This is a guest contribution from Jawad Khan.
If you’re serious about blogging, I’m sure you’re already building an email list (or planning to do so)
Since you’re a Problogger reader, I’m also assuming your knowledge and expertise in blogging is significantly higher than most newbies.
So you’re well-aware that “Get Free Email Updates”, that beautiful sign up form in your blog’s side-bar, isn’t an attractive incentive for potential subscribers anymore, right?
No one wants to subscribe to another email list just to pile up more junk in their email inbox.
Don’t get me wrong.
Email is still the best way to build a relationship with your audience and turn them into paying clients.
Studies suggest that 66% of online consumers in the US aged over 15 made a purchase as a direct result of marketing emails.
Another study suggests that 54% of online buyers that abandon a shopping cart, but are reminded again via email, will complete the purchase. According to a recently published report by email Monday, email marketing has an ROI of 3800% ($38 in return for every $1 spent)
Email marketing isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it has become more important for bloggers, marketers and eCommerce businesses.
But since everyone’s trying to squeeze email addresses out of their blog visitors, people have become more guarded about their contact information and only sahre it away when they see clear value in return.
This is why most marketers use lead magnets for list building.
But it’s 2017, so you need to be a bit more creative and find new ways to effectively deliver your lead magnet to your audience and persuade them to join your list.
Not sure how to do it?
Let me share 3 list building techniques that you’ll see many smart marketers use in the coming months.
1. Host a Virtual Summit to Steal Subscribers from Industry Influencers
You’ve read expert round-up posts, right?
Turn them into video content and you have yourself a high quality virtual summit.
Virtual summits have been around for a while but the concept really picked up in late 2015. Throughout the last year, I’ve seen hundreds of influencers in dozens of different industries participate in virtual summits, skyrocket their email lists and fill their pockets to the top.
It’s one of the fastest ways to not only build an email list but also to enhance your brand image and influence in your niche.
You might have seen banners like this one in your Facebook newsfeed in the last few months.
Here’s how it works
- The summit host picks a very specific topic for the summit (e.g email list building or Amazon self-publishing, Shopify dropshipping etc.)
- He decides the dates and the duration of the summit (usually 4-5 days)
- The host gathers 15-20 experts on the topic and conducts video interviews (live or recorded) with each one of them
- Every expert who is interviewed has the option to promote a paid offer or a lead magnet during or after the interview (a link to the offer is also published on the interview page)
- All the experts promote the event to their own email subscribers. For example if a virtual summit has 10 experts with 1000 subscribers each, it is promoted to 10,000 people. This creates a pool of potential subscribers for all the participants.
- The host gets all the subscribers that opt-in to watch the event live.
- Once the live event is over, the host can sell the recorded event as a paid product or a lead magnet.
Sounds simple, right?
Hosting a high-quality virtual summit can be expensive and technically challenging.
Which is why only the top influencers in most industries are currently using it for email list building.
But no one’s stopping the lesser known bloggers from doing it.
If you can’t get A-list experts to join your event, look for the second-tier experts who have a loyal following but are looking to expand their reach. You’ll find them in every industry.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, use free tools like Google Hangouts to record your interviews, use any WordPress landing page plugin to create landing pages for the event and get the job done.
In short, if you get it right, a virtual summit can literally give you thousands of subscribers overnight.
2. Use Facebook Live Videos To Build Your List in No Time
Facebook Live has spread like wildfire
Studies show that Facebook is getting more than 8 billion video views every day and users are spending 3x more time watching live videos as compared to the recorded ones.
Source: Facebook Video Statistics 2016
The top influencers and experts in almost every industry are using Facebook Live to get closer to their audience, engage with them more frequently, and strengthen their personal brand by answering the most burning questions of their followers.
Darren himself does regular “Ask Me Anything” sessions using Facebook Live.
As I said, the user-engagement level on Facebook Live is much greater than recorded content. And it’s always easier to persuade an engaged audience to take action. Which is why Facebook Live presents the prefect opportunity to route viewers to your email list.
How to do it?
Just ask them.
Really, that’s all it takes.
Create a free resource like an eBook or checklist, which is relevant to the topic of your live video, place it on a landing page to collect emails, and ask users to download it during your Facebook Live session.
Also add the landing page link as a pinned comment on your video, and to the video description so that viewers can download it even when you’re not live.
Amy Porterfield used this exact strategy to get hundreds of subscribers to her email list.
Facebook Live videos currently enjoy additional organic reach, so this is the best time to use it to build your email list.
3. Include Laser-Focused Content Upgrades in Your Guest Posts To Open Floodgates of Subscribers
Guest blogging is one of my favorite ways to drive traffic and find subscribers.
In the last 3 years, I’ve written over 500 guest posts on some of the most widely followed marketing and SEO blogs on the web, generating thousands of email subscribers.
But many bloggers struggle to generate any traction from their guest posts.
Do you know why?
Because they rely on the good old author bio links to send them subscribers. Many others simply link to their homepage and hope people would subscribe to their list.
That’s not how it works.
Bloggers that generate hundreds of subscribers from every guest post do 2 things really well.
- They write super quality guest posts with lots of actionable insights
- They create laser-focused content upgrades used within the body content. Most editors have no problem allowing this as long as the post offers real value to the readers.
Not sure what a content upgrade is?
It’s a post specific lead magnet that offers something additional to the readers of a blog post.
Brian Dean (Backlinko) increased his sign up rate by 785% by adding a content upgrade to this post.
Bryan Harris shared this detailed case study of how one blogger generated thousands of email signups to his blog by combining content upgrades with guest blogging
They work in all niches.
For example, if you’ve written a blog post “7 Healthy and Safe Weight-Loss Tips for First Time Moms” you could create a checklist on “23 Healthy Foods You Should Eat While Losing Weight” and use it as a content upgrade.
Content upgrades work so well because, unlike generic lead magnets, they are targeted towards an engaged reader who is already interested in the topic.
They’re so effective for lead generation that many leading email marketing toolsnow have separate features to create content upgrades and add them to your blog posts.
SumoMe, for example, introduced a new two-step pop-up for content upgrades that has been tested to increase signups by 200-300% in some cases.
But when you’re guest blogging, you don’t have access to the tools used by the host blog. So you should simply link to the landing page of your content upgrade from where users can opt-in and subscribe to your list.
Email list building is more important for bloggers than ever before. It is the only channel that gives you direct and uninterrupted access to your reader’s inbox, and allows you to focus on long-term relationship building.
The tips I’ve shared in this post are already being used by some of the best marketers on the web. Making them a part of your list building strategy will surely help you attract more relevant and engaged subscribers.
What list building techniques are you applying to your blog right now?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
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