In the last 4-5 years, over 120,000 people have given me their email address. I hit these insane numbers through a combination of blogging, SEO, free downloads, free software trials, and more. I spent the last three days reflecting on everything I did, everything I saw, and most importantly, everything that worked.
If you’re asking yourself how to get more email subscribers to grow your newsletter, or to generate more leads, then I’m here to help.
First, I want you to clear your schedule for one entire day. Hold all calls and do not check your email. Do nothing else but complete as many items as you can on this checklist, and I guarantee you will grow your email list by thousands.
1. Offer bonus content or a “content upgrade” in exchange for your visitor’s email address. By offering something valuable in return for their email address, your conversion rates will sky rocket. The easiest, and most popular type of bonus content upgrade is a checklist. It’s a fast way for you to make valuable content your subscribers will love and gladly trade their email address for.
2. Give a different bonus content upgrade away with each post. Most of your visitors found your article by searching Google for something specific in one of your articles. So give them something related to that article in exchange for their email address.
3. Check that your email subscriber form is very mobile friendly. More than likely, most of your visitors are reading your blog articles on a mobile device, and I bet that number is growing. Keep in mind, “mobile-friendly” is a relative term. Something can be mobile-friendly and still suck on mobile phones. Check that your email subscriber forms are VERY mobile-friendly.
4. Add a global bonus content upgrade on every page. This could go in the sidebar, header or footer. Make sure you pick your best performing free download.
5. Use social proof to attract more subscribers. Say, “Join 10,000 Happy Subscribers…” and your conversion rate will explode.
6. According to the science and psychology of digital marketing, color matters! A/B test different colors on your email subscription forms, and push your conversion rates higher. Every little bit counts when growing your newsletter and email list.
7. Use numbers in your subscription form headlines. Numbers attract the human eye way more than words. For example, “10 Super Vegan Foods” will have a significantly high conversion rate than “Ten Super Vegan Foods”.
8. Don’t use generic button copy like “subscribe”. If you’re giving something away, try saying something more exciting and actionable like, “Download Now”, or “Send to my email”.
9. Reduce the number of fields in your subscriber form. Each field removed will drastically improve your conversion rate. Only ask for email, and get the rest later.
10. Be more transparent about how you will use their email address. Say something like, “I’ll send you an email every Saturday morning with…XYZ”. People LOVE transparency!
11. Add a photo of you on on near the subscriber form. Some things will never change. People buy from people… they like, know, and trust.
12. Don’t be afraid to spend money on 3rd party apps. You’re going to need a few apps to grow your list, so don’t be cheap. You shouldn’t need more than a couple hundred dollars a month to get to 10,000 emails, which is 100% worth the money.
13. Only post epic shit. Duh right? Well, no. People post stupid and lazy shit every day. I could have made a bullshit post about 5 ways to increase your email subscribers, but I didn’t. I’m taking my time to write something longer, more insightful, and easy to read.
14. Add email subscriber forms in different areas of your blog. Add one in your header, your sidebar, and try one in the middle, top, and bottom of your blog posts.
15. Add email subscriber forms to older articles that are doing very well, according to Google Analytics. Create bonus content upgrades, and add new email subscription forms to those older posts you created before you read this article.
16. Hold contests and require that participants subscribe to enter. Give something valuable, and easy to send, away. Preferably something something you can email, like a gift card. You’ll get hundreds, or even thousands of subscribers doing this. It’s insane how much humans love contests and free giveaways.
17. Add an email subscription form to your blog’s home page. This will be one of your most frequently traveled pages, and thus, one of your highest converting pages. Guaranteed and agreed upon by experts around the web.
18. Despite how annoying they are, pop-ups do work very well. Not a fan. That’s all I’ll say.
19. People go nuts for the word “Free”. Use that word when possible in your subscriber forms, and use it often.
20. “You” is one of the most popular words, used in the most viral headlines. It gives your visitors a sense of ownership, and the feeling that you’re talking to them. Use this word in your email subscription form.
21. Make sure the text field, where the visitor should enter their email address, is very clear. Add placeholder text that says something like, “Enter your email”. Do not just say email, and do not leave the field blank.
22. In a small, non-obtrusive font, at the bottom of your email subscription form, tell your visitors how much you hate spam, and that you’d never sell their email. This works. People value protecting their email.
23. Add a testimonial from a satisfied reader or subscriber right next to your email subscriber form. This makes people feel extra safe about trusting you with their sacred email. If you can get one, add a photo of the person too. Transparency is everything.
24. Add a newsletter opt-in checkbox on other forms throughout your website, like a contact form, or a sign up form.
25. In addition to the most popular blog pages, make sure you add email subscription forms on other papular website pages. The about page or company page is usually one of the most popular pages on your most websites. Try adding a subscription form there.
26. Launch new articles on Monday, so they go out on Tuesday. Statistically, late mornings on Tuesday, are the best time to get engagement and visitors to your blog post. More visitors means more subscribers.
27. Create and add an image of what the subscriber is getting, on your form or next to it. Like numbers, images draw the eye much better than words and letters.
28. Add text links in the middle your articles to other related articles on your blog. The longer they stay on your website, the more they realize how great all your content is, which means more subscribers.
29. Use the author byline to ask for subscribers. The author byline is that tiny little line of text, below the title of your post, with the author’s name and date of post. Add a little link to your email subscription form, landing page on that line and maximize your byline’s value.
30. Add a “sticky” sidebar widget with your sign up form in it. So, no matter how far the visitor scrolls down, your email form will always be in the right sidebar.
31. Partner with another blogger that has a complimentary subject, as well as a similar amount of followers. Guest post on each other’s sites, and mutually agree to have subscription links on each other’s newsletters or guest posts that go to tailored landing pages with your subscriber form.
32. Segment your email list and send them different content based on their requests or actions. This works best, and is more important for bigger sites. Remember, part of growing your email list, is keeping your subscribers.
33. Ask for a first name now or later down the road. This way you can say “Hello John” or “Hello Sarah” at the beginning of your email. It’s more personal, which people love. However, like I said earlier, be careful of how many fields you show. Too many fields can drastically reduce your conversion rate.
34. Most people spend a lot of time in their email. Probably too much time. Add an email subscription link in your email signature, and maximize the value of your email.
35. Create landing pages tailored to visitors from different areas of the web. If you’re very active on Twitter, create a landing page you can link to, that speaks to people who came directly from Twitter. The same goes for visitors coming from your email signature, Facebook, Linkedin and other areas.
36. Update the links on your social media pages so they go to the correct email subscriber landing page.
37. Guilt visitors into signing up with a little humor. In other words, make them click on something ridiculous like “I hate free money” if they want to opt-out of your subscription form landing pages. Try to be more funny than harsh. Maybe say something like, “No thanks, I hate green paper”
38. Remove clutter and other clickable options from your landing pages. Hick’s Law says the more options you give people, the less likely they will make a decision. So make your visitor’s decision an easy one.
39. Test out different email subscriber apps. Do your homework. Look for the simplest solutions, those are usually the best ones.
40. A/B test every aspect of your email subscription form, including the title, button text, colors, image….everything.Even the app you are using.
Some final thoughts…
Execution is the hard part. Take advantage of knowing that most of your competitors won’t ever execute on these 40 tips. Most will move on to the next thing and forget all about boosting their email list.
But not you. You’re going to block an entire day out to follow my advice, because you know that execution and perseverance is all that matters when becoming a successful entrepreneur or digital marketer.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my advice, and found it valuable.
I wish you the best of luck.