By now, we all know the importance of building up an email list for our blogs. It helps you to bring people back, build the relationship, mobilize your audience and, yes, make money.
The problem is that most bloggers are dropping the ball on actually growing their email list. It comes down to some real basics of making the offer. These are basics that, quite frankly, have been stated time and time again, but few bloggers apply.
Last week, I did a Q&A call with my Blog Masters Club students. In addition to answering questions, they watched me record a couple of videos in real-time. One of them was this video which discusses the typical list building mistakes.
NOTE: One of the sample opt-in forms mentioned in this video has since been changed – based on my advice. Feel free to check out his site, too, because he’s doing a much better job with his opt-in forms now.
As I covered in this video, the most common mistakes are:
- Not enticing them into the list with a free giveaway tailored for your target audience.
- Using pre-formatted opt-in forms which are either too plain or completely wrong for your theme.
- Not “selling the giveway”. In other words, not using copy to overcome their objections to wanting the giveaway. It isn’t enough to just offer something for free. People have a natural distrust at first. You have to overcome their objections to the freebie by “selling” it, almost the same way as if you were collecting money for it.
These are the primary takeaways you should get from this:
- Provide a targeted free offer in exchange for them giving you their email address.
- SHOW them the giveaway using imagery. Provide a visual representation of the giveaway. If it is an ebook, show a cover. If it is a video, show a video thumbnail with a nice big play button on it. The image should be as enticing as you can deliver. Strongly consider hiring a graphics designer to do this for you. It is very cheap.
- Don’t use stock opt-in forms. Instead, use the basic HTML opt-in form provided by your email list provider (I recommend Aweber), then take the HTML into an editor and customize it to fit the look and feel of your site.
- “Sell” the giveaway. In addition to an image, have some basic copy next to it which illustrates the highlights or main benefits of the giveaway. One way is to tap into the sense of mystery by rephrasing a few highlights into statements which are designed to tap into that sense of mystery. You want the visitor to really WANT the giveaway.
My last piece of advice is this…
DO NOT skimp on your email list.
I see WAY too many bloggers downplaying the importance of their list by using solutions like Feedburner, or using boring-ass opt-in forms with absolutely no reason to subscribe. I’m sure the two biggest barriers are:
- Lack of funds to get a real email list provider.
- Lack of funds (or skills) to get a decent image designed.
My advice: Don’t skimp. You’re shooting yourself in the foot to downplay your email list. Building your list should be your #1 goal of your entire blog. Aweber offers a $1 trial and I recommend you use it.
If you think small with your email list, that’s exactly where you’ll stay: small.
Your Next Actions
- If you’re not yet using Aweber, I highly encourage you to sign up for their $1 trial account and try list building right.
- Subscribe to my Youtube channel so you can keep track of my videos. I don’t post all of them here on the blog, so there’s content happening over there you might not see if you don’t subscribe.
- Stay cool.