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It is almost essential to grow your email list for your blog or business if you want to create an online income or a profitable blog.
Email lists have changed over the past few years of blogging. You can’t just send out emails with your blog posts anymore. People want more than that.
They want to know that you have something to offer if they click on your email.
Otherwise, your emails go unread or result in unsubscribes.
If you want to grow your email list with engaged subscribers, here are 5 must-haves.
An opt-in is almost essential in today’s blogging world. Most people don’t just want to be notified of your latest post. They want a reason why you’re showing up in their inbox.
I started with a free resource library. I added freebies like worksheets, ebooks and printables for my subscribers. And I added new ones frequently.
It’s important not just to have one opt-in but many opportunities and continual opportunities for your subscribers to get valuable resources.
After a while, I added my newsletter as an opt-in (more on this later). This wasn’t just an email with the first few paragraphs of my post like it had been in the beginning. It had value and a reason to subscribe.
Whatever you decide to use as an opt-in, be sure that it relates to what your audience is looking for and that it delivers value.
Ask for their email address and first name if you need to. And be sure to follow up with a welcome email. This leads me to the second must-have to grow your email list.
2. Your Welcome Email
A welcome email will set the tone and expectation for your new subscribers. You don’t just want subscribers who take your freebie and unsubscribe, right?!
I didn’t pay much thought to that in the beginning. But so often, I’d get subscribers who would download their freebie and unsubscribe with the next email.
I get it and I’ve done it before, but that’s not what you want in building your email list. You want an engaged list of subscribers who are interested in what you have to say.
That is why the welcome email is so important. They’ve got their freebie, now what?!
Let them know who you are and why you do what you do. Let them know what they will get from being a subscriber.
My subscribers loved when I added a short video letting them know these things about my site, Courage. Hope. Love.
Eventually, I transformed my welcome email into a series of 3 emails, each packed with engaging content and value.
I strongly recommend a welcome email. It helps your subscribers get to know you and it builds the trust that is needed in order to turn your blog into a business.
I use and love Convertkit for my email marketing - opt ins, sequences, forms and more. Get a free trial for Convertkit by clicking here.
3. A Different Kind of Newsletter
When I started out blogging, RSS feeds were popular. You could set up the feed so that it would send your subscribers either a preview or the entire post whenever you added new content to your site. Some of my subscribers loved this and clicked on each post.
But as time went on, my list growth plateaued and I realized that not too many subscribers were engaging with my content. Chances were, these emails were sitting unread in their promotions folder of their inbox.
Eventually, I became discouraged and gave up on my newsletter all together. Every now and then, I’d send an email of updates, new posts and resources or products that I had available. But this sporadic form of emailing was confusing and I had a high rate of unsubscribers.
I knew it would take work, but I needed to come up with a way to keep my subscribers engaged so that when I had a product to sell or an affiliate to share, they would engage with those too.
That was when I began my email devotional for my site. I called it Monday Motivation and promoted it as a way to start your week with courage, hope and love (very fitting for my site 😉 ).
I filled each weeks newsletter with a heartfelt and encouraging devotion and ended it with my newest posts and a link to the resource library. This allowed for me to share any updates, new resources or changes on my blog, but it was also a consistent way to keep my subscriber list warm and engaged.
And people loved it. Every week I get replies with questions, comments or struggles that my audience has.
Changing my newsletter to a valuable piece of content for my subscribers each week radically transformed my subscriber list and their engagement.
For this blog, I’ve created the Tuesday Growth Tip newsletter. Each week I send out content that will help you to grow both your blog and online business and your personal motivation and productivity.
By the way, you can subscribe to that here: Tuesday Growth Tip
4. Engagement Opportunities
It is important to create engagement opportunities for your subscribers in EVERY email.
If you don’t they will simply read and move on. But you want an email list that is engaged and ready to take action. So get them used to taking action.
You can do this by including links within your newsletter content, images of your latest posts at the bottom, reminders about free resources that relate to what your subscribers need, and call to actions throughout.
Don’t overdo these opportunities and overwhelm your subscribers, but be sure to include them so that your subscribers have a chance to engage with your content.
The biggest thing you need to ask yourself with every step of growing your email list is, “How am I creating value for my subscribers?”
You need to be giving far more value than what you are taking from your subscribers.
I’ve had subscribers say to me that they stuck through the promotional emails because they loved my content, even when they had no interest in the product I was promoting.
When you have subscribers who love the value you offer, they will be more willing to read your promotional emails, trust your products, and engage with your content.
These are some of the most important things I have found in growing an email list that is engaged.