There are things you can do every day to drive your email list to new heights, and get a list that’s more likely to give you real, usable leads.
To achieve that, you need to look at methods that cost little money or effort, deliver disproportionate rewards, and address signups that are already cued to become leads or have at least demonstrated positive engagement.
Here are our top ten picks!
1. LinkedIn Groups
There are a million ways to work LinkedIn groups for everything from recruitment to lead gen. Here’s the million and first.
When you sign up to a LinkedIn group, you get a welcome email.
Including a link to confirm your email and your membership is standard practice.
And when you click on the link in that email to confirm membership, you get taken to a landing page.
So that’s a pretty huge opportunity.
It does depend on having a group that people want to join, which often means setting up an open group.
But make sure only members are allowed to contribute.
That way your group gets indexed in search engines, shows up in SERPs and attracts a larger readership, so the opportunity to speak to those people is an advantage that’s worth joining the group to access. (Consider doing members-only content too.)
When you get signups, send them welcome emails with a link to a landing page that asks for their email.
2. Get Signups Directly on YouTube
Blah blah second biggest search engine. Blah blah social media channel.
Youtube click-through rates stink, for the most part.
But they don’t have to.
Too many businesses take a shotgun approach to YouTube marketing, then act all surprised when they don’t hit anything.
Instead, why not treat a Youtube video the way you’d treat another high-value content asset like a big blog post?
Craft a CTA, a content upgrade or giveaway and a landing page – and make them all super relevant to the video.
Here’s how Sunny Lenarduzzi does it does it.
On her video, ‘How to Launch a Youtube Channel (and Grow FAST!),’ Sunny has a ‘subscribe’ link on the video all the way through:
But when you get to the end of the video, you’ll see several others from Sunny (boosting her watch time) and a CTA to a webinar signup:
In turn, that takes you to a landing page:
You need a solid video that people actually watch first, of course. But if your YouTube channel is doing well already, you can create a valuable lead magnet and harvest hundreds of engaged subscribers from it.
‘I’ve seen videos that have generated 500 new email signups within a 48-hour window by highlighting an existing lead magnet,’ says designer and marketer Roberto Blake.
3. Bring Your Twitter Followers Into The Inbox
Your Twitter followers and your email list don’t always cross over that well. Often you’ll have a lot of followers who aren’t on your list, but you know these are people who like your content. They just need a push to sign up. You already have a subscribe link in your bio, right? Maybe you can do more.
Consider just periodically reminding your Twitter followers that they can and should sign up.
Doing this costs you almost nothing – just the time it takes to compose a tweet telling people that you have an email newsletter they can sign up for.
Drop it out a couple times a month, and if any content you tweet blows up on twitter or gets positive feedback, don’t miss the chance to let people know there’s more where that came from.
If you’re active on Twitter, it’s almost a free win.
4. Hoover Up Signups From Quora
Quora used to be one of the most underappreciated marketing channels around. That’s changed as marketers caught on to the value of the channel. If you’ve never used the site, it’s a question-and-answer site that attracts a lot of professionals – including plenty in your space.
Each of these questions represents an opportunity to give an authoritative answer with the promise of more information on your blog.
Here, for instance, Emilia Dariel’s answer covers the main bases and then directs readers to a couple of resources on the SafeDK site.
That answer garnered 315 views – all from people looking for an answer to that specific question. That’s pretty good targeting. Get them to come through to your blog post and you’re more likely to pick them up as signups, increasing the conversion rate of posts you link to from the site.
When your efforts on Quora build you a reputation, you can use their bio section to offer your Quora readers the chance to sign up to your email list directly, the way Brooke Harper does.
That free ebook offer takes you to a landing page on the Tenfold site where you’re offered the opportunity to sign up to the company’s newsletter.
Commenters on your blog posts are good candidates to be email subscribers. When someone makes a comment on a post, they’re often really asking for clarification or starting a conversation:
That’s an ideal person to turn into an engaged subscriber. They’re already interacting and they obviously want to hear more from you.
Consider building subscription into the comments form so that when people leave a comment, they get offered a checkbox to subscribe.
(Don’t pre-tick it, though. No-one likes being railroaded.)
People like to join email lists that are already huge. It’s always been that way, since print publishing and before.
Daily newspapers boast about their circulation on the masthead to show how many readers trust them as a news source.
McDonald’s puts ‘1 million served’ to sell more hamburgers.
And blogs put subscriber figures on their subscription area to hoover up more subscribers.
So: what if you don’t have a bunch of subscribers?
Testimonials can be equally effective.
Even just one or two subscribers can give you testimonials you can use. They let you shift the focus away from how many people subscribe, and put it on what value your content delivers.
Check out how Neville Medhora does it:
That single testimonial tells you more about Neville’s blog than any number, however high. It’s better storytelling to focus on one person’s experiences, and it’s effective whether you have a huge list or you just aspire to.
7. Landing Page Funnels
Landing page funnels work by funneling the maximum amount of traffic to your highest-converting landing pages. First, identify which landing pages are responsible for the majority of your signups. Then design your site to drive as much traffic to those pages as possible.
This doesn’t require you to create much new content – it’s more about linking to those landing pages from high traffic areas of the site with compelling calls to action.
You can see this in action on Michael Hyatt’s site, where there’s a ‘subscribe’ link in the navigation menu:
That links through to this page:
He’s building a funnel from his highest-traffic page to his best-converting landing page.
8. Piggyback On Competitors
One of the best things about A/B tests is how many other folks have already done them – including your competitors.
You can visit their site, look in the source code with dev tools (SHIFT+CMD+C on a Mac) and search within the code for common list building tools. But there’s a quicker way to do that.
Let’s head over to a site where they have a huge email list – we know they do, because they advertise it on the site:
What tool did these guys use to build that list? Is it one we can copy?
To find out, go over to BuiltWith.
Builtwith tells you which tools were used to build a website and what’s running on it now. It will flag up the visualization tools and trackers your competitor is using, but you can also see if they’re using a list building plugin.
Pro tip: when you get the results page up from BuiltWith, do a CMND+F search on the page for ‘email’ – there are often a lot of results!
9. About Page
The About Us page on most websites is one of the weakest pages. You get a few lines about when the company started and where its office is, and a photo of the CEO.
Yet, it’s often the second page visitors go to after the homepage, and it represents a huge opportunity to garner signups. Take a look in your Google Analytics, and you’ll probably see About Us gets the second most visits after Home.
That figures. About Us is the page that has contact info and company info, which together 116% of visitors want to see.
Someone who’s reading your About Us page is interested enough in what you do to want to hear more, so there’s a good chance that they’ll want to hear more regularly.
So it makes good sense to add at least one subscription CTA to your About page.
10. Consultation Page
In-person consultations are an opportunity to display your depth of knowledge and score high-ticket clients – you can’t offer 30 minutes, or even 10, to everyone who swings by your site, or you’d be working 56 hours a day for free.
But you can offer personalized consults that foreground the value of your approach. Even if much of the process of creating it is automated and you copy and paste it into a template.
That’s real, actionable value: I can do a lot more with a teardown of my product page than I can with a blog post that tells me what a good one looks like, or an ebook that tells me what I should include.
So to me, it’s far more valuable: valuable enough to give you my best email and actually confirm it.
Building an email list that actually generates leads takes more than tips and tricks. But if you’ve already ticked the boxes for ‘best practice’ (i.e., all the stuff everyone else is already doing), maybe it’s time to get off the beaten track a little and see if any of these works for you?
If we missed your best tactic, or you’ve tried one of these and you want to share your results, please get back to us in the comments!