How to Grow Your Email List

Shop Archeologie
I told you why you need to build an email list. Now we will discuss how to actually grow that list so that it makes a difference.

The first thing I look at is how the placement of my signup form and its appearance affects conversion (getting my readers to sign up).

my sign up with a free creative e-guide--testing what works best
Then, I use the statistics in my mailchimp account to determine if my titles, setup, and links are 'working.' In my case, I want to know that people are opening up the email and if they are reading the material. The fact that I get emails from subscribers lets me know that the newsletters are being read but I  need to know the other details. I still want to know that my email list opens and clicks at a higher percentage than the average.

 This is what I have learned and want to pass on to you.

Have your signup form on your site. People are more likely to subscribe if they only have to click one time for the enter button--don't send us somewhere else for the sign up form and make us leave your site! You could miss the chance for the reader to fall in love with more content.

Keep it simple. We have to earn the trust of people subscribing so ask for their email address only. If you need it, ask for their first name. People are distrustful of the internet at times and the information it stores so why make them cringe as they subscribe?
I added the arrow and words. Sometimes people like knowing they are joining a big group.

Be visible. It does no good to have a form if we can't see it. Most sites with large subscribers or where their list is important have it above the fold line. And if we have to scroll down to get past your header, your header is too big. The point of your blog ought to be about your content and call to action. This would be a great place for a sign up form.

Use your words carefully. Pay attention to the words people use on their subscribe buttons, especially on those with large email lists. We ask you to join, sign up now, and get free updates; a subscription typically costs money so try a different word besides 'subscribe' and see if that helps with conversion.

Stick to your message. On my sign up blurb and on a separate link up page for those coming from my shop, I let people know what they are getting with these type of words: once a week, challenges, tips, encouragement, creativity, promotion, a free ebook---if I start sending out emails on how to do math equations I would not be surprised if people unsubscribed in droves.

an example of a sign up form I found online
Those of you that have been on my email list for awhile know that I recently changed the look of my newsletters. This is a test and I am looking if adding the pictures and the different sections helps with click-through and what comments I get from subscribers. This is all part of delivering content in a way that can still have impact and be relevant to those that took the time to join in the first place!

mailchimp resources if you want to go through their guides.
Part one of this build your email list series

QUESTION: What entices you to sign up for a newsletter?


Anonymous said...

Lovely tips. I've thought about doing this for a while, but still am not sure. What are your stats like? Are people actually reading your letter??

Duni said...

I've been using Mailchimp for about a year now. I quite like the setup and easy navigation.
I might have mentioned before that I need to send mine out more frequently, but quality content is still my priority.
Also, someone I know accidentally reported my newsletter as SPAM and this gets documented. Three strikes and you're out :-/

BeadedTail said...

Thanks for sharing your tips and experience Erika! I sign up for newsletters to get something that I wouldn't normally get from just visiting the site. I don't like to receive newsletters that just send links to their blog posts that I've already read, etc. That's a waste of time I think.

Erika said...

Nancy--the stats are what lets me know to keep going. I have a higher reading rate than the average (no idea how mailchimp knows this) and then I get the emails after I send them out.

Duni--I agree! This is why I have skipped a week or two. If I don't have something worthwhile to share then I don't send it out.

Beaded--yes! Sending out links to blog posts will not be what I what from a newsletter I get.

Rose said...

What a great, detailed post! Thanks for all of the tips.

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Great post Erika! I'm book marking this to have when I finally start my newsletter!

Linda Pruitt said...

I'm still thinking about this. I'm not sure that I could keep up the content required to make it worth while. but thanks for the info.

Aliferous Express said...

This is info is awesome! I haven't had an email list in a looooong time and will need to start one soon so this will definitely save me time and energy. Thanks!!! :)