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How To Get Your First 500 Email Subscribers (From Scratch)

By Peter Nyiri | Funnels

Dec 27
Squeeze page - How To Get Your First 500 Email Subscribers (From Scratch)

If you have only a few subscribers, none at all or the number of your subscribers just stopped increasing at 30 or 40, this post is for you.

If you have a relatively new list, it is the most difficult thing to get the ball rolling, because no one knows you and it is difficult to gain traction.

The First Question You Should Be Asking Yourself

Would you want to sign up for your own list?

Does your list provide enough value and usefulness?

If the answer is ‘No” to this often-forgotten but important question, then you know where to start fixing it.

If nothing else, you should at least be motivating others to get going.

Why Do You Need Subscribers?

Get 500 email subscribersStudy after study has shown that email beats out every other form of online marketing in terms of ROI.

This is what Pat Flynn, the internet marketing icon says about this subject:

“Starting an online business today almost always means starting an email list, but when I started my online business in 2008 I did NOT start building a list until a year and a half later.

“Big mistake.”

And this is how he continues:

“Seven days later, I had built a list of just over 200 people. I sent a broadcast email which included a link to my eBook … and a $5.00 off coupon code that expired within twenty-four hours.

“Within twenty-four hours after sending that email, I had fifty-three people purchase the book for $24.95, grossing just over $1,300 in sales with one single email to my list of 200 people.

“That was the most money I had ever made in a single day in my life, and it blew me away. This email thing actually worked!”

Starting From Scratch

If you are serious about your business, building an email list should be your TOP priority.

More important than putting affiliate links on your website, because 70 percent of your visitors never come back and are lost forever, and 98 percent of them are not ready to buy. An email subscriber can buy from you more than once and can also promote your website!

Building an email list takes time, creativity, and patience, but it’s a critical step to ensuring your email marketing is effective. It’s also important to remember that an email marketing list is a living thing, and it doesn’t matter if you have 5 subscribers of 500, they signed up to hear from you and you need to deliver.

The number of subscribers you have is directly related to…

  1. Your ability to drive highly-targeted traffic to your blog.
  2. Your ability to convert that traffic into FIERCELY LOYAL subscribers.
  3. Your ability to get your readers to promote and refer you to friends.

This last one is extremely important…

Steps To Get Subscribers

0. Create a concise sentence that describes you.

You need to figure out what you’re going to say about yourself. You need to figure out your phrase and spread that everywhere.

1. Sign up for an auto-responder service.

I am pretty sure you have already done this, but if you are not happy with your choice for some reason, I recommend MailerLite, which is a free-tier email marketing service. You don’t pay anything until you have more than 1,000 email subscribers and you can send them unlimited emails.

Additionally, it is a lot more convenient and intuitive than other email services, including MailChimp.

2. Create your opt-in freebie.

The best lead magnets are covered in this post.

I need to stress the importance of creating a correct one.

I just ran into the following on another blog:

“Creating a free email course has been one of my top list building strategies. While it took me time to write it (each email is about 2,000 words), it has now become my number #1 source of email list growth. 

“My free 5-day course to Grow Your Traffic converts at almost 50%.”

Those three lines tell you that the correct title/message for your lead magnet is vital for your sign-ups.

3. Create a sign-up page/squeeze page

Your website is the easiest ways to begin building an email list.

Create an easy-to-find, easy-to-use email signup page on your website.

Your subscribe page should be simple, easy to find from the home page, and briefly tell users what they’re signing up for.

Include the link to your signup form in your business’ email signature.

This is in addition to having opt-in forms all over your website.

I know that building a squeeze page in WordPress can be a challenge.

With the Thrive Architect plugin, you can choose from a multitude of different landing page templates:

Landing page templates

And I created this squeeze page in about 5 minutes – I just picked one of the templates, changed the text, then connected my email provider with one click.

And here is a video that shows you how to set up an entire list building funnel with Thrive Architect:

4. Put opt-in forms onto your site.

The less information you ask for in your opt-in form, the better.

You need to ask for an email address, other than that it is recommended that you only ask for a first name or a name.

Asking for more than that will decrease your conversion rate as people will not complete the form.

For example, I personally never complete an opt-in form that asks for a mandatory phone number, as I hate getting all these stupid phone calls trying to sell me something.

The placement of your opt-in forms is extremely important.

Obviously, the more opportunities to sign up, the more subscribers you will get.

You should have an opt-in form

  • After each post
  • At the top of your website
  • On your About Page
  • In your sidebar
  • Exit pop-up

Each will perform differently based on your niche, audience, etc.

This sounds really complicated to set up, but not with Thrive Leads (see video):

5. Getting subscribers

Now the difficult part begins. If your site has traffic, this is not a big deal. However if you are just starting out, you need to go out and get people in.

  • Ask all your friends to subscribe.

This is an often overlooked strategy.

How many people do you know?

Who are the people in your Gmail account?

Just tell them, even if one by one, that you are starting a new thing, and ask them if they would be interested in subscribing.

Explain what’s in it for them.

Do you work somewhere? You can ask your fellow workers to do the same.

You will be surprised at the response you will get.

  • Understand who your target audience is.

Before you begin building a list, it’s helpful to have an idea of who these people are.

I recommend that you create a marketing persona — a made-up person that represents your ideal customer.

Location, age, goals and challenges, what they are trying to achieve,

Here’s why creating a persona is so important. You need to figure out where your audience hangs out.

You need to find people so that they can give you their email address.

One of the most valuable places to find your audience initially is through social media.

If you can discover where your audience hangs out socially, you will be able to get their email addresses more easily.

  • Use Social media to grow your list

If you have a social media account, you can post a link to your landing page.

Posting the link on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and everywhere else you can think of will definitely pull in a few email addresses at least.

Include a link to your list (or the landing page for the email list) in your social media profiles along with any bios, bylines, or other “About” sections that you or your business owns online.

How many friends do you have on Facebook? Invite them.

How many Twitter followers do you have? Invite them.

Using the right hashtags on Twitter will give you a broad range of exposure to hundreds of people.

Create social media posts to promote your list and encourage people to subscribe.

Join Facebook groups on your niche and use their promotion days to promote your blog posts and get subscribers.

Give yourself a few weeks to work social medial for results. You may be shocked by what you get.

As long as you have an appropriate offer, your email list may grow to dozens or hundreds of email addresses.

  • Leverage other people’s lists

Unfortunately I cannot give you a complete recipe, but offer something valuable to someone who has a list, in exchange for promoting you.

Your existing network of influencers and partners is where you start.

Business contacts might not be your ideal target market when it comes to customers — but they can be advocates for your site and help spread the word about your products.

Inviting them to your email list means you’ll be in their inbox, and therefore, on their minds, more often.

Some people sell “Solo list emails”, however this does cost money.

Writing a guest post on another blog that promotes its new posts to its list can go a long way.

  • Ask your subscribers to spread the word

Ask your subscribers to share of Facebook, tweet and otherwise promote your website.

Don’t forget to consistently send your email list subscribers valuable content…

  • Use Pinterest

Create several different pinnable images for your funnel, and link each one back to your lead page.

Several bloggers have mentioned Pinterest as their #1 highest traffic provider. This didn’t just happen as a miracle, but because they used a tool like Boardbooster. Your traffic can start increasing from the actual DAY that you start using Boardbooster, and so can your subscribers! Sign up for the free trial where you get 500 free pins, this way you can see firsthand what it does (no credit card needed). Paid plans start at $5 per month.

BoardBooster is a pin scheduling tool for bloggers. It helps manage Pinterest accounts by automatically spreading new pins over ideal pinning hours. It can also save you time by repinning new blog posts to collaborative boards, and help you discover viral pins. Here is a video on how to use it:

  • Blog Commenting

When you comment on a blog post, link back to one of your posts that relates to the topic of the post you have just finished reading, instead of linking back to your homepage. Add your blog name next to your name in the ‘Name’ field.

  • Facebook Groups

You can get a ton of subscribers in Facebook groups. Check out the different groups available to you and your niche. Usually the group will have daily promotion threads. Use daily threads to connect with other people and be helpful and show off your expertise  while directing the members to your sales funnel.

  • Start content marketing and SEO

You may not get immediate results from this, but now is the time to start…

6. Create additional landing pages

More landing pages means you can make more personal offers and more targeted traffic. But this doesn’t mean just take the same offer and make 15 different designs.

You should make each landing page 90% unique: different offers, different customer segments, different lead magnets, etc.

Let’s get started!

The above should get you started. If you have other methods to jumpstart your list, comment below.

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About the Author

Hi and welcome to my blog! I'm building my 5-figure blog sales funnel and you are welcome to join and learn from my experience and mistakes! Are you ready for this?

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