Welcome to our weekly column by Blogger Babes co-founder Ponn Sabra. Check back every Monday for the tips and tricks you need to take your blog to the next level!
As a follow up to 17 Reasons Why an Email List Is Crucial for Your Fashion Blog, the most important part of your list building strategy is your opt-in offer.
There are many types of opt-in offers that you can give away in exchange for that precious email address. As fashion bloggers, you might consider a style guide in the form of an workbook or video download, long-form content such as interviews with celebrity designers, or fashion-centric podcasts.
The most common opt-in offers:
- Webinars/Seminars recorded online
- Workbooks, activity books
- DVDs or Video Downloads
- Exclusive Interviews
- Audio content
- eCourses delivered over several days or weeks
- Checklists and mindmaps
- Sample chapters
- Coupon codes
Note that the first two have become overused and the conversion rates may not be optimal. Be creative, unique and selective in your opt-in offer!
Brainstorm ideas based on what would offer the most value to your website visitors.
- What would they not be able to say no to?
- What would make your subscriber’s life easier or solve a problem?
- What format does your ideal visitor prefer?
Find the answer to those questions and you’ll be well on your way to creating an irresistible offer.
Don’t underestimate this critical piece to your list building strategy.
Some of the most successful bloggers spend days and weeks on their offer to stand out from the crowd.
Many people see their email inbox as a form of currency these days and aren’t willing to give it up to just any flimsy freebie gift.
For example, when we relaunched BloggerBabes in October 2014, we spent over 70-working hours with our graphic designer on The Ultimate Blogging Binder. But, it served us well. Within 9 days, we received 108 new subscribers, which was more subscribers than any month prior!
Yet another example is my Top 11 Ways to Get Free Media Leads and Placement. While this is a tiny 11-page report, I update it often—whenever I discover a new “trade secret” for getting myself or one of my clients featured in a news outlet such as Fox News, Associated Press, or USA Today.
The point I’m trying to drive home here, is that “Money is in the list.”
So, invest your time, money and effort in creating a great way to get your visitors to subscribe to your email list—even before they read your blog.
Once you’ve created your downloadable opt-in incentive, you can easily add it to your WordPress site by uploading it via the built-in media uploader.
Then, you’ll need a page where subscribers can receive their download. You can create this simply by adding a new page to your site (use your favorite SEO plugin to set the page to “no-index,” “no-archive” so Google won’t share it with the world) and then add a link to your incentive.
When you set up your mailing list, be sure to set this page as your “Thank You” page, so visitors are automatically redirected to this page immediately after signing up (or confirming, if you’re using a double opt-in system).
Marketing Your Email Opt-In Offer
Of course you want to be sure that your opt-in offer will reach the right audience, so it will be important to market and promote the offer.
Create a specific marketing strategy. For example, you might to consider advertising on Google, other search engines, or social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
Social Media Promotions
Promote your offer on social media and encourage others to share the information.
For example, we made a specific social media-shareable image that was posted on all our social media channels the week of our rebranding launch.
You should also announce your free gift on your blog and create a social media-shareable image that’s linked to that blog post to draw traffic to that post.
You might want to hold a contest or giveaway. For example, when you launch your new opt-in offer you might enter all new subscribers into a drawing for a free consultation or a relevant product.
Cupcakes and Cashmere recently held an email subscription launch giveaway contest. This new email subscription option came perfectly timed with a fresh new blog re-design and the launch of her new book. While she may have had an email list previously, it wasn’t so prominently featured as it is now, and she was less consistent with her mailings, whereas she sends her new, gorgeous newsletter weekly.
Be creative in publicizing your opt-in special offer. More importantly, make sure your promotional activities are ongoing.
Offer Reciprocal Linking
One condition to join our member’s directory is to add one reciprocal backlink to Blogger Babes. Members have the option to place a text link, button or badge anywhere on their site. Notice, how we strategically placed the options on our badges page:
- First, we list text links. Notice that we offered options to promote the Blogging Binder.
- Second, we list the promotional buttons for the Blogging Binder which links directory to the landing page.
- Third, we list the “Proud to be a Blogger Babes member” badges.
To date, all our members have chosen to link to a Member badge, which is great for brand awareness and Blogger Babes publicity.
Make and Share Promotional Buttons and Links
We are actively referring other bloggers to the badges page to promote our Blogging Binder as a free resource to their readers. We made various images to select from, who may not be interested in a backlink or joining our directory. We created even more promotional buttons of various sizes for this primary purpose.
All of the online strategies shared above can be supported by your WordPress theme (Foodie Pro on the Genesis framework) and relevant plugins.
Off-line Marketing Efforts
We are constantly creating our off-line marketing materials, such as business cards, postcards, flyers and brochures and we take images of our Blogging Binder to promote this great free gift as an incentive to visit our blog.