How To Leverage Your Blog To Build Your Email List
Blogging is one of the best ways of creating content to promote your website.
By publishing blogs regularly, you will be able to boost your website traffic significantly over time. Blogging adds SEO value and helps you generate quality leads for your business.
In addition to all that, it also helps you to build valuable backlinks and helps to increase your internal linking opportunities.
When you publish high-quality, useful content on a regular basis, you're giving your visitors a good reason to continue coming back to your website and to stay on your webpages for much longer.
Furthermore, since blogs are easily shareable, they offer an amazingly effective way of increasing your exposure on various other platforms.
When it comes to the benefits of blogging, The list goes on, and that's one of the reasons why I publish regularly on my blog and have been doing so for years.
If you already have a blog that is active, then great – you're on the right track!
However, now's the time to take it to another level. It's time to leverage your blog in your lead generation efforts. How do you do this?
By using your blog to build a profitable email list.
No matter what kind of website you have, you can apply this strategy effectively. Whether you have an e-commerce site that has a blog as its supplemental page, or if you have a website dedicated strictly to blogging, or even if you fall somewhere between the two - there are ways and means of using your blog to build your list of email subscribers.
I know that for most marketers when we talk about building a list, it's like talking about going to the gym. We know it's a good idea, and we know it will benefit us in a lot of ways, but hardly anyone actually does it.
But here's the thing, if you are serious about making (real) money online, then this is something that you absolutely need to do.
I'm sure I don't have to convince you about how profitable an email list can be. As a marketer, you all probably already know that email marketing has a massive ROI.
In fact, studies show that over the years the return on your investment in email marketing continues to grow, and it's now pegged at $44 for each dollar you spend on your email campaigns, on average.
It's an indisputable fact in marketing: Your email list subscribers spend way more money than all your other customers.
Add that to the fact that seemingly everyone in the world uses email (well, those who land on your blog pages, at least), and the fact that experts estimate that by the end of 2019, there will be over 5.5 billion active email users on the planet, suddenly it doesn't make sense not to build an email list!
In simple words, email marketing works
But for you to benefit from email campaigns, first you need to start building your list. So let's go ahead and look at how you can turn your blog into an effective email opt-in machine.
Step 1: Choose the Right Email Marketing Service
The first thing you need to do before you can start collecting emails is to sign up for one of the many email marketing services. This is something that you have to give a bit of thought because not all services are created the same.
Also, you need to consider your unique needs to ensure that you get a service that can cater to them.
The email software you choose should make it easy for you to do everything from collecting and managing information to contacting your subscribers, and more. It should offer you valuable insights on how your campaigns are doing.
Here are some things you’ll learn from the right marketing email marketing services:
Email Open Rates
CTR (Click through Rates)
If you already have this type of software, you can skip this part. That is, of course, unless you're thinking of switching providers.
There are a lot of great email marketing software options that you'll find on the market right now, including:
These are just a few of the really good ones you’ll find out there, but there are a lot of other legitimate services for email marketing that are available to you. Take the time to look at the different features they offer so that you know which one will work best for you.
The good news is that for the most part, these services are very similar. Also, they offer trial memberships where you get to try their software out before committing full-time.
The pricing for most packages is typically based on how many subscribers you have on your email list.
You'll find that as your list grows, the price will increase as well. But don't worry, this is actually a great thing. You want a huge email list - provided it's made up of genuine subscribers who are actually interested in what you do. With the type of return on investment that you get with email marketing campaigns, the larger your list grows, the higher your income will be.
So once you've decided on which email software you want to use, sign up for a free trial and test out everything from the navigation and user experience to all other features that you may need before making a final decision. However, for the most part, you're not going to go wrong with any of the options listed above.
Step 2: Create Your Opt in Form
After signing up for the email service, it's time to create your first opt in form that you will place on your site.
You need to create a dedicated landing page for email sign-ups on your website, but you should also have email sign-up forms on various other pages, as well. This includes your blog main page as well as every single post that you publish.
These forms are extremely easy to create using your email software. Although the instructions and wording and instructions will likely vary depending on the service you are using, the difference will be very slight and it should be straightforward to figure it out.
Follow the instructions for generating a short code for the form that you will embed on your sites. You will need to create multiple forms over time but for now, you can just start with the one.
The good news is that there are hundreds of templates that you can choose from. This makes your work a lot easier, although I would recommend customizing your template to make it unique before placing it on your website.
When creating your opt-in form, keep it short and sweet
A short opt in form makes it a lot more likely that people are going to sign up for your list.
No one has the time or inclination to fill in long forms that require ten times more details than you actually need. So if your form is asking people for their mothers maiden name, their favorite color, ZIP Code and various other useless details – that's just overkill.
All you need at this point is their name and email address. In fact, their email is all you really need, but asking for their name first is just good manners 🙂
Of course, there's certain other information that will help you to create a more personalized customer experience, but that's something you will worry about further down the road, such as when you ask them to create user profiles or accounts, and so on.
At this point, all you need to do is focus on getting them to subscribe.
The forms you use across your website don't have to be exactly the same, but they should be similar
When you're able to put opt-in forms in multiple places on your blog, it makes it more likely that people will sign up for your list.
Just make sure that none of your forms are obtrusive. Visitors to your website should be able to navigate and read your content without numerous pop-up windows or sliders ruining their experience every couple of seconds.
As previously mentioned, you want to have multiple versions of your email opt in form to make it easier to track because eventually you will need to run tests in order to see which forms are performing best.
Step 3: Include an Incentive
You need to give people a compelling reason why they should sign up to receive your emails. Remember what your customers are all about, WIIFM – what's in it for me? In marketing, this is a very fair question.
Yes, the answer may be that you want their email address in order to monetize them, but you need to be able to offer them something valuable in return.
Without being given a good reason for signing up, most people just won't do it. With the staggering number of emails people get each day nowadays, they are less and less willing to part with their details.
But if you have a good enough incentive, they'll be happy to subscribe to your list. Just remember to keep it simple and make sure the benefit for them is clear at a glance.
Step 4: Make Use of a Sticky Bar
Not everyone wants to have an opt-in form in their sidebar, or even within the blog content itself. If that's you, a sticky bar is a great alternative that you can use. As users scroll through your blog, your sticky bar will remain clearly visible at the top of each page.
This is yet another non-obtrusive means of collecting email addresses on your blog.
With the offer to subscribe to your email list at the top of each of your blog posts, and always visible to your readers as they browse through your blog, there's more of a likelihood that readers will want to subscribe, particularly if they see that you offer high quality content.
Step 5: Create a Visual Call to Action
In place of a traditional opt in form, something a little more inviting you could try to draw attention to your list is a custom-made visual image with a call to action. You can then place this either at the top or at the bottom of each of your blog posts.
This works effectively because it's very different from the normal buttons and text CTAs that readers are used to seeing (and that most readers are now blind to).
Make sure your visual is professional-looking and focused only on getting subscribers. You can include a value proposition, photo, and CTA buttons, among other things.
A great psychological tactic to use when creating a visual CTA is to include social proof. As far as most readers are concerned, if thousands of other people are doing something then it must be good!
6: Run A/B Split Test
You need to test each element of your blog’s email opt-in forms, from the size, color, and position, to the wording and font, and any other element you can think of. But don't try to test everything at the same time.
Start with a single idea, then you can move on to another and another. The idea behind testing your form is that everything on it can be improved.
Even great marketers who have amazing opt-in strategies know that there's always something that can be improved. You may be surprised to learn that even the most subtle change can have a dramatic increase in the email sign-up conversion rates.
The simple truth is that you won't be getting the most from your blog until you begin using it to build your email list.
Your first step in implementing this strategy involves choosing the right email marketing software for your needs. You will then use it to create multiple opt-in forms to place in different areas of your blog.
From here, it'll just be a matter of figuring out how you want to present you email sign-up forms to visitors on your website. Make sure you add an incentive to drive conversions. Also, consider trying out the sticky bar or visual CTA tactics to see which might work better with your particular audience.
Ultimately, you want to be able to test all the strategies you're using to ensure that your blog performs at its highest possible level.
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