Updated January 2019
For a blog or small business, an email list is incredibly valuable particularly if you have something to sell. Email marketing has the highest return on investment. Many of the emails you currently receive from other companies are a result of them collecting your details through sign-ups and purchases.
If you do not have facilities to collect email addresses on your website, get them set up ASAP!!!!! There are many different products you can use, some web services and web managers have their own products, and there are commercial products available. I use and recommend MailChimp and am very happy with it (they don’t pay me to say that, I like their product!).
When setting a sign-up option up on your site, you should aim to have three different ways a visitor can subscribe.
How do you get people to subscribe?
Once you’ve got facilities on your website to collect email addresses how do you get visitors to hand over their details?
One of the easiest things you can do is to offer a freebie. A freebie is a product for your subscriber, something they’re interested in and something in return for their email address. Make this prominent on your site – a pop up is the best way to do this, yep, they’re annoying, but they are the most proven method to get someone to hand over their address.
It’s a competitive world out there so before coming up with your freebie. It’s a good idea to research your competitors, see what everyone else is doing and try and come up with something different and noticeable. At the same time, it must be something of use to your readers, courses, eBooks, lists and tips all work well for bloggers, and small businesses can offer discount codes or free products.
If you can, try and offer more than one freebie to cater to different interests. And keep introducing new and more significant freebies over time, that way people who visit your blog often but haven’t yet been convinced to hand over their address will see different products rather than the same thing.
That then covers the visitors who come to your site but what about everyone else?
Gaining subscribers through Social Media
Did you know you can also use ads on Social Media to promote your freebie? Keep in mind that it is rare for smaller bloggers to be able to sell products or services via social media ads. The idea of Social Media is to connect, build relationships and share information – not sell. BUT ads for freebies can work well for very little investment.
Then once you’ve got the email address, you can use it to sell.
Paid ads through Social Media (Facebook in particular) don’t need to be big or expensive to be effective. All you need to do is target your audience effectively and throw a couple of dollars budget behind it.
Think outside the box when it comes to collecting email addresses
Always be thinking of different and new ways to promote your mailing list. Try to mention your mailing list in as many blog posts as you can.
Ramsay from Blog Tyrant redirects comments to a “thank you” page using a simple plugin. As soon as someone leaves a comment for the first time, they’ll get redirected to a page that thanks them for their feedback and shows them the mailing list and some other fresh content. It converts at around 7%. GENIUS!
One final important tip! Once someone subscribes – contact them almost immediately and regularly. Consistency is the key; subscribers may see inconsistent lists as spam and unsubscribe.
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