Ready to learn how to grow your email list fast? Let's do this!
When you start a blog one of the first things you need to do is start an email list. Let me explain why.
Let's follow the path of a typical reader. They land on your blog post (from Google, Pinterest, etc). They read your content, click around... and then leave.
If you don't establish a way for that reader to come back - your blog is just a revolving door.
Having an email list lets you connect with your readers again and build an audience of loyal followers. This is your tribe. These are the people who will try what you recommend and buy what you create.
Here's the workflow we want to avoid: Traffic -> Blog Post -> Exit
Here's a much better workflow: Traffic -> Blog Post -> Email List -> Sales
If you're getting traffic but not converting them into email subscribers, this blog post is for you.
Here are 8 things you need to be doing to grow your email list fast.
1. design a high-converting signup form
When I first started blogging, I didn't even have an email list. I wasn't selling anything, so I thought I didn't need one. I had no clue what to even write. I ignored creating a list for a long time. This was a major mistake.
Eventually I got around to starting a list and added a simple opt-in form that said "subscribe for updates". Another major mistake.
What happened? I got zero subscribers my first year of blogging. I learned the hard way that nobody joins email newsletters anymore. And especially not from boring forms.
Something had to change, so I signed up with Thrive Leads to help me create a high converting optin form. I went from a boring black and white form to a vibrant one that stood out on the page.
Here's how to use Thrive Leads to create a high converting optin form:
2. create an irresistible free offer
You could have the hottest signup form ever, but if the reader doesn't want what you're offering, it just doesn't matter. In order to get signups, you need to give away something in exchange for their email address. The freebie you give away is called a lead magnet.
I believe in learning from successful bloggers in your niche. To get an idea of what freebies to create, see what other bloggers in your space are doing. Take it a step further and actually sign up to receive their lead magnet. My strategy is: see what others are doing... and do it better!
Here are some examples of lead magnets you can give away:
Creating a lead magnet is incredibly simple. You can create most of them with Canva for free. Just save as a PDF. To edit the PDF file, such as making checkboxes check and text fields editable, use PDFEscape.com.
3. content upgrades for the win
Lead magnets are nice, but nothing converts better than a content upgrade.
A content upgrade is a lead magnet that directly relates to the content. Here are some examples of a content upgrade.
4. optin form targeting
You won't want to show the same exact optin form to all of your traffic. If you have a blog that focuses on several main subjects, you will want to create a different optin for each subject.
Let's say you have a finance blog and your main blog categories are Investing, Saving, Making Money and Debt. It wouldn't make sense to offer a Debt eBook in your investing articles.
You could just create a generic finance lead magnet. But all that would do is ensure nobody would want it.
No, the solution here is to create multiple optin forms for each of your blog categories.
Offering a relevant lead magnet is key if you want to grow your email list.
In Thrive Leads you can set up targeting rules to pair the reader with the correct offer.
But that's just the first part. The second part is you could also tell Thrive Leads to tag that subscriber to identify which form they signed up from.
Creating a segmented list is powerful stuff.
I go into more detail in my course about this, but let me give you this example:
Person 1 visits Investing blog post and signs up for Investing-related lead magnet.
What should happen next? If you said send them Investing-related content, you're right!
Here's how to do this.
Having a hyper targeting list lets you send hyper targeted offers, leading to less unsubscribes and more sales.
5. different optin form types
If you have an optin form on your sidebar and nowhere else - you're doing it wrong. If you want to capture more email leads, you need to capture their attention first.
Here are some optin form types you can add to your blog:
I recommend only using any two of the optin form types above. The goal is to get as many email subscribers as possible without negatively affecting user experience.
6. create a landing page
A landing page gives you an entire page to convince the reader to join your email list.
For a landing page, remove all links - even your menu. You want there to be only one goal: sign up to my email list.
To get traffic to your landing page you can add a link to it in your main navigation menu. You can also send traffic directly to your landing page. You can do this by creating pins on Pinterest linking directly to your landing page.
Creating a landing page is not a complicated process.
7. turn comments into subscribers
You can use the comments section of your blog to get additional email subscribers. Let me show you how.
While this sounds a bit aggressive, you can choose to use double-optin to ensure they really want to join your email list.
If you choose to skip this route, you can still get subscribers from your comments.
After a user leaves a comment, you can redirect first time commenters to a thank you page. On this page, say "Thank You For Your Comment" and offer them a free gift (aka your lead magnet).
You can use the Yoast Comment Hacks plugin to achieve this.
8. leverage your social media followers
If you have a following on social media - but not too many email subscribers - you'll want to take advantage of this.
Social media followers are (almost) worthless. The number of followers who see any given Facebook page update or Tweet are somewhere between slim and none.
What we need to do is find a way to convert your social media followers into email subscribers. Here's a few ways to do this:
9. measure your results
Finally, if you do not measure your results, you won't know what's working and what isn't.
If you truly want to grow your email list, you need to continue to make changes until you have perfectly optimized optin forms and lead magnets.
Keep testing (and testing) until you find the right design and offer.
For this blog, my first offer was a 4 page ebook I wrote titled Authority Blogging (it failed). My next one was a "start a blog guide" (it failed too). It wasn't until I started offering a free mini-course that my conversions began to increase.
Likewise, my first optin forms were also pretty bad. I didn't get better by learning about design, I got better by testing, testing and then more testing.
But changing things over and over again isn't itself going you help you if you don't know what works and what doesn't. The only way to know for sure is to conduct A/B testing.
Here's how A/B testing works with Thrive Leads.
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