. You need to use tactics in a strategic way based on your desired outcomes.
It’s important to look at strategies and some key components to it first. This will help set yourself up to successfully build your email list fast.
This is a strategy that runs counter to building your email list fast. But it is worth looking into. Most companies use this strategy by default because it costs them nothing extra. This isn’t a bad method. The only downside being that it takes time.
Sites like Digital Photography School have built their audience with this strategy.
It is a strategy that works well over time as you build traffic, apply SEO techniques, guest post, etc. A few hours a week to creating content is all that it takes.
This is a strategy that works well in short bursts of time like in putting on a webinar, doing a joint venture, etc. In other words, these activities have a definite end point. So you can set aside time on your calendar to focus on this exclusively.
Nathalie Lussier, for example, runs the 30-day list building challenge. She runs the challenge for a defined period with social sharing components to attract a bigger audience.
John Corcoran runs webinars on a regular basis. Both he and his guests benefit from the increased exposure while also building each other’s email list.
This is a strategy you may have seen already. You may have noticed this whenever a new product or offer is launched. Most conversations in the industry especially the marketing industry are abuzz with it.
It works because it captures the attention of the intended audience. But it takes a lot of time to prepare, to be seen and heard everywhere for a sustained period. It also means taking the time to get your value proposition and positioning right. All while creating the best course or product you can.
To build your email list fast consider using a combination of the above three strategies. You can use this to go into new verticals or build out your list in your primary vertical.
This approach works well if you have done some previous work to build your list. It allows you to get specific in how you serve people.
Bryan Harris does this quite well as does Pat Flynn.
There are three key components to any strategy you choose. These are:
Have you identified the best places on your site for your opt-in forms? The fact is that most sites don’t convert well because they don’t have opt-in forms placed in vantage locations.
This doesn’t mean that you need to plaster forms in every available spot. Aim for a balance between the user experience and your site's objectives.
How to leverage the best locations?
Keep readers engaged and turn them into subscribers with content upgrades. Content upgrades are a form of complementary content. They are unique to your post and given away for free in exchange for your visitors email address.
For example, let’s say you had a post on the growing tomatoes. A content upgrade could be a checklist on testing and preparing the soil for growing tomatoes.
Clay Collins of LeadPages introduced the idea of content upgrades with great success. Brian Dean has seen a 785% increase in email opt-ins with content upgrades. Bryan Harris says he has had conversion rates on average 20-30% and as high as 62%.
Why do they convert so well?
Because they are –
Here are a few ideas for content upgrades that you could implement:
Have you noticed that your older content gets forgotten as you produce more new content?
How can you bring attention to older content in an appropriate manner?
Consider creating hub pages.
How can you create hub pages?
Consider leveraging in email social sharing. Most people send emails out to drive traffic back to their site. They do this in the hope that it generate shares that bring in a bigger audience. But why not allow people to share from the emails they read?
GetResponse conducted a study on adding social sharing buttons within emails. They found that by adding social sharing options the click through rate (CTR) increased to 6.2% from 2.4%.
Let's say your subscribers don’t read the complete articles before sharing. Even in that scenario, each share could bring in new traffic. That in turn means more potential subscribers.
People are likely to fill out more web form fields for contests than to subscribe to a newsletter as seen here. The beauty about giveaways is that if done right it can attract many more people and email subscribers.
What could a giveaway do for you?
Whole foods market ran a giveaway like the one below
Go Pro has set up an awards page.
They promote it on social media like so
And make a big deal of winners, like this Facebook post.
How can you leverage giveaways?
Most high-traffic websites have a featured opt-in incentive. This opt-in incentive isn’t linked to any post. However, it is advertised on at least one prominent location on their site.
It is a simple yet efficient way to maximise exposure to a single piece of content you have developed.
Andrea Vahl’s blog, for example, features a free Quick Start Guide to Social Media for business.
How to leverage featured opt-ins to grow your email list
A study published in the Wall Street Journal found that social proof was a powerful driver of human behaviour. Positive social proof was valued more by people. In fact valued more than saving money or saving the environment.
Researchers used four different messages to get people to use fans instead of air conditioning. These included -
Of these, the last message was found to be the most effective.
Similar forms of proof can be found on some sites.
Take Gideon Shalwick’s site for example. It has the number of subscribers displaying on his opt-in form. It only helps visitors believe that what Gideon shares has got to be good if he has such a large following.
Will Hoekenga uses influencer testimonials to provide social proof in the following manner.
How do you leverage social proof to your benefit?
Would you love to partner with an influencer that already has a large, responsive list? If yes then consider offering your services in exchange for a plug on their list.
Take for example email marketing expert Ben Settle. He exchanged six press releases for a few mentions in a month, in an influencer’s popular newsletter.
How can you partner with influencers?
Do you use webinars to get email subscribers?
If not, consider these results.
Buzzsumo has experienced conversion rates of 20% with their webinars. Neil Patel has tested some variations on webinars and seen conversion rates of 3-25% depending on what is being sold and price points. Taki Moore conducts webinars that convert at 21%.
Why do they work?
How can you leverage webinars to increase email subscribers?
Guest blogging is about presenting your content in front of readers of other blogs. A bit like showing up at a friends house with a gift.
This is also an excellent tactic in getting high-quality inbound links to your site. But also increasing visibility and growing your email list.
Bamidele Onibalusi used this strategy to increase his site’s search traffic by 342.35% in a year. He wrote 31 guest posts for blogs with mid-level authority. The campaign took all of one week and had an ongoing positive impact on a site that was barely a year old at the time.
Jon Cooper of Point Blank SEO, guest posted on YouMoz. The article got syndicated 30-40 times, got 60-80 links to his site, and he gained 60 RSS subscribers - a 400% increase!
How to leverage guest blogging to grow your list-
The tactics covered, are just a few things you can implement to grow your email list. They aren’t complicated or difficult to implement. To be effective, they do need to have a strategy in place. Approach growing your email list building from as many angles as you can with the context of your overall strategy.
As people join your list, you can nurture them with more content and offers that allow you to convert leads into customers.
Have you tried any of these strategies if so how did they turn out? Did you use a tactic I didn’t mention? Share your experiences in the comment section below.