Having a list building strategy may not be quite as important as having a content strategy, but if you can get your list building strategy and content strategy running hand in hand then you’re on to a winner.
It’s funny for many bloggers when they hear the words “list building strategy” they automatically assume that because the word “strategy” is in there, that it’s something that’s going to take for every to put together and will be really complex and confusing.
And the truth of the matter is, it isn’t.
A list building strategy can be very simple and need only incorporate a few things like;
- What am I offering to my readers in exchange for their email?
- What content, if any do I need to create?
- Where am I going to promote my email opt-in?
- How often am I going to promote it?
- What software do I need if any to execute my planned strategy?
You see it really isn’t that difficult or drawn out, but unfortunately, most bloggers simply add an opt-in box to our sidebar and leave it at that.
Of course having an opt-in embedded in your sidebar is better than nothing, but if you’re like most of us, they generally tend to have very low conversion rates and can be a little boring and dull.
There are however some very simple, yet clever things we bloggers can implement as part of our list building strategy that will help our opt-ins stand out from the norm and hopefully entice people into signing up.
At the end of the day our main goal, besides getting actual email addresses, is to make people aware of the fact that they can sign up to our list and receive regular emails from us.
Once we’ve made them aware of it, we just have to hope that our message or offer is enticing enough to get them to sign up.
With this in mind, I’ve got three not so common list building strategies that every blogger should add to their repertoire.
3 Not So Common List Building Strategies
The first one may not apply to everyone, but with video becoming an increasing more value platform for content, bloggers should be looking to make the most of the medium over the next 12-18 months.
“You can say video is not for you, then neither is getting in front of where the eyeballs are right now”
So if you’re looking to get you content out there to a wider audience maybe it’s time to embrace video!
YouTube End Screen
For those of you with an active YouTube Channel, this one is super simple and very effective. End screens from Youtube allow you to place a number clickable of things in the last 20 seconds of your videos.
Having a call to action here is a great way of asking for people to sign up to your email list right there from the video and the beautiful part of this is that we can always embed these videos in our blog posts.
This allows us to go for the email address right there on our site; we’re not reliant on them going to YouTube to see it. Friend of the podcast and a blogger I admire is Ian Cleary from Razor Social. Ian does a great job of this in his end screen as you can see above.
It’s fairly easy to with a bit of thought and the right tools and I recommend everyone should be doing it. If you want to create an end screen of your own, check out the vlog as I talk you through how I made our end screen.
I know that pop-ups are a much-debated topic when it comes to email marketing, some people love them, some hate them. Finding the balance between being active when it comes to seeking email address and affecting the user experience on your blog can be tough.
So rather than worry about interrupting the user experience with a pop up what about as they are about to exit your site?
If they are about to leave the chances are they have consumed your content and are ready to move on, so giving them an option to sign up to your list at this point is a great way of making them aware of your email list without interrupting the experience of consuming your content.
Click triggers are a little like pop-ups except they only fire when the visitor takes a particular action. In this case, it’s if they click a button or a piece of text.
They again are a fantastic way of catching the readers attention and aren’t as annoying as your standard pop-up. After all, most visitors understand that if they Click Here something is going to happen. In this instance, it’s an opt-in pop-up.
When it comes to having a clear call to action in our articles a click trigger is a great way of getting people to follow up with that action, not to mention when done right it can look very cool.
When it comes to creating two of the three options listed above SumoMe is the piece of software we use. The easy to use software allows you to not only create “exit pop-ups and click triggers” it also has a number of other applications including welcome mats, social share buttons and even heat maps.
There are some free tools available, but to be able to use both the exit pop-ups and the click triggers you’ll have to invest in the premium version.
I should point out that we are not affiliated with SumoMe and have not received any form of gratuity for recommending their software. It’s just a nifty piece of kit we use every day that we think most bloggers would benefit from using.
With that said, there are a few other options available to bloggers looking to implement these list building tactics. For the exit pop-up, there are a few free WordPress plug-ins with “Exit Popup” seeming to be the most popular, although I have to admit we haven’t used it.
For click triggers, “Pop-Up CC Click” is a free WordPress plugin that appears to do the same job. Again I haven’t used it so I can’t really attest to its reliability or ease of use, but given the fact that it’s free you’ve nothing to lose by trying it.
Having the right “offer” of “lead magnet” is important of that there is no doubt, but if your audience doesn’t even know that you have an email list how to you expect them to sign up?
Having opt-ins placed around your website is a very worthwhile exercise, but after a while they become stale and people see them less and less. But with the three I’ve outlined above, the tend to stand out a little more and have a greater impact on your readers and viewers.
Remember, you are truly providing value to your readers, they’ll have no problem with you offering them the chance to sign up to you list from time to time.
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