So you’ve got your blog up and going, it’s starting to get a little bit of traffic. But the sad fact of the matter is that most of those people are going to stop by one time, read the post they came for – and never come back. Oh, they’ll want to come back. They probably think “this is a great blog! I should come back and read more posts when I’ve got more time!”
But then they leave and forget all about you.
That is – unless you get them to sign up for you email list.
It’s easy to do – simply put up an opt-in box, and offer them something in return for their email address. “Opting in” means that they give you permission to send them emails with tips, training, or whatever information your blog is about. Because you get their permission first, you can send emails without being tagged as a spammer.
Opt-ins (or leads) are hugely important part of blogging and internet marketing, as it’s the main way you’re going to have of staying in contact with your readers – and not just any reader! These are readers that liked what you had to say so much that they willingly gave you their email. That means they’re already predisposed to like your information – and be more willing to purchase from you.
It’s often said that it takes an average of seven times of reaching out to someone before they actually make a purchase from you. I don’t know if that’s a real statistic or if someone pulled it out of a hole in the ground and went with it – but I do know that people rarely make a purchase the first time on your site. Your email list is the way you’re going to be able to continue to reach out to those readers and build a relationship with them.
This works in two ways – first of all, you can bring them back to your blog again and again to read your posts, which hopefully will have calls to action or links to products. But you also get to send special offers directly to their email – and when you’ve built that relationship, you’re much more likely to make a sale.
See, there are a lot of crappy bloggers and internet marketers out there that sell crappy information. Because people have likely been burned a time or two with online purchases, they’re reluctant to trust anyone – so you need the opportunity to build that relationship, win their trust and let them know you’re not that kind of marketer. That’s one reason I like to send out a lot of free offers in my emails – what better way is there to build trust than to give away good stuff for free??
Of course -you’ll never get any opportunity to do that if you don’t get them to opt-in first!
You should have several chances to opt-in on your page. There’s one at the top of my blog, one in the side bar, and one at the bottom of each post. Oh, and occasionally, there’s one that will pop in from the bottom side – that’s actually the one with the best conversion rate. Point being – you need to have several on the page, because it’s another sad fact that very few people scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page.
Opt-in forms are really easy to create. Pretty much any email autoresponder service has an opt-in box builder, then it’s just a matter of adding it to your site. I use Mad Mimi for my emails and I love how simple they are. I’ve used AWeber also, but feel like Mad Mimi is a much better choice for someone just getting started with list building – you can check them out here. (That’s my affiliate link, if you decide to use it I’ll get a commission, do a happy dance and love you forever 😀 )
You also have to give them a good reason to opt in! They’ve got no reason to share their email address with you – they probably get quite a few emails from people full of things they’ve got no interest in whatsoever, so why do they want to sign up for yours?
You need to give them something that matters to them as a free gift in exchange for their email. It can be a short report, a fact sheet, or.. well, here’s a whole blog post I wrote on things you can use for opt-in gifts.
Whatever it is – make sure it’s absolutely worth the trouble of downloading. If your subscriber finds great value in the gift, that makes them much more likely to purchase something from you in the future for two reasons: One, they’ve seen that your products are high quality, so they know if they buy something it’ll be worth it; and two, reciprocity. That’s the part of human nature where we feel like “we’ve got something free from this dude, we should do something nice in return.” It’s a strong emotional reaction – so use it to your benefit!
And remember, opt in forms aren’t limited to your blog – you can create an opt in page and link to it from anywhere! Have you got a strong Facebook or Twitter following? Make sure you’ve got a link to your opt-in there. Here’s a fantastic post from Marketing Solved that has 25 different places you can post your opt-in link without looking spammy.
Now – take action and start building that list! (And don’t forget to sign up for mine, down below 😉 )