Try these four simple strategies to build your email list and really build a community around your blog!
Of all the ways to promote a blog and grow your online business, the most effective you will ever find is through your email list. We guard our email addresses so jealously that each of these contacts can be pure gold to your marketing efforts.
Think about the number of blogs you visit every day and the number of those that you will probably visit again in the next month. You’ll probably visit the vast majority of sites only once and likely as a result of a Google search rather than remembering to check back in on the content.
But by building your email list from visitors to your blog, you can send out reminders and build a community around your blog. The subscribers to your list are more likely to share and comment on your posts, expanding your blog out to other markets.
Before you throw a quick subscribe box on your blog and expect the confirmation emails to start rolling in, it’s not quite that easy. Despite the innumerable of blog posts about how to grow your email list into the thousands overnight, most blogs fail miserably when it comes to collecting email subscribers.
You’ll read about plenty of schemes to build your email list but the fact is that there are just four strategies you need to use.
1. Offer Opt-In Incentives
The quickest way to build your email list is to offer visitors an incentive to subscribe. A survey by the DMA Group found that nearly 60% of email subscribers to blogs signed up to receive an opt-in offer. Opt-in incentives can be as simple as a one-page checklist to something as complicated as a full ebook.
The best thing about opt-in incentives is that you can often repurpose old blog posts into some kind of a freebie. With a great opt-in to build your email list, you’ll want to remember a few key points.
- Spend some time to understand what people are looking for when they come to the site and offer that through an opt-in incentive. You can find this by studying what keywords lead search traffic to your site. Making your opt-in directly relatable to what people are looking for increases the odds that they will hand over their email address.
- Make it exceptional. The worst thing you can do is to disappoint people with a poorly crafted opt-in incentive. Make sure you have included as much detail as possible to really solve a problem for readers.
2. Make It Easy to Subscribe
More than half (55%) of visitors to a blog spend less than 15 seconds on a page. With attention that fleeting, you need to make your email list subscription box as visible as possible. Beyond visibility, you should be presenting your subscription offer in as many ways as possible to avoid your ask from getting stale.
- Include a top bar on your site to collect emails or highlight special content. These small bars at the top of the screen are highly visible and do not get in the way of reader experience.
- Popups are still the most used method to build an email list. They can get annoying if overused but there is no better way to focus attention on a great opt-in incentive.
- Give your readers one last chance to sign up through a scroll box that appears after they have scrolled through a certain percentage of the page. If they’ve taken the time to read a majority of the post, they are likely enjoying the blog enough to consider subscribing.
3. Use A/B Testing
Rather than a stand-alone method, this one is used to complement the other methods. A/B testing is simply changing headlines, box designs and opt-in incentives to see which really draw the most subscribers. After testing a few different offers and asks, you can really optimize your site to build your email list. The MailMunch app not only allows you to customize your subscription box offers but allows simple A/B testing to see which works best.
4. Create Quality Content
I get just as tired of blog posts suggesting that quality content is the best way to grow traffic and build an email list…but it is true. Growing your blog can be excruciatingly slow at first but write good articles and people will come back to your blog to read what you’ve got to say. Better yet, your returning audience is going to subscribe to your blog and share it with their friends.
Writing quality content is actually easier than it may sound.
- Aim for at least 700 words per post to make sure you have enough detail to be helpful. Include a longer post of up to 2,000 words occasionally to really detail a topic.
- Write posts yourself or only outsource to someone that really cares about quality. Freelancers are ok to fill in scheduling gaps but they are probably not going to care as much about writing quality posts.
- Include at least a couple images in each post to make it easier to read and convey more detail.
- Set your draft aside for a day and review it later for grammar and readability
Building an email list is a process like anything else in blogging but one of the most important ways to build a successful blog. Combining the four methods above will help build your email list and keep people coming back on a regular basis.
After you’ve got an email list, your next question will be how to reach your email subscribers and how to really promote your blog.
How do you use your email list? How often do you send out emails to subscribers?