Are you guilty of any of the following email marketing crimes?

–        emailing your list once per year or less (the horror!)

–        hiding your signup box on your site because you don’t know what to send anyway (oops!)

–        having two people on your email list – your mom and your significant other (how sad!)

No worries. Starting right now in my next ten blog posts, we’ll be walking through ten popular and effective ways to grow your email list. All you’ve got to do is read AND take action. Let’s get started…

Turning Website Visitors Into Subscribers Idea #1: Creating a Fabulous Opt-In “Bribe”

The key to turning visitors into subscribers is to get in their minds. Take Visitor ‘A’, for example. We’ll call her Ashley. Ashley has a big event coming up – maybe her 10-year college reunion, and she’s on the hunt for the perfect pair of black strappy sandals. She’s not sure – are gladiators all the rage, or platforms, or stilettos? She wants to look trendy but not like a fashion victim. Some research is in order! So she turns on her computer, logs on to the Internet, and types “black strappy sandals” into the search engines.Subscribers to newsletter from website

Your website comes up in her search results with a site description, “All the latest styles, at the best prices!” She clicks over and sees a special report you’re offering, titled, ‘The Ultimate Guide to Saving a Fortune and Finding The Perfect Black Strappy Sandal for That Special Occasion!’ Wow – Ashley wants that guide! She knows that she’ll be equipped to choose a sandal that looks awesome with that little black dress she has in mind. Sign her up – she’ll gladly exchange her email address for the report.

Can you do this same sales job on your website, in your niche? Absolutely.

All you have to do is find out what your visitors need and then deliver it to them. But here’s the catch – make sure you get them to opt-in to your list BEFORE you give them the goods. Otherwise they’ll grab the goods straight from your site, say a silent ‘thanks’ and head on their way. And, then months later, think “Where was that cool site? I sure wish I could find it again.”

How do you know what they want?  There are a few ways.

Ask them! Create a survey or poll on your blog asking what they’ll looking for.

Look through your most popular blog posts. That should give you some indication of what they want from you.

Check out the competition.  Browse other popular sites in your niche. See what they’re offering and you’ll generate ideas for creating something similar – in your own style of course.

So how can you ask for the opt-in on your website?

Splash Page: A popular website opt-in format is to have it be the ‘gate’ to your site. In other words, a splash page or squeeze page that doesn’t allow others access to the rest of your site until they pass over their name and email. This method works if what you have behind Door #1 is worth the visitor handing over their personal info. It converts well because it’s the only option – they sign up or they leave. Do you need a good way to create a splash page? I recommend Optimize Press. Click here to find out more.

Website Pages: Many people include a sign-up form on every page of their website. If people are finding you through a search engine, more likely than not they’ll come in through a blog post or sub-page deep within your site, rather than the “front door” home page. By including a sign-up form on every page of your site, you can capture people where they are.

Popups: Despite their bad reputation, popups are still alive and effective. Just use your popups for good and not evil! One such non-offensive popup is the exit popup. Give visitors one more chance to opt-in to your list or receive a download before they leave. Test to see which offers gets the best response.

Within Your Content: One of the most effective on-site list-building methods is to include very relevant calls to action within the content itself. Let’s go back to Ashley for a moment. Let’s say Ashley did a more specific search on ‘what strappy sandals go best with a knee-length dress’ and she came across your article titled exactly what she searched for. And at the end of that article, you include a link to download your special strappy black sandal buying guide, which she’ll receive after signing up for your  list.

There you have it. Four ways to ask your visitors to become subscribers. Your assignment: Choose one and implement it! Don’t just read – DO. Tomorrow we talk blogging!

Talk to you soon!