Growing your email list and getting your readers to opt-in is getting harder and harder these days.
With web users growing more overwhelmed with content being served to them from all over the world, they have less time to pause and read closely. And they are even less willing to become your regular readers and subscribers.
Therefore, I could totally relate to the sentiment of Anita Campbell, founder of a well-known publication, Small Biz Trends:
This is so true! In order to grow your email list, you need to shake thing up! But how to do that? Here are a few new ideas to try:
1. Diversify Your Traffic Sources
One of the biggest mistakes businesses tend to make when it comes to digital marketing is to hang on to the same traffic and lead sources that worked in the past. The Google algorithm and rankings continuously change, PPC ads require continuous investment and testing, and banner ads are not as effective as they used to be. I can go on and on. Continuing to rely on the same exact sources for digital visibility is doomed to fail.
That being said, shaking up your email marketing strategy starts with shaking up your traffic acquisition strategy, and it is a continuous journey.
Here are a few tactics you may want to try to diversify your traffic sources (and stop depending on your existing sources).
Target Several Related Queries Instead of One
There are multiple ways your target customer may search for products and solutions you offer. Expanding your target query list broadens your ranking opportunities and allows you to be discovered by highly qualified leads that you may have otherwise missed.
Serpstat Clustering tool is an effective way to discover closely related queries to optimize for within one landing page or content asset. Serpstat identifies how closely queries are related based on how many overlapping URLs rank for those queries in Google.
Run your keyword lists through the Serpstat clustering tool to identify which other queries you should target within any of your important landing pages.
Start Answering Questions on Quora
Quora is one of the most effective traffic-driving channels out there — it sends meaningful clicks from people who are deeply interested in the topic. So if you do your job right answering questions on Quora, you are likely to see nice engagement from that traffic.
Here’s a guide on Quora marketing that explains the following in more detail:
- Avoid being self-promotional and try to be informative and useful
- Subscribe to related categories and topics to be notified of new questions that need answers
- Be on Quora regularly (at least weekly) to catch up on new questions and answers
- Follow, like, and comment to grow your audience gradually
- Invite other members to answer questions you asked
Being interviewed and appearing on podcasts and webinars positions you as a trusted source and brings in pre-qualified leads (i.e. people who already know you can be trusted). The number of clicks may not be as high, but this is likely to be the highest quality traffic you’ve ever seen.
Start searching Google for opportunities to get featured and have your PR manager approach the media outlets, one by one, explaining why you can provide value.
Buzzsumo is another great tool to use here.
Once you become a featured guest at one or two places, you’ll start seeing bloggers and journalists approach you on a regular basis with invitations to be featured on their shows. It’s the rich-getting-richer phenomenon. In the Internet marketing industry, some of the possible places to start pitching to include:
- #VCBuzz Twitter chats
- SEMrush webinars
- Interviews with marketing moms, etc.
Here are even more ideas to grow and diversify your traffic. Once you build a more varied traffic acquisition strategy, make sure to monitor your analytics to identify best-converting channels.
2. Integrate a Smart Opt-In Bot
Old opt-in forms may not work as well as they used to because web users are developing “form blindness”, just as they once developed “banner blindness”. There are just too many sites these days that are asking web readers to share their email addresses.
On the other hand, trying to be too “in your face” with your opt-in forms may not be a good idea either. This may irritate your readers and hurt your brand image, as well as cause a negative action from Google (i.e. Google’s “Intrusive Interstitials” Update).
So how do you still get visitors curious enough to opt in to your email list?
Alter is smart marketing bot. It takes seconds to install and requires absolutely no configuring. Once you add the code, Alter will start watching and analyzing your users’ behavior and suggest helpful hints as to where they may want to proceed.
It is powered by artificial intelligence, so it teaches itself to better serve your audience. The more you use it, the better it gets.
Alter integrates with major email marketing platforms (GetResponse, Mailchimp, Hubspot, Constant Contact, Aweber). Alter will gently suggest your readers to opt-in when they are willing to take action, increasing your on-page engagement rate.
3. Diversify Your Visual Marketing
Visual marketing is still a great way to stand out, and convert web users. Whether it’s social media or a news outlet, online readers seek visual content, and when they find it, they may feel much more willing to subscribe.
If you do a good job creating convincing images to go with your content, you will get more of your readers to subscribe. Some ideas include:
- Animated instructions
- Visual quotes
- Annotated screenshots
The most important aspect is visual marketing is that it needs to add value, instead of merely decorating. Create flow and mind maps to better explain steps, put together comparison charts and visual takeaways. Anything that makes information easier to understand will do.
Tools like Placeit can be a great help here. Their Video Maker offers thousands of original templates (including how-to videos, product demo videos, promo videos, etc.) that you can easily edit and publish on your blog and/or social media. They also offer a good selection of seasonal images for you to better engage your readers.
Here are a few additional resources on growing your email list:
- How to Create a Lead Magnet that Works
- How to Create and Generate Answers for Your Survey
- 5 Conversion Optimization Tactics that Also Drive Traffic
Whether you are trying to get people to opt in for newsletter, download a how-to guide, or get them to sign up for your live webinar, these tips will help you diversify your tactics to hopefully shake things up a little and generate more email subscribers!
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