Can your website be your list growth engine?
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TL;DR: Are you using your website to grow your email list and power your email marketing efforts? If not, you may be missing out!
Subscriber lists are perhaps one of the few lists you actually want to get bigger because they power your small business—whether your subscribers attend your webinars, sign up for your courses, purchase your goods or spread the word about your brand, they’re vital to your success.
But how do you grow from 10 to 10,000 subscribers? Your website is a great place to start! And don’t worry—if you don’t have a website, a blog works too. Or, if you’re new to email marketing, Flodesk’s full-page forms (like the stunning one below) are a great place to start.
Let’s dive into eight simple ways to leverage your website to grow your list (and your bank account).
1. Make subscribing to your list simple
Whether it’s a meal subscription box, the ability to pay your bills online or having your groceries delivered, we all crave convenience. And so do your subscribers.
Before you ask your website visitors to subscribe to your list, ask yourself this question: Is the sign-up process simple and convenient? If you wouldn’t take the time to fill out your sign-up form or dig through your website to find it, your visitors probably won’t either.
Before you create your sign-up form, refer to these dos and don’ts:
- Do make your subscribe button/sign-up form stand out (Flodesk forms make this easier than ever)
- Do make it easy to find your sign-up form by hosting it on multiple pages of your website (contact, about, homepage)
- Do set expectations. Tell subscribers what they’ll get when they sign up to your list (exclusive content, discount codes)
- Don’t make your sign-up form cumbersome by adding too many fields—do you really need to know their last name, birthday or why they signed up, or can you gather that information later?
- Don’t put important text in the image. If the image doesn’t load properly, visitors won’t see that information on the image
- Don’t overwhelm visitors with too many preference options. Flodesk allows you to add six preference settings to your form, but with new subscribers, less is more. You can always send a newsletter asking them to update their preferences later
Take a look at Snack Paper’s form. The pop-up clearly states that you’ll get a free card with your next purchase by signing up for his email list. And he only asks for your first and last name and your email address.
2. Shorten the length of your lead magnet
One of the easiest ways to segment and personalize your newsletters is by collecting as much information about your subscribers as possible. But the lead magnet isn’t the place to do it. Lead magnets, or freebies, are free goodies, like an ebook or guide, that entice visitors to subscribe to your email list.
When you have half a dozen fields for a visitor to fill out or overload your lead magnet with too much text, it can overwhelm visitors and turn them off from filling out your form altogether.
Tip: Remember, you can always send a preferences email later that helps you better segment your audience. It’s also a great way to put your subscribers in the driver’s seat by allowing them to choose what they receive from you, how often, and more.
Take a look at Megan Seely Co.’s form below. Notice how there are only two fields to fill out? She added preferences but kept it short with only three choices, so members can quickly and simply sign up for her list and set their preferences.
3. Create content that requires visitors to sign up
Gated content—any content viewers can only access in exchange for their information—is yet another way your website can drive subscriber growth. Do you have an ebook, the ultimate guide to something or social media templates that are irresistible to your target audience? Gated content is the way to go!
Hubspot has some great examples you can use as gated content:
- Offer a freebie like an ebook or Canva social media templates and host them on your website or a landing page. Just be sure to ask for their email to download it.
- Give subscribers bonus content. Attract visitors with ungated content (like a blog post) and offer bonus gated content later that may give them advanced tips, templates and more.
- Free webinars or courses (and even certifications) provide value to your audience. They’re an easy way to grow your list with people who are already interested in your services!
4. Use multiple lead magnets on your website
When thinking about lead magnets, throw the “less is more” ideology out the door. That’s not to say you should bombard your website with lead magnets, but the more opportunities you give visitors to become subscribers, the better.
Not sure what to use for your lead magnets? Ebooks and webinars are a safe bet, but don’t be afraid to get creative! Flodesk member Digital Grace Design has a few suggestions:
- Audio or video series
- Email courses
- Downloadable guides
Remember, your lead magnets should give subscribers access to exclusive content they can’t find anywhere else. Make it something good—this is your chance to show how valuable your content, services or products are before they work with you or become a customer.
Check out Digital Grace Design’s lead magnet for the SEO Checklist. It’s highly-valuable gated content, but the lead magnet is manageable, not overloaded with text or questions to answer.
Or take a look at Megan Seeley Co.’s EX > CX Roadmap freebie. She provides a quick explanation of the freebie and makes it easy for visitors to access it—she only requires the first name and email address to download it.
You should have a lead magnet on your homepage, but we suggest you also consider hosting your lead magnet on your:
- Blog (if it’s a long blog post, you can use them near the middle and at the bottom)
- About page
- Shop page
- Contact page
- Social media
Tip: You can link to your lead magnet instead of having a pop-up or using a ribbon banner on your site.
5. Set clear expectations on your lead magnet or sign-up form
I love designer jeans, specifically a newer brand that caters to women of all body types. When I first discovered the brand and saw a $50 off my first order form pop up, I quickly entered my first name and email to get the discount. The form didn’t set any expectations other than that I would get a discount for signing up.
You can imagine my annoyance when I received multiple daily emails from them. There was no fashion blog content or tips on styling my new denim—just annoying sales emails constantly.
Of course, I expected some sales emails when I signed up, but it was overwhelming, and I quickly unsubscribed (even though I love the brand).
The business I love could have avoided all this had they told me what I’d get beyond the discount on their lead magnet. Instead, set clear expectations with your subscribers on what they’re getting into and how often you’ll email them. Your welcome email should reflect those expectations too.
Look at my form, for example. I tell visitors exactly what they’ll be getting from me and that it’s occasional, so they don’t need to worry about me bombarding their inboxes.
6. Offer discounts to new subscribers
Do you sell digital or physical products? Using a sign-up form that offers new subscribers a discount could help grow your subscriber list and boost sales.
You give them an incentive to shop with you while growing your list. And once you’re in their inboxes, you can send personalized emails promoting sales and new products and releases you think they’ll love.
Chez Núñez’s pop-up form does this beautifully. They offer a discount and tell subscribers what to expect by signing up.
7. Create a blog they can subscribe to (this is what I do!)
Where do you go to find cookie recipes? What about when you want to learn how to make changes to your WordPress site? Probably a mix of Google, Pinterest and industry blogs. And now you’re on the Flodesk blog to presumably learn about email marketing and how to grow your list. Case in point? Blogs are powerful.
Your blog can offer your audience high-value content that answers their questions and drives list growth. Here’s how:
- The SEO factor. The more valuable content you create, the higher your ranking on search engines. Not only does this generate awareness, but if your readers like what they see, they’ll want more. Make it easy by adding a Subscribe button so readers can get your content delivered directly to their inboxes.
- It builds authority. When you blog consistently and educate your readers, provide tips or make their lives easier, you build authority and credibility with your audience. You become a trusted resource—one your readers want to hear from regularly. Give them that option! All you need is a simple Subscribe button on your blog. And with Flodesk in-line forms, you can add them to your blog homepage and every blog post.
Flodesk member Make It Jewish uses this in-line form at the bottom of each blog post. It’s simple, clear and entices visitors to subscribe.
But let’s think outside the box too. As niche as your audience might seem, other businesses will inevitably share that same audience. And guest blogging is the perfect way to capitalize on that. You’ll gain access to their audience and potential new subscribers if you:
- Include a CTA for readers to subscribe to your list (or blog)
- Create high-value content that resonates with them
8. Include customer reviews on your sign-up landing pages
Word-of-mouth is powerful. Just ask my sister. She treats me as a guinea pig, letting me buy workout programs, clothes from a new brand and more. If I love it, she buys it too—no research, no consideration. She just trusts my word.
You can leverage social proof (testimonials) to create that same trust with your visitors. Sure, you can tell your audience why they should join your list or support you, but when someone with no stake in your success tells them they should, they listen.
Customer reviews act as the social proof visitors need to make the leap, which is why you should publish them on your website, especially where you host lead magnets and sign-up forms. These reviews might just be the push a visitor needs to click Subscribe.
Her First $100K sprinkles social proof throughout her landing page to build credibility. At the end, she uses a simple form asking visitors to subscribe. Take a look at one of the reviews she features on one of the landing pages:
Let’s build your list!
Whether you’re completely new to lead magnets and sign-up forms or a pro with a few already on your site, these tips can help you capture even more email addresses and grow your subscriber base.
And if you want beautiful, simple-to-build forms, try adding Flodesk’s in-line, pop-up and full-page forms, and watch your list grow steadily.