Who here wants to build their email list? Raise your hand. Hmm, that’s everybody, I think. Pretty much what I thought. We all know the importance of growing our email list, right. So let’s get straight into the how.
#1 Know who you want to target
It doesn’t matter what kind of tactic you employ; if your foundation is not built correctly, the tactic won’t work. In this case I am talking about identifying your target audience.
What kind of people do you want on your email list? What problem are you solving or what desire of theirs are you helping them fulfil? Create an ideal reader persona before you do anything else.
#2 Create a high converting opt-in offer
Once you are absolutely clear in your mind what kind of person you want to attract, it is time to create a freebie offer – an ethical bribe to entice people into handing over their email address.
The easiest way to do this is to consider your signature program or flagship product and splinter a single topic from it. Make it super specific. If this doesn’t appeal to your audience, you are not putting yourself in front of the right people.
#3 Choose the right format
How does your audience like to consume your content? Are they primarily readers and enjoy blog posts the most or are they more of visual learners and gravitate towards video? Maybe you are a podcaster and find that you draw large audiences in this format (audio).
Consider matching the format your audience loves. Ebook, mini ecourse, video series, webinar, infographic, or a call recording. Choose that converts the best.
#4 Create a squeeze page
Don’t forget to create a standalone page to describe your free offer. Start with an attention grabbing headline at the top. Spell out the big benefit of signing up. Then do a list of 3-5 teaser bullets to further explain your offering. Add a sign up box and make a strong call to action.
#5 Make it easy for people to sign up
Have you seen sign up pages where people make you jump through hoops to sign up? Don’t be one of those people.
#6 Make a clear offer
Make sure your offer is clear. Don’t just say, ‘sign up for updates’. Tell people exactly what they are going to get. Don’t assume that people know what to do. Every day, there will be people signing up to a newsletter for the first time. Tell them what they need to do.
And don’t forget to tell people this is a free offer and that once they hand over their email they agree to receive email communications from your side.
#7 Start a blog
So you have an irresistible offer. Now let’s talk about all the ways you can get your offer in front of as many people as you possibly can.
First of all, start a blog if you haven’t already. No, it doesn’t have to be time consuming, you can just start with posting once a week, and no the goal is not to become a celebrity blogger. You blog so that there is fresh content being published on your site which attracts new people and to build your know, like and trust factor.
#8 Start a newsletter
Once you start building your email list, start sending out a newsletter. This newsletter doesn’t have to be fancy. It can just be a teaser and a link to your latest blog post, or it can be a newsletter with the link, a thought of the day, tips, images, resource links, or a short offer to work with you. Make your newsletter as useful as you can and ask people to share.
#9 Do a video
People think of blog content as written blog posts but it doesn’t have to be. Try mixing things up a little bit.
Do a little video and embed it in your blog post, or do a video and have it transcribed and publish it as a blog post. People love seeing you on video because there is nothing else that builds trust faster than this medium.
#10 Get an infographic
Try getting someone to design an infographic for you. Infographics when done well have the potential to go viral. People love seeing brightly coloured visuals that explain a complex concept by breaking it down and making it easier to understand.
#11 Create a specific offer for each blog post
Now this tip is not for the faint-hearted.
For every blog post you write, create a unique freebie based on that post. So if you are doing a video, for example, you might want to offer a checklist or a list of resources mentioned as your freebie offer. You might offer a template that people have to sign up to receive.
Yes, this takes quite a bit of work, but the harder part is coming up with what to give away. If you stick to cheat sheets, checklists or one-page offers, it’s not that hard to execute.
#12 Put your offer front and center
Some people are too shy asking for the email. Don’t be like that. If you have a blog style homepage, the offer can go on top of the sidebar so people can see it without having to scroll down.
#13 Showcase a feature box
Consider adding a feature box to your site, meaning add an opt-in box to your site’s header.
#14 Incorporate social proof
If you already have a decent sized list, go on and show off your numbers by all means. Say ‘join 10,000 awesome subscribers’ or something like that.
People take other people’s lead. That is why busy restaurants attract even more people and unexpected queues pique curiosity.
#15 Put your opt-in on your about page
Place your sign up form on every landing page on your website, especially the about page. That, dear reader is one of the most frequently visited pages on your site as people love to find out who writes the blog or runs this website.
#16 Share your opt-in incentive
Remember earlier I recommended you create a standalone landing page for your opt-in offer (squeeze page), well, the beauty of having a page like that is you can promote it on its own. Tweet it out, share it on Facebook, or any other social media platform of your choice.
#17 Encourage people to share your content
It’s not enough to publish content and then and hope like crazy that people will find it. You have to share it yourself. And not only do you share it, you also ask others to share. Make a call to action after every blog post. Ask people to share on social media platforms and make it easy for them to do that. Do not overwhelm them with too many choices.
#18 Ask people to invite a friend
A specific call to action can be asking people to invite their friends to join your list and then rewarding them. If you sell physical products, you can give them free samples. You can give people a discount for referring people. You can do shout outs on social media.
#19 Optimize for search engines
I’m not saying stuff your copy with keywords so it becomes unreadable. What I am suggesting is to be mindful and pay attention to it. Place keywords for your metadata and images info. Make it easy for people to find you using Google so they can also sign up.
#20 Share your content on social media
Create a social media promotion calendar. Schedule updates in advance. I generally advise to master one to two social media platforms before moving on to others. For some people it’s Facebook, for visual brands it might be Instagram or Pinterest, and for more serious brands, it might be Twitter or LinkedIn.
Don’t be scared to repeat your posts. Not all of your followers will see them at one time or share them
#21 Make your content updates enticing
When you post your updates on social media, make it as interesting as you can and give people a reason to check you out. For example, on Facebook, use colourful, eye catching images. On Twitter, add clever, thought provoking snippets to your tweets.
#22 Tweet at influencers
Don’t forget to tweet at the influencers individually using @mention feature when appropriate but don’t go overboard.
Say for example you wrote a blog post where you used one of their quotes, it is fine to tweet at them, or when you review their book, or write a follow up to one of their blog posts. Don’t tweet at them at random.
#23 Leave comments on popular blogs
This is an effective strategy if you are new to online marketing and don’t have an audience of your own. Start leaving meaningful and well thought out comments on blog posts.
Don’t just target the A-listers. Connect with the up-and-comers and colleagues in your space. You may see some traffic from your comments but more important it will help you build relationships leading to better list building opportunities.
#24 Form relationships with other bloggers
Connect with other bloggers on social media, through their blog comments, personal emails, online discussion forums and groups, and in real life events and conferences. Strong relationships are a must if you want to grow your list quickly.
#25 Participate in Facebook groups
Dedicate some time to hang out in Facebook groups where you ideal client or customer hangs out. But don’t go crazy promoting yourself. Be of service, help people out and post links to your blog posts if they would truly help someone.
Do this consistently and people will start noticing you and you will get many followers and subscribers as a result.
#26 Create your own Facebook group
Do you think you are a pretty good leader? If so, creating a Facebook group of your own may be a great idea to build your tribe as well as an email list.
The vast majority of Facebook groups fizzle out because it takes a strong leader to build and monitor a group, set group rules to prevent spam and foster engagement. If you are ready to devote some time to do this, do try it.
#27 Promote your Facebook post
Share your blog posts on your own Facebook page.
#28 Run Facebook ads
Use Facebook ads to build your email list super quickly. Firstly, you can boost your blog posts as they are quite inexpensive and reach more of your fans. Secondly, invest in Facebook ads to promote your opt-in offer.
#29 Hold contests on Facebook
Hold contests and giveaways on Facebook on your own or partner with someone else.
#30 Host a free challenge
Create a challenge for your tribe and ask them to share. Promote on social media platforms and groups.
#31 Do webinars
Webinars are great for building your email list. But you have to understand the tools and have the skills to do it right.
Create a webinar on a topic that has been requested by your audience or is in demand. Create a stellar presentation and practice. Promote your webinar on social media and/or using Facebook ads. Give tons of value so you start generating word of mouth helping you get even more subscribers.
#32 Do Guest posting
Guest blogging is a fantastic way to build your email list. And what I love the most about this method is that you attract the warmest leads. People who sign up are doing so because they have consumed a piece of content written by you and so they are way more interested in your brand than people following you from social media or Facebook ads.
#33 Appear on podcasts
Don’t wait for people to approach you. Seek out podcasters and appear on podcasts and radio shows.
#34 Cohost a webinar/telesummit
Invite someone to do a joint webinar and promote to each other’s list.
#35 Do Google hangouts
Do impromptu Google hangouts. Connect with your audience and new peeps.
#36 Do interviews
Get interviewed via Google hangout or just via email.
#37 Interview people
Interview other people. They can be colleagues and up-and-comers and not necessarily industry leaders. Interview them on Google hangout, on Skype or via email.
#38 Network in events and conferences
Attend real life events and conferences. You are bound to meet new people to form relationships with and attract new subscribers.
#39 Host a local workshop
Hosting local workshops or teaching classes can be a great way to get new people on your list.
#40 Create a media kit for local radio/TV opportunities
Don’t forget traditional media or PR opportunities to build your list. Create a media kit and make it available on your website. Get professional photos done and provide links to your media mentions, interview and noteworthy accomplishments.
So there you have it. These are my top 40 ways to get high quality leads and build your email list. What worked for you? What would you add to this list? Share with us in the comments below!