In a perfect world, every blogger would start gathering readers’ email addresses from the day their very first blog post goes out. That’s not usually the case, however. Here’s what that’s a big mistake – and how to get started building your email list right away.
You Need An Email List
Internet marketing gurus have been saying it for well over a decade now: “The money is in the list.” While everything online seems to change drastically from week to week, this one is still true! Email marketing consistently converts more sales than social media marketing for most industries. If you’re selling a product or driving sales for sponsors, you need to be using email to your advantage.
Even if you don’t monetize your blog at all yet, you might want to down the road! The sooner you start building your list, the bigger your platform will be when you begin.
Also, it’s the communication platform you have the most control over. Email is still a powerful way to drive traffic to your website.
It allows for personal connection. Something about email feels more “personal” than a blog. This format lets you make a personal connection with your reader and lends your more authority on your topic.
To be clear, what I’m talking about here is not an RSS-driven email list, though it’s possible to create one of those with the tools I’ll share with you. What I’m talking about is building an email list of people who have signed up to receive a newsletter or other types of updates from you. There’s so many more opportunities when you have subscribers who want to hear from you, whether it’s related to a blog post or not. (Though you will definitely want to keep the focus on the types of things you talk about on your blog or people will unsubscribe.)
How to Start Building Your Email List
Next, install a form on your website. Both MailChimp allow you to create custom forms. You can also use a third-party app like Hello Bar to create a sign up form that sticks to the top of your website. Or, you could do both! Each option has a simple, easy-to-use “builder” that lets you customize the way your form looks and provides you with a snippet of code to add to your site wherever you want the form to appear.
Where you place your sign up form makes a huge difference to how many visitors you’ll convert to subscribers. According to Derek Halpern of SocialTriggers.com, the best performing places to include your sign up form are at the top of your sidebar and in a pop up. (PopupAlly is an easy-to-use free plugin for adding one to WordPress.) Here’s a list of 7 great places to put your sign up form.
Do these two things today, even if you don’t decide to go any further – but I hope you do! Following are some tips to help you get even more subscribers.
- Host a giveaway. Give away a prize that your ideal readers would love, asking visitors to sign up for your email newsletter as an entry to the giveaway.
- Offer an incentive o “lead magnet.” Create a free printable or eBook that only newsletter subscribers can access.
- Write a class. If there’s something your ideal readers would want to learn about over the course of a few emails, set up an autoresponder that sends those emails lesson by lesson when they sign up.
- Offer discounts. If you sell a product, offer a promo code to visitors when they sign up for your newsletter!
- Get personal. Finally, a simple way to encourage more sign ups is to simply let visitors know that you share personal stories and insights in email that you don’t share anywhere else – of course, you have to remember to deliver on this promise in your newsletters!
Are you convinced to get started building your email list ASAP? I hope so – it’s one of the most important things you can do to drive traffic and earn money with your blog.