Over the past two weeks we’ve talked about how to pick your email marketing platform and how to create truly valuable content for the subscribers on your list. However, we haven’t talked about the one thing I see asked all of the time: how to grow your list and how to do it fast.
The thing about growing your email list is that you can do it one of two ways: you can either take your time, be intentional, and grow your list with people who are actually interested in what you have to offer or you can try to double, triple, or quadruple your email list in a month using methods that aren’t attracting the right people to sign up for your list. If you want to create a list of people who are eager to open your emails each week, excited to engage with your content, and are most likely to buy from you should you decide to launch anything, you want to grow your list the intentional way.
If you’re reading this, I have a pretty good feeling that you see the value in taking your time to grow your list, so today I wanted to share with you the four most intentional and authentic ways that I’ve been able to see significant growth in my email list over the last year and a half without having to try icky marketing tactics or trick people into signing up for my list.
Creating an irresistible opt-in incentive
By far one of the easiest ways to grow your email list is to start with an opt-in incentive. If you’re new to blogging or for some reason don’t know what an opt-in incentive is, let me explain: it’s anything free, like a PDF, that you would send to people in exchange for signing up for your email list. The very first opt-in incentive most people create is a resource list, but as you keep blogging and keep growing your list, it’s likely you’ll find yourself needing to create something that’s a little more irresistible for your readers and followers.
To make sure that your opt-in incentive is truly beneficial when it comes to growing your blog, the main thing you want to do is make sure that you’re creating something that’s high value and will directly relate to your audience and niche. It’ll be no good to you if you’re a fitness blogger and you create an incentive that’s about branding, just like it won’t be very helpful if you’re a fashion blogger and you create an incentive with recipes.
While there’s no set timeframe for how often you should be offering new incentives, it’s also important to make sure you’re regularly checking out how it’s performing with your audience. Most of us change niches or narrow in our niche throughout the time that we’re blogging, so it’s easy to have an incentive that no longer works for your audience. Check in every 3-4 months to make sure that you’re still getting leads through it, and if not, schedule some time to create something more suited for your niche.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Tired of the icky tactics to grow your email list? These 4 strategies are meant for you!” quote=”Tired of the icky tactics to grow your email list? These 4 strategies are meant for you!”]
Optimize your site for opt-ins
Once you’ve created a really irresistible opt-in incentive, the next best way to start seeing growth with your email list is to make sure you’re optimizing your site to get the most opt-ins. You might be surprised to hear this, but people aren’t only signing up for email lists through content upgrades, webinars, challenges, or the like. Instead, most people are still looking at things like this: if you go to a site for the first time, you like the blogger and you want more, you’re probably going to look for an opt-in form to sign up for her list.
You may think that it’s good enough to have a plain form on your site with the “Sign up for my newsletter!” title, but unfortunately, that’s not going to help you grow your list. In fact, if you’ve been struggling to grow your list even though you have opt-in forms on your site, either a) people aren’t seeing them because you’re using a plain form or b) you’re title and call to action is too vague.
So, how do you optimize your site for more opt-ins? Well, first start by making sure that you have forms in at least 1-2 of the most popular areas around your site. While you’re adding or moving your forms, make sure they match your brand, but don’t be afraid to use a little color. By doing that and changing the title to something like the name of your weekly emails, your opt-in forms are much more likely to be attention grabbing, which will help getting people to sign up!
Regularly offer content upgrades
If you’re not already offering content upgrades on your site, you’re missing out not only on a chance to grow your list, but also on getting even better insights into what people are liking the most and may want more of. If you’re new to blogging or just aren’t really sure, a content upgrade is considered anything that’s additional content related to your blog post that you trade with your reader in exchange for their email address. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, it’s likely you’ve seen workbooks as my primary form of a content upgrade.
Although this takes a little more work than the previous two ways to grow your list, it’s still easier than trying to regularly host a workshop or webinar. It’s also better for you and your blog readers than the previous two tips because you can track what people are responding the best to, which may help you develop a new product or service for your readers and followers.
There are loads of different content upgrades that you can create to go along with your blogging strategy, and no matter what niche you’re writing in there are tons of different things you can offer to your readers as an upgrade. If you’re not sure where to start here’s a loose outline: take a look at your most popular posts and ask yourself if you can add any sort of bonus content to them. Create whatever your upgrade will be and make it available after they give you their email address. It’s as simple as that!
[clickToTweet tweet=”These 4 list building strategies will help you gain more subscribers more intentionally” quote=”These 4 list building strategies will help you gain more subscribers more intentionally”]
Create a niche related email course
But, let’s say you’ve tried all of those things. Your list is growing, but you’re ready to try something a little more advanced. This is where the newly popular email course comes in. No, I don’t mean creating a whole entire course, but instead creating a series of emails that will help your subscribers learn or implement something that you exchange for their email address. Most people like to create these to work as sales funnels, which means they’re promoting a product or service, but you can create an email course with the primary goal to be to grow your list.
Email courses a bit more advanced than the previous three list building methods because they require a lot more work. You have to create a plan of what exactly you’re sharing with your audience, write your content, and add them to your email marketing platform. However, once you have it done, these courses can work wonders for you in growing your list. In fact, I nearly doubled my list since adding my Discover Your Brand series to my growth strategy.
If you’re interesting in testing out an email course to grow your own list, you want to start by thinking about what you can teach your subscribers. You can take a look at your most popular category on your blog or your most popular posts and ask how you can expand on that to make more sense or help someone accomplish something. One of my favorite examples of this is Krista’s Stabilize & Secure series that walks her readers through securing their WordPress blog. After you’ve launched your course, don’t forget to promote it to your readers in related blog posts, on social media, and in Facebook groups!
Are you going to try any of these to grow your list?
Growing your list definitely takes time, but if you implement even one of the strategies I’ve shared above, I guarantee you’re going to be looking at some serious growth in the next couple of months. If you’re interested in trying any (or all) of these strategies and you’re interested in tracking your growth, be sure to click that button below to grab your free workbook to help you do exactly that!