Email marketing continues to outpace other digital marketing methods when it comes to converting customers. Now is the time to start focusing on growing your email list.
According to data from the Direct Marketing Association, email is the highest converting source of traffic. With an investment of $1 in email marketing, you can expect a ROI of $38. This data was further corroborated by Monetate, in a study that analyzed over 500 million shopping experiences, which came to the conclusion that email outperforms search and social media combined when it comes to transactional conversions.
If you’ve yet to start building an email list, the time is now. If you’re not sure how to gain subscribers, below are seven techniques guaranteed to turbocharge your email list building in 2016:
1. Grow Subscriptions With Full Screen Takeovers
Take a look at the screenshot below; you’ve probably visited one of your favorite blogs to see something like that. It’s called a “Full Screen Takeover.” Others might call it a “Welcome Mat.”
Essentially, a Full Screen Takeover does exactly what the name implies: it introduces an opt-in form that automatically comes up front and center when people visit your website. As simple as it looks, it is a powerful conversion booster responsible for thousands of extra subscribers through my blog every month.
Here’s a screenshot of how the Full Screen Takeover on one of my blogs converts:
I created and split-tested four variations of a form promoting the same offer, and the conversion rate ranged from 5.63 percent to 7.81 percent. For a form that appears on every single page of my site, that’s an impressive conversion rate.
I now get over 1,500 extra subscribers monthly from Full Screen Takeovers, making it the biggest source of subscriptions from my website. This is definitely a technique you should implement and test in 2016.
To implement Full Screen Takeovers, use the OptinMonster plug-in, which makes it easy to customize your forms and your offer. The split-test option has resulted in a significant boost in extra subscribers for me. If you’re looking for a free alternative, the SumoMe app offers a limited free version for low-traffic sites.
2. Use a Header Bar With Overlay
Many of us are familiar with the header bar (see screenshot below), but do you know that a simple tweak can double or even triple subscriptions from your header bar?
You can significantly boost subscriptions from your header bar by using an overlay to draw attention to it. Here’s an example screenshot showing an overlay drawing attention to a header bar:
The above example is from ManyContacts, and it shows an overlay drawing attention to the header bar that would likely have been ignored otherwise. Exactly how effective is this technique? In a case study on Inbound.org, Shashank Gupta reported an increase in conversion rate from 3.9 percent to 9.14 percent simply by enabling an overlay for his header bar. For him, this translated to an extra 3,668 email subscribers monthly.
The ManyContacts app makes it easy to enable a “Higher Visibility Overlay” that draws more attention to your header bar, resulting in a boost in subscriptions.
3. Run a Viral List-Building Giveaway
How would you like to get 187,991 subscribers in 11 days, without spending a cent on marketing or advertising? That was exactly what happened to Josh Earl. With the following items, he was able to generate almost 200,000 extra subscribers in just 11 days:
- A product to give away (in this case a free license to a software called “Sublime Text”)
- The KingSumo Giveaways plug-in
With just these two things, Josh Earl was able to launch a viral giveaway that not only overloaded his site with traffic, but he actually got 187,991 extra subscribers as a result.
Here’s Why Josh’s Giveaway Worked to Build His Email List:
- He offered a relevant product as his giveaway price. His blog was about the Sublime Text software, so what better product to offer than this?
- He made it a requirement to sign up with an email address to join the giveaway. Since the goal of the giveaway was to gain subscribers, signing up with an email address wasn’t optional.
- He incentivized getting others to join the giveaway. Inviting more people to join the giveaway increased a contestant’s chances of winning.
- Once the giveaway was set up, he announced it to his existing audience, and then he reached out to relevant blogs in his niche to notify them about the giveaway to get them to share it with their audience.
This all resulted in server-crushing traffic and more email subscribers than Josh knew what to do with.
4. Use Exit Pop-ups to Capture Readers You Would Have Otherwise Lost
Some users find pop-ups intrusive, especially since they often appear when a visitor is first visiting your site and before they know if they love your site’s content. An exit pop-up is the reverse. Exit popups work really well because they are shown to visitors about to leave your site. Due to these facts:
- The reader has had enough time to look at your content and will more easily decide whether to subscribe or not.
- Most visitors have been conditioned to automatically close pop-ups whenever they appear, since pop-ups are now commonplace. With an exit pop-up, visitors will not automatically close your pop-up since its arrival when navigating away from your site is unexpected.
- It is not interrupting the experience of blog readers since it is introduced when they want to exit your blog.
Exactly how powerful is an exit pop-up? Apparently very powerful: WPBeginner was able to increase their daily opt-ins by 600 percent by implementing exit pop-ups. They went from getting 70 to 80 new subscribers daily to getting 445 to 470 new subscribers daily simply by asking users to opt-in right before they left.
A tool like OptinMonster plug-in also makes it easy to create and customize exit pop-ups to capture your readers’ email addresses at the right time and with the right message.
5. Offer Content Upgrades
The conventional way many website owners attempt to build their email list is by offering a single, site-wide incentive. In an attempt to maximize subscribers from this single incentive, they then include as many forms as they can on their website. Brian Dean followed a similar approach, until he tried something else that instantly resulted in a 785.01 percent increase in subscriptions. What did he do differently? He introduced a content upgrade.
A content upgrade is an offer that is highly relevant to a particular content piece on your website (such as a blog post), offered right inside that content. So, instead of having just one case study report that you display site-wide, a content upgrade might be a checklist that helps people implement tips from a particular article offered only in that article. Due to how relevant content upgrades can be, they convert better than the average opt-in incentive.
6. Create a Dedicated Landing Page for Your Campaigns
Where do you send your off-site SEO traffic? You’re probably playing a losing game if your guest blogging efforts, advertising efforts, and other promotional efforts only direct traffic to your website homepage.
Research shows that a dedicated landing page can increase conversions up to 50 percent or more. So, instead of directing traffic straight to your homepage, or to your blog posts, you can send it to a customized and relevant landing page created to attract subscribers.
7. Introduce a Scroll-Triggered Opt-in Form
Buffer was able to double their email sign-ups in one month, going from gaining 2,349 email subscriptions the previous month to earning 5,450 email subscriptions the month after they implemented a few different tactics. That’s 3,101 extra subscribers in one month. Of all the techniques they implemented, the best-performing was the introduction of a scroll-triggered opt-in form. The form, shown in the below screenshot, was configured to slide up once readers scroll 60 percent down a page.
Here’s Why a Scroll-Triggered Opt-in Form Works
It displays in such a way that makes it difficult to ignore when readers are deeply engaged with your content.
It is a cutting-edge digital marketing tactic that is not widely known, which makes it more likely to avoid customer “blindness.” If you use WordPress, the Dreamgrow Scroll Triggered Box plug-in makes it easy to create a scroll-triggered opt-in form for free. If you don’t use WordPress, or if you want a more customizable alternative, the OptinMonster plug-in recommended earlier will work for you.
You can use all or some of the techniques listed above to turbocharge your email list growth. What makes all of these options effective is timing, message, and relevancy. Whether you open a conversation with your prospects as they enter the site, while they’re browsing, or as they’re leaving, an email sign-up is the ultimate start to a relationship with your audience.