So you’ve set up your email service provider and added an opt-in form to your site. You’ve even created an awesome opt-in incentive to entice your subscribers (great job!).
And….no one signed up.
You waited, hoping that hundreds of subscribers would come rushing in to sign up, but…they did not. Maybe you got a few people to sign up, but most people aren’t sticking around and decide to unsubscribe.
Don’t worry, I’ve been there.
And if you’re like me, you’re probably feeling discouraged and demotivated. Questioning if anyone cares? If this whole thing is a waste of your time? And you even start wondering if you can actually do this – if you can actually build a profitable blog or business.
I know, it sucks. And yes, you can.
It’s moments like this that truly separate the successful bloggers from the bloggers that quit and fail. Don’t give up. Every internet entrepreneur has experienced this when they start.
In this post, I’ll share some common mistakes that may be the reason your not seeing growth. It’s possible all you need is a few tweaks to your lead generation and email marketing strategy in order to start seeing your numbers go up.
Optimize the opt-in forms on your website
When and where can visitors opt-in to your list? What information do you ask visitors? Do you give your visitors multiple chances to opt-in?
These are important questions to consider, and may surprisingly affect the number of people opting in to your email list.
When and where can visitors opt-in to your list?
Make sure your primary opt-in form is clear, visible, and above the fold. Don’t make your visitors scroll and search for your opt-in form, because they most likely won’t. Keep it easy for your visitors by making your opt-in option high priority and almost always accessible.
Simply placing your opt-in form above the fold could easily double your conversion rate.
What information do you ask visitors in your form?
You want to keep your opt-in form as simple as possible. If you ask too many questions, it will seem like too much work and visitors will be less likely to fill it out. All you really need is an email address and first name to personalize the email. Any other information can be gathered later.
Do you give your visitors multiple chances to opt-in?
Give people several options to notice your form and decide to fill it out. Some users may need to see your opt-in form multiple times before taking action. Having an opt-in option almost always visible will also keep it in the back of the visitors mind as they read your blog.
Here are some ideas for places to put your form: above the fold/header, in the navigation menu, below your blog posts, within your blog posts, at the top of your sidebar, or in a popup.
Don’t be afraid to ask or remind your readers to subscribe. Often times, they want to and will. They sometimes just need a little reminder 🙂
Offer a highly valuable, must have opt-in incentive
Is your opt-in incentive something you know your target audience will find valuable?
The most successful opt-in incentives – that get tons of people opting in – are super helpful and highly valuable to their target audience.
Unfortunately, you can’t just offer anything and expect people to want it. Your opt-in incentive needs to be something you are 100% confident will help your target audience on a problem they are currently struggling with. You want to make people feel like they absolutely need your solution to their problem RIGHT NOW, and if they don’t get it they are missing out!
So, how do you figure out what problems your target audience needs help with?
They will tell you. Look at social media and where your target readers are engaging. Find a blog with a similar target audience to yours and see what people are asking in the comments. Check Facebook groups, and read conversations and questions your ideal readers may be asking there. You can do the same on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
You may also interact with people in your target audience in your day-to-day life. Start a conversation with them and uncover what they need help with at the moment.
If you do a little digging, you’ll be able to find a bunch of ideas for opt-in incentives that your readers will truly feel like they need. And when you help readers solve a real problem they’re having, they’ll a) be so grateful and think your totally awesome, and b) trust you more and will be more likely to buy what you sell in the future.
Send frequent, consistent email
Once people start subscribing to your list, it’s very easy to get caught up in the numbers and focus too much on growth. But, you also need to focus on keeping the subscribers you get.
When I started my first list, I worried too much about whether I was sending something my readers would find valuable. As a result, my emails were very infrequent and not consistent at all. And I never really got the engagement I wanted.
It’s easy to think like this when you’re just starting out. But you don’t need to be afraid of sending emails to your list. People gave you their email because they are interested in what you have to say and offer.
To keep your subscribers engaged and on your list longer, you should be sending frequent, consistent emails – ideally every week. As long as you give your readers a bit of value each time, they will appreciate and look forward to your emails. And with every email, you’ll build trust and strenthen your connection with your subscribers.
Remember, there will always be people who just sign up to get the free offer and then unsubscribe. So, if people find your emails annoying and unsubscribe, let them. They’re probably not someone in your target audience or someone who will purchase from you in the future anyways.
Use SEO to drive organic traffic to your site
In order for people to opt-in to your email list, they need to be able to find your website!
Make sure you take advantage of all the SEO tactics and strategies so your content shows up when people in your target audience search specific key words and phrases related to your blog or business.
If your new to SEO and want more information about how it works, you can read “An Introduction to SEO for Internet Marketers”.
Bringing it all together
Growing an email list takes time, patience, and a lot of trial and error. Don’t be discouraged if things don’t happen for you right away.
Focus on fully understanding you target audience, their needs, and how you can consistently offer vaulable content.
The more you work at it, the more you’ll learn about your target audience and what they actually want and need from you.