The bigger your email list is, the more money you will make. It only makes sense that you should focus on strategies for effectively growing your list since your revenue grows with the size of your list.
Thankfully, growing your email list doesn’t have to take a ton of time. There are countless opportunities available to help you boost your opt-in rate.
This article outlines 7 strategies that you can use to increase your list size in a few hours. There are no ninja tactics or guru secrets when it comes to growing your list effectively.
The only thing that is required is that you spend your time doing stuff that everyone knows works (but most don’t do).
If you cut out all distractions and focus on what you have to do, you will be able to implement these strategies in a couple of hours. Do this on a regular basis and your list growth will explode.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
For you to build your email list effectively, you’ll need a library of quality lead magnets as well as content upgrades.
If you don’t know how to create the perfect lead magnet for your audience, then this post will provide you with some proven ideas to get you a higher conversion rate than most other blogs.
So the first strategy on our list is to…
1. Create New Lead Magnets
The most uninspired call to action you can have on your site is ‘Subscribe to our Newsletter’.
If you really want those conversions you have to give people a very compelling reason to opt-in to your email list. This means that you have to offer them something that they really want (a lead magnet) in exchange for their email.
For most marketers, the concept of lead magnets isn’t anything new, but there’s so much more to consider.
For instance, how many lead magnets do you have?
If you only have one or two, then you better get busy because the more of them you have, the easier it will be to grow your list.
It only makes sense because not everyone who comes to your site will be interested in the same stuff. Ideally, you want to have a whole library of lead magnets for the different people in your audience.
This means that whenever you publish a piece of content on your blog you will have to find a lead magnet that is relevant and attach it to the call to action for the post you’ve written.
While this may seem like a lot of work, the good news is that it’s usually the shortest lead magnets that convert the best.
Things like checklists, resource lists, and maybe some short tutorials. So you don’t need to use a 50-page ebook that your prospects will never read anyway.
Some ideas for creating awesome lead magnets include:
- Converting one of your top-performing blog posts into a well-formatted and downloadable PDF using a service such as Beacon.
- Having a page on your site that has a list of resources or reviews for your readers to apply something that you covered in one of your posts.
- Creating a worksheet or checklist to go with a blog post you wrote.
You aren’t limited to just PDFs for lead magnets. You can also create your lead magnet on one of the pages on your site.
Just make sure that you hide it in your site’s navigation.
You must also use your SEO plugin (for example Yoast SEO) to ensure that the page is private and won’t be indexed by the search engines by setting the index settings to “no index” and “no follow”.
2. Create Content Upgrades For Popular Posts
I’m a very big advocate of the long-term use of blog posts, and there are many posts on our blog that cover the topic of content upgrades.
A content upgrade is simply a bonus download for a particular blog post that you offer to your readers if they opt-in.
It’s a lead magnet that is highly specific to one blog post and it’s a great way to grow your list as it converts very well.
Just ensure that you set up your opt-in in a way that doesn’t distract your audience from the post they are reading. For example, you can allow them to opt-in even in the middle of reading the post and not be taken to another page.
The first thing you must do is to find out which of your posts are the most popular.
If a page is popular on your site, it will also be great for growing your list.
3. Begin Split-Testing Your Top Opt-Ins
Begin split-testing one of your top-performing opt-ins, and don’t feel bad if you’re one of the marketers who is not doing split-tests on their opt-in forms regularly (if at all…).
Split-testing will help you to raise your opt-in rates.
No matter how small, any amount of improvement in your opt-in rates counts and will be a step in the right direction.
Remember, you want to test your forms against a control all the time, not to get some wild ideas and change everything.
This is the only way that you will be able to improve your opt-in rates.
Some of the things you can test include:
- Different and more compelling lead magnets
- Different form designs that stand out more
- Different titles for your lead magnets
- Different images for your lead magnets
Depending on how much traffic you have coming to those pages, it may take some time for the test to complete, and for you to gather enough data for a meaningful analysis.
Set it up and let it run for a minimum of at least 100 opt-ins.
If you have a clear winner early on, then you can stop the test and launch the winning version. Continuous split-testing will help you learn what actually works with your particular audience so you can improve your opt-in rates.
4. Use Quizzes as Lead Magnets
Quizzes are unique and powerful tools to build your list.
In the old days, creating a quiz would have been quite a technical challenge, but thanks to the tech advancements these days, there are lots of quiz builder tools that make this easy.
You can use a quiz to create a segmented email list that offers your prospects different lead magnets according to the answers that they provided.
Your main challenge here is simply coming up with ideas for a quiz. Look at this from a marketing perspective. Your goal is to create a quiz that gets people to look at the problem that your business solves.
Make sure the quiz gives them a score on a specific thing that they can then work to improve.
5. Experiment With Opt-In Form Placement
We have discussed split-testing your opt-in forms, but something else that you should do is to test the placement of your opt-in forms.
This can make a huge difference to your opt-in rates. A lot of blogs place their primary lead magnet in the sidebar, but this actually happens to be one of the worst performing locations you can place your opt-in.
While the header and post footer usually perform better, there’s still an even better option, and that is placing your opt-in form right in the middle of the content itself. This is what typically converts the best.
This totally makes sense because your audience is there for the content and not for what’s in your sidebar. Try as many different placements as you can, such as the post footer, or an exit popup.
You can even test a slide-in that triggers as they scroll down and so on.
The placement of your opt-in form is as important as anything else that you’re doing to grow your list, so don’t just fall back on the sidebar because that is what everyone else is doing.
If you really want to grow your list fast, you’re going to have to do more than just the bare minimum.
6. Optimize for Mobile
So many people are browsing sites on mobiles these days and if you want to take advantage of mobile traffic then you have to ensure that your site is responsive and works on smaller screens.
Your opt-in forms may appear fine on desktop but invisible or annoying on a phone.
For example, your sidebar may be pushed to the bottom of the screen on mobile devices and this will negatively affect your opt-in rate.
Also, if you use an exit pop or any other kind of popup, the settings for triggering it may not work properly on mobile. It can also be extremely irritating to have an opt-in completely take over your screen while you’re on a site.
That’s interruption marketing at its best.
So make sure that you change up your strategy for opt-ins on mobile devices and display forms that will work the right way on small screens.
You could have an exit pop that shows on desktop only and on mobile screens, you could use a less obtrusive ribbon bar.
It’s always a good idea to test your posts and your site, in general, to see that they display properly on mobile devices.
You can test your site by using your own phone or using the Firefox or Google Chrome built-in inspector tool to preview your site on various devices.
7. Create New Landing Pages For Your Lead Magnets
If a content upgrade that you’re running is converting well, in addition to having it available on the blog post that you created it for, you can also use it as a stand-alone lead magnet.
Just create a single-purpose landing page that will allow you to promote the lead magnet in lots of new ways.
This includes the potential for paid advertising.
That landing page will be just like a homepage for the lead magnet. If your lead magnet already has a landing page then the next step is to create a new version of that page and split-test it.
Set up ways to use the landing page in your campaign such as:
- Sending existing subscribers who haven’t already opted in for the lead magnet to that landing page (you can segment your list based on that information). It’s also a great way of re-activating people or getting them into a sales funnel.
- Setting up a re-targeting campaign which runs an ad to people who visited certain posts but didn’t opt-in. You could have the ad direct them to the landing page for the lead magnet that’s most relevant to the post they came to your site for. This is a great way to get opt-ins from visitors who have already bounced from your site.
- Putting social media updates pointing directly to this landing page and putting that into your regular maintenance marketing rotation across all social networks. Use a tool such as Buffer or MeetEdgar to automate the process.
Send out lead generation links to all your social profiles on a regular basis.
Landing pages are vital in growing your list and you should not just depend on your blog for all the heavy lifting if you want to increase your opt-in rates significantly.
For you to successfully increase your opt-in rates you will have to do more than just create lead magnets and hope for the best. These simple strategies will help you grow your list but in order for them to be effective, you have to do them consistently.
The best way to ensure that you do this is to schedule the time for working on these strategies each week. In the long run, list building will prove to be more important than writing your next blog post.
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Updated: Originally published June 6th 2018