Growing your email list is the best thing you can do for your creative business. But simply saying “Subscribe to my newsletter” isn’t going to cut it anymore. Are you offering a discount code, a freebie, entry to a giveaway, a quiz? Something has to entice them.
Look at my audience change. Using the method I am about to share, the first week I gained 102 subscribers alone. The next week I more than doubled that with 207 additional subscribers. I am going to keep this short and straight to the point as I share with you how I grew my email list with a new blog and gained over 355 subscribers in 3 weeks (or 21 days).
1. Created a Timely Opt-In That My Ideal Clients Would Love
When we’re talking about growing your subscriber list, you’ll hear “opt-in” “lead magnet” “freebie” and “content upgrade” used interchangeably. Why? No reason. They’re all the same thing, something that you offer for free in exchange for their email address. But not just anything. It has to be specific, something that your ideal reader or client would want. The opt in that I created was geared towards mothers with school aged children, my ideal client. It was a printable amazon gift card holder that I designed in about 10 minutes. Because it was Teacher Appreciation Week and I know that many busy moms forego the pinterest-worthy crafts and do the last minute gift card dash, I was able to offer a design that gave the appearance of being the unique and crafty moms they want to be. Now with a list full of moms who obviously appreciate teachers, when it’s time for school to start again, I will have already provided them with enough value that they WOULD LOVE to buy personalized planners, journals, chore charts, and stationery (see, my opt-in related directly to my ideal client).
Honestly this is the first point because it is the main reason for my boost in subscribers. MAKE A TIMELY/RELEVANT OPT-IN because it creates urgency, especially if the content is seasonal/holiday/event based. But once the relevancy of the opt-in passes, be ready to create a new one for big growth spurts or an evergreen opt-in. something that can be used year-round for steady subscribers.
2. Protected My Freebie and Provided it as an Instant Download
Most people will tell you to include the freebie in confirmation email to download. While I have done that before, this IS NOT what I did to gain my current subscribers. I decided to test out a new strategy and it worked! So how did I do it? Check out my very first opt-in I created. Do you see how it says “WANT YOUR FREEBIE? GRAB IT BELOW”? Then there is a “content locker” which basically locks or hides everything underneath until an email is inputted. Once the user submits their email, the locker disappears to display my custom “CLICK TO DOWNLOAD” button. Once clicked, the file immediately downloads directly to the computer, without being taken to a browser to view.
The main reason I like this delivery method is that it offers immediate satisfaction to your readers and you build a form of trust. PLUS, the reader never sees the file url. Finally, I just think it’s a more seamless, uninterrupted experience that your new subscribers can appreciation.
Want to take a look at my blog’s back end to see how I set up the instant download? Click here for the blog post that shows exactly how I did it and what plugins to use.
But I would like to add, with my evergreen opt-ins that I am in the process of creating, the subscribers will have to get their freebies and free resource library password from their email.
3. Promoted My Opt-In on Social Media
Besides posting the opt-in on my blog’s facebook page, two group pages and my personal page, not much Facebook promotion went on. I’ll get better at Facebook eventually. I did post itdc to my instagram. With over 4,000 followers, I was able to get 89 likes, but that didn’t drive any traffic. Just a bunch of hearts that didn’t do me any good.
So how did I promote my opt-in? PINTEREST, MY FRIENDS!
Pinterest is my number one source of traffic to my blog. I created a pin friendly image (taller than it is wide with text overlay) and shared it on a few of my boards and two group boards. I also shared it in my different tailwind tribes for other people to schedule to pin at a later date.
Just keep in mind, when using Tailwind, things are scheduled. I was about to give up three days after posting because it hadn’t garnered any subscribers, but give tailwind 5-10 days to see what it does for you, because my list exploded. Well, for someone who had been sitting pretty at 50 for a minute, gaining over 350 subscribers is an accomplishment. One I’m sure you can meet too.
WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
I, personally, am not going to try to monetize that particular email list until I get to at least 1,000 subscribers (preferably 2k). In the meantime, I’ll still engage with my subscribers, you don’t want them to forget you.
- FREEBIES/DISCOUNTS: Everyone loves free stuff, so share it if you have it.
- BEHIND THE SCENES: Let your readers/prospects know what you’re up to and all that’s involved in what you do. Especially if you’re a baker, photographer, crafter or event planner. So many people think they can do what you do, show them the pretty and unpretty side of it all.
- DEAR ABBY: Answer questions that your readers may submit.
So, thinking about your ideal client, what would be your opt-in to begin growing your email list?
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