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How to build a kick-ass email list in 5 steps

“I can’t believe they’re giving all this info away for free!” This is what my laptop hears before I hit that subscribe button on yet another newsletter. 

I currently receive at least 10 newsletters to my inbox every week. And I read every single one of them. Without fail. You know why? Because they're packed with so much value that missing even a single edition makes me feel like I’ve lost out on something. 

After analyzing countless newsletters (and what makes them so irresistible), here’s what I’ve gleaned so far on how to build a kick-ass email list that invites loyal subscribers like me. 

1. Use personalized opt-in forms for each landing page

Each landing page on your website caters to a different problem that your customers have. People land on the “Shop” section to buy things and go to the “Blog” section for tips, tricks, and other educational content. 

In other words: each person clicking on your website needs something different. So, sprinkle in a sign-up form on each page to let them know that your newsletters can provide more of what they need to entice them to sign up. But each CTA needs to be personalized according to the landing page. 

For instance, Shopify has this 👇 standard opt-in form on each page of its blog promising more tips and tricks if you sign up.

But, when you head to their “Solutions” page, you see this 👇, instead:

The bottom line: Create different sign-up forms throughout your website that cater to specific customer pain points.

2. Provide a valuable resource to entice people to sign up

Aka offer lead magnets. These could be anything–a free eBook, exclusive shopping discount codes, a helpful checklist, a guide, or any other resource. It should be directly related to your niche and be something that your audience would find valuable. Make them think, “I can’t believe they’re giving this away for free!” 😉 

Here’s a great example from ConvertFlow:

3. Use social proof

People don’t believe brands; they believe other people. So when someone says that your newsletter is the best thing ever? Others are bound to believe them and sign up to see what all the fuss is about. Be it opt-in forms on your website, or social media posts, use these testimonials to drive more sign-ups. 

This is how Backlinko does it 👇: 

4. Make signing up to your newsletter fun!

If you’ve ever been asked by a website to spin a wheel and sign up to win discounts, or take a very fun quiz, then you know exactly what I’m talking about, below is an example from OptiMonk. The customers have fun and/ or win something, and you get more sign-ups!

5. Provide real value through your newsletter

This is probably the most important tip. Getting newsletter sign-ups means nothing if you can’t retain your subscribers… which brings us to quality. Research your audience, pick topics that are relevant to them, and focus on writing a newsletter that leaves your audience feeling like they’ve just learned something that’s going to help them. 

Let’s say you run a fitness eCommerce store. In your newsletter, you could share workout tips, guides on how to find the best fitness equipment for you, and address common problems that fitness enthusiasts face. 

Following these tips (and combining them with compelling CTAs), will help you build your email list in no time! 

Enjoy reading this first contribution to Write Wiser by Rupali Jeganathan? Comment to encourage her to write here again, and follow her on LinkedIn!



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