Probably the most common way to promote and grow a mailing list in Email Marketing is through a landing page. This is a single page on your website that will be dedicated to selling the merits of signing up. It will detail what the new subscribers can expect to get from signing up and it will provide the opt-in form where they can go ahead and enter their email address and name.
But while this can work well, it’s important not to overlook one of the other most effective ways to grow a mailing list: through your blog.
Why a Blog is Perfect for Growing a Mailing List
There are several things that will make a blog ideal for growing your mailing list.
The first of these things is that a blog is well-suited to gaining more traffic via Google. Google brings people to websites based on the content. This is what people are searching for in the first place in most cases and it is what you use in order to provide value for your readers.
Simply by blogging regularly, you can get more people to actively look for the page where your opt-in form will be and this is something that you wouldn’t have been able to accomplish as easily with a landing page – seeing as that will only have a small amount of copy focussed on promoting the list.
The other big benefit of a blog is that it is perfect for growing more readers over time. The more you will attract people back to your site. They’ll eventually start checking your site regularly because they will know that it’s likely to provide information that is useful, interesting or just entertaining.
And if they read your blog enough and they become fully engaged, then eventually they might decide they want to get more information from you. Thus, they might choose to sign up for your mailing list when otherwise they might not have done. You’ve given yourself the time and the space to build interest and trust and this is what has eventually led to people signing up for your list.
How to Make it Work for You
To make this work for you then, you need to make sure that you place your opt-in form somewhere prominent alongside your posts. One good tip is to put it in a widget in the sidebar, as this way your readers will see it at all times, even if they skipped the homepage. Likewise, consider adding it to the bottom of your posts. And while you’re at it, make sure you mention it in your content – sometimes the best way to get subscribers is simply to ask!
What is Double Opt-In and Why Does it Matter?
When you get an autoresponder, you will gain access to a large number of different features and options. Autoresponders can be used simply to send bulk emails but more than that, they can also be used to handle subscriptions, to track data like open rates and much more.
And one of the most important features you should be using with your autoresponder is the ‘double opt-in’. This is a two stage sign up process for your mailing list that will invite the user to first enter their details and hit send and then respond to a confirmation email by clicking the link.
This is opposed to a more old-fashioned immediate form of sign-up that accepts the new member as soon as they hit send.
Why This Matters
A lot of new marketers will look at double opt-ins and be confused. On the face of it, this seems like a bad thing. After all, why would we want our users to have to take more steps in order to sign up? Surely the easier it is for them to get involved, the better it will be for our mailing list?
This is missing the point. A good mailing list is not a mailing list that is as big as possible, but rather one that is as targeted and as engaged as possible. In other words, it really doesn’t matter how many people sign up – rather how likely those people are to read your messages.
Double opt-ins prevent people from signing up who aren’t really interested in your messages. They also prevent people from entering bogus details and they prevent people from accidentally typing the wrong message.
Without a double opt-in, someone might sign up for your mailing list on a whim and then never read any of your messages again. But with the double opt-in there, they are now forced to take a look at your message if they’re serious and to demonstrate that they do actively check their emails.
By doing all this, you have immediately improved the quality of your mailing list so that you will have fewer messages that bounce and fewer that don’t get opened. This will help you to improve your sender reputation and will make sure that your metrics stay as accurate as possible.
Don’t focus on the number of emails – focus on the quality. And start with a double opt-in.