So you want to build your email list to thousands of subscribers? Guess what, I want to help you. Imagine how much more profitable you would be with a large list of people who want to hear from you. For example, if you had 50,000 subscribers and your conversion rate was 1%, you would get buy in from 500 people immediately. Don’t worry, we can work together to get your conversion rates up, but in the meantime, let’s get you all those subscribers first. Below are the seven strategies that I use with a few of them relating to WordPress.
Seven Email List Building Strategies
1) Invest in a premium leads capture plugin.
Don’t take my word for it. Use a free popup plugin like everyone else and get the same mediocre results as them. Not too long ago I was using SumoMe’s free tools but kept noticing that many other websites were using them as well. Perhaps we all thought we were smart. However, as visitors see the same opt-in forms from site to site, those opt-in forms experience a declining impact. I did consider purchasing SumoMe’s pro version and upgrades, but they grossly overcharge compared to their competitors. I ultimately went with Thrive Themes because I wanted to create effective and impactful opt-in forms that were unique to my website. It just isn’t realistic to create an impact with free products and services most of the time. Moreover, free products are usually for the people who aren’t serious about growing their businesses.
2) Implement a minimum of four different forms.
To the first point, free versions are limiting by nature because the producer wants you to upgrade/pay to gain more options. This makes perfect sense, but it’s a disadvantage for the user. I realized that successful lead capturing depends on implementing various “email mines” or types of popups not found in free versions. For instance, I use four types of popups throughout my site including scroll mat, in-content, slide-in, and exit intent. By using different popups and looks, I increase the chances of having one of them appeal to a visitor. On the flip side, you don’t want to have too many opt-in forms to annoy visitors. Implementing three to five unique opt-in forms is a great place to start.
3) Don’t stick with default templates.
The worst thing you can do after activating a plugin is to stick with their templates. Templates are there for you to enhance, not readily accept. Free or paid, I always tinker with text, colors, shapes, and images to truly make a popup my own. You should consider how you can significantly boost the appeal and originality of your opt-in forms.
4) Try different opt-in motivators.
Guess what? People have different motivational triggers for opting in. Some people may want free stuff while others may want exclusive content. I gave a lot of thought to this idea during my opt-in implementation and for each of my popups, I provide a different motivational trigger. Here are some triggers to consider:
- A gift i.e. an ebook or checklist
- A discount or saving i.e. 40%
- Exclusive access i.e. an insider or special report
- Limited time to act i.e. limited time offer
I’m just scratching the surface here, so I challenge you to come up with more motivational triggers to try.
5) A/B test? Yes, and no.
An A/B or split test is a test conducted between two or more variables to see which variable is more successful. For example, I could perform a test between two opt-in forms, one green and one blue, to see which is more efficient. Talk of A/B tests dominate lead capture strategy, but A/B tests are only useful if you have a large enough sample size to draw conclusions. For instance, if your website is currently attracting five visitors a day, results from 150 people over the month wouldn’t be enough to substantiate any conclusions. Whereas, if you’re attracting 500 visitors a day, this would lend greater credibility to your findings. Is there a good baseline number to begin testing? Perhaps, but the point is not to focus too much on split testing until you’re getting enough and consistent traffic to your site. Traffic matters before tests.
6) Send a welcome email to your subscribers.
Here’s a timeless scenario, someone subscribes to your site, and the first email he gets is regarding a sale. This may work for e-commerce giants like Amazon, but there’s a better path to take. To some degree, you want to showcase what type of person or company you are and indoctrinate your new subscriber to the experience he should come to expect. This is where autoresponder or DRIP sequences can be highly effective. I use AWeber to send automated welcome emails along with two follow-up emails. My first email is just that, a welcome message and how to navigate my site, and my follow-up emails do very much the same. Moreover, you want to spend a considerable amount of time thinking about your email marketing strategy to ensure you get the desired results, for instance:
- How often will you send emails?
- How many emails will be in your autoresponder sequence?
- What about the design and layout?
- How much content will be in your emails?
I won’t give you definitive answers to these questions because I’m pretty sure our businesses are different thus require different approaches. Suffice it to say, a failure to plan is a plan to fail. Additionally, it may be useful to subscribe to your competitors, or benchmark companies, to understand better email marketing strategies and techniques.
7) Get consent from everyone who joins your list.
People who don’t get opt-in consent from their subscribers can face enormous fines. A typical, but poor, practice of newbies is to add subscribers from their LinkedIn network to their lists. Not only do you run the risk of getting fined, but your IP address and status as an emailer can fall into spammer territory. Also, people who don’t consensually subscribe will likely unsubscribe thwarting your efforts and revenue potential. Avoid this practice and know that building a high converting list takes time.
BONUS: Add a form to your Facebook page.
Facebook has billions of users, so it’s a great place to pick up subscribers. AWeber integrates seamlessly with Facebook to add an opt-in form on a page tab (if you don’t have a personal or business page, shame on you). I launched a page simply because you can do more and get data insights compared to what is lacking in a personal account. A page is also a great brand builder and touch point for search results.