According to QuickSprout, email subscribers are 3 times more likely to share your content via social media than visitors from other sources.
Moreover, email has the highest conversion rate compared to social media and search.
Needless to say, having an email list is very important for your online business. There are many ways to grow your email list with the help of adding opt-in forms and pop ups.
But I still see people complaining that their email list is not growing. Also many people have not yet started building an email list because it costs money.
But what if I told you that you can start getting subscribers from your website today itself without spending a dime?
That's what I am going to show you today. In this post, you'll learn how to grow your email subscribers in 30 days for free.
So let's begin.
How to set up an email list
There are many email marketing software's out there but since you'll be building an email list for free, I'll recommend you to use Mailchimp.
Throughout this guide, I'll use MailChimp to show you how to get more subscribers. You can use other alternative like GetResponse.
You can get a free trial of GetResponse to get more features.
If you have already set up an email list, you can skip this part.
So, first of all you need to sign up for Mailchimp. Select the forever free plan and get started.
Once you successfully complete the sign up process, you will reach the Mailchimp dashboard which looks like this:
Now it's time for you to create a list. Click on the create a list button to continue.
Click on "Create list". You'll then have to enter information about your list. Here, you have to enter the name of your list, default from email address, default from name and more.
You also have to enter other basic information like your address, phone, country etc. Once you fill out the information, your list will be created.
Now you have successfully created your list and you are ready to get some subscribers. You can create sign up forms from Mailchimp but we're not going to do any of that.
It's time to add some opt-in forms and pop ups on your website. There are many plugins that can help you add opt-in forms but most of them are paid. And since I am showing you how to build an email list for free, we'll be using only two important plugins:
Install SumoMe & Content Upgrades Plugin On Your Website
Head over to your WordPress dashboard and install these two plugins:
1. SumoMe: It is one of the best list building plugins out there and provides many different tools that will help you grow your email list. It also offers many features that are available to pro users. But our use will be limited to the free version of SumoMe.
2. Content Upgrades: The best plugin for adding content upgrades on your website. If you don't know what content upgrades are, don't worry. You'll learn everything about it in this guide. This plugin also provides a pro version with more features.
Setting Up SumoMe Plugin
After installing SumoMe plugin, go to the SumoMe dashboard and click on my apps.
These are the apps by SumoMe. We'll be using some of these apps to grow your email list.
1. Enable List Builder
The first app we'll be using is the List Builder. Before you begin using this app, you need to know about it.
List Builder is basically a pop up designed to convert more visitors.
To use this app, you'll have to enable it. After you enable List Builder, you will have to design your pop up. In the free version of SumoMe, you can use only one theme for List Builder.
Modify your call-to-action and make the colors matching to your website's color.
There are many more settings you can change. You can add different display rules to hide the pop up on pages like your email confirmation page and thank you page.
You hate pop ups?
Then you can use this instead of using SumoMe List Builder. Unlock the content to find out an amazing way to get subscribers without annoying your visitors.
For those who hate pop ups: SumoMe Scroll Box
You can use Scroll Box by SumoMe which will help you build your email list more politely. Enable Scroll Box and design your box.
You can set display rules and change your settings accordingly. This is how Scroll Box looks like.
2. Enable Welcome Mat
Welcome Mat will help you boost your email signups. You may have seen mats scrolling down on many websites lately. If you haven't, here's how it looks like:
You can enable Welcome Mat from the SumoMe dashboard. After you enable it, design your mat and change the settings accordingly.
Set Up Content Upgrades
Using content upgrades can sky-rocket your conversions. Brian Dean from Backlinko boosted his conversions by over 785% in one day using content upgrades.
The technique is simple. Instead of asking your visitors to sign up for regular updates in each blog post, offer them something unique. This is what a content upgrade is.
A content upgrade can be a free ebook, checklist or a cheatsheet. There are many different ideas for content upgrades you can offer to your visitors.
But wait, how do I set up content upgrades?
There are many plugins that can help you set up content upgrades. But to use content upgrades for free, you will have to install content upgrades plugin.
The free version only allows you to create one content upgrade and one fancy box. To get different designs, you can buy the pro version of this plugin.
But you can still get a lot of subscribers using only one content upgrade. Take a look at my content upgrade:
This is how it looks like:
Now, you have set up your content upgrade. The question is:
How and where do I offer my freebie?
To offer your free content, you need to create a page that contains all the freebies. For example, I've dedicated a separate page where my freebies are uploaded. You can get access to this page by subscribing. 😉
Create a page and upload all your free material on your website. To make your thank you page look more attractive you can use TablePress plugin to properly arrange your freebies.
You can also create an email confirmation page to get qualified leads.
Even after setting up content upgrades, you will struggle with what freebie to offer. Mostly people offer PDF versions of their content, but it usually doesn't convert well.
To maximize conversions, here are some ideas for content upgrades:
Ideas for content upgrades
Offering a checklist as a content upgrade is the most effective way to get more subscribers. Suppose you run a food blog and have an article on how to cook fried chicken (yummy!).
Then, you can provide a checklist to help the reader follow the steps quickly without spending time reading the complete article.
Cheat sheets can also help you get more subscribers if offered in the proper context. You can offer detailed information in your cheat sheet with some extra information.
3. Audio or Video of your content:
I consider this as the most effective content upgrade you can offer to your visitors. Consider the yummy chicken example once again here.
You can create an audio of the complete recipe or much better, a video. This will surely boost your conversion rate.
This works great if you want your visitors to take some action and keep them engaged. You can give a challenge to your visitors.
Few examples of challenges are weight loss challenge, learn a language, dieting challenge etc.
5. Interview of an expert:
If you network with influencers and bloggers, you can interview them and offer that interview as a content upgrade.
Offering a template is also a great way to get more people sign up for your blog. You can offer an editorial calendar template, social media calendar template, marketing templates etc.
7. Case Study:
If you have a really good case study, you can offer it as a content upgrade to your visitors.
Everyone loves infographics. You can use them as a content upgrade. Create a simple checklist in the form of an infographic and see the subscribers rolling in.
If your article is a bit technical and you want to offer something actionable to your users, a spreadsheet is the perfect content upgrade.
10. Free Course:
If you can create a mini-course, you can provide it as a content upgrade throughout your website. You can divide the course in different parts. This way you have multiple content upgrades specific for your articles.
Your course can be a PDF, podcast or a video series.
So these were the basic steps you need to follow to grow your email list. If you promote your content properly and manage to get good traffic, your email list will grow.
But if you're unable to grow your email list quickly, follow these advanced strategies to boost conversions.
Advanced Strategies to Boost Conversions
What if you can get more than 1000 subscribers in a month? Here are some advanced strategies that will help you get more subscribers.
1. Enable Heatmaps and check where the users’ click the most
You can enable heatmaps using SumoMe. This will help you find out the areas where users interact the most.
Using heat maps will help you find the areas where the users click the most and least active areas of your webpage.
You can then use this information to modify your web page and place opt-ins properly. But before you use heatmaps, read this guide by SumoMe where they analyzed over 1,000,000 heat map clicks.
2. Turn your about page into a list building machine
If your about page sucks, you need to change it so that you can get more subscribers from there.
You can turn your about page into a list building machine by providing a strong call-to-action at the top or bottom of your page.
You must make your about page conversion-focused to get more people sign up to your website.
3. Start Split testing to increase conversions
Here are some elements you can split test to increase email sign ups.
1. CTA Button Copy
You can easily split test you call-to-action button copy. Instead of using boring "Sign Up" body copy, you can test different copies and find out the one with the highest conversion rate.
Here are some interesting copies you can use instead of using "Sign up" as your CTA button copy:
Yes, Send me the free ebook
Get the free eBook
2. CTA Button Color
If you understand color psychology, you are aware of the fact that different colors trigger different emotions.
You can change the color of your CTA button and see a little spike in your conversion rate. Here's what different colors mean. You can use this image and change colors accordingly.
3. CTA Headline
Your CTA headline also impacts users and using a strong and spicy headline can make a huge change in your conversion rate.
Using different words in your headline can trigger different emotions and hence can boost your conversion rate.
3. Redirect your blog commenters to a thank you page and provide them a freebie
Your blog commenters are the most valuable people of your website (Special thanks to everyone who comments on my blog. You guys are awesome!).
You must value the people who comment on your blog because they have taken time to share thoughts about what you've posted.
Many marketers usually redirect their blog commenters to a thank you page. But you can easily convert these people because they know you provide valuable content.
So instead of redirecting them to a simple thank you page, add a free downloadable on your thank page and offer them to your commenters. You can use Comment Redirect WordPress Plugin (Free) to redirect people who comment on your blog.
This tactic works great but do provide something valuable and irresistible.
4. Use SumoMe smart bar
Smart Bar is another app provided by SumoMe. It adds a sticky ribbon at the top of your website.
You can add an opt-in form on your Smart Bar to get more subscribers. But another great way is to ask your readers to visit your landing page.
Once your website readers click on the button, they will be redirected to a landing page. You can provide a free ebook, course or a checklist.
5. Pin your Landing Page on Twitter
You can pin your landing page on your Twitter profile. So now if anyone visits your Twitter profile, they will first see the pinned tweet.
Here are a few examples of marketers who have pinned their landing page on Twitter:
6. Pin your landing page on Facebook Page
Just like Twitter, you can also pin your landing page on your Facebook page. This will also get you some more subscribers for free.
7. Add an opt-in form at the end of your blog posts
Having an opt-in form at the end of your posts can also help you grow your email list. There are many plugins that can help you do this but if you're looking for a free plugin, you can use Plugmatter plugin.
The free version of this plugin provides two different opt-in form templates. You can also get the pro version of this plugin.
8. Run an interesting contest
Contests are a great way to get more subscribers if you're website is new and has not gained momentum.
There are many ideas for contests that you can host on your website.
If you have something interesting to offer, your contest can thrive and get you thousands of subscribers.
9. Ask other bloggers to promote your landing page with their email subscribers
If you have good relations with bloggers, you can ask them to promote your landing page with their email subscribers.
This works very well if you offer something valuable and interesting.
Recently Neil Patel did the same thing to promote his upcoming book. He asked Brian Dean to promote the book to Brian's email subscribers.
Check it out:
So you can give this method a shot. But instead of asking everyone, first help them and provide them something value.
Then only you will be able to get some help from them.
Wrapping It Up
So this is how you can grow your email list to 1000 subscribers in just 30 days. The methods I've shared work great and I've used them to grow my own email list.
If you follow the above mentioned tips properly, I am sure you'll see stunning results.