You’ve heard it time and again:
When it comes to growing a profitable business, you need to build up your email list. No online business owner these days is a stranger to this fact.
But despite this, business owners still commit one mortal sin of email list building…
They’re not doing it fast enough!
Speed is a killer. Each time you don’t generate new leads is a missed opportunity to make more money. This also means that you’re losing potential contacts to your best competitors.
Here’s another reason why you should keep your email list fresh:
Email marketing databases naturally degrade by about 22.5% every year. This surprising statistic is based on Marketing Sherpas’ recent research. You naturally lose contacts because people may change their email addresses. Unqualified leads also choose to opt-out.
So, how can you grow your email list as fast as possible? Today’s blog post will show you 10 easy and effective ways.
1 - Place your email sign-up form in a prominent spot
You can write the best email opt-in form copy and entice visitors with an incentive. But first, you need to make sure that your form stands out. A simple trick is to place it in areas where prospects can see them. Do this and your conversions will increase.
Here are five places where you should add your sign-up form:
1.1. Top of sidebar
Optin Monster does a great job of adding their optin form at the top of their sidebar. This area is the most common place to take advantage of. It’s prominent and difficult to ignore. Like Optin Monster, place your optin form at the top of your sidebar, above your social sharing buttons - not below them.
1.2. At the end of a blog post
Getting people to read your entire article is difficult. Not to mention, a lot of readers don’t even go past the headline!
So, if someone makes his way towards the bottom of your post, your content must be very engaging. Instead of allowing those engaged readers to just leave your website, why not invite them to be part of your subscriber list?
When you add a sign-up form at the bottom of each post, you are turning attentive readers into business leads. Doing this also ensures that you get qualified leads.
1.3. About page
An “About” page is one of the most valuable pages of a website. People visit it more often because it’s where they learn more about a business. It contains your brand story, helping you connect with your customers.
Even if you create the most amazing About page, you’ll lose a lot of potential customers if you don’t include an email sign-up form.
Qualitystocks.net, an investor relations website, was able to achieve a subscriber growth of 158%. All they did was make a small tweak which was adding a sign-up form to their About page.
1.4. Floating bar
A floating bar remains visible on your users’ page even if they scroll down. So, it’s a brilliant way to make people notice your message without being intrusive. Floating bars eliminate the need for them to scroll back or explore other pages just to join your mailing list.
Below is an example of a floating bar found on TwelveSkip, a marketing blog. Notice the use of a color that makes the floating bar stand out. This candy color also jives perfectly with TwelveSkip’s dominant color which is violet.
1.5. Website footer
Footers are of significant importance. When used the right way, they are meant to provide links to your most important website pages and social media profiles.
Make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to gather leads in this area with a sign-up form. Remind your visitors that they can get updates. Be creative so that your form stands out by using a prominent color.
2 - Hook your audience with a case study
Marketers often overlook case studies as a great marketing tool. Case studies allow you to tap into the power of storytelling.
Since people hate to be sold to, a case study effectively tells prospects a story about how a customer was able to overcome an obstacle and live happily ever after by leveraging a solution. That way, your prospects can build an emotional connection with the subject of the case study and be curious about your product or service.
Below, you see how MarketingProfs requires their visitors to enter the email address first in order to access one of their free case studies.
If you want people to give out their email address, your lead magnet needs to make them feel excited.
It all starts with your case study headline. Case study headlines should give prospects a sneak peek of what they can expect. The classic “how” or “how-to” headlines (similar to the example above) works every time.
Furthermore, your headlines should mention the specific benefit that resulted from following a solution. In the example above, “went global” was the achievement of a small company. Including specific numbers also makes the end results more tangible.
3 - Feature a lead magnet
The only way to get whatever you want is to help others get what they want.
If you were to entice your prospects to give out their contact information, you need to bribe them with something valuable as well. This thing of value is your “ethical bribe,” a fancy term for lead magnet or opt-in incentive.
Informational products are the most common lead magnets. The example below shows a lead magnet in the form of a free 10-day mini course. This lead magnet teaches its audience how they can make money from their passion.
No matter what type of lead magnet you choose, whether it’s a cheat sheet, quiz, or sales material, keep these 3 things in mind:
- Immediate gratification - You want to satisfy a need in your audience as fast as possible. How quickly will your prospect be able to consume your lead magnet? Make sure that your audience receives and applies your promised solution in less time. Ready-made templates and tools convert because they provide fast results.
- Delivers high value - Your lead magnet has to make a difference in your prospects’ lives that they can’t believe you’re giving it away for free. To create a valuable lead magnet, first, identify what your customers actually need. Don’t make assumptions.
- Showcases your strengths - Good lead magnets do not only grow your subscriber base; they also demonstrate your expertise. If you’re an expert at writing ebooks, go ahead and write. If you’re great at shooting videos, go with videos.
4 - Share your blog posts
So you’ve already built an audience on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms… But the size of your mailing list is suffering. What should you do?
We already know the value of sharing your blog content to social networks using social sharing buttons.
But sharing your post doesn’t just boost your brand exposure and increase your readership. This practice also increases the chances for visitors to subscribe to your mailing list. Just be sure that readers will be able to see your sign-up form by placing it in a prominent spot.
Consistency plays a huge role in growing your email list fast through social sharing. The more often you get your posts out to social media, the more likely for people to check them out.
You can also encourage people to do the sharing themselves. At the bottom of your post, write a call-to-action that invites them to share your post on social media.
Here’s an example call-to-action:
Did you find my tips helpful for first-time solopreneurs? If so, feel free to share my blog post on Facebook and Instagram using the social media buttons below.
5 - Create a viral giveaway campaign
While there are various techniques that promise to speed up your list building efforts, there’s one strategy that ALWAYS WORKS. This strategy is creating a viral giveaway.
If you’re not placing viral giveaways at the top of your priorities, you’re losing a lot of opportunities to collect thousands of subscribers in less time. Let’s take a closer look at viral giveaways - what they are and how they work.
What is a viral giveaway? A viral giveaway is essentially a giveaway you create with the intention of going viral. When you launch a giveaway, there are certain steps you should follow:
Step 1: Choose a prize - This prize should be something that people will want to get their hands on. More importantly, it should be related to your business. That way, you get targeted leads.
Step 2: Build a landing page - Your landing page is where your viral giveaway lives. It’s where you’ll be collecting people’s email addresses and getting them to share your campaign.
Step 3: Promote the campaign - It’s crucial that you get your landing page to as many eyeballs as possible. Share your landing page to social media and your existing email list. Advertising on Facebook is also a smart strategy to use.
At UpViral, we help people run their own viral giveaways. Just recently, we wrote a case study about one of our users, Nic Kusmich, an entrepreneur and marketer, who was able to generate a total of 1,651 leads by running a viral marketing campaign.
Nic wrote a book on Facebook advertising which he promoted. On his landing page, he explained the benefits of buying his $4 book. But to spark people’s interest in his offer, he added a $197 training bonus. That bonus was the irresistible offer that compelled people to join his campaign.
In order to multiply the number of shares for his giveaway campaign and generate as many email sign-ups as possible, he created a unique share link. The winner of his prizes would be the person who brought in the most book purchases through the unique share link.
Take note that in a viral campaign, email sign-ups are necessary because it’s how you’re going to let your audience know they’ve won.
Some marketers hesitate to give such viral campaigns a try because of the time and money they may spend on advertising the campaign and using a viral marketing platform.
Keep in mind that a viral giveaway is a long-term investment. For a small budget, you can increase the reach of your brand and generate thousands of qualified leads.
6 - Guest post for popular websites
Do you spend a huge amount of your time guest posting on other blogs? If so, why not use it to build your list? Growing your list quicker is possible if you approach influential blogs. These blogs already have a solid audience that you can tap into.
Posting on websites that are still new or don’t get a lot of engagement will not give you desirable results. Alltop lists popular sites in any niche. Head over there and start browsing.
Let me tell you now that guest posting only becomes a magic bullet to increase your subscriber list if you do this one thing: Write effective guest posts.
You should touch on topics that people care about and add value to their lives. If you do this, readers will make it until the end of your post. In your author bio section, link to a landing page instead of just your homepage.
7 - Use social proof
My wife and I spent our day in a theme park one weekend.
We noticed that some people were curious to try out this crazy roller coaster ride, and they were observing how the riders were doing. Perhaps these curious people were first-timers and wanted to see some “reactions” before they’d dive in.
Social proof is a powerful marketing tool that builds your integrity. It calms the worried minds of customers. People need to hear unbiased opinions about a business, and that’s where testimonials and reviews come in.
So, it doesn’t matter if you own an amazing business if people don’t think you are.
One way to use social proof is to capitalize on numbers. The higher your numbers, the more trustworthy you are.
In the example below, you can see that Shoutmeloud.com displays the total number of people (“shouters”) who joined their community. 919,074 shouters is impressive. We can’t be sure what 919,074 means. It may include the size of their email list, followers, and more.
There are also other ways to use social proof to build your subscriber list.
You can put a face to your testimonials. Accompany every customer testimonial a picture of himself or herself. This becomes even more influential if your testimonials come from famous people.
Customer stories are another great form of social proof. The elaborate in detail how a business was able to transform a customer’s situation.
Here’s an example of a customer story that persuades new customers:
8 - Improve your search rankings to boost traffic
How does SEO boost your lead generation efforts? SEO works by positioning your website at the top of search engine results.
When searchers see your content after they enter a keyword about their desired topic, they follow that link back to your website. If they like your content, they sign-up for your mailing list.
SEO is not just a strategy for increasing your visibility. More importantly, it helps you generate traffic and new business leads. Optimizing for SEO takes months before you see results. But once you get to page one or even rank for a featured snippet, your subscribers skyrocket.
9 - Link to your landing page from your Instagram bio
Have you been using Instagram to promote your brand? Getting those followers is a great thing - but if you’re not moving them into your inbox, you’re wasting your social media marketing efforts.
Why? Because email is the only way you’re going to get really close to them. On days when your Instagram followers don’t see your posts, you can still keep them updated through email.
The clickable link in your bio - it’s the only place where you lead people to your landing page. It’s the only link you can optimize unless you leverage Instagram ads. The benefit you get is that you can change it anytime.
You can promote whatever page you like, depending on your campaign, while boosting your subscriber list.
Harry’s does an awesome job of optimizing their Instagram bio link.
What did Harry do to compel their followers to click on their bio link? They included a simple and straightforward call-to-action: “Tap the link in our bio for more.”
Now, remember that in order for your Instagram followers to sign-up instead of leaving your website as soon as they click your link, entice them with a lead magnet.
10 - Use exit-intent popups (the right way)
The goal of using exit-intent popups is to convert a leaving visitor into a subscriber. Some marketers even believe that these popups destroy the user experience.
But come to think of it - if you don’t remind visitors to sign-up before they exit your website, you get fewer subscribers! In fact, crafter and blogger Nikki found out that her exit intent popup generated 1,375% more email sign-ups than her sidebar opt-in form.
Here’s the screenshot of Nikki’s popup:
Don’t feel scared about using these popups because they still work. However, optimize them so that you get positive responses from your audience.
Ensure better targeting with your popup. Make sure that it is relevant to the page where your visitor just left off. For example, if they leave a product page, you may offer a discount or voucher in your popup in exchange for their email.
To minimize distraction, choose a quality popup design. You should use colors, shapes, and fonts that match your website’s theme.
Lastly, write a copy that speaks directly your audience. It needs to be straightforward and focus on the benefit that a subscriber will get.
You can’t afford to ignore your email list. It’s one of your best business assets that will give you more opportunities for developing great relationships with your audience - relationships that will impact your bottom line.
There are definitely more methods to explore to grow your email list fast - but there’s a lot to gain already with the ones I listed above. Explore as many angles as possible, because what might work for others may not work for you.
Do you think your email list is not growing fast enough?
We created a marketing platform called UpViral that allows you to run online contests and giveaways on landing pages you can fully customize. On these landing pages, add an opt-in form and a lead magnet to entice more sign-ups.
But wait, there’s more… UpViral maximizes lead generation by making sure that one subscriber will bring in two or more subscribers!
Every person who enters your contest to win your prize signs up. After he enters his email address, he is given a unique invite link. Then he’ll be required to share the invite link to their social media friends.
The more people who join the contest through the link, the more entries they get to win your prize.
To show you how UpViral helped increase business owners’ email list size to hundreds of thousands of subscribers, check out our case studies and testimonials.