You’ve already heard about the importance of email lists. They are all the rage nowadays. There are many posts circulating around the blogosphere, telling you how someone got hundreds (or thousands) of subscribers overnight. While this may happen, it’s not the norm. I don’t want to confuse you, or set false expectations that might lead to disappointment and frustration. So today’s post is not a sexy story about miraculous overnight growth – it’s an honest and realistic report of how I got from 5 to 100 subscribers in the course of about 3 months.
When I started out, I added a few sign-up forms around my website + a pop-up. I also had a free e-book – “The tools I use for blogging” – as an opt-in incentive. This brought me the amazing number of… 3-5 subscribers. In a month.
So I went back to the drawing board. After some research and experimenting, I managed to bump that number up from 5/month to 2/day (that’s about 60/month). While this is far from amazing, it is an increase of over 1000% !
So here is exactly what I did:
1. I created a resource library.
My opt-in incentive (the free ebook) was obviously not doing that great, so I needed something else. So I created a bunch of freebies (worksheets, checklists, ebooks, guides) and put them in a library – where I keep adding free stuff to this day.
Why did I do this? The internet is getting very saturated with free ebooks and worksheets. To put it simply, people are bored of them. However, a big collection that you can pick and choose from, and that keeps growing? That’s more exciting 🙂 Plus, it’s much more valuable than a single freebie.
2. I added a herobanner to promote the resource library.
What’s a herobanner, you ask? It’s a very big and prominent image that usually sits at the top of your website – the main promo. Here, It’s the big colorful image in the header, which tells my readers they can get free access to my library.
Why did I do this? That image is the first thing a reader sees on my website, no matter what page they land on. It’s not as annoying as a pop-up, but just as noticeable.
3. I added a content upgrade to my most visited blog post.
A content upgrade is a little bonus that goes with a blog post – a checklist, a workbook, a mini-ebook… It usually helps readers apply what they learned in the blog post.
One of my pins recently went viral, and it’s bringing steady traffic to a blog post on this website. So I created a checklist to go with this post.
It worked immediately, and it’s still bringing me the bulk of my email subscribers.
Why did I do this? These new readers were just passing through, but not leaving their emails. Obviously, the topic of the post was of interest to them. So I created a checklist to help them put that information to work – and in exchange, I asked for their email.
I also made it hard to miss. Instead of using a regular text link, I added a big bright pink button, in several places throughout the post.
4. I started using content upgrades in my guest posts.
After creating my resource library and adding content upgrades to my blog posts, I decided to experiment and do the same with my guest posts: the ones that I write for other blogs and websites.
Why did I do this? Guest posting is a very important part of my growth strategy. I get in front of a different bigger audience – and the host gets a free post. In the past, I would add some links to my website in the guest post. People came, but they didn’t stay very long, and they had no special incentive to leave their emails.
Now, whenever I write a guest post, I include a freebie – which I host in my resource library. To get the freebie, have to sign up for my library.
This tactic also worked very well, and may old guest posts are still bringing in email subscribers on autopilot.
Combined, these 4 things took my email subscriptions from almost 0 to 1-2 per day. I hope this was helpful and insightful for those of you that are just starting out!
Alright – now it’s your turn. Have you tried any of these tactics? What worked best for you? Share in the comments!