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5 Easy and Effective Techniques to Boost Your Email Sign-ups

Building your email list too slowly could be losing you money. Your email list represents the most effective way to reach out to people who have already shown you a degree of trust. If you are a blogger, these are your loyal readers. If you’re building a business, these are the customers who’ll be returning with more work.

Did you ever think of it this way?

Building your email list too slowly could be losing you money.

Your email list represents the most effective way to reach out to people who have already shown you a degree of trust. If you are a blogger, these are your loyal readers. If you’re building a business, these are the customers who’ll be returning with more work.

Email marketing can radically reduce your costs for promotion. But you first need an email list.

The good news is that building your email list is not difficult. It’s actually pretty straightforward.

You just have to get round to doing it. And this is how.

Here are 5 easy and effective techniques to boost your email sign-ups:

1. Offer Content Upgrades

Offering a resource in return for someone’s email address is hands down, the most effective list building method. You can check out the research here.

This method is generally known as offering a lead magnet, email incentive, or opt-in bribe (they all mean the same). Often, these are generic ebooks related to the topic of the overall blog. A content upgrade is a bit different.

A content upgrade is when the email incentive specifically compliments the content on the page.

For example, let’s say you’re a freelance web designer with a web design blog. Your email incentive could be: “A Quick Guide to Saving Money by Setting the Right Website Requirements”. I’m sure your clients would find this very useful.

But what if you wrote a blog post titled “10 Ways to Promote Your Website Locally”, and at the end of the post you offered a PDF content upgrade discussing the “11th and most effective website promotion technique you used to generate $7000+ in sales”.

Let me tell you this. I would not only sign up and download the PDF, I would devour it.

Why? Because it’s directly related to the blog post. Although the ‘website requirements’ opt-in bribe is excellent, the ‘11th website promotion method’ content upgrade is much more relevant.

Content upgrades are often used for long posts, as these are normally very detailed and offer sufficient information for the reader not to feel cheated when s/he arrives at the content upgrade.

If you wish to offer content upgrades, a couple of WordPress plug-ins which you can explore are OptinMonster (paid) and Optin Forms (free).

2. Seduce visitors with your Squeeze Page

A squeeze page is a landing page solely focused on converting visitors to subscribers by offering an email incentive.

Having a squeeze page is a technique that is often overlooked, yet it is really, really effective. A good squeeze page will convert one third of your visitors into subscribers.

Your squeeze page is something that you can drive traffic to from multiple sources such as your blog, your guest posts, forum and email signatures, and social media profiles.

If you’re not doing this, you’re losing potential subscribers. You’re leaving money on the table.

Some software that you can use to create squeeze pages include LeadPages (which has its own WordPress plug-in) and WordPress Landing Pages (free).

3. Stand out with Feature Boxes

A feature box is a big sign-up box in at the top of your website offering readers your email incentive and asking them to sign up. This is normally found on your homepage or blog.

Here is an example:

Many top, respected bloggers like Jon Morrow and Derek Halpern swear by this. It just works.

People surfing online are increasingly learning to ignore sidebars and so putting a feature box at the top of the page makes your email incentive almost impossible to ignore.

My favourite WordPress plug-in for this is Plugmatter’s Optin Feature Box Plugin. Plugmatter offer both free and premium versions (from $37). Overall the plug-in is easy to use, making implementing this list building technique a quick task.

4. Use Comment Redirect

Comment Redirect is a fantastic, simple plug-in by Yoast. It redirects visitors who comment for the first time on your website, to a thank you page that you pre-define.

This thank you page is a great place where you can ask users to sign up to your email list. Visitors who are redirected to your thank you page are already engaged with your website, and so they are more likely to appreciate the free resource that you are offering them.

5. Organize a Giveaway

This is perhaps the toughest from the list, but effective and certainly doable.

When organizing a giveaway, keep in mind that there is always someone who is ready to give his product away for free. They might need product feedback, more exposure, or they might want to grow their user-base.

Various types of companies take part in giveaways. They might be companies planning new product launches, startups, struggling companies needing a breakthrough, and even established brands.

You can partner with any of these types of companies, give away their product for free, whilst growing your email list. It’s a win-win-win situation for all parties involved.

The great thing about a giveaway is that it is something you can organize without needing a product of your own. You just need to promote, promote and promote.

Furthermore, if you organize it well, using software like Rafflecopter or Kingsumo, your giveaway might even go viral.

What would 1ooo new signups mean to your blog or business? I bet quite a bit.

So, what are you waiting for?

I’ve laid out 5 effective techniques to boost your email list.

Pick one.

Only one.

And commit yourself to implementing it this month on your website.

Soon enough, you’ll start seeing new subscribers trickling in. I don’t know about you, but I love waking up in the morning and seeing that my email list grew while I was sleeping!

That’s what you can achieve by implementing these techniques.

You can do it.

Remember, the money is in the list.

Have you started collecting emails through your website? If yes, what’s your favorite list building method? Please do share, we’d love to know.

Alyona Galea
Alyona Galea
Alyona is a WordPress enthusiast, focused on sharing interesting things she comes across during her work with this great CMS. She loves exploring new destinations and maintains a travel blog at www.alyonatravels.com

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16 Responses

  1. Oooh, I like that Comment Redirect plugin – I’ll def be checking that one out!

    I’ve had great luck with my Quick & Dirty guide to branding email signup incentive. The problem we face as marketers is that so many have great hype but their incentives turn out to be crapolla. People are getting used to that so I find it getting harder and harder to get a signup out of a first time visitor. I think trust goes a long way when it comes to conversions. The more you can build the faster people are to take action.

    Great list, Jeffrey!

  2. Glad you found something useful in the list Dre. Yep the Comment Redirect plugin is a great idea (unfortunately I can’t use it on my own site since I use Disqus, bleh).

    What you say about many email incentives being crappy is true. Though, I think just like anything else it’s about being ahead of the curve in terms of techniques used. For instance, to boost conversions, have you thought about using FB retargeting on your blog (leading to your landing page)? It’s something that’s picking up. I know you hate FB, but if it works … why not?

  3. I’ve been intending to try out the feature box sign-up while dangling a few tasty morsels there, so I’ll be moving that one up my priority list now.

    Another way I’ve been boosting my email list is by doing a few co-hosted webinars with other fine marketing folks. It’s usually a win-win but it does take more time to implement than the fine ways you have listed here.

    1. Tom, it’s great that you’re doing co-hosted webinars. Webinars are great because they are still a stand-out form a content. People are more likely to reveal juicy facts on a webinar than on a blog post and so their perceived value is higher. Also the fact that you’re working with others helps because you get to leverage their audience. Keep it up and thanks for your feedback!

  4. Hi Jeff, A great list of tips here. I am in the process of redesigning my website and a feature box is on the list! I have never heard of comment redirect! I will look into that too. Thank you pages are so underused for list building and I like that I can then add a special gift or offer to those that post comments.

    1. I’m glad this list was useful for you Jolynn. If you’re interested in engaging people who comment on your blog, also check out Monarch by Elegant Themes. It’s a social sharing plugin and one of its functions is a trigger to prompt users to share your blog post after they’ve commented. Quite ingenious.

  5. Great suggestions Jeffrey. I’ll be checking out the opt-in feature box for sure. I’m always a bit nervous of the giveaway idea though as different countries seem to have different rules. Any thoughts on the best way through this?

  6. This gave me so much to think about, Jeffrey! I had never heard of Comment Redirect, but it is clear that I have been missing opportunities. Thanks for the ideas!

  7. I, too, was really intrigued by the idea of Comment Redirect. However, I use Disqus on my blog and was disappointed to see you mention in the comments, Jeffrey, that you can’t use it as a result. Are there any other options we could consider?

  8. Some great tips in the Jeffrey. I love the content upgrade or even just a related giveaway based on category. It has boosted my signups immensely. Of course there are some other gems in there like the homepage header (hero section) which I have been meaning to add back to my site.

  9. Hi Jeffery,
    Its cool reading this piece! I wonder why I missed it earlier on! The message on boosting email sign-ups as shared here is very practical.

    I can’t wait to explore the plugins suggested here.

    I see that apart from the idea of using these relevant plugins, we can as well take advantage of the promotion of value they offer!

    This comment was left in kingged.com as well.

  10. Some great tips Jeffery. Enjoyed reading the post.

    You sure have my thinking about the feature boxes. They say the right image can increase opt-ins. Maybe even a good active image? Think I need to test it out.

    Another thing I don’t use is the comment redirect. I think it’s a fantastic idea, and seems it could help to build a relationship with commenters. Though, I’ve switched to Disqus, so might not be possible.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

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