The money is in the list.
And you know that, right?
Getting new email subscribers is one of the best ways to grow your blog or business.
Even if you’re adding hundreds of new subscribers every month, there are simple ways you can improve your conversion rates to grow your list even faster.
So how can you get more people to signup for your email newsletter?
Believe it or not, you don’t need to publish more content. Nope.
With a few design improvements and conversion rate optimization hacks, you can start growing your blog faster today.
In this tutorial, you’ll find five quick and easy ways to use WordPress to get your emails into more inboxes.
1. Put an Offer On Your Homepage
Traditionally, blogs have simply included a list of their most recent posts on the homepage.
This has changed a lot over the past few years.
If you take a look at some of the most popular blogs and content sites, they all feature some sort of email offer on the homepage.
For instance, Copyblogger quickly became one of the most popular internet marketing blogs back in 2006. Their business has changed a lot over the years, but take a look at what their homepage looks like right now:
They have a value proposition and a button leading to a landing page for their membership site. Below this offer is a list of their most recent posts just like their site used to display.
Even if you don’t have a product or service to offer yet, start by adding a form for your newsletter. Even without any optimization (which we’ll discuss soon), you’ll see an immediate increase in the number of subscribers you’re getting.
How to add an email signup form to your blog’s homepage
This will be easy if you’ve got a good theme installed on your site.
All you need is a widget area on your homepage. Then you can use a plugin like MailOptin,WPForms, or Contact Form 7 to create a form. They all have widgets included that can display any form you create.
If the widget area on your homepage is included on every page of your site, you can use the Widget Options plugin to restrict the form widget to your homepage only.
Otherwise, you can choose a theme like Challenger that has a built-in signup form on the homepage.
With a lead generation header at the top of the page, you can still list all of your latest posts below the way Copyblogger does.
With this setup, you can effectively build your email list while still keeping your posts on the homepage. This is great for SEO to because your homepage is very authoritative and will help the posts it links to rank higher and get indexed by Google faster.
2. Add a Popup Form
Let’s face it, popups are annoying.
I wouldn’t recommend them myself except…
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Popups continually produce awesome conversion rates for businesses around the web which is why you see them on most sites these days.
There’s another benefit of using popups as part of your email marketing strategy too.
They fit easily into your site’s design.
Unlike other forms, you don’t have to find a place to include the popup or worry about how much its style matches.
Adding a popup form is easy and can immediately give your email subscription rate a boost.
How to add a popup form to your site
Popups are popular and for that reason, there are a lot of solutions available.
I use MailOptin and would recommend it for any other WP users looking to build an email list, but OptinMonster is also a very popular platform.
Here’s a quick look at the popup creation page in MailOptin:
There are 8 different lightboxes to select from and each design is highly customizable. You’ll also get lots of controls for when to display the form. For instance, you can wait to display the form:
- After X seconds
- After the visitor scrolls X% down the page
- When a visitor is about to leave
If you have an image picked out and know what your headline will be already, this won’t take more than a few minutes.
Quick tip: when deciding where to display the popup form, make sure to only show it on your posts. You probably don’t want to distract visitors on your homepage or sales pages.
3. Split Test Your Optin Forms
You’ve probably heard of split-testing.
Just in case you haven’t, here’s a quick definition from Optimizely:
“Split testing (also referred to as A/B testing or multivariate testing) is a method of conducting controlled, randomized experiments with the goal of improving a website metric, such as clicks, form completions, or purchases.”
For our purposes, this means you would create a copy of your optin form and make a single change to it. You then show the original (A) to 50% of your visitors and the variant (B) to the other 50%. Once you’ve reached statistical significance, you pick the winner.
The mistake many bloggers and marketers make is that they’ll run a test or two on a form and then stop.
Testing takes persistence!
In order to get business-changing results from split-testing, you want to make this a new routine of yours. Ideally, you’ll have a test running at all times. Some tests will underperform and some will outperform. Over time, you’ll see your conversion rates consistently rising and more subscribers making their way onto your list.
How to A/B test your optin forms
When choosing a form plugin, make sure to select one that has split-testing included.
There are external solutions available like VWO, but it’s cheaper and easier to use a platform like OptinMonster or MailOptin with built-in A/B testing.
In MailOptin, you can click the “more actions” button to find the split-test option.
Once you click the “A/B Split Test” link, MailOptin will duplicate your form with all the same settings. Then you can make the change you want to test and set the experiment live.
You can use the free A/B Test Calculator app to review your results and check if you’ve achieved statistical significance yet.
If you’ve been following along with these steps, you’ve got a form on your homepage and a popup form on the posts both undergoing constant testing.
While these are excellent ways to get more subscribers, there are two more easy tricks you can employ for even more subscribers.
4. Add More Signup Forms
If you want to hypercharge your list building, make sure that every visitor sees at least one form.
Your popup form might not display for every visitor on your blog. Or, maybe you’ve got visitors who never visit the homepage or a post on your site.
You can add a signup form anywhere on your site, but a few good places to add more are:
- After post content
With these additions, visitors are sure to come across at least one of your forms. Exposure to the same offer multiple times may also convert them more effectively.
How to add more signup forms
Widgets are the best way to add content to a WordPress site outside the post content.
In case you missed it, the three plugins I recommend for adding forms are:
- Contact Form 7
If you use a plugin with split-testing, you can run experiments on your forms simultaneously to really boost your optin rates.
Each one of them has a widget available that can display any form you create.
As long as you’re using a well-made theme with plenty of widget areas, you’ll have no trouble getting additional forms added throughout your site.
5. Productize Your Newsletter
In general, your optin rate is going to be higher if you have a product to offer.
For instance, conversion rates will be better for an ebook or email course than a simple newsletter.
That said, there are ways you can “productize” your newsletter to make it feel like a more substantial offer.
How to productize your newsletter
Here’s a look at the optin form I’m running at CompeteThemes.com right now:
Instead of simply pitching new post notifications, I’m promising subscribers they’ll save time and acquire new knowledge.
If you subscribe, you’ll learn more about WordPress and it’s insinuated you won’t have to spend as much time Googling for answers when using WordPress.
The graphic of the books in the computer screen helps reinforce this idea of learning.
It’s a small point, but a little change in perspective like this can do wonders for your conversion rates.
If you’re anything like me, you love a good list post.
I hope that even if you skimmed through this article you got a couple of new ideas to try.
These tactics are simple and don’t take long to implement. I think you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t give them a try soon.
As Seth Godin says, “The best time to start was last year. The second best time to start is right now.”
Have any questions about these methods of building your email list? Leave your feedback in the comments below!