Having a mailing list is so important. It brings you closer to your readers and it can be a useful tool for monetizing your blog. But how can you get more people to sign up without being too pushy? I’ve got some techniques I’ve found that can help you.
Create great mailing list content
If you haven’t noticed, I’m focusing a lot on the subscriber. Nowadays, people don’t like giving their email address out unless it will benefit them in some way. Also, blogging should be about creating great content, right? It should be the same for your mailing list. Create a great mailing list and your subscribers will share and your list will grow. Ok, so what if you don’t have time to create separate content for your mailing list? That’s fine, you can still create great content. Here’s an example: Leah uses her mailing list more as a promotional tool for her blog, rather than writing unique content for it. She’ll send out an email with a catchy title and she explains the story or reason behind her most recent post and how it can help you. It’s a great way to get her subscribers to click through to her site. You just need to have content that is engaging to your readers.
Tell people what they get when they sign up
Maybe your mailing list gives a backstage pass to your life and business? Maybe you’ll inform them of new posts on the blog? Bonus points if your mailing list can help or teach people. For example, Amy Lynn Andrews has The Useletter, a weekly email with tips and tools to help people with their blog or website. She has that entire page dedicated to her newsletter, what it offers, why you should sign up, and rave reviews from subscribers about how great it is. How can you not sign up after reading that?!
Offer an incentive to sign up
Besides telling people what they get, you can offer an incentive to sweeten the deal. For example, Melyssa provides her readers a free PDF guide with tips on building an active blog community when they sign up to her mailing list.
Give your subscribers freebies, coupons and exclusives
Speaking of incentives, we all love to get coupons, freebies and other exclusives! How excited do you get when you open an email and there’s a gift for you? For example, Shay Cochrane’s SC Insider mailing list gives out a free styled stock image every month. I love getting those! By the way, this is a great way to make some money. To give you an idea, you can give out a coupon to your shop or to an affiliate shop.
Make your subscription box more visible
People are more likely to sign up if you make your sign-up box prominent on your site. Try adding it to your sidebar, your header, or after your posts. Make a page like I mentioned above with The Useletter. Add a link to your navigation menu. A lot of blogs use modal windows (the little box that appears over the content telling you to signup), which is a technique used by big sites like WayFair.com. Try a combination of the above (but probably not all at once) to see what works for you. I personally love the idea of adding it after your posts. As a blogger, your content gets the most focus so why not place a subscription box there? If you don’t know how, or don’t feel comfortable messing with code, you can hire a designer or developer to help you out.
Promote your mailing list in your blog posts
Mention your mailing list in your content — a freebie you gave your subscribers last week, something you discussed in a recent edition, a series you’re going to be doing. Treat your mailing list more like a product or service and promote it as such.
This may all seem overwhelming — trust me, I’m still working on my own mailing list. But it’s something that you will have to make a priority, or believe me, it will sit on your back burner for a long time.