When you blog for business, one of the most important aspects is to grow your email list, if not the most important one…
Remember all those people saying that you should not pay attention at how many Twitter followers you have? Well, when it comes to your email subscribers you will want to count and focus on its grow because this is going to become the heart of your online business. This list is the start of what we call “Email Marketing“.
In this post we’ll review some of the methods you can use in order to increase that number of subscribers rather than focusing on the reasons why you need to grow your list. We’ll leave that for another post.
So here we go…
Sidebar Opt-in Box
The Opt-in Box on the sidebar is probably the most basic form of subscribing and while I suggest you follow some conventional practices so that people recognizes what it is, I also encourage you to be creative in order to make it stand out.
When I talk about conventional practices I mean things we already know from studying online user behavior, for example having it on the right, at the top of the sidebar and of course above the fold if increasing the number of email subscriptions is a priority.
Here is an example from IlluminatedMind:
In other words, a simple pop-up box that shows when the reader visits your site. This one is kind of controversial since it has been considered something that annoys the reader but lately, while some of the more recognizable people online are starting to use it, it seems to be getting a positive reaction. It dramatically increases your subscriptions and in exchange, bloggers are dropping tons of value. Kind of like a win-win…
In this image we see Lewis Howes promoting his LinkedIn Master Strategies which by the way, you should get…
The In-Post is a box located usually at the end of the post, while I have never used it on SocialMouths I have seen it perform very good on other blogs. I think the reason is that some of the regulars (people that visit your blog on a regular basis) might not be paying attention to elements on the sidebar since they go directly to the content. It’s kind of the “Related Posts” widget that encourages more pageviews on your blog, in this case it is a reminder to opt-in.
Here is a great example from ProBlogger.net
This is obviously very important because the value and quality expected on products nowadays is higher than ever, not only for premium products but also for free ones too. In other words, when you are ready to give away a product in exchange for your reader’s email address, make sure that product is about the same quality of something you could sell.
Jon Morrow, Associate Editor of CopyBlogger does this perfectly at GuestBlogging through an awesome series of videos. The user ends up feeling like he/she just got a lot of value in return.
Opt-in Box On Your Facebook Page
Think outside your blog, opt-in points of entry don’t necessarily have to live inside your blog. If you have seen this and your head is spinning trying to figure out how to do it, it is probably just a simple FBML snippet and a Facebook app developed by the email provider. You have the option to place it on your left sidebar or as an additional tab (as shown on the following image). You should look into it since it’s a great way to leverage from all that traffic you’re getting on your Fb Page.
Here are the MailChimp instructions on how to install their Facebook App on your page, I’m sure other companies have something similar: Adding A Newsletter Subscribe Form To Your Facebook Fanpage
Webinars are huge right now because they are a way to really blow up your email list in just a few days, of course this is not as easy as it sounds. A successful webinar requires of a lot of promotion and preparation but if it’s done correctly it has great rewards.
In this case, I recommend you observe how some of the most experienced people do it before you jump into it. The obvious place to go is HubSpot because they run tons of webinars, you have probably seen them or even attended a few of them but I also want you to put attention to some of the personal brands online doing this successfully.
We have all seen the contests on Twitter, most of them with the objective to get massive visibility and increase following. Next time you run a contest on Twitter, Facebook or whatever platform you are using for this, instead of asking for a follow or a retweet, ask for an email address.
Now, you should also consider if the prize of the contest is worth and email address or just a retweet. I just mentioned above that the bar has been raised when it comes to quality and value. If you’re giving away a copy of a book…
Also huge to help you build that email list like there’s no tomorrow are landing pages. Nothing new here but still very effective. If you are launching a new free product, consider creating a landing page as part of your strategy, it’s not an either/or situation, you can run a sidebar box, a lightbox and a landing page at the same time.
Today, landing pages are easier to create and manage. You can simply dedicate a specific page on your blog or you can use a service like unbounce if you’re ready to kick it up a notch…
It’s Your Turn Now…
So what do you think? have you used other methods or have good ideas on how to effectively grow your email list? share with the rest of us in the comments section.
Also let me know if you’re interested in learning more about Email Marketing and what aspects of it would you like to know.
Image Credit: Dry Icons