I never built my site or brand around collecting email addresses because when I began The B Werd, I wanted a no-pressure platform where I wasn’t attempting to sell anyone anything or even use them for analytics. I wanted all of you all to be attracted genuinely to the content and information I was providing. In fact, I only implemented my subscriber list a few months ago when I decided I would soon be launching products and have only used it twice. Just because I haven’t used my subscriber list doesn’t mean that I haven’t identified the key benefits to having one. Emails have the highest conversion rate of all marketing and even if you aren’t selling a product, it makes a huge difference in how often you’re bringing readers back to your website.
An email list is critical because you can’t build your content on rented land, it’s not sustainable. So many brands and companies build their audiences on social media networks like Instagram and YouTube, which works for now, but we don’t own those companies – Facebook and Google do. If we are thinking like real media companies, the asset is in the audience. An email list is yours and won’t disappear with likes and comments should your social media account become nonexistent. Getting an email address is the first critical step to figuring out who my reader is, and hopefully in the future, my customer of some sort. If our goal is to drive sales or keep customers happy in some way, we first need to get them as part of our audience.
GIVE A REASON TO SUBSCRIBE
Sometimes content isn’t enough. We have the option to come back to your site and browse at our leisure. We choose to hear from you when we want to, so incentives are often necessary if you want the liberty of contacting people whenever you’d like to. Think about what you can offer your audience outside of the content already on your blog and use that as motivation for your customers or readers.
Giveaways or Contests
Announce you’ll be giving away your favorite book, beauty product or a $50 gift card to Whole Foods. Who is your audience and what will make them take action? Free clothing, two tickets to a baseball game or your secret recipe for removing fine lines and wrinkles. If you own an online store, offer 10% off of their next purchase. It may be 2017, but it’s still appropriate to barter what you need in exchange for something you’re willing to give up.
Free Checklist or E-Book
I found myself subscribed to dozens of websites in a short amount of time because they offered me something upfront that I felt like I could use. I didn’t subscribe because I loved their content, I subscribed because on my first visit they told me if I gave them my email address they’d send me all the hashtags they used to grow their following. SOLD! I didn’t love them, or even know them, but I subscribed and ended up sticking with most of them because even after I gave up my email address, they proved their worth with valuable content or products.
Offer them something that they’ll only receive via email if they subscribe. This could be a weekly meal schedule, five tips to save $1000 before summer’s over or early access to your best selling products. Being apart of something exclusive is almost always enough to get someone to opt into an email program. Think about all of the times you’ve purchased something from a clothing or beauty store that requires your email address for a free item on your birthday. We usually give in easily and don’t think twice about it.
MAKE IT EASY
Most of us hate pop-up’s as it is, so if you want to get people to sign up make it as simple as possible. Any visitor on your side should be able to subscribe in under 15 seconds and should also be able to continue to read content without a pop-out blocking it.
Simple Sign Up Process
Make it as simple as a first name and an email address. The quicker it can be done the better. Once you enter your email on my site all that’s required is for you to confirm your subscription via email, then we’re good to go.
Some people hate them, but the conversion rate of a pop-up is incredibly high for a reason. They work, whether you enjoy them or not. Test if this method works for you before counting it out. Chances are it likely will.
Opt-in button on your blog and in more than one place:
Even if you decide against a pop-up, having somewhere for people to subscribe on your blog is crucial. I personally have mine in the right sidebar towards the bottom, and a pop-up that appears after 30 seconds for IP addresses that aren’t recognized. Make it to where no matter if someone is on mobile or desktop, your subscribe widget shows up without having to scroll too far, because no matter what page you’re on, your sidebar will appear. If you don’t like that setup or don’t have an option for it, try embedding the opt-in button on your most visited pages.
Just like it’s important to provide readers a way to share your blog content via social media, you want to do the same with emails.
Use social media
In the same ways that you use your social media platforms to drive traffic to your blog, you should also be taking advantage of your social accounts to grow your email list. Create a recurring Twitter post once a week providing a link to sign-up, or add it to your Instagram when sharing a new blog post.
Include social share buttons
At the end of a newsletter or email, include the same social share buttons that you have on your blog. This gives people the chance to share your emails which will grow your subscribers. You can also include a link to subscribe in your email signature.
If you’re interested in me doing a post regarding how you begin to make money off of your email list, let me know!