We’ve all heard about how important our email list is. It’s a collection of personal emails representing people already showing interest in your products or services. Therefore, your email list is a way to make direct contact with prospect customers, giving you, the business owner, a unique ability to communicate clearly and effectively without social media algorithms or google analytics getting in your way.
But what happens if your email list is too small to be effective?
How do you grow your email list without expending a lot of extra money, time, or effort?
Is there a way to grow your email list for Fr*ee
If you’re asking yourself any of these questions, then you’ve come to the right place!
Here Are 4 Ways to Organically Build Your Email List
1. Create killer content
This one goes without saying, but it might need some explanation still. In order to keep people’s attention and prompt them to purchase from you, your content has to be great. It needs to provide value, be relevant to your audience’s needs, and prove that you’re an expert in your field capable of solving the problem that got your audience’s attention in the first place. It needs to be visually impressive and verbally captivating. If it fails to do these things, then your audience will lost interest, stop opening your emails, and even unsubscribe from your list altogether. So focus on quality over quantity and really commit to providing your current audience valuable, helpful, problem-solving content.
2. Ask for subscribers and shares, have plenty of places for people to opt in, and make it worth their while to support you
You might be surprised at what kind of difference it makes when you ask for what you want. While people know they are capable of following you on social media, reading your blogs, or signing up for your newsletter, they might not feel at all pressed to do so without a reminder. It’s your job to remind them! If you really believe in yourself, your business, and your content, then let people know about it. Ask for shares and subscribers, offer plenty of places on your website for people to opt into your list, and then don’t let people down! Offer them quality content, tips and tricks, coupons or discounts, and anything else that will keep them a happy subscriber.
3. Settle the fact that not everyone wants to be on your list
Not everyone is going to be interested in the content you have to offer, no matter how flawlessly you present it. If you fully understand that your product or service isn’t for everyone, then you free yourself to work with the targeted audience you have. Focus your time and energy speaking to the people who do want to hear from you and are already interested in the content you have to offer. Cater to their specific needs and interest, build relationships and trust, and don’t worry about the people who aren’t interested.
4. Keep learning!
There are a lot of strategies out there for building email lists, and while a lot of these are dependent on your ability to provide quality content, there are some other techniques you can easily learn to skyrocket your email list size. Click here to sign up for my webinar, How to Get Your First 1000 Email Subscribers on Wednesday June 5, at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern and I’ll teach you more ways you can build your email list!
Register here for the webinar
To Your Success!
Getting traffic and subscribers don’t have to cost you anything. You can get plenty of free traffic by following the tips below…
Create Your Funnel
- Make an opt-in gift. This doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. Your freebie could be a short PDF guide, a workbook, or a printable.
- Publish a landing page for your opt-in. Your copy doesn’t have to be lengthy. You can go with a paragraph or two and a few bullet points. Then paste in the code for your mailing list sign up form.
- Schedule a few autoresponders. Write a short series of emails (three to five is good) and set them up in your mailing list service to go out to new subscribers.
- Launch a low-cost product. Use done-for-you content to create a low-cost product so your subscribers have a product they can buy from you.
Guest Post on Other Blogs
- Find popular blogs in your niche. You can start your search by going to a search engine and typing in “Top 100 Blogs on [Niche]” without quotation marks.
- Research the guidelines. Most popular blogs have publishing guidelines on their website and will tell you about their submission process.
- Engage with the blogger. Before you submit a guest post, take some time to interact with the blogger behind the scenes. Comment on an Instagram post or two. Respond to a topic in their Facebook group.
- Publish a relevant opt-in gift. When you do a guest post, come up with another opt-in gift that you can offer readers of the post.
- Design a landing page. Make sure to put your opt-in gift on a landing page so there’s nothing to distract your viewers.
- Promote your landing page. Use the author bio section of your guest post to link to the landing page. This lets you capture the traffic and add it to your sales funnel.
Boost Your Brand’s Visibility with Facebook Live
- Respond to comments. When you’re on Facebook Live, connect with your viewers by answering their questions and replying to their comments.
- Brainstorm content. Ask your viewers what type of content they’d like to see more of on your blog or website. Take notes and use them when you’re creating more content later.
- Make a content upgrade. If you know what topic your Facebook livestream will be about, go ahead and create a content upgrade. Make it something valuable your viewers will appreciate.
- Promote your upgrade. Use the comments section of your stream to post a link to your latest opt-in.
- Tell viewers to share. During your livestream, ask viewers to share your video with a friend or colleague.
Get Featured on Podcasts
- Look for podcasts. You can start your search with the iTunes Podcast Directory.
- Make a list. Begin listening to podcasts regularly and write down the ones that you enjoy listening to the most.
- Interact with the podcaster. Take a few minutes to get to know the podcaster by following them on social media. Comment on their posts so they’ll recognize you later.
- Ask about guests. Once you’ve gotten to know the host, ask them if they’re looking for guests. If they are, get contact information right away.
- Send a pitch. Use your email to share why you would be a great guest. Tell the podcaster about your own journey and why his or her audience would be able to relate to you.
- Follow up. Sometimes, emails get lost on their way to the recipient. If you haven’t heard back in a few days, reach out to the host and see if they received your message.
Use Pinterest to Get Traffic
- Describe your pin in detail. Pins with longer descriptions (think 2-3 sentences) get more interaction that pins with shorter descriptions.
- Get a business account. Pinterest’s business account comes with free analytics that can help you learn when the best time to post is. Convert a personal account to a business one here.
- Join group boards. When you contribute to group boards, more users can discover your pins and your website.
- Add your link. Put a link to your most recent blog post in your bio area. This makes it easy for followers to find your blog.
- Use hashtags for your niche. A website like TagBlender can help you find popular hashtags so you don’t have to brainstorm them on your own.
- Make a call-to-action. When you post on Instagram, include a CTA with your caption. Ask viewers to like your post, comment on it, or tag a friend.
- Create a branded hashtag. Branding your own hashtags lets even more people discover your brand on social media.
Email Your Subscribers
- Write a great subject line. It should make them curious but also be short (40-60 characters) so it’s easily viewed on a mobile device.
- Personalize the email. Subscribers are more likely to open a message if you include their name in the subject line.
- Make a link. You should link to your blog post in the body of your email. Do this in the text, because subscribers trust contextual links.
- Include a button or image. Subscribers like clicking on buttons and pictures. Pick one or the other and add it to your email. Be sure it links to your blog post.
- Create a signature. You can use a free signature tool like the one from HubSpot or WiseStamp. Add a link back to your website in your signature.
Study Your Results
- Consider your most popular content. If a page is getting a lot of views, think about how you could create more content like it.
- Look at the stats for your traffic sources. Try to track your traffic sources each month so you can see what marketing activities give you the biggest return on investment.
- Make sure your site is optimized for different devices. Your stats program should show you what tech like smartphones and tablets your visitors are using.
- Glance at search terms. The keywords that people use to find your site can give you ideas and insights on how to serve your community.
It’s time to think beyond the basic social sharing buttons that everyone has on their website, and make it easier and more fun for your readers to share your content for you.
This doesn’t mean you should remove the social media sharing buttons from your site. It just means that there are other ways to drive social networking engagement that not everyone is using. And the more methods you employ, the more chance your content will get shared, and that people will sign up to your freebies!
Get People Sharing Useful Info From Your Blog Posts & Webinars
Website plug-ins that allow your readers to “Click to Tweet” and share your information dramatically improve the chances that your content is getting shared.
Basically, the idea is that you take a memorable quote or summary of advice from a great blog post, and put it into a little, noticeable box that says “click to tweet”. The plugin makes this really easy, and the result is that your followers don’t just share a boring link to your post, they share a really useful nugget of information with their followers that leads back to your site. Another win/ win!
And if you’re running a live webinar or workshop, don’t forget hashtags! Ask your viewers to use a specific hashtag for your workshop and share any useful nuggets they’ve learned. This is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your brand and to encourage even more people to sign up for your webinar!
Visuals matter more and more, so you want to make sure that you have really shareable images. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all, frustratingly, require different image sizes to get the best results. The good news is that software like Canva makes it easy to create a good looking image for every blog post you create, and save it in all the correct sizes. You can then use the Yoast SEO plugin to make sure that the correct image gets shared depending on which social media site your followers post to. Pretty nifty, huh?
Smarter Social Updates
Of course, this is about growing your list from social media, not a what you should post on social media. But the golden rule is that, the more useful you are on social media, the more people will share your stuff. Buffer lets you share your blog or website content to multiple social networks at once. You can even schedule your post or tweet deliveries well in advance, to save you time.
Bit.ly increases your Twitter conversions by letting you create short, customizable links rather than long URLs that look ugly, and eat up your character limits on Twitter. Window Resizer will check your tweets, posts and updates on any screen size. This guarantees your content always looks good, regardless whether it is being viewed on a smartphone, laptop or desktop PC.
Don’t forget hashtags! On Google+, Twitter and Facebook and Instagram adding a “#” before a word or phrase helps drive viewability. Your post that includes #BlueberryMuffinRecipes will show up higher in social media search requests than posts about blueberry muffin recipes that do not use that hash tag. This is a great idea if you are trying to attract attention locally or regionally. Place the hash tag “#” before your city name to attract local attention.
If you want to understand the analytics behind your hash tags, Ritetag provides instant analysis of the hash tag you Tweet.
And, to see how it’s all working out, Social Analytics provides a breakdown of your share statistics on any page of your website or blog. Awesome Screenshot lets you “capture, annotate, and share your screen” quickly and easily. All of these strategies, plug-ins and pieces of software ensure that you are creating the most shareable social network content, and that means building your list quickly and easily.27
Think about your most recent experience on your favorite social media site. No doubt you were asked to share, like, comment or take some other action after you read a particular post or status update, or watch the video. That is what social media sites are all about, socializing. People are there to share information.
Users on these social media networks enjoy when you ask them to take some type of action, because it makes them feel like they are part of the community.
You want to use this built-in quality of social media networks by telling your followers, and others, exactly what you want them to do. “Get your free report” and “Share this post for your free checklist” are very clear calls to action. They are not ambiguous at all. They tell people exactly what you would like them to do, and in return, they will benefit by your valuable free download.
Where should you include calls to action on social media sites? How about everywhere! Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, Periscope and every other of the dozens of popular social media networks have multiple places where you can include a call to action. You want to link back to your landing page or content upgrade. This means that each one of your profile bio fields across all social networking platforms should include your call to action.
This creates several different opportunities to build your list, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year whether you are awake, asleep, working or playing.
Calls to action in your profile work extremely well. This is because people only look at your profile if they’re interested in you. You have already developed some sense of engagement and interest. These people are looking for a way to connect with you, and when they see you are giving away a free download via a call to action in your profile, they are highly likely to take you up on your offer and join your list.
On Facebook, there’s even a call to action button that can be configured on your business page. Link this to one of your freebies to grow your list!
Do It the Right Way!
On Facebook and some other social media platforms, you are allowed to build business and personal pages. LinkedIn and other social networks allow you to create and manage groups. These are excellent places to provide calls to action…. But only in the description areas or pinned posts. You need to provide useful information the rest of the time!
Just make sure that your tweets, status upgrades, updates, posts and other social media engagements are interesting and engaging. Don’t try to sell anything, and don’t keep asking people to buy or subscribe in the updates themselves.
Just provide lots of graphics, video and other attention-getting information in your posts, and include a call to action that leads back to your landing page.
We know that it’s a smart idea to build your list, but you have to build it the right way or you may struggle to grow your brand.
Lisa is running an online business designing WordPress themes. She has a mailing list of over ten thousand and she emails them regularly. However, she complains that she’s not getting any feedback from her list and that they rarely message her looking for tips on how to create and manage their WordPress websites. She’s making some money but not enough to launch the business fulltime. She’s frustrated because she’s not able to level up her business.
Karen also runs an online business designing WordPress themes. She has a mailing list of a thousand subscribers. Like Lisa, she emails them regularly. She gets lots of feedback from her list and she’s always answering emails and messages about their WordPress websites. She’s making enough money that next year she’ll be able to turn her side job into a fulltime business.
You may be wondering what the difference is between Lisa and Karen. Why is one seeing so much success that she can afford to quit her job while the other continues to struggle to make profits?
Are Your Subscribers Engaging with Your Content?
The answer is simple Karen built her list differently than Lisa did. Instead of focusing only on the numbers, Karen looked for subscribers that matched her ideal client profile. She carefully monitored the health of her list and removed subscribers that weren’t engaging with her content. The result is that she has a much smaller list than Lisa but that list is far more engaged.
If you only measure the size of your email list and you’re not taking the engagement of your reach into account, then you’re making a big mistake. Low engagement can be a sign that you’re not connecting with your community.
Are Your Subscribers Buying Your Products?
After looking at your engagement level, you want to start looking at what types of content your list is taking action on. Of the subscribers who are opening your email messages and reading them, how many are taking action? How often do they go on to purchase your product or a product your promoted? If you offer a service like coaching or content creation, are they hiring you?
If you have a new list or a tiny list, then you may not see a lot of activity at first. But as your list grows into the hundreds, you should start seeing some of your subscribers taking action. If you don’t, it might be a sign that you’re promoting the wrong products or that your community isn’t connecting with your messages.
Are You Asking for Engagement?
Some entrepreneurs send out plenty of emails but they never include a call to action. A call to action is the point in your content where you ask your reader to do something. For example, if you run a blog on adult coloring, then email your list with a review of your favorite coloring pencils and ask them to try out the pencils, too.
Remember that if you want engagement, you have to ask for it. It doesn’t always have to be in the form of asking subscribers to buy something. You might ask them to fill out a survey that will help you create your next blog challenge or you could ask them to leave a comment on your latest blog post.
When it comes to building your email list, make sure you’re filling it with subscribers that are genuinely interested in your content. This helps you grow a thriving community that loves your brand and engages with it regularly.
Is your ideal community driven to reach a measurable goal, such as losing weight before summer, publishing a Kindle book or landing their first client?
If your answer is “yes”, running a time-limited challenge may be the best kick-starting strategy for you to build your list.
Challenges are wonderful because they tend to attract people ready to break past long-term obstacles and take action. Once you understand the psychology of this, you have a captive audience that is not only eager but motivated to succeed.
Make sure that your Challenge benefits and advances your ideal member in a transformative way.
- Helps your challenge member achieve a specific goal or fulfill a dream
- Empowers your challenge member with the confidence and/or skills to finally take the next step
- Provides her with a knowledgeable community offering support and encouragement
- Provides her with validation—from other members, as well as from you
- Allows you to share in—and celebrate—her success
Challenges are exciting. They make people feel “in the moment” and alive. Members of your Challenge are drawn together by a common bond and goal—and they all look to you for guidance.
Reasons to use it:
For your own benefit, there is no more powerful testimony than from a person you have directly helped to succeed in attaining a measurable goal or result. As with a Facebook Group, you will also receive priceless feedback in the form of questions, praises and comments.
You will be able to gauge:
- What really excites your typical member
- What she still struggles with
- What major obstacles she finds hard to overcome
- What she finds easy
- What she still needs
- What she desperately wants next
And, of course, you are interactively engaged—with multiple members and potential clients at once.
How to Use it:
Setting up a Challenge can be done in several ways such as via a Facebook Group, through a membership site—whatever works best for you and your ideal audience.
You can set up instant or mini-challenges in contest form. You can use challenges within challenges to keep your members fired up and moving forward: For example, while you are running your Sixty-Day-Finish-your-Novel Challenge, throw in weekly mini-challenges with prizes, such as “Best Title”; or if your paid Challenge includes a deal on software such as eCover Authority, “Best eCover Design”.
Mini-challenges give people small, attainable goals—and there’s no shame in deciding not to participate in optional mini-challenges. They also boost confidence and keep excitement levels high—and let’s not forget that large successes are often built on smaller successes.
That being said, make very sure any Challenge you create is neither too easy nor too hard. It should feel like a “challenge”—but inspire your participant with the feeling that they can do it!
You can also create a free mini-version of your challenge to inspire people, give them a taste of what you’re offering and create momentum.
Create milestones, check-in points and those mini-challenges—and decide in advance if people will be permanently eligible for the next time you run the Challenge; if they can put your Challenge “on hold” if some life event throws a wrench in the works, or if they have to pay full (or partial) price to start again.
Challenges create focus for you, as well as for your members. They help you fast-track your members—and your reputation-building and visibility too.
Challenges create a core community of loyal, engaged followers and subscribers.