Last Updated on August 17, 2019 by Fabrizio Van Marciano
In this post, I will show you how to grow your email list for your blog the simplest way possible.
When I first started blogging back in 2010, I failed to do something very important. Can you guess what that is?
Yep, you've guessed it. I failed to start my email list.
In fact, I didn't pay attention to growing my email list properly until 2013, when I launched this blog, Magnet4Blogging.
Of course, I always knew that building an email list was important, but at the time, it was not my priority to do so, and it really should have been.
Back then, my goal was to write as many posts as I could, creating content was my top priority because I wanted to drive lots of search engine traffic to my blog.
Within a few years, I managed to increase my organic traffic from 20 visits per day to over 700 visits per day.
Not a bad effort I would say, until that is, Google unleashed hell in the form of the Panda and Penguin updates.
What followed was the rapid decay of my blog traffic and blog income as well. You can read all about it here.
And guess what? I had no email list to fall back on.
When I launched this blog in early 2014, the first thing I did before anything else was to set up my email opt-in forms.
My list building campaign was launched way before a single piece of content was ever published on my blog.
So, how did I do?
Well, from March of 2014 right up until November, I was averaging around 6 to 10 subscribers per month at the most.
Not great by any standards, I clearly had a lot of work to do.
After doing some research and brainstorming, I decided to make some small changes. I'll explain what those changes were later on in this post.
If you look at the screen capture below, you'll see that in December of 2014 I literally exploded my email growth by almost 400%.
In December 2014 I managed 42 brand new subscribers, and in January 2015 another 35 new sign-ups followed.
February of 2015 also looked like it was going to be another awesome month as well.
In comparison to the few subscribers I was getting before, this was a much better result, don't you think?
So, what did I do to skyrocket my opt-in conversion rates like that?
I did two very simple things. And I mean, VERY SIMPLE.
First, I created an irresitible incentive to add to my opt-in forms and landing pages. (I told you it was simple.)
Secondly, I invested in a list building tool called Thrive Leads.
But you can forget the second one because this strategy really doesn't depend on the technology you are using. You could be using any email opt-in form software.
So, as you can clearly see from the screen capture above, December and January were really outstanding months in comparison to the rest of the year.
If you look at the screenshot below too, you'll see that the incentive (Traffic strategy guide) was mostly responsible for my exponential email list growth.
If a small-time blogger like me can do it, so can anyone else!
This is pure solid proof that using incentives can boost your email opt-in rate dramatically.
Now, let me share with you the tactics I used to help me boost my opt-in conversions by almost 400%.
Warning: The tactics I'm about to share with you below are nothing new or out of the norm. You've been warned! If you are expecting me to reveal some brand new miracle strategy, then you're going to be disappointed I'm afraid.
These are tactics that most pro bloggers either are or should be doing right now.
If you're not implementing any of these tactics, I'll assume that you're just starting out.
Critical stuff, you don't want to use an unreliable provider that is going to let you down.
Many, many moons ago I was using a service provider called Vertical Response.
VR was my primary provider for a good few years, actually.
In late 2013 I decided to switch over to MailChimp.
One of the reasons for this move, at the time, was because Vertical Response offered no autoresponder service. I believe that has all changed now and they are a much better service provider.
The other reason I decided to ditch Vertical Response was that of the insanely high number of spammy registrations I was getting.
Anyhow, switching over to MailChimp was one of the smartest moves I could have made for my online business.
I love the templates and creating smart, eye-catching, conversion-focused email newsletters in MailChimp is so easy.
Take away tip: First, find and use a reliable and reputable autoresponder email marketing platform you can work with for your blog. There are quite a few to choose from these days, so do your research first.
You have two options here:
Personally, I would recommend investing in a listing building tool or plugin.
With a dedicated plugin like Thrive Leads, for example, you have greater control over everything: From your opt-in form design and layout, call-to-actions, form behavior, conversion reports, API connection with popular email list providers, and much more.
By simply embedding your opt-in form HTML provided by your email service provider, you have little to zero control over your forms and how they look or perform. That will not do for your conversion rate.
Take away tip: Research and find the best list building tool to suit your needs. Click here to learn more.
One of the most effective strategies for building an email list by far using a dedicated lead capture page.
It is simply a dedicated, well-crafted, conversion-focused landing page that consists of your marketing message, some information about your offer or incentive, or why people should subscribe, and of course, your opt-in form.
A lead capture page is usually free of other distractive design elements such as banners, links, and menus. These will crush your conversions which is why those design elements are excluded.
The great thing about having a dedicated landing page to capture your email leads is that you can promote the heck out of it, and so can anyone else visiting the page too.
Read this post to learn how to create a powerful email opt-in landing page for your website. I created it especially for you.
Take away tip: If you don't yet have a dedicatd landing page to capture leads, go and create one straight away.
You can't expect to get the best possible opt-in conversion results if you don't test.
Everything needs testing and tweaking, and testing some more, to see what works best and what doesn't.
You should create multiple variations of your opt-in forms and landing pages, and test them against each other often.
Thrive Leads comes with a host of powerful A/B split testing tools and conversion reports you can use.
Take away tip: Check out my tutorial post on how to do simple A/B split tests for your pop-up forms.
Goal setting and tracking using Google Analytics
Google Analytics is very useful for not only checking up on your traffic and visitor stats but also for setting up goals and tracking your conversions.
I won't go into detail on how to set up goals in GA here in this post, however, you can check out the tutorial video below if you wish.
So, there you have it troopers, that is how I was able to explode my email list growth, by making some simple changes and using the 4 powerful tactics as mentioned above.
For me, this is an ongoing process because I love to test, tweak, and test some more to see what works.
I'm a conversion optimization junkie and I'm darn well proud of it. There's always something to tweak and improve somewhere, right?
I want you to do the same for your forms and opt-in pages.
OK, so hopefully, you've have found this post useful. I want to wish you the best of luck on your list building quest. If you need any help or advice, drop me an email here.