How to Build an Email List with Your Blog (A 6-Step Process)

Email is, hands down, the most successful marketing tool that a business can use.

If someone has signed up for your email list, you get to build a relationship with them. And you’re far more likely to close a sale with someone that trusts you.

So if building an email list is so important, how do you do it?

Here’s a proven six-step process that will show you how to build an email list with your blog posts:

1) Create content that people want to read

Do you know what your target audience wants to read? Have you asked them?

At Sweet Fish, we do 2 specific things to get a pulse for what our followers want to read:

a) We send an automated email to every new email subscriber, asking them what aspect of their blog they need the most help with.

How to Build an Email List | Sweet Fish Media

b) We created a one-question survey and several people from our team tweet the link to the survey every couple days (we use Social Oomph to schedule the survey tweets from our team members).

2) Make your email opt-in easy to find

Your email subscription box should be somewhere “above the fold” (before the reader has to scroll down). Your audience shouldn’t have to hunt around your website to find out how to subscribe.

CopyBlogger and Michael Hyatt both do a great job of placing the subscription box in smart places.

Another great way to grow your email list is to put your email opt-in front and center on your website. SocialTriggers.com or even BarackObama.com are good examples of how to do this. This method is all about the lead—do you want to know more? Are you “in”?

Notice on both of these sites, the email subscription box is “above the fold.”

Turning Your Blog Posts into Email Collecting Machines: A 6-Step Process | Sweet Fish Media

Here are a few other locations on your website where you should give your visitors an opportunity to opt-in to your email list:

  • The footer of your website
  • Your “About” page (here’s an example)
  • Make signing up for your email list the sole call-to-action on your blog posts

A quick note on designing your email opt-in box: the fewer form fields, the better (this can be applied to your contact page as well)

No one enjoys filling out forms. And if the goal is to get more email subscribers, why do you need their name?

3) Offer “content upgrades” in your blog posts

A content upgrade is a resource that is directly related to a specific piece of content (see #10 from this list).

Here’s an example from Brian Dean at Backlinko:

Turning Your Blog Posts into Email Collecting Machines: A 6-Step Process | Sweet Fish Media

Content upgrades don’t have to take you tons of time to develop.

Instead of thinking that your content upgrade needs to be an in-depth ebook, think of something more simple, like a PDF version of the blog post or a simple checklist.

Here are 11 great examples of content upgrade ideas that you can create in less than 30 minutes.

4) End every post with an opt-in opportunity

Ending every post with a subscription offer is an easy win. Michael Hyatt does a great job with this.

His subscription box is loud—both in color and all caps. He asks, “Like this post?” Then he offers a content upgrade with it.

If you have WordPress, a great free plugin to do this is Optin Forms.

Turning Your Blog Posts into Email Collecting Machines: A 6-Step Process | Sweet Fish Media

5) Use a pop-up

The dreaded pop-up box.

No one liked them in the ’90s, so why are we still doing them? Because they still convert visitors into customers!

The pop-up box is one of the best ways to increase your email subscribers—and fast.

 

There’s definitely a science to a great pop-up ad. You don’t want it to pop up too soon because then it’s a distraction. Yet, you don’t want it to pop up long after 60 seconds because then there’s a significant loss in conversion rates.

SumoMe has several free tools that allow you to easily create opt-in opportunities. Our favorites are Welcome Mat, List Builder, and Smart Bar — again, these are free…so why not at least try them?

6) Link to other content on your site

Every business should be making an effort to decrease their bounce rate.

Remind your readers of a post that you wrote earlier and keep them on your site as long as you can.

The longer your reader is on your site, the more likely they are to subscribe. This step requires a lot of great content worth reading, which is where we come in.

Conclusion

Don’t let this post overwhelm you…you don’t need to implement every step this afternoon.

But if you start to implement each of the 6 tips above, over the next few weeks you’ll start to see a substantial increase in the size of your email list.


Writing blog posts that convert readers into buyers is really tough. This free 5-part email course makes it way easier.

Katie Allred

Katie teaches grad students how to be social at the University of Florida. She loves the Gospel and curates content as the Web Content Manager at Brentwood Baptist Church. She’s a native Alabamian residing in Nashville, Tennessee.

Posted on July 30, 2015 in Content Marketing, Small Business Tips

Katie Allred

About the Author

Katie teaches grad students how to be social at the University of Florida. She loves the Gospel and curates content as the Web Content Manager at Brentwood Baptist Church. She's a native Alabamian residing in Nashville, Tennessee.

Popular Posts

Back to Top