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3 Ways to Put Your List Building on Steroids

Nerd on steroids - list building header image

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Every day an “expert” declares email marketing dead, and a quick search of “email is dead” (in quotes) in Google shows that there are over 200,000 articles written to that effect.

Is email marketing really dead?

Let’s take a look at some quick stats:

  • As of 2013, there were around 3.9 billion email accounts worldwide and this is estimated to reach 4.9 billion email accounts by 2017
  • 95% of online consumers use email
  • 91% of consumers check their email once a day
  • The average return for every $1 spent on email marketing is $44.25
  • Email has been proven to be 40 times better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter
  • 90% of people prefer to receive updates via email compared to Facebook or other social media
  • Email conversion rate has been proven to beat search and social combined, with email converting at 3.19% and search and social converting at 1.95% and 0.71% respectively

You see, there’s a lot more statistics that show the effectiveness of email marketing and you can find them here and here (all the above statistics came from those two links).

While there’s a lot to getting results from email marketing, it all starts with having a database of subscribers who have given you express permission to send them information. For most businesses, this is the difficult part.

However, there’s been a lot of innovation and significant changes on the internet today that makes it extremely easy to build your email list; I’ll be sharing some very powerful methods for putting your list building on steroids, including a newly discovered technique that now sends me over 1,000 extra subscribers a month.

1. Welcome Mats

The concept of Welcome Mats is still very recent and it’s something very few website owners are utilizing, but it has massive potential to boost your email subscriber count.

You’ve probably visited one of your favorite blogs to see something like this:

Welcome Mat Screenshot #1 for list building

Image Source: GoinsWriter.com

What you see in the above screenshot is a “Welcome Mat”; I took the above screenshot from Jeff Goin’s blog, and that particular form instantly slides in and takes over your screen upon your first visit to his blog.

When I first saw Welcome Mats being used on Jeff Goin’s blog, as well as some other blogs I read, I thought it was a brilliant idea and decided to give it a shot; I was blown away with the results.

I’ve been using a Welcome Mat on my blog for around a month now and I’ve seen conversion rates range from 4 – 8%; for a form that shows on every single page of my blog, this is VERY impressive.

Implementing a Welcome Mat alone on my blog has been responsible for over 1,000 EXTRA email subscribers in less than one month, sending as much as 93 subscribers in a single day. Below is a screenshot of my Welcome Mat dashboard that shows how many subscribers I get from it daily:

Welcome Mat Screenshot #2 for list building

How to Implement Welcome Mats on Your Blog

Implementing Welcome Mats is very simple; it only took me a few steps, and less than 10 minutes to have everything set up.

Here are the steps:

Step 1. Decide on what you want to offer as an incentive; this could be your regular signup incentive or something special to boost conversions.

Step 2. Install the SumoMe app; if you haven’t already, go to Sumome.com and install the SumoMe app on your blog.

Step 3. Once you’ve installed the SumoMe app, go to the Sumo Store and install the “Welcome Mat” addon.

Step 4. Open your newly installed Welcome Mat addon, configure the settings and set it to active (it’s paused by default)

Step 5. Watch and see your subscriptions skyrocket.

2. Content Upgrades

You’ve probably heard about content upgrades before, as it’s one of the trending methods for building a subscriber list fast. Tim Soulo wrote an article here about content upgrades earlier this year, as well as Devesh Khanal, and those two articles are way more comprehensive and practical than anything I can explain here, so be sure to read them first.

Content Upgrade Screenshot for list building

Image Source: EffectiveBusinessIdeas.com

I started using content upgrades early this year, and I was instantly amazed when my first attempt at using content upgrades resulted in 700 extra subscribers in the first month. It has since resulted in several thousands of subscribers, and I have a few tips for helping you maximize the results you get from content upgrades:

  • Make sure your content upgrade is extremely relevant to your content; the idea behind content upgrades is to make people “upgrade” to a more advanced version of the article they just read, by giving you their email address. Offering the same bonus across all your articles, even if done in “content upgrade-style” is not necessarily a content upgrade, and it can impact the number and quality of leads you will get.
  • Try to offer something simple; the key to the success of content upgrades lies in being able to implement them widely on your blog, especially on key pages and posts, so offering a 200 page guide most likely won’t work. Furthermore, people are inundated with information today, so much so that they crave something short and practical, so you should give them that.
  • Examples of something simple and practical that I have seen massive conversions with are; lists of resources (your favorite tools, sites, apps, etc.), checklists and worksheets, or even apps you specially made for readers of your article to implement your suggestions.

3. Content Upgrades in Guest Posts

I wrote my first guest post for JeffBullas.com a few months back and I was blown away with the result I got; I got over 300 subscribers within 2 weeks of my guest post going live, and my first guest post here has easily sent me over 600 subscribers since it went live. This is a massive ROI for the effort it took to produce that guest post, and it’s despite the fact that many people say guest blogging is dead.

The key behind the massive conversion success of my first guest post here, that I’ve replicated since on other blogs, is that I offered a content upgrade right inside the guest post; my first guest post featured a list of 20 websites that pay $100 or more per article, and my content upgrade gave readers of my article even more; I wrote a case study about it in this article on Digital Current.

Bryan Harris likes to call this an expanded guest post, and he reportedly gets over 500 subscribers every time he writes this kind of guest post.

If you’re getting little to no results from guest blogging, offering content upgrades inside your guest posts will most certainly boost your conversions from every single post you write.

Sum up

With the right amount of traffic, and if you do things right, implementing the above techniques will generate thousands of extra subscribers for you every single month. Take charge of your email marketing today and start implementing them.

Guest Author: Bamidele Onibalusi is an entrepreneur, marketer and blogger. He blogs at Effective Business Ideas, and be sure to follow him on Twitter @youngprepro

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