Email List Building: 6 Tips to Convert Visitors to Subscribers

Email list building is an important part of your inbound marketing effort. Even with all of the new marketing channels, the importance of building a quality list of interested subscribers is as strong as ever. In fact, according to Smart Insights State of Email Marketing Infographic, over 50% of marketers rate email marketing more effective than other marketing channels.

Email Marketing Effectiveness

Email list building, however, is just the beginning of the inbound marketing process. As a reminder, the inbound marketing process includes:

  • Attract – create great content that drives traffic to your website
  • Convert – get these visitors to become a known lead
  • Nurture – build a relationship with the lead that turns them into customers
  • Delight – continue to provide value to your customers to turn them into fans

What are some effective email list building techniques?

Make your signup form easy to find and fill out

It’s hard to believe that there are still websites that have signup forms that are hard to find. Visitors who don’t see your form and offer can’t convert. Be sure to display your form prominently on your website:

  • At the top of the sidebar
  • In the navigation bar
  • In your footer
  • In a pop up or feature box
  • In a bar at the top of your page
  • At the end of a blog post

Now make the form easy to fill out. The important piece of data is the email address. If you’re trying to build an opt-in email list, you really only need the email address. If you want to personalize your emails, ask for their first name. But don’t ask for what you don’t need. Less is more in email list building tactics.

Use a strong call-to-action and a compelling lead magnet

You may have the best content in your blog, but most people won’t sign up for your email list unless you ask them to. Give people a reason to sign up. An eye-catching call to action that elicits an immediate response such as watch a video demo, download a useful tool or join our challenge.

Couple that with a compelling lead magnet that provides something of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information.

When these two work together, you will encourage visitors to opt-in to your email list and give you permission to send them more useful content.

Offer content upgrades

Content upgrades are highly targeted content offerings aligned with specific blog posts. These lead magnets work because they are not generic email lead magnets but are additional incentives for signing up for your list.

The reason these offers convert at a higher rate than your evergreen lead magnet is that they are specific to what the reader is already consuming. Content upgrades can be:

  • Templates and worksheets
  • Checklists
  • Lists of tools and resources
  • PDF of the post (for long form articles)
  • Webinar replays
  • Swipe files
  • Transcripts (especially if you have a podcast or video)
  • Quick start guides

Content upgrades take lead magnets a step further by offering timely, relevant content to what the reader is already researching. If this is something you want to implement, be sure to understand the technical details required to successfully deliver the content upgrades to your subscribers.

Set up a landing page to capture leads

If you are running a marketing campaign to drive visitors to your website with the specific goal to capture leads, you must use a landing page. A landing page should be aligned with your offer to reinforce your message and dramatically increase your conversion rate.

Using a landing page keeps your visitor focused on what you want them to do. If they land on a regular webpage, there are too many distractions that can interrupt the process and cause the visitor to leave without converting.

A landing page also provides more accurate data because they are only visible to those who click on the link from your campaign. If you land your lead generation campaign on a regular webpage, the analytics data is intermingled with regular website traffic.

The bottom line with lead generation campaigns: keep it simple, don’t make people think, and guide your visitor through the action you want them to take.

Create something people want to sign up for

There are many ways to re-purpose your content into formats that can generate qualified leads.

  • Turn your content into a course delivered through an email series. The content can be text, audio or video, whichever is easiest for you to create. Taking content you have already created and rearranging it into an educational series can build your email list quickly.
  • Take this same content and turn it into a webinar. Record the webinar and then offer it as a lead magnet.
  • Create a challenge. Turn your skill into guided experience that helps people get to a specific end result. Challenges can be anything you can guide people through in a short period of time such as “Create your own WordPress website in 7 days”, “Take the 30 day fitness challenge” or “Write your book in 8 weeks”.

You get the idea. Break your expertise down into a step-by-step process that can be completed quickly. Challenges create a very targeted, high quality list of people who now know what you do.

Use Facebook to get more subscribers

There are several ways you can use Facebook to grow your email list:

  • Add your sign up form to your landing tab on your Facebook Page to encourage new fans to sign up.
  • Set your Facebook Page call-to-action button to sign up and send the visitors to a landing page.
  • Add regular posts to your Facebook Page with your opt-in offer. Use an image of your offer in the post to get attention and encourage people to click on the post.
  • Run Facebook ads to drive people to your landing page to sign up for your list. You can target people who have liked competitor’s Facebook Pages or other businesses that reach your target audience. These people are more likely to want your lead magnet.

Depending on your business and the reason for you to grow your email list, you can use organic tactics or increase your list quickly through Facebook advertising.

Email list building – an ongoing marketing activity

Email list building is an activity that small businesses should be doing regularly. It is the critical first step in your inbound marketing strategy. Be sure to not just drive traffic to your website, but to get people to sign up. Don’t waste time gaining traffic with no visible results.

Having an email list built on people who are interested in what you have to offer and have given you permission to send them information is a valuable asset for your business, but your work is still not done. Now that you have started to build your email list, you need a plan to provide valuable information to them and keep your business top of mind.

What other creative ideas do you have to build a quality email list for your business?