Many entrepreneurs focus on building a blog or social media presence before building a mailing list. Even though a mailing list has the potential to be far more profitable than social media, email marketing tends to be pushed to the back burner or ignored.
Sure, it’s not impossible to have a profitable business without intentionally building a mailing list, but email marketing has maintained a strong lead over social media when it comes to generating an ROI.
The reasons span the spectrum - from not knowing what to send, to focusing on building communities on social media, to not knowing what techniques work to build a mailing list.
In this post, we’re revealing our favorite tried and true list building methods that are based on optimizing your blog and social media profiles.
Optimizing Your Blog for List Growth
1. Embrace pop-ups and announcement bars
Visitors often leave web pages in 10-20 seconds. With the abundance of information readily available to your target audience, your website has to capitalize on a typical visitor’s short attention span.
Pop-ups and announcement bars are a personal favorite, and they actually work.
Pop-ups tend to get labeled as annoying because they can easily be abused, but when placed strategically on your website (such as after 10 seconds or timed as an exit pop up), pop-ups can cause exponential list growth.
2. Place opt-in forms in your sidebar and footer of your website
Your website is more than your blog. Visitors will not only want to read your blog, but also learn more about you, find your contact information, and learn about how you can help them meet their goals.
On the shorter pages of your website - like your “about me” and “services”, your footer and sidebar content are more likely to stand out.
Kleneice and I were initially skeptical about how opt-ins in these locations would perform, but we were pleasantly surprised during an analytics review to discover that our opt-in form in the footer captures new subscribers daily.
3. Create relevant content upgrades for the blog posts that are directly related to your service
As a service-based business owner, it’s important to have posts on your blog that are directly related to the services you provide. Within those blog posts, you have an opportunity to boost the growth of your mailing list if you link to content upgrades that are related to those services.
For example, on the Humble & Whole blog, most of our posts are based on digital marketing tips (blogging, social media, and list building) which are services that we provide.
Within our blog posts, we link to our popular content upgrade - The 5 Days to Consistent Clients video course, which is not only related to the blog posts we share but also mirrors the service we provide for our clients.
Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles for List Growth
1. Include links to content upgrades in your social media profiles
The bio of your social media profiles is prime real estate for links, especially links to specific content upgrades. You can get as creative here as you like, but we have had success including the link to 5 Days to Consistent Clients in the bio of our Twitter and Facebook profiles.
Including a link to a specific content upgrade is effective because visitors to your social media profiles are scanning your bio to learn more about who you are and how you can serve them.
If there is a link in your profile to a freebie that can help your target audience meet their goals, you make it easier for your ideal clients to quickly take advantage of your valuable offers and boost your opt-in rate.
Instagram is our exception to this tip. As you can see below, we link to a self-hosted landing page on our website instead of a specific content upgrade because we direct our IG community to multiple offers in our IG posts.
2. Talk about your mailing list and content upgrades on social media
Sometimes your target audience just needs additional information before subscribing to your mailing list.
Creating social media posts that describe how your content upgrades can help your target audience achieve their goals can be effective in boosting your opt-in rate.
We like to create pins of our content upgrades to share on Pinterest, write Instagram posts that explain the details of our freebies and create tweets for each content upgrade. For more ideas of how you can share information about your newsletter and freebies on social media, check out our post, 12 Expert Ways to Grow Your Mailing List Using Social Media.
Building your mailing list with your target audience is one of the best things you can do to ensure the profitability of your business. Optimizing your blog and social media is key to boosting your mailing list growth. If your list growth has been stagnant and you would rather outsource your marketing efforts, contact us.