Building an email list of subscribers is one of the best tactics you can use to succeed as a blogger or an online entrepreneur. An email list is personal and allows you to communicate directly with people who have given you permission to sell to them.
Believe it or not, having 100 email subscribers is more powerful than having 10,000 Facebook followers. People are more likely to check their emails everyday than they are to check your Facebook page every day. The organic reach of Facebook pages has gone down anyway, so the chances that your followers will see your post is very slim.
Getting your first 100 email subscribers can be a challenge if you are brand new to the online world. You’re probably testing out different strategies to grow your email list and trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
It can be frustrating trying to figure out how to grow your email list from scratch. Believe me, I know what it feels like to have zero people sign up for your email list despite your efforts.
The strategies listed below have helped me get my first 100 email subscribers and beyond. If you give these list building techniques a try, I guarantee you that you will get results.
Technique #1: Create an Opt-In Freebie
If you want to grow your email list, you need to provide something valuable to your readers. After all, people are reluctant to give out their email addresses unless they find value in what you are providing.
This is where an opt-in freebie comes in.
An opt-in freebie is something that you offer free of charge to your email subscribers in exchange for signing up to your email list.
You don’t just want to offer any type of opt-in freebie. The freebie you offer your subscribers should be something they WILL use rather than something they SHOULD use. If you create a freebie that someone should use as opposed to a freebie they will use, they may never realize the value of joining your email list because they’ll never open your freebie.
Here is a list of freebies you can offer the subscribers of your email list:
- Email Courses
- Audio series
- Video series
- Access to an exclusive networking community (such as my Facebook Group: Community of Bloggers & Online Entrepreneurs)
The best way to grow your email list is to create an opt-in freebie that your subscribers just cannot resist. You really need to spend a ton of time thinking about the right opt-in freebie to create. After all, it’s the only way you will see results.
Technique #2: Create a Library of Free Resources
What’s better than receiving a single freebie for signing up to an email list? Lots of valuable freebies nicely organized into a password protected resource library.
Your subscribers will only receive the password to access your resource library if they sign up to your email list first.
Everybody loves free stuff. The more stuff you offer, the more appealing it will be to your subscribers. Your subscribers will also be more willing to sign up to your email list if they receive more things in return.
Here are the reasons you should create a library of free resources as opposed to a single freebie:
- A resource library provides more value to your readers, so they are more likely to sign up to your email list.
- It’ll help you grow your email list faster because your subscribers will find the resource library to be more valuable than a single freebie.
- A resource library makes it easier to house multiple freebies into one.
- A resource library makes it easier for your subscribers because they only need to sign up once to get access to your entire resource library.
Creating a password protected resource library is extremely easy to do. Here is a really great tutorial that teaches you how: How to Set Up a Free Resource Library as Your Opt-In Freebie.
Technique #3: Use the Right Tools to Grow Your Email List
Sometimes, you just got to invest a little to earn a little. This means using the right tools to grow your email list.
Here are the tools I personally use or have used to grow my email list:
- ConvertKit: ConvertKit is the best email marketing automation platform that I’ve personally come across. You can use this one tool to create opt-in forms, landing pages, and send emails to your subscribers. If you want to read my full review of ConvertKit, check out my last blog post: ConvertKit Review 2017.
- Thrive Leads: Thrive Leads is known as the ultimate list building plugin for WordPress. If you want to increase your conversion rates and turn abandoning website visitors into email subscribers, this is the tool for you.
- Thrive Architect: Every opt-in freebie needs its own landing page and Thrive Architect makes it super easy to create them. Thrive Architect comes with 80 beautifully designed and 100% conversion optimized landing page templates. If you’re not satisfied with the landing page templates provided, Thrive Architect gives you the option to create your own landing pages from scratch.
- WP Notification Bars: WP Notification Bars is a free WordPress plugin that lets your website visitors know about any specials, promos, or freebies via a notification bar. Using this plugin is a good way to retain website visitors that would otherwise abandon your website. You can also link the submit button within the notification bar to a leadbox. This will allow you to have complete control over where people are directed. Thrive Leads comes with a leadbox (they call it ThriveBox) that you can easily connect with the WP Notification Bar.
These tools can be extremely useful in helping you grow your email list of subscribers. If these tools are used properly, the investment will pay off.
Technique #4: Make Opt-In Forms Easy to Find on Your Website
There are many areas on your website where you can place opt-in forms to gather email subscribers. You can place opt-in forms in the following areas of your website:
- Home page
- Top bar
- Side bar
- Within blog posts
- Within opt-in landing pages
Having a variety of places on your website is key to promoting your opt-in freebie successfully. You should have opt-in forms in at least 2-3 different places on every page of your website. You should also promote different opt-in freebies on different areas of your website.
For instance, if you have a blog post about email marketing, you can create an opt-in form within the blog post that gives subscribers email templates for signing up. If you have a blog post about social media, you can create an opt-in form within the blog post for a social media email course.
Having a single opt-in freebie may not appeal to everyone who visits your website. For this reason, it is important to have multiple opt-in freebies with different offers. This ensures that you do not miss out on any potential subscribers.
Technique #5: Share Your Opt-In Freebies on Social Media
If you want to increase your number of email subscribers, you need to leverage the power of social media. I personally use Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter to share my opt-in freebie.
The key to increasing the number of email subscribers with social media is to share your opt-in freebie more than once. The reasoning for this is that your social media followers can’t always keep up with every single post you share. Sharing your opt-in freebie more than once will increase the chances of your followers seeing your post.
You can also leverage other people’s followers on social media to increase the number of email subscribers you have. For instance, you can start by joining Facebook groups, Pinterest group boards, and Google+ communities with large followings. Then, you can share your opt-in freebie with those groups.
Another really effective method to growing your email list is to create your very own Facebook group. In the description section of your Facebook group, you would include a link to a landing page where visitors can opt-in to your email list. Instead of marketing your freebie in other Facebook groups, you would be marketing your Facebook group in other Facebook groups. Once in a while, you can also post a comment in your Facebook group mentioning your Freebie. My Facebook group has personally helped me get at least 5 new subscribers every day.
You can also try getting influencers in your niche to retweet your tweet where you promote your opt-in freebie. You should schedule at least 1 or 2 tweets promoting your opt-in freebie every single day. If you want to use twitter to promote your opt-in freebie, make sure you are using popular hashtags within your niche to make your tweet easy to find via the search bar on Twitter.
Technique #6: Create and Advertise Your Freebies Within Shareable Graphics
If you use Pinterest as a social media network, you know just how powerful graphics can be. The best way to get people to click on your graphic is to advertise your freebie within the graphic. This can be done by showing an image of the freebie you want to advertise within your graphic.
If you want to create an effective graphic that will actually get people to click through to your website, you need to follow the rules below when designing the graphic:
- Use large, vertical graphics as opposed to horizontal graphics
- Use attention-grabbing colors and images
- Display the image of your freebie
- Use a big, bold font
- Use an easy to read font
Below you can find an attention-grabbing image (on the left) vs an image that probably won’t get many reshares from the people in your networks (on the right):
The people in your social media networks are more likely to share the vertical image on the left than they are to share the horizontal image on the right. The vertical image on the left just looks more attention-grabbing and people are more likely to click on it or share it with their networks.
Technique #7: Blog Consistently
If you want to grow your email list, blogging consistently is key. If you’ve been blogging for a while, you should aim to post a blog post at least once a week.
Of course, the number of times you post should depend on how much time you have. Bloggers are busy people as they juggle with product creation, blog post creation, and offering services to their clients. I, myself, post less frequently when I have other plans for my blog (such as creating a digital product).
Nevertheless, you should try to blog consistently. With consistent blogging, your website will receive more traffic. More traffic also means there will be more people who could become potential email subscribers.
If you blog frequently (about once a week), you’ll have more blog posts on your website. This also means that you will have more opt-in forms to attract more email subscribers.
Blogging consistently also means you’ll be ranking for many different keywords. If you know a thing or two about search engine optimization (SEO), ranking for different keywords can be quite beneficial. Not only will this help you get organic traffic from search engines, but it will also help you receive a steady stream of new website visitors.
Technique #8: Create High Quality Blog Posts
Blogging consistently is one thing, but creating high quality content is a completely different thing. You shouldn’t write blog posts just for the sake of filling up your blog with new content. It’s always going to be quality over quantity.
If it takes you a month to write a high quality blog post, then you should post an article once a month. I’ve seen bloggers who post a new article on their website every single day and the quality of their work isn’t that great because they’re more focused on quantity rather than quality.
When you’re writing blog posts, you should really only have one purpose in mind: to provide valuable content for your readers.
If you want people to subscribe to your email list, you need to create high quality blog posts. People will be less reluctant to give you their email addresses if your blog offers valuable content.
Technique #9: Guest Blog on Other Websites
If you’re wondering how to build an email list without any traffic, the simple answer is that you steal the traffic of blogs with larger followings than yours.
Guest blogging is hands down the best tactic for building an email list. There are bloggers who guest post a ton without receiving any referral traffic at all. The reasoning for this is that these bloggers only blog for the sole purpose of creating a backlink rather than for building a larger email list.
If you are more focused on creating a backlink to your website, you probably won’t put in as much thought and effort into writing your guest post. If the readers don’t receive value through your guest post, they won’t be inclined to sign up to your email list. It’s really that simple.
Here are a few things you can do to build your email list through guest posting:
- Write something better than what’s already on the website you plan to guest post on. Check out the other blog posts on the website. Make sure to study the blogging style of the other writers to get a feel for what/how to write.
- Mention your website within the guest post if the website allows you to do so. If the website does not allow you to link to your website within the content of your post, you can always mention something within your blog post that lets your readers know that you have a blog. For example, you could say something like “I recently wrote an article about how to [insert article name] and it is important because [explain why it is important].”
- Link to an opt-in landing page rather than the homepage of your website in the bio section of the guest post. This way people can easily sign up to your email list.
You want to get your readers super interested in what you’ve written. This will make them want to find out more information about you (the author) via the bio section, which could potentially lead to them subscribing to your email list.
There you have it. Nine techniques that can help you get your first 100 email subscribers. These techniques can not only help you get your first 100 email subscribers, but your first 1,000 email subscribers as well.
You just have to be willing to put in the effort to grow your email list. Growing an email list isn’t easy. Growing a successful email list requires a lot of time and energy, but the results will be a thousand times worth it.
If you haven’t already, start building your email list of subscribers with an email automation platform like ConvertKit. Purchasing ConvertKit is the first step to getting your first 100 email subscribers and beyond.
Now, I want to hear from you. What are your favorite techniques to getting more email subscribers? Please leave a comment below and let me know.