Jeff Pulver said to me, “You live or die by your database.” It’s the best business advice I ever got.
In writing this down, I looked at what I would do, and then I asked friends who were smarter than me what they would do. It turns out that we all have a lot of the same advice. I’ll append this with their advice once I get it all and then I’ll have to call it something else, like.. “The best advice other smarter people than me have ever given about email marketing, and then some of mine.” But that’s when all the nice people get back to me with all the information.
That said, I wanted to share what’s worked for me so far, and what I believe. There’s no magic, it turns out. But you MUST make a strong effort.
- Above all else, I put my BEST content in my newsletter. I make it the best thing I do. I do NOT send out leftovers (links to stuff I already did, collections of junk I found on the web, etc). If you’re on my newsletter, you’re getting my best. That’s my #1 secret to growing your list.
- Write something really helpful to the people you want to serve. Make it industry-best advice, not just a throwaway post.
- My website has a popup, a side bar, and a private page where I point people to ask them to sign up. Popups and popovers and side subscription links and all kinds of ways for people to sign up ends up being the #2 best piece of advice. Like, everywhere I looked, that was the big advice.
- I am experimenting with content upgrades: write some really useful piece of content on your blog or Facebook or wherever (preferably on your blog), and then offer people even more value if they are willing to get your newsletter – https://chrisbrogan.com/foodtruck for instance.
- Give something of great value away. Make it a super wonderful multi-part email drip or a template or a PDF. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s useful and not just “stuff.”
- Make posts that collect great advice (like this one from Pat Flynn – http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/email-list-strategies/ ) . This points back to a lot of Pat’s on articles on the subject. Smart, right?
- Seek cross-promotion opportunities. Say, “Hey, I write about X. Is that interesting to your community? May I guest post on your blog? Or may I write an issue of your newsletter? Or how else can we promote each other?”
- Webinars. Holy cats. A free webinar really does great wonders for growing someone’s email list.
- Remove distractions. If your sidebar looks more like Nascar, it’s no wonder no one’s signing up. Make it REALLY EASY to see where to sign up and why.
- Use a website theme that FEATURES email signup above all else. The Generate theme inside Rainmaker for instance.
- Change your email signature such that you ASK people to get some great piece of content from you, and make that a sign-up page to the newsletter that promises the content.
And if you found this extremely helpful, that’s exactly what I share with the people I serve on my newsletter. I invite you to join it!
Chris Brogan is CEO of Owner Media group, and the New York Times bestselling author of eight books and counting. Learn more about him at https://chrisbrogan.com/nl
If you would like a PDF copy of this post to take with you, here you go: Email List Building Advice