There are many reasons to fall in love with email marketing.
Growing your email list allows you to personally connect with your audience, provide them with information you know they’re interested in, test your content, track your results … the reasons are many and compelling.
But once you start publishing content online and you build an email newsletter that doesn’t suck, how do you get people to sign up?
Here are the 20 best tips from email marketing experts on how to quickly build a powerful email list:
1. “Create remarkable email content. Your content needs to be amazing if you want people to stay subscribed and forward your emails to their friends, family, and colleagues that aren’t already on your email list.” — Andy Pitre for Hubspot
2. “Sell the list. Just because you have a mailing list doesn’t mean that people will automatically subscribe. Don’t just stick a form in your sidebar and hope that people will give you their details – sell it. Mention it in posts, develop landing pages, talk about it in your guest posts. You need to let people know what’s going on.” — Ramsay Taplin for Blog Tyrant
3. “Treat your blog home page like an email capture form. Every month when we pull our list of the top ten best-performing blog posts on the Buffer blog, we end up grabbing 11 because always, without fail, one of the top ten results is the root domain for our blog—the home page at blog.bufferapp.com. … For those who focus on building and growing an email subscriber list, their home pages reflect how vital email is to their content strategy. Big, bold signup forms dominate the home pages of many email-savvy blogs.” — Kevan Lee for Buffer Social
4. “Create a strong incentive to subscribe. Think back over the dozens of subscription forms you’ve seen this week. Chances are, most of them said something like “Get our latest posts!”. Chances are also pretty good that you didn’t sign up. If you want your email list to stand out (hint: you do), take the time to create a massively valuable subscription incentive. Here are a few incentives you can use for your email list: Ebooks; Recordings; Cheatsheets; Videos; Email series.” — Nate Desmond for JeffBullas.com
5. “[Consider a content upgrade.] A content upgrade is “bonus” content that is extremely specific to your post or page’s content —given away for free, in exchange for an email address. … For example, say you have a post on doing pull-ups for your cross-fit blog or site. Here is what a content upgrade is not: ‘Free ebook on getting in shape!’ or ‘7 steps to getting started with cross-fit!’. Here is what a great content upgrade could be for that post: ‘A 3×5 inch pull-ups checklist – print it out and take it to the gym with you. It fits in your pocket.’ or ‘Here’s a video of me doing pull ups with the exact steps in this blog post.'” — Devesh Khanal for The Daily Egg
6. “Ask your readers for their email addresses within your content. You want to ask for email addresses in prominent places you know your reader will see. I used Crazy Egg and found that most people only scroll down through 30 percent of my posts. Eek! I now offer bonuses at the top of all my most popular posts. For readers to access the bonus, they have to submit their email addresses first.” — Noah Kagan for Copyblogger
7. “Create multiple email subscriptions types that you use to send more targeted content to specific segments of your marketing personas. Email recipients are more likely to click through emails that have been targeted at them, so if you create multiple, targeted subscription types, you’ll increase the chance that visitors will subscribe to one of them.” — Andy Pitre for Hubspot
8. “Include a can’t-miss call-to-action: Popups, slideups, menus, and popovers. It’s rare to read an article on growing an email list without coming across a recommendation for installing a popup. The reason: It’s sound advice, backed by good numbers.” — Kevan Lee for Buffer Social
9. “Partner with other bloggers. Strategic alliances help grow the email list. The clients already know and trust the partner and hence the trust is transferred to us as well.” — Sean Dsouza for ProBlogger
10. “Include in-email social sharing options. The average CTR for emails with social sharing options is 6.2% versus 2.4% without. That’s a 158% advantage for emails with social sharing! Even if your subscribers don’t read the article themselves, each share is likely to be generating traffic from multiple visitors, which means more bang for your marketing buck.” — Jacob McMillen for KISSmetrics
11. “[Get your team involved.] Ask everyone in your company to put a link to the email signup form in your email signature.” — MailChimp Knowledge Base
12. “Social proof: Show how many people have already subscribed. People believing that others are finding value in your content makes them think the content is validated and ultimately valuable.” — Hunter Boyle for AWeber
13. “Send out personal, one-to-one emails to all your clients, and ask them to please sign up to your newsletter.” — MailChimp Knowledge Base
14. “Catch new subscribers at checkout. If you’re selling a product or service on your site, providing the option to join your email list during the purchase stage may seem like a bit of a no brainer, but it’s often overlooked.” — Ros Hodgekiss for Campaign Monitor
15. “Collect email addresses offline. If you’ve got a brick-and-mortar store, set up a fishbowl to collect business cards for special offers available by signing up for your email list. You can also have a simple clipboard or sign-up book to collect email addresses. (If you’ve got an iPad, you can use that for people to enter their email addresses directly.) Once a week, enter any new email addresses you’ve collected in your content management system or ESP. Voila!” — Yael Grauer for Vertical Response
16. “Add email opt-ins link to downloadable content. If you offer free pdf downloads and ebooks, this is a huge opportunity to growth hack. Prompt people to share the resource with other people who may benefit from it or ask them to sign up to your list. If the resource was passed on by a friend the reader might not be on your list yet.” — Giles Thomas for AcquireConvert
17. “Use exit-intent popups. Exit-intent popups give you a second chance at communicating something important to your visitors before they leave your site. According to data, 10 to 15 percent of lost visitors can be saved by using exit-intent popups. … Exit-intent popups are the most customer-friendly approach to communicate a special message to your visitors. They are superior to normal popups because they don’t interrupt your visitors while browsing or scanning your site; they only appear when your visitors start to leave your site altogether or switch to another window.” — Brian Massey for Conversion Scientist
18. “Leverage your media mentions to grow your email list. Don’t rely on a media mention to elevate your content. Proactively let your audience know. You can do this by putting a banner at the top of your website and blog saying “As Seen In”. I highly recommend you use the media logos. People scan pages and the recognizable logos will instantly signal the reader to associate you with top media brands. You have immediately positioned yourself as a top expert in their eyes. Other ways to showcase your media mentions are in a sidebar widget or as a text mention in your author bio.” — Jane Tabachnick for Firepole Marketing
19. “[Avoid the hard sell.] I’m subscribed to almost every internet marketing guru’s email list so that I can learn their marketing techniques first hand. These are professionals who know exactly what to write to get us to open their emails, click on the links inside and potentially earn a commission from us. So what was the biggest lesson that I learned from these experts? Getting sold to via email sucks. The hard sell doesn’t make me like that person any more or want to connect with them any further. It was because of my dry experience with all of these experts and their emails that I decided to go a totally different route with my email list: no selling.” — Pat Flynn for Smart Passive Income
20. “The successful strategies change regularly. I used to try to be really conservative with my online stuff because I was worried about compromising a “long term” blog for short term gain. But, what I’m seeing now, is that most of the successful people go after lots of little short term things and push them hard while they are working.” — Ramsay Taplin for Blog Tyrant
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