The key question many new bloggers have is how to grow your email list? Even as a veteran blogger you may find it challenging to figure out how to increase your email subscriber list. I have tips and tricks that will help you learn how to build an email list by offering valuable free offers and leveraging smart marketing strategies.
Let’s face it – providing readers with a super valuable, relevant and free offer is the best way to entice them to join your weekly newsletter.
But there definitely are other smart ways to do so.
You’re probably hesitant as to why you need to build an email list in the first place. There are many very good reasons why.
You want them to WANT to read what you have to say on a weekly basis. For this, you’ll need to attract them to you.
We’ll look at how you can do so by solving a pain point and transforming their life with your awesome lead magnet. Relevancy and a perception of value are very important.
We’ll do beyond the freebie and look at several other key ways to grow your email list.
DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click on a product or service, and decide to purchase it, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All recommended products and services are based on my positive experience with them. For more information, please read my Disclaimer.
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Use A Reputable Email Marketing Platform
Before we jump into the topic of growing your email list, you need to have the right tools to do so!
To build an email list for your blog, you first need an easy-to-use email marketing platform.
There are a few that are great for new bloggers as they are free for up to 1,000 subscribers.
MailChimp is one that’s often the “standard” that you see partnered with themes. However, I find it difficult to manage and figure out if you’re new to email marketing.
I’ve been using Mailerlite for now, since it’s free for up to 1000 subscribers, and it’s easy to add automations and other features. After you reach 1000, the cost is very reasonable in comparison to others.
It also has a super easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor for newsletters, which other email marketing platforms do not.
How To Grow Your Email List: The Psychology Of Sign-Ups
If you don’t have a freebie offer (also called a lead magnet), it’s going to be very difficult to attract people to sign up for a newsletter.
If you’re asking them to give something of value (their email address), do you think they’ll want to get nothing in return?
If that’s the case with your newsletter sign-up form, they will be less likely to sign up.
So you will need to create something to offer.
Now let’s get into my key tips!
How To Increase Newsletter Subscribers: Growing To 550 Subscribers In 5 Months
When I started MargaretBourne.com, I was transferring some email followers from my Suburban Tourist site to this new one.
I was starting with a base number of newsletter subscribers. However, I wanted to grow my email newsletter list.
Knowing that sometimes people sign up for freebies (lead magnets) and then unfollow immediately, I was aiming for about 100 new subscribers a month. A realistic number for most bloggers!
I did several things that you may want to adopt to grow your email list:
- Created four opt-in lead magnets that I knew my target readers would be most interested in, and that would work with most of my blog posts.
- Added the lead magnets in relevant blog posts, especially ones that had high-traffic
- Added a hero lead magnet opt-in on my main Home page and at the bottom in the footer
Using this approach, I ended up boosting my subscriber list by over 550 new subscribers in five months!
Even new bloggers can benefit from following smart strategies for growing their email list. Let’s get started!
| READ: How To Start A Blog And Set It Up To Be A Profitable Business
How To Grow Your Email Subscriber List: 5 Smart Ways
Let’s delve into all the key ways you can grow your email subscriber list.
1. Create A Compelling, Valuable Lead Magnet For Your Opt-In
Start growing your email list by having something of value to offer your potential subscribers.
One of the most important ways you can grow your email list subscribers list is to offer your readers a digital download that solves a big problem. It has to be so enticing that they can’t wait to access it.
Think of a common problem your readers may have. Come up with a solution that helps them transform that pain point into a positive.
For parents, it can be something like a huge list of boredom-buster activities for their kids. For fashion types, a guide to matching clothing items that always stump your readers.
You may have to try out a few different types of lead magnets before you find out what works with your readers.
The best way to do so is to:
- Research your reader’s pain points by seeing what questions they have in relevant Facebook groups.
- Create a few, add them to relevant posts and see which ones are doing well with sign-ups.
If a lead magnet isn’t working, you can remove it from your blog. It adds clutter to otherwise clean blog posts. Use only those that get the best opt-in rates.
| READ MORE: The Best Lead Magnet Ideas For Blogs: Over 50 Ideas For Inspiration
How To Create A Lead Magnet
One of the best tools for creating lead magnets is Canva.
The free version is fine, but the PRO version has thousands of pre-made templates for a slew of lead magnet options.
From workbooks, calendars, to-do checklists and more.
Modify them and print them out as PDFs. You can also create your own freebies, as I did with free Pinterest pin templates.
For Canva templates that you create for others to use, you need a Canva PRO account.
How To Send Lead Magnets As PDFs
For any lead magnet that can be sent in a PDF format, you’ll need to find a “home” for it first. The easiest way to do so is to house your PDF on your self-hosted site.
For this, go to MEDIA, in the left-hand sidebar of WordPress. Upload your PDF file. You’ll see it show up as an Attachment File. Open it and you’ll see details on the right-hand side.
Copy the link. You can see it in the right-hand corner.
Add the link to your automated email that you send out to anybody who opts in to receive your download.
They’ll be accessing it from your server, so you’re secure in knowing there shouldn’t be any interruptions or issues.
Another way to provide a file is through Dropbox or Google Drive. In this case, you can send them a link to the file.
Add Your Freebie Opt-in Form To Relevant Blog Posts
The next step in growing your blog email list is to add opt-ins throughout your blog posts.
I have a free worksheet lead magnet for writing an About Me page, a common problem for bloggers.
It’s a given that I should have it in my blog post on writing an About Me page.
However, there are other, somewhat less relevant blog posts that can include this opt-in. The trick is to blend an opt-in into your content so that it makes sense.
So for example, in my blog post on Starting A Blog, I can include the About Me Page Worksheet opt-in lead magnet in the section that talks about writing one’s About Me page.
Which, by the way, have you updated yours? It’s always good to keep your About Me page up-to-date and relevant. Get my free worksheet below:
See what I did here? I tied in the freebie to the actual content of my post.
Add A “Hero” Lead Magnet Opt-In To Your Static Pages
If you have a static home page as I do, or an About, Services/Products, or other static pages that work with having an opt-in lead magnet, this is where you can add one.
For example, I have my opt-in form for pitching brand collaborations on the main Home page and at the footer.
You may have to test out which lead magnet gets the most attention for your key audience.
There’s nothing that says you have to stick to the same freebie offer forever.
For example, I may want to change mine to a free start a blog course and toolkit that I offer.
Add Your Newsletter Opt-in Form To The Sidebar
Although some like to include an embedded form in the sidebar, I usually stay clear of this to avoid slowing down my site.
It can also make the sidebar look cluttered.
However, if you do add a sign-up form, it should be short and sweet. You’ll need to carefully edit your words to be concise yet enticing.
PRO TIP: When you create the embedded form, resize it to fit your sidebar’s maximum pixel width.
Pop-up Opt-In Forms
I’m turned off by any site that uses pop-ups for anything – from ads, and opt-ins to announcements.
There are several reasons why you should avoid pop-ups:
- Too many pop-ups, ads and other sign-up pop-ins from the side can turn a site visitor off
- You’ll need at least 100 pop-up views before you have one person sign up. But how many will you lose because of a pesky pop-up that ruins their user experience?
- Sometimes pop-ups are very difficult to close, which can cause a site visitor to move on
If you still want to use a pop-up for your opt-in, consider having it engage your readesr as they are leaving your page.
Many email marketing platforms have this feature available to users, and it’s the least obtrusive way to create a call-to-action to subscribe.
Freebie Opt-Ins In Headers
When trying to grow their email newsletter list faster, some bloggers add a banner-like header for their lead magnet opt-in.
This is the first thing somebody sees when they visit your post or page.
However, I recommend you keep it small and tasteful.
Your reader hasn’t had a chance to engage with your awesome content yet. So how do they know if it’s worthwhile to sign up to get anything from you in their precious inbox?
A less obtrusive way to alert a reader to a lead magnet opt-in is in a sticky top header announcement bar (like I did with mine).
If your theme allows you to customize it, you can direct readers to a stand-alone opt-in lead page.
Here’s an example of a sticky header announcement that you can modify:
You can also use third-party plugins to create similar header announcement sections to attract readers to your lead magnet opt-in.
Grow Your Blog Email List By Promoting Your Lead Magnets
Aside from using your website, other great ways of promoting the blog post or landing page for your lead magnets are:
- On relevant promotion threads in Facebook groups
- Your Facebook page
- X (formerly Twitter) with a link to a landing page
- Pinterest (add a mention of your lead magnet on your pin designs)
- Your Instagram posts and stories
Another way to get a boost out of your lead magnet is to partner with a few other bloggers who have signed up and love your stuff, to share it with their followers.
It pays to create a network of bloggers who work together to promote each other! But that’s a topic for a future post!
2. How To Increase Email Subscribers By Participating In Bundles
“What are bundles?” – this is probably your first question.
They are themed free or paid packages, organized by one person, who invites others with digital products to submit something relevant to be included in them.
One of the best-known is Ultimate Bundles.
There are many other bundles that are run by bloggers and experts out there. You’re bound to have seen them being promoted if you’re signed up for newsletters for those who are participating in them or are affiliates for them.
So how do you tap into them to grow your newsletter subscribers?
Here’s what you’re going to need to do:
- Have a digital product that’s relevant to the bundle theme
- Submit the digital product and have it accepted as part of the bundle
- Ensure that when somebody signs up to get your digital product within that bundle, they can share their first name and email address.
- Ensure that your email marketing platform has a brief welcome series to introduce you and what you do.
You can grow anywhere between 50 to 1000+ new subscribers depending on the popularity of the bundle.
PRO TIP: Free bundles get way more sign-ups. However, you can anticipate that a good chunk of those who are being added to your subscriber list are “freebie” hunters. Ultimately they may not appreciate emails from you where you sell your digital products and will unsubscribe. This is OK because ultimately you want potential customers on your email subscriber list.
| RELATED: A Guide To Creating And Selling Digital Products On Your Blog
3. Build Your Email List Via Your Facebook Group
Do you have a Facebook group that you run for your blog or business?
Did you know that’s one of the smartest ways to grow your email subscriber list?
It’s a very valid way to generate new subscribers to your list.
Here’s how you do it:
- Make sure your group is private.
- For new applicants, give them the option to add their email address to your newsletter.
- Capture the emails manually and record them in a CSV file via Google Sheets.
- Upload the CSV file to your email subscriber list.
Here’s one of the questions I ask new group applicants before accepting them. They have the option of providing me with their email address.
Alternatively, you can use an automated email collector such as Group Leads to generate email lists.
| RELATED: How To Start A Facebook Group To Boost Your Blog Or Business
4. Run A Quiz On Your Blog
If your blog is generating a good amount of traffic, one of the smartest ways to generate new newsletter subscribers is to run a quiz.
This can be either a pop-up quiz or an embedded one that fits in with traffic-generating, relevant blog content or popular pages.
Determine what your busiest months are traffic-wise and use a tool such as Interact Quiz Maker to easily add new subscribers to your email list.
PRO TIP: Combine your Interact Quiz with a freebie offer and you’re bound to get people signing up. Check out examples of quizzes here.
5. Run A Giveaway Or Contest
There are many widgets and tools for running giveaways or contests, so there’s no excuse!
Many allow you to ask for people to provide their email addresses, which you can then add to your newsletter.
This is a method that some people like to use. I don’t like it as it attracts “freebie hunters” who like to win things.
PRO TIP: Use a tool such as SweepWidget to run your contest. It’s one that offers many different ways to generate followers including email subscribers.
So Now That You’ve Got A New Subscriber…
The next step is to welcome the subscriber and send a welcome email.
This one is very important! It’s your chance to create a first impression, so be real, be you… be friendly and welcoming.
Also, share with them:
- A thank you for signing up to receive their lead magnet
- A bit about how the lead magnet will help them
- I like to add an extra tip that helps them
- What they can expect now that they’re part of my newsletter community
If you have a group you’d like them to join, this is the time to invite them.
If you’ve started monetizing your site, provide a list of items they can purchase or download.
Promote your shop below your weekly email.
If you have courses, promote a free course that includes affiliate links. It’s a win-win.
Those who sign up for it get to see what calibre of courses you create, and you can get potential sales.
Finally, create a weekly email schedule with valuable content – tips, news, trends, deals – to keep your subscribers!
How To Grow Your Email List Summarized
To wrap it all up, the key ways to grow your blog email list include:
Via Your Freebie
- Sign-up to Mailerlite
- Create a valuable freebie download that solves a reader’s pain point
- Add the freebie opt-in form to relevant blog posts
- Add it also to any relevant static pages like your home page
- Included it in the header, sidebar or pop-up
- Promote your opt-in posts/landing pages on external sites/social media
- Keep creating great content in your weekly emails
And other key methods for growing your email subscriber list:
- Participating in bundles
- Using your private Facebook group membership questions
- Running a quiz on your site
- Running a contest or giveaway
You’ll start seeing your email newsletter grow over time. Give yourself small, realistic goals at first. Once you start getting more blog traffic, you’ll find your email list grows faster too!
QUESTION: What is the most challenging thing that’s stopping you from growing your blog email list?
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