If you don’t have an email list, you are missing out.
Not having a list is one of the biggest mistakes someone can do about their online business. An email list is your most important asset; it’s your audience.
Your Facebook fans or Twitter followers do not belong to you. They belong to Facebook, respectively Twitter and if either of them decide that they don’t like you, then you can loose everything and all your efforts will be in vain.
If you have an email list it’s your to keep it and you can take it to whichever email service provider you want.
If you already have a list but it’s not as big as you want or converting the way you want, now is the time to change that.
It all starts with the value you offer to your visitors.
If you are able to provide them with an incentive to sign up (or cookie content – got this from Sonia Simone of Copyblogger), such as a really valuable ebook, coupon codes, a special course or even additional content that is sent only to subscribers, you will start to see better results.
Let’s start with that.
1. Convince people to get on your email list
First decide what valuable resource you will offer so your visitors will take action and sign up for your email list. In order to see really good results, make sure that the resource is so valuable that people would be willing to pay money for it.
Let me give you some examples:
#1. Jon Morrow from Boost Blog Traffic offers a cheat sheet that helps you write blog posts that go viral when you sign up for his email list. It’s actually a free ebook that contains 52 headline hacks which will make your blog posts more popular. It offers great value because it’s not just an ebook written in 30 minutes. Instead, it’s created from Jon’s extensive experience blogging and as an Associate Editor for Copyblogger.
#2. The Copyblogger team is well known for its ability to drive hundreds of thousands of subscribers to their free resources. They offer a ton of value for free and this is how they’ve built their audience, turning Copyblogger into a $7 million dollar company.
What do you have of great value to offer your readers? Determine what this is, then offer it for free as an incentive to join your list.
It could be an ebook related to your paid products or services, a webinar, an email course, an in-depth guide or a coupon code if you are an e-commerce site.
What I do most often is offer an email course which is delivered over a specific time period. Just like this one.
It’s essentially an autoresponder, which automatically sends out emails at the intervals you set up.
This way you are warming up your audience with good content and they will get value over a longer period of time.
If you alternate this with your regular blog content, a new subscriber will end up receiving 2-3 pieces of good content each week. (More if you publish more often.)
Another good idea is to offer immediate access to more resources for instant gratification.
Just remember, it’s important to over deliver on your promises when you ask people to sign up for your list.
2. Promote your free offer
Once you have this implemented, all you have to do is start promoting the cookie content on your blog.
First, create a landing page where you present the benefits of signing up to your list. You are directing people to your website so they can take advantage of your free offer. This benefits page will be their destination.
Next, promote your cookie content. One way of promoting your list-building cookie content would be to create a banner image and link it to your landing page from the sidebar of your blog or below your posts.
Remember to include a link to your landing page from the articles you’ve already written and the articles that you will publish in the future. ☺
This will pass some of the link juice from that content, increasing both the number of visitors to your landing page and the potential to rank higher in the search engines.
Now take this a step further and promote it through guest blogging. When you do guest blogging, make sure that your author bio includes a link to your free resource and a compelling message on why people should click through.
You don’t have to convince them from the author bio to buy your products; all you have to do is convince them to click.
Take your users through these baby steps in the following order:
- Click through from your author bio and arrive at your cookie content landing page.
- Subscribe to your list on the landing page.
- Offer them an amazing value while they are subscribed to your list.
- Persuade them to buy your products once they become your loyal fans.
In addition to that, you can also add a link to your landing page in your signature or reach out to people who already have an audience and would be interested in your cookie content.
You never know who will help you boost the number of your subscribers.
3. Create signup forms
On your landing page, it is mandatory to have a signup form which will let people subscribe to your cookie content and communicate with your preferred email marketing provider.
In addition to that, you can also add signup forms on your blog in the sidebar, below posts, in the footer, on your homepage, other landing pages or use a really cool CloudBox.
To do that you have a couple of options available.
For starters, try using the default signup form that your email marketing provider offers. However, this is not always the best way to persuade readers to sign up, because they are usually not very good looking.
Ideally, you should have a designer create some signup forms that look amazing.
But, this might not be an option if you are on a budget because they typically cost at least $250 to create.
For this reason I always recommend using Elevatr for email signup forms. First of all it helps increase conversion rates, because you expose your newsletter to more readers.
Second, it’s easy to use; it builds good looking signup forms and gets you up and running in 5-20 minutes without knowing how to code or paying expensive designers.
Give it a try and see how it works for you.
4. Convert subscribers to customers
Now that you have the cookie content persuading people to join your list, a great landing page, and some amazing signup forms that will help you boost your signups, it’s time to move on and turn those subscribers into loyal customers.
If you choose the autoresponder option, that’s great because it will do its job automatically. People will get the content in their inboxes without you worrying about what to write next. Keep in mind that with the auto responder or ebook, it’s also important to send them other content, like regular blog updates.
Once the autoresponder is finished, you can add an extra email to be sent automatically with a sales pitch for your products or services. Or if you setup a really long auto responder you can alternate the content with sales pitches.
Say, for example, that you build a 20 lesson email course. In this case, you can easily send 2-3 sales pitches in the 7th, 15th and 23rd email.
This would produce astonishing results compared to sending people straight to the sales page the moment they land on your site or on your email list.
Chris Garrett calls this building a bank of goodwill.
You will use content to add value into the bank of goodwill and when the time comes, you can withdraw some interest from the bank.
And this is how you will build a robust email list that converts.
That’s all for today.
If you got here thanks to a friend, a tweet or a Facebook share, make sure that you subscribe for the entire email series.
This is the third lesson of the 7 biggest conversion mistakes that people make (and how to avoid them, so you can get more subscribers and sales).