This post contains affiliate links. You can view my disclosure here.
I’ve been wanting to write a post like this for awhile now, and when I sent a survey to my awesome newsletter subscribers, it was something that a lot of people told me that they’d like to see me write about. So, here we are! 🙂
Today I’m going to be talking about:
- Why you should have an email list for your blog
- How to create an email list
- How to get people to sign up for your email list
- What to send your subscribers
That’s a lot of info so let’s just dive right in, shall we? Here’s how to start and grow an email list for your blog!
Why do you need an email list?
Then there’s Pinterest, which drives the most traffic to my blog. But what if, for some reason, Pinterest was gone tomorrow? It’s unlikely, but it’s possible. And I’d lose so many followers.
That’s the beauty of an email list. It’s YOUR list, and you can get in touch with people even if all social media fails. Through the ever-changing social media platforms, your email list is always there. Studies show that email marketing is more effective than pretty much any other type too.
A few other reasons why email lists are great:
- You can share things that you don’t necessarily want to write a blog post about.
- You can offer exclusive discounts, blog posts, and freebies with them.
- People who trust you enough to share their email address with you are the people who really want to see what you have to say. They’re your tribe.
4 steps to getting your list started:
Step 1: Sign up with a good email marketing provider.
You’ve probably heard of MailChimp and Convertkit. But I totally recommend MailerLite, especially if you’re just getting started with an email list.
I think MailerLite is the best because:
- They offer automation, landing pages, and other things that you have to pay much more for with other providers.
- They have 24/7 customer support when you need help with something.
- They’re much easier and simpler to work with when designing your emails and pages.
- They’re constantly coming out with new features, most of which you’d have to pay more for with other providers.
- They allow you to create pretty email templates.
- They’re free for up to 1,000 subscribers! (And you also get a $20 credit if you sign up with this link.)
Go ahead and create an account with whichever provider you choose and create a list for your subscribers.
If you’re using MailerLite: after you sign up, click on “Subscribers” at the top, then click “Add new group”. Then create a name for the list, and click “Create” and there’s your email list!
Step 2: Create an incentive for people to sign up.
If you have 1 sign up form that says “subscribe” people probably aren’t going to sign up. They’ll wonder what’s in it for them. So you’ve gotta give them a reason to want to be on your list.
Create an “opt-in” or “lead magnet” – fancy words for a free gift for your subscribers. This doesn’t have to be something super complicated or fancy, but make sure that it provides value for your readers.
Here are some examples of things you can create:
- A short (10-ish page) PDF eBook
- The first chapter of a book you’re selling
- A discount code for your product or shop
- A cheat sheet or list of helpful resources/tips
- An audio or video to go along with a blog post
- A printable checklist, worksheet, quote, calendar, planner, coloring page, etc.
- Exclusive blog posts for subscribers only
- A desktop wallpaper
- Stock photos
- A webinar on a helpful topic
- A quiz
- A spreadsheet
- A course or challenge
- Access to a private Facebook group
- A resource library with a mix of things
Step 3: Create sign up forms.
Now you’ll need to create sign up forms for people to be able to sign up for your list. If you’re using MailerLite, Magic Action Box is a great WordPress plugin to use for your site. That’s what I use – it’s free and easy to set up. You can create a pop-up form, a form for your sidebar, and/or a form to go in or at the end of your blog posts. Be sure to tell your readers what they’ll get if they sign up for your list. Like, “Sign up to get the first chapter of my new book FREE!” or whatever your opt-in is.
Step 4: Make sure you keep in contact with your list.
Confession: I used to be horrible at this! I used to kind of neglect my list, and that’s not good. You want to keep in contact with them so they remember who you are, they keep coming back to your blog, and you create an engaged community.
That doesn’t mean to send an email every day (please don’t – that’s spammy) but make sure you’re at least mostly regular about it. You can send one a week, one every 2 weeks, or even one a month. I send mine out every Saturday, plus if something is going on (a new giveaway, a new freebie, etc.)
5 great ways to get more subscribers:
1. Use multiple signup forms on your site.
You can put them in your sidebar, in your header, in your blog posts, in your navigation menu, create a popup or a slide in form. There are many different ways that you can experiment with. I use 3 myself (in my sidebar, blog posts, and a popup form) and that works well for me. A lot of bloggers say that you shouldn’t use a popup form because people will just leave your site, but that’s my highest converting form so it works for my readers. The key is to figure out what works well for you!
2. Hold a giveaway.
Everyone loves a good giveaway! Host a giveaway on your blog and have people enter by signing up for your email list. Rafflecopter is a great way to host giveaways on your blog. Make sure what you’re offering is something relevant to your blog, and have people sign up for your email list as an entry to the giveaway. You could even give away your own product/service. This will help you get email subscribers and build more hype around your product/service!
3. Put a link in your social media bio.
One way to turn your current (and new) followers into subscribers is by putting a link to your email signup form in your social media bio. This way, anyone who’s going to follow you has a chance to check it out, see your awesome freebie, and signup for your list. If someone is willing to follow you on social media, there’s a good chance that they’re interested in what you do. Plus, it helps them get to know you better. (You could also add a link to your email signature!)
4. Ask your subscribers to help.
Friends trust friends, right? So ask your subscribers to forward your emails/signup page to their friends if they like what you’re doing. For example, say something like “If you liked your freebie, go ahead and forward this email to someone you know who might enjoy it!” People will be more willing to trust you with their email if they know their friend/family member is recommending you. That’s actually how I found some of the bloggers I like!
5. Promote, promote, promote.
The most important thing to do to get more subscribers is to make it a priority to promote it. Obviously, you can’t just ignore it and expect it to grow a lot. Tweet about it, put a signup form on your Facebook page’s CTA button, make a Pinterest graphic for your signup page and pin it, promote it in Facebook groups and every other form of social media. If you stay focused on growing your list, you should see steady growth eventually!
What should I send to my subscribers?
Before I wrap this up, I thought I’d give you some ideas of what to send to your subscribers. That’s where I got stuck when I created my list. (Just remember to send your emails regularly, whether it’s once a month or once a week!)
- An email to notify them when you publish a new post
- A weekly update on each week’s blog posts
- An email whenever you create a new product/service
- Free downloads, printables, graphics, or other gifts
- Extra (exclusive) blog posts
- A survey to ask your subscribers what they want
- Helpful tips on a topic they’re interested in
- Personal updates on your life
- Reviews of relevant products you’ve tried
- Alerts about special offers, sales, or promo codes
- Behind-the-scenes looks at what you’re working on
- An email whenever you have news (like a giveaway, a webinar, a blog redesign, etc.)
I hope you found this helpful and good luck building your list! 🙂
Do you have any helpful tips for building an email list? Let me know in the comments!