As a web-designer I'm constantly tweaking my website; it's an ever-evolving project. I'll be listening to the latest podcast or nerding out on a blog post on web design trends and feel the sudden urge to jump into Squarespace and start playing around. Although I love to play around and change things up - I rarely do so if it’s not also a strategic move.
Whilst recently listening to Pat Flynn's podcast on How to Win With Your Email List, my mind was a-flutter with ideas to implement. This, coupled with the fact I had just made a commitment to quadruple my list, was a sure sign I needed to up the opt-in game on my website.
Building your mailing list can bring up a lot of fears around being seen as pushy or 'salesy' - which for the record is soooooo not my jam!
My take on ‘list-building’ is this:
The larger your community (or email list) the bigger your impact can be.
So to help you move past the icky feelings of email marketing, I’ve included my own take on how you can create more impact through building your email list in each of my easy-to-implement ideas below.
I’d love to know which one you’ll try out first!! Let me know in the comments at the end of this post.
Create Content Upgrades for Your Top-Ten Posts
Content upgrades, if you're not familiar with the term, are a great bridge between your blog post content and joining your mailing list. In most cases, a content upgrade will be the logical next step that someone should take after reading your post.
Some great content upgrade ideas include worksheets to help your reader walk through the solution for themselves, further reading/instructional content such as video tutorials or it could be a neatly packaged list of further resources on the topic you've just blogged about.
Now, be warned, you could easily spend a lot of wasted effort on content upgrades for blog posts that don’t get many eyes on them.
When it comes to growing your mailing list, consider this…
The amount of unique visitors to your site is directly related to the number of opt-ins you’ll receive.
If you’re a Squarespace user, you can easily find your top-ten posts using Squarespace’s built in analytics.
Just note: You might need to search through the list to work out which pages are blog posts as this will give you ALL your popular content.
Here’s how 👇🏻
Even if you’re on Squarespace, I’d still suggest you take a look at your Google Analytics, as they’ll give you so much more detail. Once you’ve logged into your Google Analytics account follow this little walk-through to find your blog posts.
Once you’ve found your top-ten posts, what’s the next logical step would be for your reader? Brainstorm some ideas of things you can easily create (or you might already have resources for) to help them.
Then, it’s as simple as setting up a form that appears at the end of your blog post sharing the next step with your almost-subscriber. Here’s a few examples from around my blog:
You can either do this with a built-in function, such as Squarespace’s newsletter form or my personal fave is to create custom-designed ConvertKit forms, meaning I can customise the form exactly the way I like!
Add 'In-Post' Sign-Up Opportunities
As I mentioned above, adding content upgrades to your most popular blog posts can help boost your subscriptions it requires your readers to make it all the way to the bottom of your post - which hopefully they do, but just in case here’s an idea you can implement to help them come back for more!
Now it might seem a little bit circumventive to share an opt-in box with someone that wasn't even going to make it to the end of the article. I however like to apply the 'test-everything' theory, so I encourage you to give this a go and see if people who don't quite make it to the end of the post are still interested in the content upgrade. After all, they may download the opt-in, see how wonderful it is and come back to read the post! BONUS!
There are plenty of options of how you can integrate in-post sign-up opportunities; you can add a hyperlink in the text of your blog, you can add a sign up form and graphic within the blog post, or you can even have an opt-in pop-up box display when your reader gets to a certain point in the article. Again, my favourite way to implement this is using ConvertKit’s array of forms.
If you want to explore a little more of how your audience are engaging with your posts, you can look at the time spent on your page through Google Analytics or install a heat-mapping add-on such as Hot Jar, to see how far through your blog post your reader makes it.
Include Your Opt-In On Your Homepage
If we consider the popular-content we discovered in the first part of this blog post, you’ll likely see that the majority of your website visitors likely come to your site through your homepage. After all that’s the page listed on your social media profiles, business cards and email signature, right? Well let’s hope so!
By including your opt-in on your homepage your subscribers instantly learn how much value you have to offer and understand exactly what you’re about.
If you take just one tip away from this blog post, may it be this…
Don’t leave your opt-in to the bottom of your homepage!
Of course, you can put it there too, but my idea of a homepage is all about sharing snippets of what else someone can find within your site. So if your homepage is done right, then you’ll likely have captured your readers attention before they even get to the bottom of your homepage!
So make the most of their interest and pop that beautifully created opt-in at the top of your page! Trust me. I’ve seen this strategy shake things up for so many of my clients. Here’s a few of the results I’ve seen.
Hitting 1k subscribers in the FIRST MONTH of launching their business.
Increasing their monthly subscribers by 20-50%.
Having people sign up to their mailing list DAILY, without Facebook ads or even promoting their opt-in on social.
Just to name a few!
Make Your Opt-In Visible On EVERY Navigation Page
Just as I mentioned with your homepage, I see this mistake again and again on all the pages that are hidden behind the main homepage. When you’ve captured the attention of your dream client, you want to let them know how great it would be to work with you - ASAP!
I’ll be honest, I was making this mistake too. For far too long I was leaving my opt-in box to very last on every single one of my pages. In most cases this was because I’d thought I 'SHOULD' have it, but didn't want it to be too obnoxious. However, I realised that I’d been looking at things the wrong way around. When I realised that I am creating content that serves my clients needs, from a place of genuinely wanting to help them, regardless of whether they sign up for my paid services I felt much more aligned with sharing the amazing resources I’d created, front and centre.
Now, on my main services page, there’s a beautifully thought out opt-in that can help my dream clients get to know what it’s like to work with me, what content I love to share - and they get some REAL help FOR FREE! Everyone wins!
Here’s a couple of examples that I’ve implemented:
Are you ready to boost your opt-in numbers so you can start making a bigger impact?
I’d love to know if you plan to implement one of these suggestions. Let me know in the comments below!