5 Free Strategies For Building Your Email List

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Building your email subscriber list is essential to building your business. Online business trends change very quickly, which means internet marketing practices do too. One day My Space is the hottest place to post your profile, then Facebook takes its spot.

When the online business world moves that quickly, there’s only way to be sure you can stay in contact with your most raving fans: an email list.

The people on your email subscriber list raised their hands to say that they want to know more about what you’re doing now and in the future. They’ve trusted you with their name and their email address, which is the most personal online information they have. They are ready to connect with you, learn from you, and, hopefully buy from you.

When you have a healthy email list, full of clients ready to be served by you, you don’t have to worry that a popular platform, like Instagram, will go the way of My Space and leave you with no followers and no engagement.

What do you do if you don’t have thousands, or even hundreds, of subscribers? Here are five proven strategies for building your email list.

Use Opt-ins Liberally

Make sure your reader encounters an opt-in form for your email list several times while they’re on your blog or website. You may feel like you’re bombarding your visitors with your opt-in form when you place it in several places, but trust me, your ideal customer will not feel bombarded. They will be glad to have the opportunity to learn more from you, connect with your brand and have access to all the great things you offer delivered directly to them in their inbox.

You might be wondering, where should I put these opt-in boxes on my site?

First, your most visited page. Have you reviewed your Google Analytics data to see which page has the most monthly visits? For me, it is my About Me page. Check yours to make sure you are giving your readers the chance to opt-in on their favorite pages.

Second, put opt-in forms in several key spots in your overall website design. If you only have one opt-in form, your reader will more than likely skip over it. Posting an opt-in box in several of the most crucial areas of your website and blog posts will ensure your audience sees it.

You want to place opt-in forms where your reader’s eye will naturally come across them. According to ProBlogger, one of the highest converting spots for an opt-in form is after your logo, but before your content. Other highly visible opt-in locations are at the top of your sidebar, the middle of a blog post and at the end of a blog post, before the comment section.

Although I’m recommending that you give your readers as many chances to sign up for your email list as possible, I don’t recommend that you put so many opt-ins in a single blog post that the content is overwhelmed. If the post is only 500 words, for example, the opt-ins will be nearly screaming at your poor reader. Instead, pick the placement that you feel will get the most conversions without being too obtrusive.

Create Lead Magnets

A lead magnet, or freebie, is something you offer your readers for free if they sign up for your email newsletter. Lead magnets have been proven to be very attractive to potential subscribers. Sometimes a lead magnet is a coupon, or a free trial of your product. Other times a lead magnet can be a free content download, like a template or a checklist or an ebook. The key to getting conversions, is to find a lead magnet that is going to be so attractive that your readers can’t resist signing up.

The lead magnets that work best are ones that tie into your content very well. If at all possible, having a variety of lead magnets is the best way to go. That way you can choose a lead magnet that complements whatever content your visitor is reading. For instance, if you’re a realtor and you wrote a blog post about staging your home for sale, creating a checklist of ways to stage each room in the house would be very attractive to your reader.

Add a Link to Your Email Signature

Your email signature shouldn’t be overlooked. It is prime real estate that you should be leveraging to your benefit. Whether it’s your personal email or business email, putting a call to action with an accompanying link to your list in your email signature will help boost your subscriber rate.

Entice your reader to sign up by telling them specifically how they will benefit from subscribing to your email list. Generic text like “sign up for my newsletter” isn’t appealing enough for them to hand over their email address. You’re not giving them any reason to sign up.

However, including a blurb like “sign up for my weekly online marketing newsletter to get a free checklist for optimizing your Instagram profile” will see many more conversions than just including a link. Now they know exactly what kind of content to expect, how often they’ll get an email from you, and that they will get an easy win with your free download.

Leverage Social Media

Social media platforms can spread your influence and draw potential customers to your content. Through social media, you can share your content with a specific audience that you might not be able to reach through only SEO (search-engine-optimization) methods. Reaching out to your audience on social media is especially helpful to a new online business owner who isn’t seeing a lot of traffic from search engines.

However, your goal should be to genuinely engage with users. You don’t want to jump on hashtag trends or use clickbait just to increase your follower count. And you don’t want to flood your feed with posts just for the sake of getting your content in front of as many eyeballs as possible.

To genuinely connect with your audience, you need to listen to them. Spend some time scrolling through conversation threads to see what your target audience is talking about. Look for phrases like “can anyone recommend” or “I wish I hadn’t bought” or other words that indicate that someone is unhappy with a product or serviceThen, figure out what their pain point is. Listen to their frustrations. By tuning into their conversation you can learn more about how to help your potential customers. Ask a probing question or two that will help them clarify their problem. Or, ask a more open-ended question that will allow them to tell you even more about their situation. By asking a question like, “What have you found to be the biggest day-to-day problem with…” you’re giving them the opportunity to explore what’s really causing them trouble.

After you have a better idea of what their problem is, you can make a helpful suggestion, then give them a link to your content. However, helping them should be your focus. Giving them a link to your content is just an added bonus.

Most likely, that user will click over to your content to find out more about how to solve their problem. Once they’re on your blog or your website, you can control the messaging. You can craft your copy in a way that speaks to their issuePlus, they will see your opt-in forms and the lead magnets you’re offering, which further strengthens your authority in your industry. Once they see how much more help you have to offer, they are much more likely to sign up for your email list.

Grab Leads with Pinterest

Although Pinterest frequently gets categorized as social media, in truth, Pinterest is a search engine with a proprietary algorithm, like Google. More importantly, users search Pinterest to solve their problems more than 2 billion times per month. Within those searches, you have a high chance of discovery if you use the platform effectively.

One of the reasons Pinterest can be effective at driving traffic to your website is that pins have longevity. Unlike most social media platforms where your posts disappear from your feed within a day, pins live forever. And the longer your pin resides on Pinterest, the more Pinterest can learn about that pin in order to serve it up in the right search results.

The average Pin is repinned by users 11 times. Plus, 80% of pins are repins, which means users are sharing existing pins more than they are pinning new content. Your pins could potentially earn traffic for years.

How can you leverage this powerful platform to build your email list? You can create a pin that takes users directly to your lead magnet offer.

First, create a graphic for your pin. You can use a free service, like Canva, that already has pin templates for you to use. Then upload that graphic to Pinterest. Include copy that connects and attracts users to your offer, then add specific hashtags to help Pinterest classify your pin.

The more pins you create that take users to your email sign-up page, the more likely they are to find it and click through. Try A/B testing images with and without text overlays, illustrations and life shots, and different captions. With a variety of pins that live on Pinterest for years, you’ll be sure to catch the attention of your ideal customer.

In Conclusion

Now you have five actionable ways to build your email list. If you’re feeling overwhelmed after reading this, just start with one tactic that you think will be the quickest to implement and will have the biggest ROI (return on investment). After you see higher conversions with the first method, you can move on to the next one. Small steps lead to BIG results!

In no time at all, your email lists will be adding subscribers on a daily basis. You’ll have a direct line to your readers and can keep them engaged through valuable information you are serving up.

Now get on building those email lists! I promise, your future self will thank you!

Do you have a question that you would like to see answered on the LB blog? Leave me a comment and you might be seeing it answered in a post very soon!


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    Hi, I'm Liz.
    Your New BFF + Marketing Coach.

    I’m a marketing strategist, coach, and the ads manager behind multiple million-dollar launches. My goal is to empower entrepreneurs to create THRIVING online businesses. Stick with me, I'll teach you the marketing strategies that move the needle in building your online business, influence, and your brand. Along with sharing my best-kept secrets from being in the trenches behind million-dollar marketing campaigns. 

    Whether you're ready to hire this #dreamteam, coming for an online workshop, or joining my course, or bingeing all the strategies via this blog or my podcast, I'm PUMPED you're here. I can't wait to watch you make magic happen! 

    I’m a marketing strategist, coach, and the ads manager behind multiple million-dollar launches. My goal is to empower entrepreneurs to create THRIVING online businesses. Stick with me, I'll teach you the marketing strategies that move the needle in building your online business, influence, and your brand. Along with sharing my best-kept secrets from being in the trenches behind million-dollar marketing campaigns. 

    Whether you're ready to hire this #dreamteam, coming for an online workshop, or joining my course, or bingeing all the strategies via this blog or my podcast, I'm PUMPED you're here. I can't wait to watch you make magic happen!