Overview

The practice of gathering email addresses from guests of a website is referred to as list building. This is done to expand the subscriber database and enable future commercial contacts with potential or current clients. However, the bad news is that with time, your email marketing contact pool will deteriorate.

Your contacts' email addresses may change if they move from one employer to another, opt-out of your email communications, or discard an address that was solely used to fill out forms on websites.

Building an email list is an essential technique for marketers. According to statistics, 59 per cent of customers say marketing emails have a favourable or unfavourable impact on their shopping decisions. In addition, email marketing increases client retention, according to 80 percent of company executives. As a result, it's your duty as a marketer to make sure you're constantly adding new contacts to your email lists so you can keep growing.

Building an email list, on the other hand, is a complex undertaking. You can't expect to get thousands of subscribers from a single lead collection form. Building a good email list needs perseverance and, above all, a well-thought-out strategy. 

Let's check out some essential strategies to build your email list quickly. 

Following these showed results for me. I am sure it will show results for you too! So, without further ado, let's get into it.

Use popups for upgrading content

Hate pop ups? Well, it's time to get over it. Popups are very efficient, so much so that even the simplest of popups have converted successfully. Take, for example, this popup I created.

Looks pretty bland, right? You would be surprised to know that this single popup has garnered over 3600 subscribers to my email list within three months. 

Here's how to make it more powerful. Add a Content Upgrade. You must be thinking, what does that even mean?  It means keeping your customers interested by offering them something they want because, let's be honest, no one cares about your "free updates' '.

For example, in one of Bryan Harri's posts on a new productivity technique called "The Zero Based Calendar",  he has included a "Bonus Lesson" for productivity.



To get access to that, one needs to subscribe to their email. Now, a genuinely interested person will undoubtedly subscribe! I also applied this technique to my articles, and I got a 65% increase in conversion rates!

Moral of the story: Include page-specific offers instead of something very generic( free updates!) 

Hack Qualaroo and quickly build your Email list

First of all, Qualaroo is a survey tool that surveys people visiting your website. What if I tell you that you can hack this tool to build your email list. 


For example, the University of Alberta has recently seen a more than 500% subscriber boost. As a result, the University was seeking to increase conversion rates on their email updates page. 


What they did was to encourage visitors to sign up to their email instead of polling visitors. One could easily subscribe to their email newsletter directly through the Qualaroo form! It pushed the daily subscription rate from a depressing 1-2/day to at least 12-15/day! 

Optimize your confirmation page 

How many times has it occurred that you have missed a subscription confirmation email because it simply went to the spam folder or because you were practising the cello and missed it? Whatever be the reason, the "Confirm your Subscription" email might be doing you more harm than good!


Over 25% of your potential customers might just be bailing out in the process! 

However, here's the good news. You can get more of your opt-ins to confirm their subscription by simply optimizing your confirmation page.

Here's how my email newsletter confirmation page looks like:


Three different features to look out for here:

1: Reiterate the benefits

Quickly remind the customers of the benefits they are getting. That way, it increases reliability and confidence in your business.

2: Include a clear CTA

This is a huge factor. If someone doesn't subscribe after seeing this, they are less likely to subscribe anytime soon. 


What's more, you can also go creative and include a countdown timer on your confirmation page. Genius move, we say!



3: Walk customers once again through the steps

Although the customer might already know what steps to follow, it is always a good idea to guide them through it once more. Visual cues have always been known to work better. 


Last but not least, this conveys to your user the impression that you are a helpful person with an equally user-friendly approach. 

Limit the options

Take a look at this bounce exchange popup from Menshealth.com. 


Note the "No Thanks, I'm not looking to lose weight" option.

No, we are not encouraging body shaming here. The idea is to make the potential customer feel like he's missing out by not opting in. 

As silly as this sounds, giving two options boosts conversions.

Here's another from Timothy Sykes on his exit-intent popup.




Try making your other option as ridiculous yet relatable. This surprise factor will be an excellent drive for your future conversions.

On that note, have you heard about the term "Single Option Aversion"? Professor Daniel Mochone of Tulane University first coined this term. He experimented by surveying three research groups and told them to imagine they were about to buy a DVD player.

One group was given only SONY DVD player details, another given only the PHILIPS Dvd player details, and the other group presented the details for both. 

What do you think happened?

Almost 33% of subjects who were given both options were ready to make a decision right there. On the other hand, only 10% of subjects with a single option were prepared to buy. So the "Single Option Aversion" is natural.

Avoid the "Social Proof Paradox"

First, let's start with a classic piece of advice we often get. That is, you should use social proof, aka your subscriber count, to get more people to subscribe to the email list. 

But what if you have like 20-25 subscribers? How is that going to help?

That is precisely what I call the "Social Proof Paradox". Is there any solution to this problem? Sure. 

The answer lies in Testimonials.

Here are some examples of a newsletter sign up page.


Bottom line: You don't need an impressive amount of subscriber count to get people to subscribe. Sometimes a highlighted positive testimonial can work wonders.

Edge out your competitors with Builtwith.com

What is the BEST conversion tool for your business?

The answer is simple. You use the same tools as your competitor. 

How? Of course, you can try building your email lists on your own or refer to the source code of your competitor site. 


Phew!

Or you can save yourself the unnecessary hassle and use Builtwith. Built with shows you the EXACT tools that your competition has used for making their email list. Exhilarating right?

Here's how this works. First, paste the homepage URL of your competition onto the tool.


The tool then shows you various information, including traffic sources and links used.


Hover to the "Analytics and Tracking" section. 


You will learn about all the tools your competitor uses for various purposes like split testing, email marketing and more.

Use LPF Technique

You probably have heard of the term "Landing page" by now. For those unaware, it's the page where you collect emails. Of course, this page also contains a clear CTA. Now, where do you want your potential customers to stumble upon on your site? Sure, you can say "my best blog post". However, that won't translate to business. Your email newsletter subscription page will. With the help of the LPF or Landing Page Funnel Technique, you can strategically redirect your traffic towards this page. This technique is effortless. Here's how to go about it:

  • Step 1: First, identify and segregate the landing pages that are performing well

Here is a Social Squeeze page at Backlingo, which has a conversion rate of 21.7%. Here's how it looks like:


Along with this page, their email newsletter subscription page was also a high performing one. So step1 is done. Now, onto the next.

  • Step 2: Design in a strategic way to funnel traffic to high-converting pages

This is indeed the more tricky part. Here's how the folks at Backlingo did it- they created several links around their site to redirect the user to the desired pages. They put these links up on their top navigation page and under the "Popular Articles" section of the sidebar. 




Make use of LinkedIn groups

Do you know LinkedIn is a great way to build your email list? Here's how. Indeed, you know about LinkedIn groups, right? When you join a Linkedin group, LinkedIn sends you a "Welcome to the Group" email. Here's how it looks.


Note the link adjacent to the "Confirm your membership" part. Where do you think this will lead you to?

Yep, a well-designed landing page.


You can adopt the same strategies if running a LinkedIn group ( Manage-Templates> Welcome Message). You can include the link for your landing page here.


The 8 Magic words

"Sign up for our newsletter" or "Get access to exclusive content here"- which one sounds more appealing to you?

Unless you are a very dull person, the 2nd option is truly the better of the two. 

Now you might question what's wrong with the first one? No, there's nothing wrong except maybe the fact it doesn't add any value. Don't underestimate the importance of perceived value on offers. Moreover, it doesn't sound appealing enough.

Here are the magical eight words that usually work wonders. You can use 1 or 2 from this list. 

  • Exclusive
  • Featured
  • Download
  • Secret
  • Access
  • Special Offer
  • Limited Time
  • Advanced

However, DON'T use more than three words at a time. After all, "Exclusive Access to a Featured Limited Time Download" is an equal turnoff.

YouTube bonus giveaways

Marketing on YouTube is a tricky business because, lets be honest- YouTube CTRs( Click Through Rates) are horrible!

So, how to get new users to sign up for your email list? Simple. Do giveaways!

The key to a good giveaway session is- Offer something YOUR users will need or appreciate. For example, if you are a cooking channel, maybe do giveaways with some good quality exclusive vegan recipes or a high-end food processor. In short, give the people what they want!

Here is a giveaway offer posted by a digital marketing Youtuber.


Next, add a card to your video. Make sure it catches the viewer's attention right away. Make sure it is linked to your opt-in page.

And you are set!

Use "Readers" or "Generators"

There is another way to make your business look reliable about that Social Proof Paradox we discussed earlier. 

That is, even if you have like 100 subscribers.

For most websites, the monthly traffic count is significantly better than Facebook fans or other traditional forms of social proof. Use this monthly count as a Feature. 

Here is an example.

The only time when you should not resort to this strategy is if you are getting less than 5000 monthly visitors. 

In that case, stick to user reviews and testimonials till you gain the desired monthly traffic count.

Pitch email newsletter to Twitter followers

If you are not pitching your newsletter to your Twitter followers, you are seriously missing out. After all, your Twitter followers already like you. So, how about capitalising on that?

It would help if you tried this with other social media platforms too. However, it is easy and effective.

Offer a free bonus to new subscribers

Gaining new customers is a lot of work. But, have you heard of the business quote, "It's 5x cheaper to keep a customer than to gain a brand new one"? 

YES. It is much easier to prevent customers from clicking on that "Unsubscribe" button. All you need to do is to provide unannounced gifts to customers who just signed up. You can offer free eBooks, tutorials and anything you feel your subscribers are going to like.

You can offer free eBooks, tutorials and anything you feel your subscribers are gonna like.

Give access to these resources right after they subscribe.

The result: You make a remarkable first impression!

Tease your blog posts

For this one, we harp on the inherent human nature. When you feel like you might miss out on something, you do your absolute best not to. 

It would help if you capitalized on this "Fear of Loss".

How? By teasing some vital snippets of information that will need a subscription for further access.

Here's a blog post from Brian Dean.


And here’s a link at the top

As well as at the end of the post.




These types of links are also known as the Optinmonster Links. On clicking, an opt-in box appears. This opt-in box shows you an enlarged and detailed view of what they would be missing out on if they didn't subscribe.

Fortunately, this trick has performed very well. The two links from that one post have quickly garnered 37 subscribers to the email list. Not bad for a single post!

You can scale this up and follow this strategy using some of your best blogs, and in no time, you will be gaining dozens of subscribers!

Be creative, get weird CTAs

A lot of times, people don't click on the subscribe button even after following through. What can be the reason? Well, they might have suddenly changed their mind.

To analyze further, why do you think they changed their mind?

While there can be many reasons( including them suddenly remembering they left the gas on!) One of the most critical factors is boredom. 

Your "Join Now" or "Submit" buttons sound like every other email newsletter they have come across. Besides, traditional words like these make customers feel like they are committing to something serious, and the excitement of learning goes away!

Instead, use fun expressions like "Let's do this" or "Sounds good". They are more personalized and add to the fun factor.


Summary: Stand out from the crowd.

Convert blog comments

Do you know that you can convert blog commenters into subscribers with minimal effort?

It's easy and only takes a few minutes.

Here is what Brian Dean tested at Backlingo.


When someone checks on this box and "Submit comment", they are automatically added to his email list.

Sounds great, right?

Plus, since they are commenting, it is most likely that they have enjoyed the article. Brian Dean gained 214 subscribers by keeping this feature live for only a few weeks. 

Pretty impressive.

If you are well versed in WordPress, this must be a cakewalk for you. It is the easiest yet the most overlooked way of building your email list.

But wait, the final and MOST important tip is still pending.

Utilize your About Page

Do you know that you can use your About Page to describe more than just what your business is about and why you are different? 

Yes. You can build a pretty solid email newsletter list from this page. After all, your About Page is easily one of the most visited pages.

Think about this. Someone interested enough to read through your About Page is most likely to subscribe to your newsletter. So why not give them the option to do it on your About Page only?

Take, for example, Brian Dean, who has not one but two opt-in forms on his About Page. Once in the middle and the other one right at the bottom.


Look at how well these pages convert.


Wrapping up

Building a formidable email list is key to expanding your business. However, more often than not, people seem to overlook this strategy in favour of social media marketing. However, email newsletter subscriptions are equally, if not more, effective for business expansion. I am confident using these strategies mentioned above will help you in gaining new customers. All the best!

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