List building is a marketing strategy that isn’t going away anytime soon, even though its mother — email marketing — has been pronounced dead several times. Shanelle Mullin of Shopify believes the proclamations are far from the truth: “In the last 5 years, email has been pronounced dead half a dozen times, if not more. The truth is that email is very much alive and, for most optimizers, it’s far from being on its proverbial deathbed.” So if email marketing is still effective, the importance of gathering signups ranks high. So how do you get signups? Are there formulas you need to know? Here are five ways to get quality email signups on your website:
#1 Content upgrades that aren’t already everywhere
In case you’re not familiar with content upgrades, they’re the forms you see above, in the middle of, or below a blog post. And they often appear as part of the article you’re reading. Content upgrades have become one of the most powerful tools in the hands of marketers. “Content upgrade is a simple strategy that instantly increased my conversion rate from 0.54%. to 4.82%,” says Brian Dean of Backlinko. However, for a better performance, your content upgrade needs to be valuable. As with anything that becomes too commonplace, content users have seen dozens of times begins to lose value.
Take content marketing. As soon as it became every marketer’s favorite tool, content marketing started to become less and less effective. Content production by brands reached record highs in 2016, but average engagement actually decreased by 17%. So while you do not need to reinvent the wheel every time, put your own twist on the topic.
#2 Expanded guest posts (EGP)
Entrepreneur and creator of Videofruit, Bryan Harris reports that he gets 500 subscribers a week with this email sign-up technique. “Many of you have spent months screwing around on your blog and haven’t cracked 100 subscribers yet. I know…I was one of you. With the Expanded Guest Post (EGP) I routinely get 500 in one week.”
How do you go about Expanded Guest Posting? It’s just like content upgrades, but instead, you place your content upgrade on another person’s blog. And in most cases, this “other blog” is often a popular blog — otherwise it won’t be able to get hundreds of email signups in a week.
Here are Harris’ results from one post on a well-known site:
The blogs you’re writing need three factors to drive quality email signups:
- High traffic
- The inclusion of your target readers
- Content upgrades
Convincing sites to allow you to place your content upgrades on their site isn’t always easy, but a great place to start the process is finding a reputable, high-traffic site and looking into their guest posting policy. If they do take guest posts, submit your post and begin the negotiations. All sites have their own unique way of handling guest posts, so finding the right fit may take time. Stay persistent, there’s a place for your content.
#3 Exit pop-ups (with exclusive content)
Exit pop-ups are still one of the highest performing and most impressive marketing technology tools out there today; there’s virtually no better time to ask for visitors’ emails than when they’re about to leave the page. If readers are happy with your content, chances are high they will sign up for something before leaving. Now, pop-ups are just a tool. Using them doesn’t automatically translate to hundreds or thousands of email signups. Getting results from exit pop-ups, or any marketing tool in fact, depends on how you use them.
Are you still asking visitors to sign up to get more of your content? That may have worked well when exit intent first stormed the industry. Today’s best performing pop-up overlays carry more than just “Sign up for our newsletter.” They carry exclusive content — content that isn’t seen everywhere. Digital Marketer, for example, got nearly 3000 leads via this exit-intent pop-up overlay that offered 212 blog post ideas:
You’d agree that in marketing we’ve seen lots of content on how to get topic ideas or X number of blog post ideas, but not many of them include 212 blog post ready-to-execute-ideas. To get really great results from exit pop-ups, it’s best to offer exclusive content. This exclusive content could even be discounts or coupons — any content that isn’t what your audience can find on other sites can work wonders.
Always keep GDPR in mind
Use these strategies to drive high quality email signups to your business. But you also want to ensure you’re not violating the GDPR. People who sign up on your list must not get any sales emails from you, unless they’ve given you the express permission to send them such messages. You can learn more about GDPR here. Now prepare to meet you’re A-list!