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Bloggers Action Plan – How To Grow Your Email List FAST!

By:     Topics: Email Marketing,Make Money Online

How To Drastically Increase Your Email Opt-in Rate

Today I want to answer a question that a lot of you have been asking recently – How do I grow my email list?

I will start by stating the obvious if I may. The best way to get subscribers to your list is to:

Deliver valuable content that adds value to the life or business of your visitor

If you have valuable content that will benefit your customer and/or their business then this video will help you. In it I review some of the strategies I use to get more opt-ins and grow my email list using AWeber, a Free Gift and creative copywriting.

Too many new bloggers just put up an opt-in form on the sidebar of their blog and hope for the best. Hoping for the best is not a business strategy you want to follow.

In todays video I go over 5 steps that will increase your opt-ins and grow your list FAST – including some I hope that you have never considered before.

One important point however: I use the word OPT-IN a lot in this blog post but the words you should use on your web-page should be terms like: Subscribe or Join Me or Grab My Free Report. The words used, make a BIG difference to conversions. Most visitors will not know what OPT-IN means, so for that reason avoid using the term OPT-IN on your site.

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Today just about every business I know has a mailing list. My hairdresser has an email list – so does my dry-cleaners, and the garage I bought my car from plus of course the hotels I stay in. Seems just about everyone is growing their email list as part of their marketing strategy. I even read somewhere recently one business owner saying that having someones email address was more valuable to him than having their physical address.

Never be embarrassed to grow your list – people will follow you and will support you provided you are delivering awesome content and adding value to their lives and business.

To our continued success and an every growing list of happy subscribers.

Michael

PS: If you enjoyed the video you will also enjoy

Making Money with Email Marketing and an Autoresponder Series

More Email Opt-in Secrets

Video Transcript – with additional links and resources

Today we’re going to talk about something really important: how to drastically increase your opt-in rate.

For me, a large amount of my income today is generated by having a GOOD LIST.

In theory if you are delivering valuable content that adds value to the life or business of your visitor then growing a GOOD LIST should not be a problem but I have to say I have seen some pretty good Bloggers with excellent content not growing their list much at all, simply because that have not been using the right strategies.

It is those simple strategies that this video is about.

If you ask pretty much any Internet marketer, they’ll tell you that their biggest mistake in business was not building a list quick enough. For me, I think my biggest mistake was not that, it was the fact that I didn’t promote it enough. I was growing my list too slowly in the early days.

I know it is a bit of an assumption, but I am going to assume you have your OFFER sorted out – you’ve got a Free Gift, such as a free report on how to make money in your niche or a free seven day course plus hopefully some nice graphics that catch the visitors eye. I am also going to assume you at least have an Opt-in form in your side bar at present.

5 Tips For Growing Your Email List FAST!

My first TIP might actually surprise you because it is about having an effective Thank You Page. Read on to see what I mean….

No1) Have a Strong Thank You page.

Most people who opt-in for your free gift will be opting-in because they want your free product. Now a lot of people will just presume that if they put in their details then they’re going to get whatever you are offering. So the first step of your Thank You page is let your new subscriber know they need to confirm their email address. Get this wrong and in my experience you can lose as much as 50% of all potential new subscribers.

It is not the subscribers fault if they fail to re-confirm their email address – it is your fault!

In this day and age just about every reputable email marketing service requires a Double Opt-in, just so they can confirm that the person at this email address really does what what was offered. (Because believe it or not, there are some malicious people who enter in other peoples email addresses)

AWeber do an amazing job of providing an efficient thank you page – there is even the option to have an audio message explaining the next step as well as the written instructions.

Or you can create your own Custom Thank You page as I have done at:
http://www.incomediary.com/thankyou.html

Note – the page explains the Next Steps – 1,2,3 (Check and confirm your email, Register a Domain, Get Hosting)

Note – not only do I remind the new subscriber that they need to confirm their email I also in my custom Thank You page give them some options to spend money – even before confirming their email.

Almost nothing is as frustrating in Internet Marketing as getting a subscriber who does not end up confirming with the double opt-in so it is essential you explain this to your potential new subscriber. This is why I made my First Tip all about the Thank You Page. Not much point in getting people to take the first step and provide their email address if you ‘lose’ them because you don’t explain the need to re-confirm their email address.

No2) The “Squeeze Page“. As I mentioned before this page could more accurately be called the Michael Dunlop Squeeze Page because my definition of a squeeze is quite different from most other Internet Marketers.

If you look at How To Create A Profitable Blog you will see my squeeze page. Sure the page is also about ‘squeezing” someones email address out of them – but can you also see how there is an opportunity for me as a blogger to earn commissions – even if the visitor did not subscribe.

My squeeze page is just a separate page on my blog that I’ve set-up with information on my offer plus related products (that earn commission).

Everyone should have a page like this – and not rely solely on an Opt-in box in the sidebar

There’s a few benefits of this. Of course, you can tell people via Twitter or Facebook or anywhere, “Hey, check out my free gift.” Or “Have you checked out my free gift yet?” Also, if you’re doing posts such as top lists, when I do my Top 30 Bloggers, I can say to them, “Hey, want to follow in their footsteps? Go and request my free gift.”

No3) Consider a Light-Box Pop opt-in!

Now, I will assume not everyone is familiar with this term. A light-box is basically a little box that comes up on your page, and you can’t do anything on the site until you press the cross or you opt-in. These convert like crazy.

The only problem is no one really wants their readers to be bombarded by this. This turns readers off and they are going to leave. So you don’t want to give it to your regular readers.

But used correctly Lightbox Opt-ins are amazing tools in the email list builders arsenal. For example with a bit of clever code you can customise your opt-in to only appear to certain people using certain search terms – for example ‘Top Bloggers’. Or you could have it so that only visitors from Google saw it or Twitter or whatever you wish to set it to

This is quite a big topic in itself and I don’t want to go into in in huge detail here – however I will recommend this video which explains How to Add an Aweber Lightbox Pop to a WordPress Blog

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X6R_d7sKOs&NR=1

No 4) A Rotating Opt-in offer

This is something I plan to use in the new IncomeDiary.com site that I am currently working on. (Again a clever but relatively simple bit of code is required)

Typically for every 1000 visitors I have 30 people opt-in for my blogging eCourse. Not bad, but not great either – a lot of people get away. Of course some of them are regular readers who have already taken the eCourse – but there are also a lot of people who have no interest at all in the Blogging eCourse.

So what if I rotated my offers – or made my opt-in offer more focused on the content of a particular page or more focused on the search term the visitor used to find my site

For example if I had an opt-in for ‘How to drive traffic with Twitter’ on my Twitter Page I bet that would convert better than my Blogging eCourse on that page.

These are the kind of strategies that will really help explode your list fast.

No 5) Have More Opt-In Boxes

Too many bloggers have an opt-in tucked away at bottom of their side bar without a decent graphic of a strong offer. It is almost like they are embarrassed to ask for an email address in exchange for the information they offer.

Here’s how I think about it.

If you have advertising on your site, then the more advertising banners you have – the more clicks the adverts will get (and the more sales). So it is with opt-in boxes – the more opt-in opportunities you have on your site then the more subscribers you will get.

This is something that I recommend… you should have a real big OPT-IN offer on the home page – like I have on Income Diary. I’ve got a huge box. You should also have one on the top right of your sidebar. In addition consider adding an opt-in either at top or bottom of some of your most popular posts. Of course this only works if you have solid content and lots of it. If you are in the habit of writing short posts or re-hashing information found on other websites then you are missing my first point – The best way to get subscribers to your list is to:

Deliver valuable content that adds value to the life or business of your visitor

For example on Retireat21.com I have some pages that get really high traffic from Google. So what I did was I added an opt-in box right at the top of those high traffic pages. Here is an example: Young Entrepreneur Rich List

On a page like the Young Entrepreneur Rich List is is quite likely those visitors will be one time visitors only – and if I don’t get them to subscribe / join my list on that visit I never will.

So I have a special opt-in at the top of the page – and I get opt-ins from it every days.

Finally — as I have said many times before, if you are serious about building an email list, please invest in AWeber

AWeber is super powerful. It is my email marketing software of choice, helping me and many other business owners around the world to automate email follow up and email newsletter delivery.

I hope this has helped. Let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments below.

Michael Dunlop
IncomeDiary.com

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  • http://www.sharisca.com ShariscaDotCom

    Hey michael,

    Great tips, and what a great site.

    I’ve been following you for a while now, and admire how you are working your business!

    Take care and talk soon.

    Sharisca.com

  • http://www.youngprepro.com Onibalusi Bamidele

    Great List Michael,

    Building a list should be the priority of any entrepreneur. Your strategies are great, i will begin to implement them right away.

    Thanks a lot for the nice comment,
    -Onibalusi

  • http://www.MoneyloveBlog.com Jerry Gillies

    Well Michael, in your old age, you are getting downright prolific. You remind me of sunshine in Florida or Southern California (both of which I miss here in the damp and chilly SF environ)–it’s a bit boring day-after-day…”What, another gorgeous, delicious day?” But oh, it feels so good! And by boring, I mean, day-after-day, great blog content. “Oh, another fantastic, information-packed post from Michael–so what else is new?”

  • Luke Etheridge

    Michael,

    Really, really great post mate!

    I think the bit about the ‘thank you’ page has really hit home – something I never thought of before to be honest, but something that can clearly have an impact on your list building.

    These videos are really great mate and in my opinion they stand out an absolute mile from the usual vague blogging tips you get from the likes of ProBlogger and John Chow.

    Michael you really are teaching others how to seperate themselves from the rest and I’m certain it will go a long way.

    Thanks again bud.

    Luke Etheridge

    • Michael

      Hello Luke,

      Thanks very much man, means a lot :)

      I really do try to provide more value then anyone else.

      Michael

  • blognseo

    well thats a good list and the videos give really good information!

  • Nick Tart

    Another great video, Michael! I enjoy watching these because I’ve spent months researching the answers to some of the questions you addressed in this 8-minute video. I know you know what you’re talking about and it’s to hear it straight from you.

  • Mark Greer

    I totally agree, building the list and the relationship with the list is the ONLY thing you should be focusing on. Everything else is secondary.

  • Manuel

    Michael nice, nice, nice post again. From the “Thank You” page right to the multiple opt-in boxes, everything made sense.

    • Michael

      Good to hear Manuel, let me know how it converts for you :)

      Michael

  • Blair Keen

    Hi Michael, regarding your ‘rotating opt in offer’, will you be managing this through multivariate testing, or do you plan to simply change it around each week or so?

    I’m interested to know how many other bloggers out there have considered varying their offer to increase opt-in conversions?

  • http://millionaireat24.com/michael-dunlop-how-he-went-from-selling-pokemon-cards-at-school-to-running-a-6-figure-online-business/ Aaron Darko

    I Really enjoyed filming this one michael as I was learning loads! Multiple optin boxes and squeeze pages are things I am working on!

  • Luke Etheridge

    Michael,

    Have been exploring the new layout mate and it’s looking smart and may I say, very easy to navigate which I see as very important for a blog.

    Good luck with it mate and chill out…get some sleep!! ;)

    Luke

  • Cory Shanes

    Michael – How do you make all the custom opt in boxes, I know its not just aweber? Would love to learn more about that.

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  • http://exservice29.blogspot.com/ matt craven

    Michael , i have watched loads of your videos and need some help with making money blogging. How do i get an opt in list through my blog and get traffic to it, i have wrote loads of articles, used keywords got loads of content on there, videos articles etc… but very little traffic, oh and on facebook and twitter. HELP

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