We’ve talked about MailChimp once before, but it’s been a long time since we touched on the subject. One of your biggest questions was how to set up an RSS feed on MailChimp, but for those of your that still don’t have an email list, what are you waiting for?! Maybe you don’t want to add one more thing to your plate, or maybe you just don’t get why it’s a big deal. Let me explain why you should be collecting emails and using that list on a regular basis:
1. It allows you to reach your reader on a more personal level—their inbox.
2. It keeps your name in front of their eyes on a regular basis, driving repeat traffic and in turn, growing traffic.
3. You can monetize your newsletter.
4. It builds trust with your audience.
5. If you decide to sell a product or service sometime down the line, you’ll already have a list of dedicated, loyal readers, ready to start buying your product!
Got it? Okay, good.
Now for those of you who already have an email list—good job! It’s so exciting to get those first few sign-ups, but when you come back and look a month later and realize only 5 more people have joined your list, it gets frustrating. Discouraging, really. But there’s good news! There’s a better way to go about email marketing so that all of your hard work actually pays off. With these tips employed on your own blog, you may find yourself with up to a 700% increase in subscribers each month, wouldn’t that be great?
Okay, you’re probably chomping at the bit now, so let’s get to it. Here are top 4 tips that are proven to grow your email list:
1. Make it Easy
If it isn’t easy for readers to sign up, they probably won’t. Sorry to disappoint, but that’s the cold hard truth. The first step in making it easy, is making it visible. It needs to be somewhere that readers will easily find it—the top of your sidebar, menu bar or a call out under your first post are all great places. On individual posts, you can add a sign-up form just above the comments. It’s a great way to grab those people who got to the end of the post and loved it, but already forgot about the sign-up form in your sidebar.
The next way to make it stand out is by actually making it pop. Add a border, use a bold font or use an accent color that isn’t used too much on your site. Those things will all help draw attention to your sign-up form. Don’t just tell readers to sign up, make sure to tell them exactly what they’ll be getting when they sign up. Maybe it’s a weekly newsletter or post notifications or something else! There’s nothing more frustrating than signing up for a list thinking you’re getting a weekly newsletter, only to be bombarded multiple times a day with new post and sale notifications that you didn’t want. Being specific about what they’re going to get and keeping your promise will help grow your readers’ trust.
Lastly, don’t ask for too much information! If you use MailChimp, you might have noticed that there’s a lot of different options you can add to your sign-up form (birthdays, gender, etc.), but we recommend that you only ask for their email address (duh!) and if you want to, a first name!
2. Give Readers an Incentive
Your readers love you and your content, but if they’re already coming to your blog each day, they might not see the benefit of subscribing. One way to majorly boost your sign-ups is by giving readers a juicy incentive! Things like this can make your list skyrocket! Here’s a few types of incentives you can offer your readers:
Free Download: Offering free downloads upon subscribing is a great incentive! I know it may seem intimidating to create a full e-book, but good news! Research has proven that readers are more likely to subscribe to get the download when it’s something short and sweet For example, “Get my top 5 tips for making the most of your current wardrobe” will convert better than, “Download my free 72 page e-book on creating your own capsule wardrobe”.
It seems counterintuitive right? The second download is a whole e-book! But, it turns out, people on the internet have a short attention span and they’d rather have something simple and easy to digest. Usually, I’d tell you to think big, but here, I’m reigning you in. Think about your blog’s current content and come up with a few different ideas of simple free downloads that would make people want to sign up! You can always test them to see which one performs the best!
Giveaways: Chances are you’ve participated in a giveaway before—maybe it’s been on Instagram or one of those Rafflecopter giveaways. They’re a great way to boost your social following, but using a giveaway as a means to grow your email list might be the smartest use of all. So, the next time you do a giveaway, make it for subscribers only. Promote it on all your social channels like you would a normal giveaway, and remind readers that it’s for your subscribers only, aka only those subscribed to your newsletter are eligible to win. What’s great about this is that you’ll get more people signed up and also engaged in your newsletters. Chances are, people are less likely to unsubscribe from your emails than they would on Instagram or another social platform and in my opinion, having more email subscribers is worth so much more in the long run.
Bonus Content: This is something I’ve toyed with in the past and actually plan to put into action this year. If readers know that they’ll be getting bonus content that doesn’t appear on your blog by signing up for your list, that’s another incentive. I’ve found that being more personal and intimate in my newsletter helps build trust between me and my readers, so try content of that nature if you’re trying this method for the first time! Again, this doesn’t have to be anything over the top, it could be a simple image or graphic and short write-up on your favorite products or a quick personal story that you haven’t shared anywhere else. Get creative! This is an fun way to show your readers a different side of you.
3. Use Your Social Platforms
We use our social platforms to promote our content, why not promote your newsletter too? You can easily schedule social media posts on Facebook and Twitter that promote your newsletter on a regular basis—like once a week perhaps?! Before you start tweeting away, make sure you have a dedicated subscribe page (like this) on your blog that only has a little information about what readers will get when they subscribe and a sign-up form. Why? Because, again, this makes it super simple for readers. If you direct people to your site and then ask them to scroll down to the sidebar to sign up, you’re likely to lose people along the way—simply because that’s more complicated. Again, the easier you can make it on your readers, the better luck you’ll have!
Lastly, pop-ups. I know, I know, some people hate them. But, I’ll let you in on a little secret—they work. Like really really well! My first pop-up drove over 300% more sign-ups than my sidebar sign-up alone. If you want to add a pop-up, Mailchimp has an option for this on their backend, but I haven’t found it to be the prettiest. Some plugins for pop-ups and slide-ins that we love are: MailMunch, WisePops, Ninja Pop-ups, Boxzilla and WordPress Pop-Up. There’s many more out there at varying costs, so do a little research to see what’s best for your blog.
One thing to note about pop-ups, they can get annoying! It’s best if you can set yours to pop-up after a reader has been on your site for at least 40 seconds. Some plugins have settings that will keep the pop-up from coming up again after a reader has signed up or declined the offer. Those are great because it’ll keep your annoying your readers!
So, tell us, do you have an email newsletter? What tips do you have for growing your list?!2