Hi everyone! My name is Krista Dickson, and I run a website called Blog Beautifully that launched in Spring of 2016. Over the past 30 days, I’ve managed to triple my email list using a few simple tactics that I’ll be sharing with you today.
As a blogger or online business owner, your email list is your biggest and most precious asset. The people who sign up for your list are those who are the most engaged with you, your brand, and your products. They’re your dream customers. As such, you should devote time each and every week to creating and promoting freebies that you offer to your audience in exchange for signing up for your email list.
Remember: no matter how amazing, one-of-a-kind, and helpful your offering is, if it doesn’t intrigue your ideal audience, or solve a problem that they have, it’s not going to get you very far. Before you sit down to create any sort of freebie, you need to survey your audience, ask questions, and determine what they really need. Once you have a grasp on what you ideal reader is looking for, you can get started with the following 3 tactics.
Offer Content Upgrades
A content upgrade is essentially a bonus that goes along with one of your blog posts. It provides extra value beyond what’s included in the post, and it can be anything from a PDF version of the post, to a step-by-step guide, a checklist, a video, and more. The key to creating a good content upgrade is making sure it’s something that adds to the blog post, but doesn’t overshadow it. And, of course, it needs to be super helpful for your ideal audience.
An example of a content upgrade from my own site is a MailChimp video tutorial I created to go alongside my post, “The Best Tools + Tips to Grow Your Email List for Free“. Although the post itself is super valuable, the MailChimp video is a great bonus that I know anyone reading the blog post would be interested in. And all they have to do to access it is enter their email address and sign up for my mailing list!
To deliver your content upgrades, you can use your mailing list provider (MailChimp, ConvertKit, etc.) and attach the upgrade to the welcome email. To promote sign-ups for the freebie, you’ll want to place an opt-in box within the blog post itself, and make sure readers know exactly what they’ll be getting when they sign up.
People are visual creatures, so I highly recommend putting a graphic in your blog post that they can click on to access the content upgrade. Add text to the graphic, like “Click here to download your free _______”, as well as a mockup image of the freebie so people can see that it’s something tangible. Then, link the image to your opt-in box or page for that particular freebie. All that’s left to do is sit back and watch the sign-ups roll in!
Create a Resource Library with Exclusive Content
Another great technique that’s helped me grow my email list is having a free resource library built-in to my website. On WordPress, creating a “secret” library is a lot easier than you’d think. All you have to do is create a new Page, then on the right-hand side in the page editor, there’s a field called “Visibility”. Change that from Public to Password Protected, and select a password.
To make my library more visually appealing, I created mini graphics for each and every freebie in my library, and linked those to the page or PDF where each freebie lives. For reference, here’s what my Library currently looks like:
To promote your library, try including a link to sign up and access the free resources at the end of every blog post. You can also promote it on social media by tweeting the link regularly, posting about it in Facebook groups, and creating Pins with the link to sign up.
Create a Free Email Course
Email courses definitely take a bit more work, but they’ve grown my email list the fastest over the past 30 days. To nail down the topic for your course, you need to consider what your ideal reader/customer needs help with. If you’re unsure, send out a survey, ask people on social media, or run a poll on Twitter or Facebook. The perfect course runs anywhere from 4-8 days, and should be packed full of valuable information that’s centered around a specific topic.
The first free email course I launched was called “Working with Brands as a Blogger“. My website focuses on helping beauty bloggers become successful online, and I know that brand work is something they struggle with. So I created a free 5-day course, with emails going out every single day for 5 days straight, where I taught my audience how to create a media kit, get noticed by brands, write creative + helpful product reviews, and more.
When I first launched the WWB course, I promoted the CRAP out of it. We’re talking dozens of tweets, pins, and Facebook posts every day. In addition to self-promoting it, you can also ask your closest blogging/biz friends to help you out by sharing your course with their audience. You need to make sure everyone in your niche is hearing about your course, and that it’s something they’re dying to sign up for.
If you have any paid products or services that are related to the topic of your course, you can also use the free course as a lead-in to your paid offerings. People are much more likely to purchase from you if they’ve already seen the value and quality you provide. So don’t throw your free course together in 24 hours and launch it the next day. Take time to create a course that’s so helpful and valuable, you could charge for it.
Once you have a sufficient number of people on your mailing list, it’s time to actually interact and connect with them!
A big thanks to Kathryn and the Blue Ivory Creative team for having me here today! Before I go, I’d love to hear what your best techniques for building your email list are, and what you struggle with the most when it comes to growing your list? Let me know in a comment down below!
Author Bio: Krista is the author and founder of Blog Beautifully, a resource hub for aspiring beauty bloggers. She’s a full-time blogger and aesthetician who loves talking about Pinterest, growing your email list, and making money online. Follow her on social media: