I’m what you might call an “email nerd”. I admit it, I’m kind of obsessed with email marketing and helping bloggers grow their community through email. Weird obsession, I know.
I’ve been growing my community through email marketing for more than four years now, almost as long as I’ve been blogging. In that time, I’ve experimented with a lot of ideas for organically growing my email list and authentically engaging with my readers. A recurring theme to all of my experimentation is this: simple ideas are the best ideas, but are often the most often overlooked ideas.
How many times have seen a project on Pinterest only to smack yourself in the forehead and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” I have a feeling you’ll feel that way in a minute when I tell you how simple it truly is to not only organically grow your email list, but also to get those subscribers back on your blog and engaging with your content.
Ready for this?
Mind-blowing, right? Ok, ok…maybe you’re thinking, “This chick is insane. I have pages on my blog.”
Yes, I know, but I want to show you the 2 pages you should have on your blog but probably don’t, and these two pages will help you build and engage with your community through email.
First of all, if you’re one of those bloggers who has made every excuse imaginable as to why you haven’t started building your email list yet, stop whatever you’re doing and read THIS POST. Then come back here to set up these two pages. We’ll wait.
Now, if you already have an email list, first of all, good job. I’m so proud of you! Secondly, let’s get to work, shall we?
I’m sure you have the basic sign-up forms on your blog, right? You’ve got one in your sidebar, and maybe in your post footer. And that’s awesome, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes readers need a bit more.
A Subscribe page is a dedicated page on your blog that allows you to give readers more detail about what you offer through email, why they should subscribe, and instructions for exactly how to do so.
This is part of the Subscribe page on my home decor blog, Sweet Tea & Saving Grace. Let’s break this page down so you can see exactly how beneficial this page can be to potential subscribers.
Right from the start, I tell readers what I send in my emails: “…never miss a craft project, home decor inspiration, blog tutorial, giveaway, or anything else!”
I also tell them about the different kinds of emails they can choose from: “Sweet Tea Weekly is delivered every Friday with a quick recap of what you might have missed on the blog, as well as any important announcements to keep you in the loop.” And as you scroll further down: “The Sweet Spot is sent once each month and is PACKED FULL of goodness! I share updates on my family and behind-the-scenes of my business, and so much more!“, followed by a bullet list of the monthly features.
I also provide a sample to both the weekly and monthly newsletters. The graphics I created are clickable, opening a recent newsletter that they can read, share, or respond to if they like. This allows readers to see exactly what I’m sending and decide if it’s right for them, or if it would be more “noise” in their inbox.
Readers also get a taste of the opt-in offer that I give to every subscriber, my monthly encouragement pack filled with beautiful digital images.
And finally, of course, I provide an easy form to fill out allowing readers to subscribe right there on that page. They can also click one of the icons at the bottom to share the page on social media.
Pretty stinkin’ cool, am I right? And so simple!
Are you excited yet? There is one more page you need to add to your blog, so buckle up, buttercup.
Thank You Page
Let’s be clear: the main goal of your email list is to get those readers back over to your blog, right? What better way to do that than by creating a thank you page that readers see as soon as they confirm their subscription?
With a simple setting within MailChimp, my new subscribers land here, on my thank you page. I give them a warm greeting as soon as they get here.
They get invited to join my private Facebook community…
…and get to download their free digital encouragement pack. Plus, I give them links to my social media channels to connect with me there as well.
Your thank you page can be used as a bit of a behind-the-scenes or backstage pass to your blog. Maybe you want to introduce new readers to old content by sharing some of the highlights on this page. Whatever you decide to share here, make it valuable and encourage interaction.
If you’re looking for a little bit of extra help growing your email list organically, try out these tips:
- Use a friendly pop-up, like the free Popup Ally, set to exit-intent. It won’t disrupt your reader experience, you can create up to 2 unique pop-ups, and you can select specific pages and posts for each one.
- Create a welcome series to welcome new readers, introducing them to you and your blog over the course of a few well-crafted emails delivered automatically.
- Create content upgrades, post-specific opt-ins that are geared towards your target audience. These can be used in addition to your standard opt-in offer. (Think: an opt-in speaks to your broader target audience while content upgrades speak to a more specific segment of your target audience.)
- Host a webinar. Use something like LeadPages to have registrants automatically added to your email list.
Now it’s your turn. What are your favorite list building techniques?