Working to build an email list that gets you more readers and customers is hard.
Let’s face it - it’s a lot more than just adding a sign-up form to your sidebar.
Growing and nurturing an email list means you’re developing loyal readers and if you’re a business owner? Turning them into customers. What you need to do is make sure you’re constantly finding refreshing, engaging ways to communicate with them and always providing value.
The main thing I can credit to my mailing list growth? Social media. It can help boost your mailing list strategy and maximise the efforts of email marketing for your brand.
But before you go head and hop on Instagram Stories or start scheduling tweets, hear me out. There are a few key ways to go about this. These are the social media strategies that are going to work best to build your email list.
Before we get started
It’s important to understand why having a mailing list is so important. This is key in helping your grow your blog or business.
Here are a few reasons why:
- You have complete control over it. Social media is great - but you don’t control it. You don’t get to decide how many people see your latest Facebook post. Facebook does. But you control your mailing list, so you’ll always have that dedicated list of followers who want to open your emails.
- They’re your most loyal readers (and are more likely to turn into customers). If you want to monetise your blog or you run a business (like me with my writing and OBM services), you need an email list. When someone gives you their email address, they’re letting you into their life on a deeper level. They like you. They believe in what you have to say. They’ll buy from you.
- It’s the easiest way to keep in touch. This is the best way to keep in touch with your community and also a great way to share any announcements. People might have a day when they don’t go on Twitter or Facebook. But they’re likely to check their email every day. That’s why it’s so great to engage with your audience through email.
If you want to learn more about different strategies to get people to sign up to your mailing list, I’ve got 10 ideas for you over here!
#1 | SHARE VALUABLE CONTENT THROUGH YOUR SOCIAL CHANNELS
Having a great design, a solid brand identity, and wonderful imagery is going to get you far as a blogger or business owner. But what’s more important than all of these?
Yep. Even in 2017, content is still king.
Content is one of the best ways you can turn one-time visitors into loyal readers, and into paying customers.
But as you’ve probably guessed, it’s not just about putting any content out there. You’ve got to make sure it’s valuable.
Create content you know your audience wants to read. Answer their questions. Solve their problems. You want to give readers a good reason for handing over their email address to you. That can’t be done if you’re not reaching readers on a deeper level.
And remember, when we talk about content, it doesn’t just have to mean blog posts. It means videos, PDFs, podcasts and social.
So we’ve clarified that it can’t just be any old content you write and publish. It’s got to be content readers find valuable. So valuable in fact, that they’d pay for it. For now though, you don’t want their money or even their full loyalty - you just want their email address.
A great way to do this is by saying, “hey, here’s this course I’ve created for you - it’s valued at $97 but I’m giving it to you for free when you join my mailing list.”
People come to your website for a reason. They want to learn something. They want a problem to be solved. If you can offer great content for free in exchange for an email address, you can give those people even more high-quality content in their inbox.
So your next step? Create something to give away for free.
Repurpose your content - that's exactly what I did for Blogging Breakthrough. It doesn't have to be all-singing all-dancing. It could be a checklist, a toolkit, a challenge - something that you know your audience is going to want to download. Surveying your audience is a really good thing to do here.
Create a landing page for it. Tell your audience about it. Talk about the benefits, not the features. Tell everyone how it's going to help them. Link it to your mailing list provider (you can read my guide to MaiChimp here). This means people can instantly get your free download when they sign up to your mailing list.
Once they're there, you can then send them something called a ‘Welcome Sequence’ - a sequence of emails someone receives when they join your community.
This content - this free piece of content you're giving away? This is what you can share on your social media channels.
You want to let people know this content exists, right? Use your social media channels to drive awareness to it. Again, in your social posts be sure to talk about the benefits. If you do this, people will be more likely to click on it and more likely to download it.
#2 | TRY YOUR HAND AT ONLINE ADVERTISING
One of the most important rules when it comes to creating social media adverts? Don’t use a general, broad audience. The more specific you define your audience, the more successful your ad will be.
Getting the most growth out of your mailing list comes from truly knowing your audience. And if you want to experiment, it’s definitely worth giving paid advertising a go. The plus side? You hardly have to spend anything.
Whenever I go on Facebook I see so many targeted ads and I want to click on them all. That means the advertiser is targeting the right market.
Facebook is a really powerful advertising tool and it’s super affordable tool. It’s highly targeted and can work wonders for your list building strategy.
One of the best things you can do in the early stages of your blog or business is to create a detailed audience persona. This is people who are not just interested in reading your blog content, but people who are interested in reading your mailing list content, too.
If you’re selling virtual assistant services, one persona might be a creative entrepreneur. Her name is Rachel, is between 24-38 years old, needs help scaling and growing her business and follows top entrepreneurs like Melyssa Griffin and ByRegina.
Knowing your audience persona and using this to create a social media advert means you can direct the right type audience to your content.
It’s tricky getting to grips with it all at first, don’t get me wrong. But soon, you’ll be able to target different categories of your audience, for example, those that are new to your brand and those ready to purchase your product/service.
#3 | CONNECT WITH ONLINE INFLUENCERS
Something that can really skyrocket your content is when an online influencer shares it. They can help to maximise your exposure, boost your content and best of all? Generate more sign ups - without you doing anything at all.
This is a really smart, productive way of getting a lot more traffic to your site without overthinking it and without paying any money, either.
The best way to go about it is to build a relationship with the online influencer first. I’ve done this before, and the way I do it is usually by interviewing them, either for a quote within a blog post or including them in the Blogging Breakthrough magazine. When I share their promotional feature, I usually get an email back saying “let me know if there’s anything you’ve got that you want me to share!”
You don’t ask, you don’t get - if you want someone to share your content you’ve got to be up front about it. These influencers can also help amplify your offering by using it themselves. That way, you’re getting testimonials on your site from well-recognised people in the industry.
Bloglovin’ is a great place to search for blogs within your niche but Twitter is definitely my favourite place for finding influencers to connect with.
#4 | UTILISE YOUR WEBSITE FOR EMAIL SIGNUPS
It’s absolutely great what you’re doing so far! Sharing your valuable content on social media, using advertising and connecting with influencers means so many people are going to visiting your website.
Your next job is to make sure your website is ready for when people land on it.
The first thing to do is make sure your landing page for your mailing list community (which also promotes your free opt-in) is top notch. And by that I mean it’s optimised to generate the most amount of signups possible.
When it comes to your signup form, you want to include one in various parts of your website. For instance:
- About page
- At the end of each blog post
- Contact page
You get the picture.
Then you need to think about the length and detail of your signup form. You want to capture the most important information, which is usually the name and email address. This way you can personalise all the emails you send to your audience.
Finally, your button. This is what someone clicks on when they want to sign up to your community, so it’s got to have a direct and enticing call-to-action. Don’t use “sign up now”. You could use anything from “let’s do this!” or “hell yeah!” - as long as it provokes action.
This is an example landing page by Krista from Blog Beautifully. Click here and scroll down to see the full version and the effect of her call-to-actions.
Do you use social media to generate sign-ups to your mailing list? What strategies usually work for you?
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