It’s 2016 and if you are still not building an email list on your blog, you are making a very big mistake. Let me tell you why,
Google keeps making changes to their Search Engine Algorithm. While it has been a great thing for many blogs, there are many bloggers who keep losing their traffic.
These Google updates are about ranking quality blogs in Google search, many blogs lose their rankings despite doing quality work. So, it is high time not to depend on a single source for traffic and start putting more efforts in finding ways to get stable traffic to your blog.
Social Media plays an important role here, it can bring in thousands of visitors monthly, even millions in some cases, take the example of Upworthy or Mashable, which get a majority of their traffic from Social Media. But they both work on getting their visitors to subscribe via email, so that can be brought back to the blog.
Because, like Search Engines, the Social Media traffic is also pretty unpredictable, like Facebook did some changes to its algorithms and we have seen a decline in the reach of our Facebook page.
Email is something really solid and you have total control over it.
In this post, we will talk how to start building an email list right away so that we all can keep doing quality work without worrying who will read our blogs.
Choosing an Email Marketing Service
There are few WordPress plugins that can handle emails for you, they let you collect your visitor’s email addresses and you can then email them accordingly, however, this is not the easiest and convenient thing to do.
Many things can go wrong, your emails can go into the spam folder of your visitors as it is coming from a new domain which is not yet trusted by the email providers, email providers may also end up blocking your domain name which will make the matter even worse.
That is why, we need to choose a third party service, which is already in the business of email marketing and has some kind of understanding with email providers so that your email don’t get flagged or banned.
The services to choose from are MailChimp, Aweber, Get Response, iContact and few more. But let’s just talk about four of these only as they are the best in the business.
If you are just getting started with less traffic on your blog, you may want to start with MailChimp as it is free to use for collecting emails up to 2000 and send up to 12000 emails every month. Get started with MailChimp
You will have to pay after your list grows or your frequency of email grows, if you are sure that you can grow your email list pretty rapidly (which we will talk about later in this post) I recommend you using Aweber as it will be more economical to you in the long run. I have also written a post about creating an email newsletter using Aweber.
Getting People Signup for your Newsletter
After signing up for the email marketing service, you have to decide how you are going to get people to sign up for your newsletter. All the blogs in different niches are following a method that works well, offering something for Free in return of users’ email. This free thing could be a
This free thing could be a 5-page report of how you did something or a free ebook, a 7day (or any number of days) course where you will send one lesson per email.
In short, the motive is to entice people to subscribe to the list for something so that they can get on the list. This seems fair is and widely accepted.
However, it is not the only way to get people to subscribe to the newsletter, it can be as simple as putting a subscription box either in the sidebar or below the post which simply says something like, ‘don’t miss news posts, get them in your inbox’ it too works well when placed at right the place such as below the post.
The other thing you can do is use subscription popup plugins which can increase the subscription rate by up to 700%.
Choosing a Subscription Popup Plugin
Talking about why it is so effective that it can increase the subscription rate by 700% is because these plugins let you pop out the subscription boxes on visitor’s face, which is almost impossible to ignore, and thus, increases the subscription rate.
While many bloggers have agreed that it works really well, there is also a group of bloggers who are against using it because it can irritate visitors. Imagine you land on a blog to read something interesting and midway you get a pop up asking you to sign up for a free report, you may not do that as you are still to decide whether the site is useful or not, or whether it is worth your time or not.
But, as the competition arises, you see the increase in the quality of the products, same is the case with Subscription Popup tools. I listed some of the best ones in a post recently, they all work really well. These tools have understood the behavior of visitors and have created in intelligent popup tool that is less annoying.
These tools have options to display a popup few minutes after a visitors lands on a blog, or at the end of the page when he has finished reading the posts he came to read, or when he is intended to exit the page by closing the browser. Displaying popups at these times is less annoying that displaying it few seconds after the visitors land on the blog.
Then these tools come with other features like Split testing to see which design works well, all these things can increase the subscription rate and makes it worth investing in a tool like this.
Dos and Don’ts of Email Newsletter
Well, there is actually nothing you cannot do with a newsletter but I still have a few pieces of advice which you should keep in mind.
A newsletter doesn’t mean you own the subscribers, at the time when they were subscribing, you promise them not to spam, and if you are sending them emails two times a day, you are spamming them.
As bloggers say, money is in the list, it doesn’t mean that you have to promote every garbage to your list expecting them to buy it so that it can give you some commission.
Having a list doesn’t mean you have to create a product or have to be an affiliate of a product at all, you can simply use the newsletter to drive traffic to your blog, it is being done by many popular blogs just to inform their readers about a new post update. This is why many readers subscribe to your newsletter in the first place.
The newsletter isn’t just telling the about your newest blog post either, try sending them a link of a useful resource to them which doesn’t have to be from your own blog.
You can still do well without being aggressive on the monetization part of just filling your newsletter with a lot of people who are not even interested in what you will send them in the emails.
Hope this is helpful to you in starting an email list.