Irrespective of your revenue model, if you plan to make money from your blog you need to build a sizeable email list. With subscribers on your list, you can build relationships, deliver value, establish trust and make sales.
However, because there are so many spammers out there, internet users have increasingly become reluctant to join email lists. But even if you're not sending junk or sharing their email with others, you're still going to have to convince visitors to convert into subscribers.
But there's a way you can reverse this process. Instead of going after subscribers, you can make your email list so irresistible that people would gladly join it.
Related Article: 6 Ways to Grow Your Email Database...Without Buying Lists
1. Identify Your Audience
Before you can start building your list, you need to clearly identify your target audience. You need to zoom in on them.
You're building an email list so that you can ultimately convert your subscribers into buyers. So you need to make sure that the people you're attracting to your list are actually interested in your paid offer.
Asking yourself the following questions will help you determine your audience accurately:
- What is my core offer?
- What is the problem that my product/service solves?
- Where is my target market located?
- What is the purchasing power of my target users?
- What is the biggest need of my customers?
You can use online community platforms like Quora, Reddit and blog surveys to find answers to these questions (this post discusses many other tools that you'll find useful).
2. Create an Irresistible Free Offer
Once you have an idea about the core needs of your audience, you need to create a freebie that instantly gets their attention. It should be something that offers immediate value to the users.
However, there's a difference between strategically designed freebies and conventional freebies that are just focused on getting subscribers. You need quality subscribers (i.e., people who're genuinely interested in your services, not just freebie hunters).
So make sure your freebie is in line with the biggest problems of your target audience.
For example, if your company offers web copywriting services, you can create an audit checklist that helps people determine if their landing page copy is optimized for conversions. Or, you could offer an eBook on the biggest copywriting mistakes.
Make your freebie so good that people are even prepared to pay for it.
Here's a great example of a high value freebie by Single Grain, a leading digital marketing company.
Here's another example of a highly targeted freebie by Jon Morrow, GuestBlogging.com
3. Create List Specific Content
Don't just sit back and relax once you get a subscriber on board. Fresh subscribers are much more likely to read your emails and take action. This is the right time to convert them into loyal word-of-mouth marketers.
You can do this by over-delivering on your promise. Instead of just sending out the promised freebie, surprise the subscriber by offering something additional.
In my experience, personalized advice and to-the-point actionable emails work the best. Create a series of emails for your subscribers and deliver super quality content that is exclusive and NOT available on your blog.
At the end of your email series, ask your subscribers if they have any questions. Encourage discussion, listen to their problems, offer solutions and ask them to spread the word. You won't believe how quickly word-of-mouth marketing spreads.
You can create your auto-responder series using MailChimp or AWeber; both charge a small fee but offer complete email marketing solutions. Or you can go for SendinBlue, an email marketing tool with a free auto-responder that allows up to 9000 emails per month (should be enough for you early on).
Related Article: Under the Radar Digital Trends You Need to Know About
4. Use an Effective Email Pop Up Plugin
Pop-ups are annoying, but they have the highest conversion rates as well. If you promote your freebie using a smart pop-up plugin, you'll have a much better chance of attracting subscribers.
(In case you don't like pop-up plugins, you can find many other list building tools and plugins)
My personal favorite is SumoMe. Even the free version offers great pop-up features and allows you to collect emails without irritating your readers.
You might also have come across large pop-ups on different websites with some witty web copy. They might look bad to some people, but their conversion rates are very high.
List building is an essential need for any blog or online business. But to make your list attractive, you need to create the right incentives and promote them on your blog in a subtle way. Once you have subscribers on board, make sure you give them so much value for free that they're compelled to tell others about you. The day people start recommending your list to their connections, you'll never have to worry about attracting subscribers again.