This one strategy boosted my email opt-in rate by 400% in a single day. Not bad, eh?
Over the past few months, I’ve been experimenting with some email list building strategies to help increase my overall opt-in rate. I’m happy to say, both of these strategies have proven to be a huge success.
Today, I just want to tell you about one of these strategies. Why just one?
Because this one tactic is super powerful, and you won’t believe you’re not already using it.
That’s pretty incredible.
And while I can’t promise you those same results, I can tell you that it can give you a significant boost both now and long term.
Bonus reading: How to Grow Your Email List by the Thousands
Your Evergreen Gold
If you’ve been blogging for a while now hopefully you’ve generated some evergreen blog posts that are driving a consistent flow of traffic. If not, get on it right away.
On this blog, I have a number of blog posts that consistently drive between 200-500 visits per day without me having to do a thing. That’s when you know you’ve struck evergreen gold.
What I realized though was that I was leaving subscribers on the table by not optimizing these blog posts for email sign-ups. I nearly slapped myself because I had probably missed out on thousands of potential subscribers.
I quickly created a list of my top blog posts that consistently drive traffic. Then I went in and optimized each post with its own specific call to action.
For example, my most successful blog post ever is my Best Places to Find Free Images Online. It’s a blog post I update as regularly as I can when I feel I have found new resources that deserve to be on the list. So within the first few paragraphs on that post you’ll see I’ve added this:
This is what I call a contextual call-to-action. It is a prompt for the reader to subscribe that is customized to the content they are currently reading.
Here are more of my own examples:
- Free Minimal Social Icon Set
- Social Media Cover Photo Dimensions
- Official Social Media Logos
- The Anatomy of a Perfect Google+ Post
If you go to those posts you will noticed within the first few paragraphs I’ve added a note to the effect of, “I intend on updating those pages when necessary.” Or alternatively, I identify some sort of bonus value that my email subscribers get from exclusive content similar to the content on the post.
And then what did I do? I add an easy way for them to subscribe to my list right there in the post. They can opt-in, and continue reading without interruption.
For the opt-in I use the Ninja Forms plugin— by far my favorite form plugin for WordPress. It uses the MailChimp add-on so these sign-ups are added straight to the proper list inside MailChimp.
It’s not a pop-up that disrupts their reading and interrupts the user experience– it’s an enhancement, or rather an invitation to further enhance the value they will be getting from that blog post.
So why aren’t you doing it?
What You Need to Do
This is the exact process I went through to find my top blog post. Follow these steps to find yours.
Set a long date range
Go through your Google Analytics (or whatever analytics platform you use) and set a date range for the last 6 months.
Find Your Highest Traffic Drivers
Now you want to find which content has gotten the most traffic in that time span you’ve just set. You can do this by navigating to:
Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages
Once there, go to the Show rows selector and set it to show at least 50 rows. You might have some pages show up that are not what you’re looking for, so that’s why you’ll want to see more rows than necessary.
Identify the Top Performers
Identify your top 10 blog posts (I did top 20) by the highest number of sessions (or page views).
Optimize for Sign-ups
Now go make sure you have a contextual call-to-action and an email opt-in within the first 3 paragraphs of each of those top performing posts.
Some questions you might ask yourself to spark ideas:
- Is there more I can add to this that isn’t already covered?
- Is there a “cheat sheet” I can create for this?
- Will I be updating this in the future when new information is available?
- Will I be writing more posts like this in the future that a reader would potentially be interested in?
Find those evergreen enhancing opportunities and capitalize by making sure that the reader knows that this post isn’t the end of the road. Show them that if they want more, there is an easy way to get it– by signing up for your email list!
One Last Thing
Blogging, digital marketing, content marketing, and marketing in general is no longer about interrupting the experience but enhancing the experience.
Don’t just offer the same old “Subscribe and I’ll give you my ebook” tactic. Sure, it might work for a little while, but you’re cultivating a list of people with potentially shallow and short-lived motivation.
Build with the intent of long-term value and you’ll cultivate long-term subscribers.