You’ve got your platform started, and you’re familiar with the importance of building trust and loyalty through consistency, so now let’s talk about some ways you can be building your email list in order to stay in touch with the audience you’re growing.
The powerful thing about an email list is that it’s the only direct connection to your audience that you own.
Facebook likes, Twitter followers – those could all go away tomorrow, but your email list is YOURS, and there’s not a more intimate way you could be connecting with your entire audience at once than inside of their email inbox.
But how to start building an email list?
Here are 5 ways you could be building your email list right now
1. Create meaningful and unique content
I know, I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes right now and thinking to yourself, “Ugh, that’s what everyone says…”
Perfect, then you’re hearing it one more time from me – because it’s true.
No one is going to opt in to your email list unless you give him or her a reason why they should.
The reason why they should?
Because you’re sharing meaningful and unique content that is exclusive, plus it’s valuable (to them), consistent and free.
When you’re creating meaningful content that people can’t find anywhere else, and it reaches and touches them (via social media, through a Google search, in an email from a friend), they’re going to want more.
Enter: your email list.
Your email list is an opportunity for you to offer even more free content or updates that are exclusive to your subscribers.
2. Have a strong Call To Action (CTA)
Phrases that DON’T work:
- Stay up to date!
- Get weekly updates!
- Join our list!
None of these phrases tell me what I’m going to get or why I should care. Stay up to date on what? Join your list why?
Phrases that DO work… Well, how about I just show you?
From Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income site:
From James Clear’s site:
From Jill & Josh Stanton’s Screw the Nine to Five site:
Notice how every single one of these opt in opportunities gives people a reason why they should click the button and give up their email address?
In each of these examples they’re making it extremely obvious that there is big value being offered up in exchange for their email address.
Give your visitors what they want.
3. Create multiple opportunities
Setting up multiple opportunities for your website visitors to opt in will increase your chances of this happening because you’re allowing it to take place when it’s convenient for them – not forcing it on them in just one place.
Multiple opt in opportunities might include (but are not limited to)…
Sidebar opt in
Content upgrade on your blog post or podcast show notes
Pop up box
Offering your visitors multiple opportunities throughout your site allows them to opt in when they want to.
4. Host a Webinar or Workshop for your community
Another great way to start growing your email list is to offer up a free Webinar or Workshop on a topic that you know about and regularly talk about in your content.
We started hosting a free, live Podcast Workshop in October of 2013, and we hosted that free, live Podcast Workshop at least one time per week for all of 2014. Sounds pretty crazy, right?
Well, what’s crazy is that we now have a segmented list of subscribers to our Podcast Workshop that we KNOW are interested in podcasting, and it’s 16,000+ people strong.
5. Paid ads
Running paid ads on Facebook, YouTube or any other 3rd party site is something you have the potential to do with success; but it also takes time and patience to figure out how it will best serve you and your business.
There are several online resources that will help teach you the ropes of leveraging paid advertising on social media platforms, like Rick Mulready’s opt in giveaway on his home page, which focuses on FB ads.
You can also learn a fair amount from the social sites themselves, like through YouTube’s Get Started series for how to leverage YouTube ads.
A couple of ideas for what types of ads you might run
Ads to free content on your site (like a blog post) that has a content upgrade offer as the call to action that people have to opt in to receive.
Ads to a Webinar, Workshop or Q&A session you’re hosting that requires an opt in to sign up.
A native video that teases your next podcast episode and links to a show notes page with an opt in as the call to action once they land there.
Growing an email list takes time
Growing an email list takes time, and you need to start caring about what your audience cares about in order to start building it, otherwise there won’t be a reason for them to subscribe.
So first and foremost, you need to find out what it is your audience really wants and needs, then deliver that to them on a consistent basis so they’ll continue coming back to you for more.
Wondering how to actually get more traffic to your website so you have someone to opt in to your email list?
Perfect, because next we’re going to be talking about growing your audience through podcasting.