This post is the second part of the 1-10,000 Visitors Series, a series showing you how to take your blog to a level where you can generate significant income. The series assumes a level of progress on your site including already having selected a niche and having set up your site.

More From The Series:
1. How To Setup Google Analytics In Under 5 Minutes

When should you start your mailing list? A common question and the answer has always been unanimous… Straight away!

In this beginners guide to e-mail marketing you’re going to find out about choosing your mailing list provider, setting up your opt-in form on your site, creating a value proposition with a call-to-action, setting up autoresponders, utilizing your mailing list for conversions and utilizing your new mailing list for traffic.

building your mailing list

Choosing A Mailing List Provider:

The first part of your journey with e-mail marketing starts at choosing a provider. There are three that I’m going to suggest to you and I’ll just say that each of these are fantastic and whichever provider you choose you’ll be more than happy with.

1. MailChimp – This provider is great and is free up to 2000 subscribers which is great for an absolute beginner on a budget. The only downside to their free plan is you don’t get access to autoresponders which I will talk about later. The paid plan is still inexpensive as with all providers. MailChimp is supported across most WordPress themes and plugins although most are optimized for Aweber.

2. Aweber – These are by far the most popular mailing list provider probably due to their great support and that the majority of WordPress users find that it’s supported across the board with plugins such as PopUp Domination and other plugins that are used for gaining subscribers to your mailing list. Aweber doesn’t have a free plan but they do offer your first month for $1.

3. GetResponse – I first used GetResponse when I first started out running a health blog a couple of years ago. I thought it was the best of the 3 for ease-of-use and to top it off they offer you the first 30 days totally free!

E-Mail Marketing Software Providers
Provider: Plan: List Limit: Monthly Emails: Monthly Price:
MailChimp Basic 500 Unlimited $10
Aweber Basic 500 Unlimited $19
GetResponse Basic 1000 Unlimited $19

Have a look at all three and once you’ve chosen which email marketing software is best for you we can head onto the next stage.

Don’t Forget These Must Have Plugins To Boost Conversions!

Luckily for us with each of these providers they make it easy to implement to your site, by following their simple instructions it should take you less than a few minutes to do.

What I’m really interested in though is talking about the various plugins you can use to capture subscribers on your site.

These are my favorites:

1. PopUp Domination – Depending on the kind of design your site has this could work really well for you. People have seen an average 500% increase in subscription conversions when installing the plugin. It is paid but I think you can agree it’s well worth the money for those kind of results and I personally have used it on many client sites with great success. This is why PopUp Domination is my absolute top plugin for boosting your conversions.

2. ViperBar – Similar to HelloBar except this focuses on capturing subscribers. It sits at the top of your site and a lot of people have had great success with it. Better yet it’s totally free and gives you the ability to run simple A/B Split Tests! Cool!

3. MagicActionBox – There is a free and paid version for this. The free version limits you for where you can place the plugin, leaving you with only the default options. If you’re interested to see it in action, keep your eyes open when you reach the bottom of this post.

4. WPLeadMagnet – Similar to PopUp Domination this is a growing alternative and many consider it to be better. Personally I haven’t used it but if you’re wondering what the best paid WordPress plugin is you should seriously think about comparing this with PopUp Domination.

5. OptinSkin – This would fit more into the MagicActionBox type of plugin category except it’s far more awesome offering split-tests, better design and the ability to customize the designs with a WYSIWYG Editor. This is a paid plugin but it’s awesome!

In an ideal world if you have a conventional designed site I would make use of PopUp Domination and OptinSkin to maximize your conversions to your mailing list. Next we’re going to talk about creating a value proposition and a effective call-to-action to implement into your chosen plugins to capture subscribers.

What’s Your Value?

Before people opt-in and subscribe to your mailing list they want to know; ‘What’s in it for me?’

It’s a fair question and to improve your conversions as much as possible you need a value proposition. By far the most common is offering a free product such as a PDF download of some exclusive content that will solve a problem for your audience.

So what is in it for the visitor? You need to think about this and consider what you’re willing to offer. Discounts? Free E-Book? A Free Course?

the value proposition

If you know all about your visitor personas then this can be easy to do but with so many people offering the same kind of value proposition you may have to be more creative to see real results.

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen is people not making use of multiple value propositions across their site. With OptinSkin and PopUp Domination you’re going to have the basics covered and you can offer them a simple value proposition like a free e-book (you could create a convenience product of your most popular posts implemented into one piece of content) but you also want to create landing pages teasing new content such as a series you may be doing and exclusive content or bonuses that you’re giving away to your subscribers.

You should offer a detailed list-styled description of the benefits people will get for signing up on your list.

The team at KissMetrics tried this ‘What’s in it for me‘ approach and saw a 321% increase in signups. I’d say it works.

On this site, personally I’m currently only using one opt-in and value proposition; using social proof to give my visitors a good idea of just how valuable the information on my mailing list is. You should check it out and subscribe by the way!

In summary you should make your mailing list attractive to sign up to regardless of what approach you take!

The AutoResponder: Why You Have To Use It

An AutoResponder is a feature you’ll be able to use once you’re signed up with one of the three email marketing software providers we talked about earlier.

Generally speaking you get people subscribe to your list at different times. It’s a given really and that means a lot of difficulties for sending them a ‘thank you’ e-mail containing their free download, or whatever you offered them because you’ll end up sending this same information to the rest of your subscribers again and again and again.

To circumvent this problem we have autoresponders.

Using this feature you can setup specific e-mails to be sent out based on an event. This event trigger can be something like a signup, a click, 10 days subscribed, 1000 days subscribed. It’s pretty much endless and it’s extremely powerful for doing marketing through e-mail. Preventing you from sending the same e-mails to the same people twice and saving you time by only needing to type out the e-mail once!

autoresponder examples

Some of the best uses for autoresponders that I’ve seen are using them for permission based marketing. If someone is interested in your content and clicks to a new post you’ve sent them – if you’re really hustling you can create an autoresponder to send them out a personal thank you with some exclusive content to further build your brand trust and authority with them. Improving the chance of them opening your next e-mail.

The sky or more accurately your time and creativity is the limit with autoresponders.

Using Your Mailing List For Revenue And Traffic Generation:

Moving on from Autoresponders but not quite now…

You can use your mailing list to drive more traffic to your site and generate more revenue.

If you ever wanted to dabble in affiliate marketing then your mailing list offers you that ability. In your exclusive content you can recommend products. When I was a web designer I would regularly recommend Bluehost to my clients. Why? Because I think it’s the best host for small businesses and it doesn’t cause any issues with WordPress which many hosts do.

I simply signed up to the Bluehost affiliate program and made sure I shared my tracking link with my clients. I got a commission for each signup and everyone was happy.

Using your mailing list to promote your favorite products is a great way to add value to your list and generate some additional income through commissions.

When it comes to driving additional traffic to your site it really comes down to sending out an e-mail manually just to let people know about your new post. Just how effective is this? Of course it’s extremely effective. Your mailing list are invested in your brand and they are extremely likely to check out the newest thing you have to say.

If you’re not doing this then you are losing out on lots of traffic, lots of potential shares and backlinks!


Okay so we haven’t dug into open rates and click throughs but this is more important for when you have an established mailing list. Getting started can be difficult and just knowing the right things to do can make all the difference between having a effective mailing list and not having one at all.

In the next part of the 1-10,000 Visitors Series I will be helping you create a real content strategy checklist. So in the meantime get to work on your mailing list.

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