9 Ways to Grow Your Email List from Zero
As a business owner, your email list is one of the biggest assets you have.
You don’t own your members in your Facebook group. If Facebook decides to stop the group feature in Facebook, your members could potentially disappear overnight. Similarly, you don’t own any of your social media followers details.
On the other hand, your mail list is yours. People are on your mail list because they want to hear from you, learn from you and buy from you (well they do if you do it correctly!)
So, I highly recommend you implement a plan to grow your email list from day 1 of your entrepreneurial journey.
Remember, every business owners starts from an empty email list. I did too! Do you want to know how I got my first 50 email subscribers when I started my entrepreneurial journey as a Yoga teacher and a blogger?
I had a tick box to subscribe to my newsletter in my disclaimer form which my new students had to complete – it worked great 😀
In this post, I’m sharing 9 ways you can grow your email list so it will be full of potential customers & clients!
#1 PLACE YOUR OPT-IN FORM IN SEVERAL PLACES ON YOUR WEBSITE
Above the Fold
The best place to add an opt-in form on your website is ‘above the fold’. ’Above the fold’ is what people see when they land on your page. You can see how my opt-in form on my website is above the fold from the screenshot below.
You can have this on every single page you have on your website or limit it to a few pages – it’s up to you! But the must have place is your Homepage which has really worked for me and in growing my email list!
If you use Squarespace, the Bedford template has an ability to add a call to action button above the fold, which can then be re-directed to your landing page, or you can create a pop up opt-in form using LeadBoxes by LeadPages*, which I love!
If you’re a WordPress user, you can get it customized to add an opt-in form on the above the fold.
You can also add a link to your landing page on your navigation menu.
As you can see from the screenshot, I have a navigation menu called ‘Start Here’. When people click on it, they will be directed to the landing page for my free masterclass. This is another great way to grow your email list!
If your website platform doesn’t let you add a call to action/opt-in form above the fold, a top banner could be an alternative. Squarespace has an option to add a top banner.
If you’re a WordPress user, you can download and install Hello Bar plugin which is free.
The sidebar is another place you can add your opt-in form. You can simply embed an opt-in form in your sidebar using an opt-in form that comes with your email service provider or add Pop-Ups feature by LeadPages*.
If you have a Squarespace website, not all templates offer a sidebar option. I recommend Bedford if you want to add a sidebar to your blog posts. Most WordPress templates come with a sidebar feature.
Within your Blog Posts
I highly recommend placing several opt-in forms WITHIN your blog post if you create a content upgrade.
Content upgrade is basically a free product related to the topic of your blog post that your audience can download in exchange for their email address. I personally had a huge success in growing my email list using content upgrade.
Underneath Your Blog Posts
If you decided to not create a content upgrade for a particular blog, I recommend adding an opt-in form underneath the blog post offering your main freebie.
Don’t have any freebie to offer or need an upgrade? Read How to Create and Promote Your Lead Magnet to Grow Your Email List
#2 ADD A LINK TO YOUR LANDING PAGE (OPT-IN PAGE) IN THE BIO (PROFILE) SECTION IN SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Facebook’s Personal Profile Page
Facebook’s personal profile pages have an ‘intro’ section where you can add a short introduction or tagline. It doesn’t allow you to have a link in this section but you can still add your link to the landing page for your free product. If people are interested they can copy & paste the link into the browser.
You can also leverage your personal profile cover photo. On your cover photo, add a call to action text such as ‘Click Here to Download Free E-book’ to get people to click on the cover photo. You can add a description with a link to your landing page so when people click the cover photo, it will look something like below.
Facebook’s Business Page
You can add your landing page link to ‘Sign Up’ button on your page so that when people click the button, they get re-directed to your landing page.
You can also leverage the cover photo, as set out in the Personal Profile paragraph above.
Instagram have a section where you can place your website link. Replace your website address with the link to your landing page. Note that Instagram does not allow any links in the post itself or the bio (profile) section.
I recommend using Linktree if you’d like to add multiple links in the website section. You can create an account for free and Linktree will let you add multiple links.
Twitter allows you to add a link in the bio (profile section) on your account. I suggest adding a link to your landing page in the bio section.
Pinterest is similar to Instagram and will not let you add link in the bio (profile) section although you’ll see many accounts have their call to action within their bio section. You could however replace your website address with the link to landing page (this step is similar to Instagram).
Facebook Group Description
You can also add a link to your landing page at the top of your group description. As an example, I used to start my own Facebook Group description with:
‘Get instant access to my library of FREE RESOURCES for NEW & ASPIRING online entrepreneurs >> [insert link]’
#3 OFFER FREE COACHING SESSION OR ASSESSMENT
Offering a free coaching session or assessment will not only help you potentially secure paying clients but can also help you grow your email list.
Both Acuity Scheduling* and Satori has the ability to add a questionnaire form when people schedule a session.
For example, ‘Would you like to receive my most popular free e-book [insert title]?’
And they can tick either ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
I suggest adding this question right at the end so that it doesn’t feel too spammy or pushy.
#4 CREATE A SURVEY
This is another great way to grow your email list and research your target market at the same time!
Again, include a question in the survey that asks their permission to send them some relevant free content. I used this strategy at the beginning of my Yoga business which worked very well!
#5 ASK YOUR NEW SUBSCRIBER TO SHARE THE LOVE WITH THEIR FRIENDS & PEERS
You can use Social Link Generator to generate a Facebook and Twitter share link and place it in your landing page as well as in the actual free content you gave away, where your new subscriber can easily share with their friends and peers on their social media platforms.
#6 HOST A CHALLENGE
Everyone loves participating in a challenge so why not try hosting your own challenge and grow your email list! Hosting a challenge is actually a great way to grow both your email list and your Facebook group if you have one.
Give people a reason to give away their email addresses by telling them for example, you’ll be sending a replay of the livestream or worksheets to get them to take action and see results.
#7 GUEST POSTING & PARTICIPATING IN PODCASTS
Guest posting and participating in a popular podcast is a great way to get exposure to other people’s audience.
Make sure that when you’re researching guest posting and podcast opportunities, the host lets you add links to your freebie offer. If they are not willing to include your links, I personally think there’s no point of spending your time writing a guest post or participating in the podcast!
#8 THE POWER OF ‘READ’ MAGNET
If you have an e-book already published on Amazon, you can use your free product as a “reader magnet” on your e-book.
This was tested by my entrepreneurial friend on his e-book ‘Career Change: How To Conquer The Fear Of Failing’ and he added many subscribers organically using this strategy. Basically, you promote your free product within your published e-book with a link to either your landing page or an opt-in form. If you are planning to publish an e-book on Amazon in future, I would suggest creating a free product that is relevant to the proposed topic of the e-book.
#9 FACEBOOK ADS
Facebook ads are a great way to promote your free product or webinar if you have some money to spare.
Create both short and long copy to test them out, as well as a couple of images. Or you can also create a short video which apparently works very well!
Make sure you select “conversion” when you create a new campaign. You’ll then need to set a tracking pixel for your account and copy & paste it into your “Thank You” page so Facebook can track the number of conversions.
You’ll probably have to make some tweaks to your copy and image as well as your target audience before you start seeing results on Facebook Ads. However, once you have worked out what works best for your business, you should see a return on investment fairly quickly.