When I first began my blog one of the major mistakes I heard made by other bloggers was that they didn’t start an email list soon enough. Whether or not you are blogging or running a small business, having a quality email list is crucial. You can rely all you want on social media followings but the truth is, the algorithms for social media are changing all the time. Once you have built an e-mail list you know you have a quality group of people that actually want to hear from you! Let’s talk about how to quickly grow your email list from 0 to 5,000 without begging for sign ups.
*This post contains affiliate links through which I may make a commission. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Know your audience
When growing your e-mail list, aside from getting yourself set up with a quality e-mail provider, you absolutely have to know your audience. There are a few different ways to figure out who your audience is:
- Google Analytics
- What your audience is reading
If you have Google Analytics, make sure you are checking in on who your audience is. Google Analytics can share a wealth of information with you like:
- If your audience is men or women
- What age are your readers
- Readers interests
- Location of your readers
- What posts they are reading every day
Knowing all of this information is super helpful when it comes to your email list opt-in strategy. You want to know what you can do to encourage your readers to sign up for your email list.
If your readers are primarily between the ages of 19 and 30 and are interested in sports, it might be time to think of good fitness opt-ins for them. Perhaps some meal plans, diet strategies or even printouts to help track their workouts. Of course, none of these are good options if they don’t tie in with your blog! Which brings me to my next topic.
Top blog posts
Each day, week, month and year you should be able to see your top performing blog posts. If you are operating a WordPress site, you should be able to see day by day what pages and posts are getting the most views.
Google Analytics will also be able to show you what your top performing posts are.
Using the knowledge of your top performing posts as well as having a good understanding of who your audience is should better help you come up with great email opt-in ideas.
- Organize Your Blogging Schedule
- How to Turn a Blog Into Extra Income
- How to Start a Blog
- How I Increased My Page Views fro 10K to 125K in 3 Months
Create a quality opt-in
After reviewing your analytics, as well as your top posts, it’s time to come up with an idea for an email opt-in. Some ideas for opt-ins are:
- Free printout
- Access to top blog posts
- Discounts on your products
- Free email course
My first opt-in was a 10 recipe eBook (when I was a health and fitness focused blog). The next best performing opt-in I created was for free printouts. Now, my current opt-in allows people “behind the scenes access” to my printouts and my top blog posts.
No matter what you come up with make sure you are putting your audience first.
If you are creating a freebie or printouts make sure it is your best work and high quality.
Create your opt-in
Once you have created the materials for your opt-in, you can create a sign up opt-in on your site. The email provider I have had from day one is Constant Contact. In my blogging course, The Fun Sized Blogging Basics, I take you behind the scenes on how to create opt-ins, email courses and how to write an email to your followers. For now let’s just talk about the different types of opt-ins you can create.
Pop up opt-ins
A pop up opt-in is the one you see on most sites. Once you have scrolled around for a while a cheerful pop up prompts you to sign up for emails (usually in exchange for something).
I put my main focus on a pop up opt-in signup form because it is the largest one and really can’t be easily ignored.
Other tips for pop up opt-ins:
- Use a visual especially if you have a product
- Give people time to view your site. Having a pop up happen right away will most likely turn people off or end up getting the “X”
- Use easy to read font
- Don’t require too many items to be filled in
When creating your opt-ins with Constant Contact, I am able to add different categories like name, e-mail or even a message. For my opt-ins, I chose to only as for e-mail addresses. I did this because I personally don’t like giving out too much of my personal information to join an e-mail list, and assumed others might feel the same way.
Top bar opt-in
After creating a visually appealing pop up opt-in, I created another opt-in as the top bar on my site. You can see it here.
After my pop up opt-in, this one is the second most popular. It’s nice to have one of these in case a potential e-mail list sign up Xed out of my first opt-in. This second opt-in still gives me one more chance at having them sign up! Constant Contact makes it very easy to set up these individual e-mail list opt-ins so that you are sure not to miss any potential e-mail list subscribers!
It’s a good idea to try several different types of opt-ins as well. Not only will this help you get a better idea of what people are wanting from you, but it will also help you bring in people with different interests.
To do this, I create a Constant Contact form and am able to easily select which e-mail list I want that subscriber added to.
For example, if you sign up for my FREE Blogging Course, you will be added to my Blogging E-mail List. If you sign up for my free printouts, then you are added to my Printout E-mail List.
Creating multiple opt-ins is super easy without even leaving WordPress. You can see in the photo that I am quickly and easily able to create opt-in forms, landing pages, and autoresponders right from my side menu using Constant Contact.
If you are not familiar with autoresponders, I will chat about them next.
Interacting with your List
Once you have your e-mail subscribers flowing in, it’s time to make sure that you don’t let your influence end here! There are several ways to continue interacting successfully in order to keep the people on your e-mail list glad that they subscribed.
An autoresponder is a message that is sent out immediately after someone signs up for your e-mail list. Good ideas for an autoresponder include:
- Your freebie or product
- A friendly welcome message
- Tell a little about yourself
- Share your social media links
Unless subscribers choose to get updates on each new post, I recommend giving them a weekly summary once a week. This is another thing that will take a little testing out.
With Constant Contact, it’s very simple to schedule weekly emails because they allow you to create an e-mail, choose a date and time that you would like it sent and then schedule it!
After an e-mail has been sent, Constant Contact will keep me updated by letting me know how many people opened my e-mail and how many people clicked on my links.
Whenever I hear about a new deal or discount going on with one of my affiliates, I try to share it naturally with my email list. It’s super important to never come across as sleazy or salesy, but great to share offers you think your e-mail list might be interested in.
If you aren’t familiar with affiliate marketing, this is another area of blogging that I dive into in my Fun Sized Blogging Basics course. I will show you how to find affiliates, how to link to them and the best tips to help you make more affiliate sales.
Another feature of using Constant Contact that I love is their helpful online courses. They will frequently have different tips and classes that help you improve your e-mail list. From subject lines to photos, to how to share your links naturally. Not only do you get access to a variety of opt-ins, but you get complete guidance on how to improve your e-mail techniques.
If you have a different email provider, I recommend looking into the different training options they have for you.