The vital part of this strategy is that you must provide valuable free information. You can’t just send them sales offers all the time. You must also position yourself as an expert in your niche and show the reader how you are different and better than your competitors. You can let your personality come through here, which will also set you apart from other companies in the same or similar niches.
It’s a best practice to ask the referrer not only for a friend’s email address, but also for a full name so that the message is personalized. Most important, remember to add the referee’s full name to the email as well. By referencing whom the email content was recommended by, you gain instant credibility and will attain much higher conversion rates.
You might be a little bit worried that popup email sign-ups are going to hurt the user experience of your site. But, many bloggers have found that it isn’t bad at all. For example, Dan Zarella, found bounce rates only increased by a very small amount, while email sign-ups were 1.56% higher – which, in the long term, can be a lot of new subscribers.
My suspicion is that our initial surge of subscribers has to do with what I mentioned at the top of this post: Our journey is compelling. Plain and simple, people want to see if we can hit these numbers or not. (By the way, if you want to read our current articles — all which are very in depth articles with case studies and examples in each one about content marketing for real businesses, join our email list.)
What I will say is that opt-ins on your website and social media will be your friend. Supply traffic coming from Google, Facebook, and Twitter with offerings that they must sign up for. Use a free ebook, a checklist, a free podcast, or even an email course (which you can set up with your autoresponder service) to get them to subscribe to your list.
Every ESP will give you tools to create an opt-in form for your site. Generally speaking, the less information you ask for (at this initial stage, at least), the better. The more information you ask for, the less likely your prospect is to complete the process. You’ll obviously need to ask for an email address, and I also highly recommended that you ask for a first name so you can personalize your emails. However, asking for any information beyond these two fields can decrease conversion rates significantly without adding much valuable data.
When I was first starting out online, the slow and steady way is how I built my list. It’s the default way to build up an audience, and it’s not bad but it does take time. This is a perfect strategy to help you build your traffic and list over time, because it’s consistent: you create content, blog, guest post, apply SEO techniques, get word of mouth, and repeat on a regular basis.
Brilliant! I know I probably shouldn’t be writing all just love what you’re saying here. But “love” what and “how” you are saying this here. I haven’t done the email thing yet, it’s something I’m ready to do and would benefit from too. But reading this today – found myself wanting to say, I would have wrote that – I want to copy and paste and tell others because you saved me the answer to myself being asked how do you do it Jane or errrrr zJayne!
Great article. Thank you. I’ve just started a blog and eZine. Swapping services with another company is one of the first things on my list. They are plugging my work in their newsletter, and linking on the basis that we co-refer through our emailings. We are in the same general market but our niches complement rather than compete. The reason they agreed was because they like having extra content for their list.
Advertising your email list on websites other than your own site can be a great way to grow your email list. In fact, it can often be more profitable than simply advertising your website. If you can give users a compelling reason to sign up for your email (such as free offers or discount codes), it is a much lower barrier to entry for most people to sign up for an email list than to make an initial purchase. Just be sure that you understand how much you can afford to spend per email address and that you have a plan in place to identify which emails came from which advertising sources.
Instead, I’m talking about timed pop-up ads, or onsite retargeting. After a user spends a certain amount of time on your page, she can receive a pop-up relevant to the content on that page, or to her behavior. Examples include exit pop-ups, which appear when a user tries to leave the page, or scroll pop-ups, which appear after the user scrolls a certain percentage down the page.
If all Michael had was the 57k Facebook fans listed right below, I’m not nearly impressed. Combined with the big number above, however, the FB fan numbers serve as crucial verification. If your website has 1,500 FB likes, there is NO WAY I believe you have 500k viewers. But with Michael’s Facebook numbers, I start to believe in that much bigger number above, and it means I probably can’t afford to miss what he’s saying.
A/B Test – One of the benefits of using GetResponse is that you can split test your subject lines i.e. send 25% of your mailing list a version of your newsletter with one subject line and 25% a version with another subject line. You can then compare which subject line is more effective and send the remaining 50% of your list the best performing version.
The effort you put into building your email list is one of the best investments you can make online. Having access to the inboxes of targeted prospects means you can continue to build and nurture relationships over time, and become a trusted source of valuable industry knowledge. Then, when it’s time for your prospects to buy, you’ll be the first one who comes to mind.
Couple your sign-up boxes with a clear description of “what’s in it for them.” Let customers know exactly what to expect when signing up, and sell the benefits for being on your email list. This can be as simple as promoting the general advantages of the channel — such as being able to receive information and offers faster and that it’s eco-friendly.
To incentivize the prospect to sign up, it’s important to offer them some sort of free bonus, like an ebook, access to a webinar, or whatever attractive freebie you can give them that is related to your business. But you shouldn't have to bust your butt to put this bonus together. You could collect together past blog posts into one PDF, for example.