Email lists are everywhere now. You’ve seen the pop-up promotion that interrupts your scrolling each time you visit someone’s personal blog. Maybe your site is the one bombarding readers with “Sign up for my email list!” as soon as they arrive. We’ll get into why that can be a problem, but first, let’s discuss the benefits of an email list.
The benefits of an email list go beyond collecting client information. They allow you to build a relationship and trust with your subscribers through a more personal means of communication. Over recent years, readers are interacting more with email lists, and marketers are also succeeding more with email marketing (ROI is a whopping 40:1). Email marketing can be used to get emergency news to your customers and can also be used to send exclusive offers and insights to those who want to be involved.
For those just starting with email marketing, often the most common struggle is that no one is actually subscribing and you worry you’re putting effort into content that no one wants. So what’s the real issue? There are two main reasons no one is signing up.
- You’re not offering value; or
- You’re not communicating value
Let’s dig a little deeper.
Offering value refers to what you’re actually offering – say a subscription, a short email course, or a freebie. If you’re offering the same thing that everyone else in your industry, you might not be demonstrating your true value. Worse, if you’re just offering an “email subscription” your readers are going to snooze and move on without interacting.
Communicating value is about how you position your offer. Interrupting readers with calls to action without developing trust can come off as desperate. Let them see your website and what you do first to see if they agree with your values and goals. If your website doesn’t communicate your value first, readers won’t show interest in an extension of that through an email subscription.
“You can’t sell it outside if you can’t sell it inside.”
― Stan Slap
Three Tips to Start Growing Your Email List
Now that we’ve covered why your email list growth is at a halt, here are three tips to fix it. Keep in mind, implementing these is not a path to instant success. Growing your email list will take time and patience, but don’t worry, if you follow these tips you’ll get there
- Include an enticing opt-in offer with your email list.
Having a worthwhile incentive to join your list will make the decision easy for readers. Many big box stores have email lists that give you a coupon as soon as you sign up. There’s nothing stopping you from using that same technique to offer clients and potential customers a little something extra for subscribing.
The other route is developing an opt-in offer or “lead magnet” that entices potential customers to get involved. By demonstrating your expertise through free content, you position yourself as someone who has much to offer, and is worth the price.
Opt-in ideas can include:
- Free template/printable
- Mini email course
- Mini ebook
These are just a few examples, but you can create anything you like as long as it is relevant to your field and shows how awesome your work is. Whichever of these content ideas you go with, make sure it has value that is not offered elsewhere or is unique to you.
- Focus less about quantity and more about quality.
Would you rather have a giant list of emails of people who came across your site once and will never return? Or would you rather have a smaller list of people who want to be strongly involved with what you do and what you have to offer? If you chose the second, you care about generating authentic engagement. This authentic engagement is exactly how you gain a subscriber list that is most likely to convert potential customers into returning customers.
Rather than asking every visitor to “sign up now before it’s too late” (Too late for what, exactly?) include something about you, what you do, or an offer for them.
- Join to get the top (your industry) insights each week.
- Sign up for weekly updates in our journey to (something you care about).
- Get instant access to (freebie) by signing up.
You will generate high-quality conversions from high-quality offers. Including powerfully converting words in calls to action like, “Yes,” or “Now,” can also increase subscriptions.
- Put your call to action in the right place.
Plain and simple, pop-ups can be annoying. Asking someone to join a list right when you arrive is the digital equivalent to having a salesperson follow you around a store while you’re trying to browse. Not very fun. Rather than trying to grab readers’ attention right from the get-go, let them browse for a few minutes first to get a feel for your site. Once readers see your work or learn a little bit about you, they are more likely to want to continue down the funnel with signing up to join your email list.
Some of the best places for calls to action for an email list are:
- At the bottom of a blog post for readers to get more amazing content
- With your About page so readers can learn even more about you
- A sidebar where readers can easily access all the options of content and even join your subscription
- At an exit-intent point when you can bring readers back for more (after they’ve been on your site for at least a short period)
At the end of the day, readers sign up because they want more. With these tips in mind, you can develop converting content and quality leads that will keep coming back.