Do you feel like getting people to subscribe to your email list feels like pulling teeth? Keep reading.
I know the struggle of putting so much work into growing your list, only to be met with disappointment every day when you log into your service provider to see, yet again, zero new subscribers. It sucks!
Which is why I was determined to crack the list-building code, which I can now say I have, woo hoo!! Now, if you don’t have an email list yet, I suggest you go check out this blog post after you read this one (stay a while!)
This post has my top 7 list-building strategies that allowed me to grow a very engaged email list to over 2,000 subscribers.
Keep reading to steal my strategies that consistently grow my list every day on autopilot.
WHY I SIGN UP FOR EMAIL LISTS
As a case study, let’s look at my own email sign-up habits. Maybe I’m your target reader so pay close attention 😉
As humans, we want quick answers to our problems and questions. One of the biggest reasons I subscribe to lists is because they’re offering a freebie that speaks to me.
One day I found Ashlyn Carter of Ashlyn Writes because I was looking for resources to improve my copywriting.
Once I got onto her site I was thrown into the world of copywriting and was instantly obsessed. Why did I become obsessed? Because I was in search of someone to help me improve my copywriting.
And that person was Ashlyn.
So you know what I did? I started binge-reading her blog posts and signed up for every freebie that popped out to me because I knew they were going to help improve my copywriting game.
BUILD YOUR LIST WITH INTENTION
Based on my own habits and what draws ME to sign up for email lists, I want to share 7 intentional strategies that you guys need to be implementing to REALLY get more engaged subscribers.
Not that fluffy “How to Get xxx Subscribers in xx Time”
Oh, wait…I actually have a post I wrote last year that’s like that. Well, THIS blog post is going to go in deeper for all y’all out there that need a little extra boost or a different approach. I got you!!
Okay, let’s dive in.My Top 7 List-Building Strategies to Get More Subscribers Click To Tweet
1. HAVE A PURPOSE FOR YOUR EMAIL LIST
If your ultimate goal is to “get more subscribers” this is the first problem we need to focus on.
Yep, I said problem.
It’s a problem because yes, getting more subscribers is something we want, but it shouldn’t be the main focus.
Obsessing over numbers is not a good way to measure your success nor will it keep you focused on creating valuable content for your readers.
When you obsess over numbers, your content turns into something that might not necessarily be authentic but driven by how much potential it has to get sign-ups or make more money.
I would know.
Your purpose for your email list should be to connect with your readers, build a relationship with them, and to SERVE them by HELPING them.
If you want to monetize your blog, this is a crucial component of a blogging for business strategy.Want to turn your blog into a business? Always strive to serve your audience FIRST. Then think about ways to monetize. Not the other way around. Click To Tweet
2. KNOW YOUR IDEAL READER
Once you know the purpose of your email list, the next step is to figure out who you want to subscribe to it.
Sheila…I want everyone to subscribe! Why do I need to get specific?!
Because you can’t appeal to everyone. Nor should you try to appeal to everyone.
Because trying to appeal to everyone means you’re going to appeal to no one.Trying to appeal to everyone means you're going to appeal to no one, even when you're trying to grow your email list! Click To Tweet
You can’t stand out when you’re trying to appeal to everyone. Embrace what makes you different (what I like to call your superpower) and implement that into your branding.
Knowing your ideal reader inside and out is how you’re going to get more subscribers, but not just any subscribers…the kind of subscribers that signed up for a reason beyond snatching your freebie.Knowing your ideal reader inside and out is how you’re going to get more email subscribers. Click To Tweet
The ones that don’t unsubscribe after getting what they came after. The kind that knows they’re in for something good if they stick around.
So how do you create freebie that says to your readers: “Hey! You want me! I command you to enter your email address into this cute looking form because I’m going to change your life! And you’re going to love it! And then you’re going to stick around for more!”
3. CREATE AN OPT-IN FREEBIE THAT SPEAKS TO YOUR IDEAL READER
Okay, you have your purpose and ideal reader mapped out. Now it’s time to get those sign-ups.
Enter: opt-in freebies.
I have a whole blog post on opt-in freebies that goes into specifics, which you can read about here.
In short, an opt-in freebie is what you give away in exchange for someone to sign up for your email list. It is the #1 way to grow your list if done with intention.
Making the freebie is one thing, but getting people to sign up for it is another thing. This is why knowing your ideal reader is going to come in handy.
Your freebie needs to perfectly align with your blog’s focus and overall message, or you’re at risk for slow-growth, frustration, and loss of direction.
This part of the list-building strategy takes you back to your blogging foundation.
So go back to your mission statement. Review it and remind yourself why your blog exists. What is your ultimate goal in terms of helping your readers?
Then review your ideal reader profile. Why do they read your blog? Why would they hand over their email address to you? Do they think you can help them or offer a quick solution to a problem?
4. CHOOSE THE RIGHT FREEBIE FORMAT
Next, you need to figure out the best format for your freebie in relation to how they learn best.
When deciding whether or not to sign up for something, readers want to know that they’ll be getting a quick answer that’s simple and easy to digest.
First, review your topic. Would it make the most sense to be compiled into one document? Maybe an eBook is best.
Or would it make the most sense to be delivered in daily chunks via email? Maybe a week-long course or challenge would be best.
Are your readers visual learners? Would the topic make the most sense in a video? Or maybe audio might be better suited, so try delivering a sound recording instead.
Here are some freebie format ideas:
- Email Course
- Video tutorials
5. OPTIMIZE YOUR SIGN-UP FORMS
Do you judge a book by its cover?
I do and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
A book cover that jumps out at me is going to catch my eye and compel me to read the back cover to see if it’s a good fit for me or not.
While a book with a not-so eye-catching cover will probably stay on the shelf.
This rings true for your opt-in forms too.
Placement, good design, good marketing, and a call to action will ALWAYS convert in the end.
Let’s cover all of these in more detail.
First of all, make sure you have sign-up forms all over your blog.
The sidebar (if you have one) is slowly becoming less prevalent on blogs, but I honestly still love them on my own site and when I visit other sites as well.
Although it’s not a high converting spot, it still helps to have a sign-up form there for a bonus opportunity.
The top-converting place is the top bar or “before the fold” on your site. This is where you’ll have the most eyes from people who land on your site. Put your best-performing freebie there.
Elna of Twins Mommy has an opt-in right on her homepage. When you land on her site, it’s the FIRST thing you see. It grabs your attention and makes you want to sign up.
Another place you want to embed your forms is into your actual blog post. Kind of a no-brainer, but many bloggers miss this step. Keep in mind that your freebie should be directly related to the blog post!
Your opt-in form should be clean, professional, and on brand.
Use your colors and make the sign-up button POP off the page with a bold color. Humans like pretty things!! Use that to your advantage.
Here’s an opt-in form I have for my List-Building Blueprint (psst you can grab it here) that’s pretty on brand! Notice that it’s GDPR compliant!
It’s time to suck it up and work on your copy girlfriend. Outline the benefits in a succinct sentence or two. What are people going to get out of this once they hand over their email address? Is it going to make their life easier? Answer a question? Solve a problem?
CALL TO ACTION
Lastly, have a good CTA in your description and on the sign-up button. Change “Subscribe” to something that aligns with your branding better.
I like using phrases such as “Give It to Me!” or “Heck yeah!” to make it more engaging and fun for readers.
Here’s an on brand call to action on my landing page for my free Kickstart Your Coaching Business Masterclass. It’s much more fun and engaging than saying “Sign Up” or “Subscribe.” Doesn’t it make you excited to sign up for it?!
6. PROMOTE YOUR FREEBIE
While there is the potential to be too spammy when it comes to promoting your opt-ins, bloggers usually UNDER-promote them in order to avoid feeling like they’re being overly aggressive.
And that’s fine. I feel like that all the time!
I appreciate humble bloggers. But there comes a time when you need to get over your self-doubt, be confident in your work, and put it out there on blast. Plus not everyone is guaranteed to see every single post about it!
Ways to Promote Your Freebie:
- Embed in relevant blog posts
- Create a landing page for it
- Create multiple pins to go to those blog posts and landing page
- Social media
If you’re just adding opt-in forms to your sidebar and maybe have a pop-up, you’re not promoting your freebie strategically!!
And this is probably one the reasons you can’t get people to sign up–because they don’t know it exists!!!Struggling to get people to sign up for your freebies? They probably don't even know it exists! Click To Tweet
Are you envisioning me saying this very passionately right now? Because I am!!
This is usually when I recommend working on your Pinterest strategy. Pinterest will be your best platform to drive traffic to your site so you can get more eyes on your goodies.
7. ANALYZE AND CHANGE WHAT DOESN’T WORK
In this wild game of list-building, trial and error will be your best strategy.
Growing an email list can’t happen overnight. There is no right way to do it. The only way is to analyze, observe, and course-correct.
Try out different freebie ideas to get going. Promote them and see how the response is after a few months.
Bonus points if you keep a spreadsheet to keep stats of how many sign ups you get weekly and/or monthly (I did this on paper for a long time when I started out and now I keep a spreadsheet.)
Understand that it has the potential to be a huge hit, but also be prepared to take action if it doesn’t pick up like you thought it would.
Just because you think something is a super awesome idea, doesn’t mean your target reader will too!
Remember, it’s all about them.
If it isn’t an initial “hit” within a few months, it probably isn’t speaking to your target reader (or you don’t know who they are!)
If this is the case, I recommend booking a strategy session with me to get clear on your target reader and overall mission. I’ve helped a bunch of bloggers gain the clarity of knowing who they’re writing to and how they’re helping them in just 60 minutes. When you are clear on who you serve, it makes everything else so much easy. It’ll be one of the best investments for your blog and biz!
Or it might be the format or how you’re marketing it.
Try out different opt-in formats and see which ones perform better.
Do some more research—ask your readers what they need help with or search through Facebook groups.
And take notes. (This is why we have a million notebooks right?!)
Notice any patterns. Are there certain areas of your niche that a lot of people seem to be struggling with? How can you use your expertise and put your own spin on it?
SWITCH THINGS UP
Go back to your original freebie idea and see if it needs tweaked or totally scrapped.
Maybe you had an email course and realized that no one was making their way through the whole thing.
Could you take that same content and put it into another format? Maybe the information would be better delivered via a short eBook instead of an email course.
Woo hoo! That was a lot. Congrats, you made it.
Okay, now you have my top 7 strategies for getting more email list subscribers. Let’s review them so it’s more digestible for you!
- Have a Purpose for Your Email List
- Know Your Ideal Reader
- Create an Opt-In Freebie That Speaks to Your Ideal Reader
- Choose the Right Freebie Format
- Optimize Your Sign Up Forms
- Promote Your Freebie
- Analyze and Change What Doesn’t Work
NOW TAKE ACTION
Want to go deeper with your list-building and take some action to increase those sign ups today? Grab my free List-Building Blueprint that outlines my 5-step framework to get your email list on track to success to getting your next 100 subscribers!
Inside you will learn:
- My 5-step framework to get your next 100 subscribers
- What you need to be focusing on when you create your opt-in freebies
- How to get people to actually sign up for the freebies
- Newsletter ideas! Because once you get those subscribers, you need to shower them with love