Do you know what the most important part of growing your blog's readership is? Surprise! It's not your social media, nor is it your monthly readers. Contrary to what most people think, it's actually your email list!
Social media platforms may come and go, and readers might only come once and never again, but your email list is a guarantee to staying in touch with your audience whenever you want. With social media and your blog, your readers have to come to you; with your email list, you can come straight to their inbox.
If you're gearing up to take your email list more seriously this year, use these 7 tips to start attracting more email subscribers today!
1. Find something in common with your readers.
Obviously, you've both got an interest in the particular niche you're writing about or they wouldn't be reading your blog in the first place. But now, look for what exactly is important to them. If you're running a fashion blog, you can ask questions like: “What trends are you currently following?” and “Who are your favorite style icons?”
But don’t just stop there. Keep the conversation going! Listen to the answers they give and find something relevant you can contribute. Most importantly, be sincere because when you are, building connections will be effortless.
2. Don’t wait for everything to be “completely set up” before starting your list.
A lot of bloggers think they can’t grow a list without having their blog perfect, having a product to sell, or having an established readership. That is simply not true. In fact, it's the complete opposite. You should be growing your email list from Day 1!
The best way to grow your email list is to have some sort of “freebie” or incentive for people to sign up. This can be as easy as a PDF for readers to download, or as complex as an e-course. You can create something quick and easy on programs like Canva or Adobe Illustrator.
If you're still working creating on your major incentive, try out some of these things:
- Offering a highly-relevant but simple incentive such as a tip sheet or template. Anything that helps people learn something new is perfect.
- Offering something that’s directly connected to an upcoming product or event. For example, if you’re planning to release an eBook, let your readers download a sample chapter. Then offer them the option to sign-up to be notified to receive a special discount when it goes live.
- Offering a mini email series that leads to them buying another product. If you have an e-course you want to promote, maybe you want to intro your audience to some preliminary content before suggesting they purchase your e-course.
- Offer access to a bundle of resources like a free library or guidebook for your readers to refer back to over and over. Bonus points if you're able to update this on a monthly basis to continue to add value to your readers!
Tip: Using the second method can really help you gauge how popular your upcoming idea will be!
3. Come from a place of ‘giving.'
Be sincere in trying to help people. Put yourself in your subscriber’s shoes. If it’s super obvious that you’re just trying to sell something, people will be more likely to dismiss your blog. But if you come from a place of “giving” or “helping,” they're more likely to stay.
This tactic is really powerful—not only will it help you attract more subscribers, but it'll also build your credibility as blogger. Don't forget to put yourself in your audience's shoes to think about what they would really find valuable. You can even try a few different incentives depending on the time of year, the page that they are visiting, or the device they are searching on (i.e. mobile vs desktop).
4. Include a photo!
You know what they always say: a picture is worth a thousand words.
Posts that include graphics receive more attention, and this is even more true in the blogging world. So include a photo of you, your product, or your offer on your sign-up offer. Make it memorable! See how Julia of Gal Meets Glam uses visuals in her sign-up form.
5. Be specific.
If there’s a specific action you’d like your readers to take, tell them! And be direct in doing so. Compare these two statements:
- “Subscribe to Style by Julia to receive your 10% off coupon for this week’s featured item.”
- “Sign up here to receive weekly updates.”
Which one motivates you more to sign-up? Probably the one that states the added value you're going to get, right?
6. Make subscribing incredibly easy.
Let’s face it, we live in a fast-paced world and we’re all pretty busy here. So make your sign up simple and easy. Instead of asking potential subscribers to fill out multiple, cumbersome fields for their one sign-up gift, just ask for a name and an email. Done and done.
Try making the process even more streamlined by having your incentive download automatically. That'll make any visitor grateful and impressed.
7. Put your sign-up form in prime areas.
Multiple studies show that the best place to physically position your sign-up box is near the top, right-hand corner of your home page—right above the menu bar. Take Damsel in Dior’s newsletter sign-up for example:
Like we said in the last point, you want to make signing up for your email list incredibly easy for your readers. Another way to do this is by putting the offer in multiple parts of your blog. In addition to putting it at the top navigation bar, you can also include it on the sidebar, as a pop-up, or within your blog posts as a content upgrade.
Tell us about your sign-up offer—what're you giving (or planning on giving) your readers in exchange for their ear? Where are you planning on promoting it? Comment below with more ideas and tips for other bloggers to see what works and what doesn't!
Note: This article about attracting more subscribers was originally published August 10, 2015. It was updated on January 30, 2017.