10 Ways to Get More Email Subscribers and Build a Powerful List

Hands down, one of the best things you can do to grow your platform, business, or organization is to put a heavy emphasis on building your email list.

It doesn’t matter if you are an author, professional speaker, entrepreneur, traditional business, church or nonprofit… building your list is a must. Well, it’s a must IF you want to amplify your impact exponentially.

“But Daniel, isn’t email kind of old school? I mean, we’re on social media now. Tweet tweet.”

If you have a thought anywhere remotely close to that above, stop for a minute and go read this: 10 Reasons Why Email Marketing Still Trumps Everything Else (Yes, Even Social Media)

Now that we’ve covered the benefits…

Here are a few ways to get more email subscribers and build a powerful list. I’ll start with a few of the common ways and then share a few unique ways that perhaps you haven’t considered.

Note: It doesn’t really matter which email service provider you use. Mailchimp, Aweber, and Constant Contact are great for most people. For those with more robust needs, check out Infusionsoft.

1. Add Email Signup to Your Website Above the Fold – I highly recommend having an email signup box on the top of your site (header) or in the sidebar above the fold. What does “above the fold” mean? It means that the email optin box is visible on the screen without scrolling down when someone lands on your site. You can also add a popup overlay of some kind. Some people have mixed feelings about them but the stats don’t lie, they work extremely well. I suggest Optin Monster for that.

2. If You Blog, Add a Signup Box to the Bottom of Every Post – In addition to a header or sidebar optin box, if you are a blogger you should also have a sign up box at the bottom of EVERY blog post. You can have this coded into your theme by a designer fairly inexpensively or insert signup box code into your WordPress blog using a simple plugin like ADD TO POST . You can also use services such as OptinSkin which has pre-designed options that are easy added to your posts. See an example of OptinSkin in action on Pat Flynn’s blog here (scroll to bottom of post). By the way, Pat has a great email check list here too.

3. Offer an Incentive (sometimes called a Lead Magnet) – In 1 or 2 above especially, consider offering some sort of

10 Reasons Why Email Marketing Still Trumps Everything Else (Yes, Even Social Media)

Back when social media started getting really hot there were a lot of people who were quick to predict the demise of email marketing. It was like that famous line from Henny Penny (aka Chicken Little), “The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!” but instead they were saying “Email is dead! Email is dead!”

They were wrong.

Email marketing is just as much alive today as it ever has been. Sure, like all marketing, there are hurdles to overcome and right vs wrong ways to do it but I believe email marketing trumps every form of online marketing in terms of generating the type of response, action and engagement that really matters.

By the way, I’ve been involved in marketing (online and offline) and platform building for over 15 years. I’ve worked with all types of clients, some who had almost no budget and others where I managed multi-million dollar budgets. I’ve built targeted email lists of hundreds of thousands of subscribers, I’ve helped create and grow dozens of successful brands, I’ve taken social media platforms from zero to almost a half-million followers, and much more. The point is this, the advice I’m giving here is not random. What I’m sharing is based on being on the front lines, seeing what works and what doesn’t.

This post isn’t to bash social media either. Quite the contrary. I love social media but only as a PART of an integrated marketing mix, not an end-all solution that many seem to think or have been misled to believe that it is. Same goes for email marketing actually… or running ads… or direct mail… or any other component of a marketing mix. Rarely is one solution THE solution. In most cases you utilize different solutions to reach different people in different ways. It’s all part of a collective effort that, to be effective, you must leverage to generate the best results for your particular goals.

So how does email still trump everything else?

I’m glad you asked. Here are 10 reasons why:

1. You Own the List – One of the greatest assets you can have is your list (list of customers, prospects, clients, members, etc). When you own this list you have direct access to communicate with them whenever you want. The list is yours and having it helps you build and grow residually and exponentially. If you choose to move from one email list provider (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Aweber, etc.) to another, you can take your list with you anywhere. Not the same for 3rd party platforms like Facebook and Twitter, at least not easily. If Facebook or Twitter died tomorrow or

Measuring Facebook’s Most Engaging Pages & “People Talking About This” Percentage

A few weeks ago I started to evaluate some of the Most Engaging Facebook Pages (ranked by interactions) to see what their ratio of total Fans to “People Talking About This” was. My goal was to establish what their “Talking About This” % might be so that I could use it as a guide. I’ll share what I found after analyzing the Top 20 Most Engaging Facebook Pages below but first let me set the stage with some perspective on social media and engagement.

If you are trying to build a brand, sell a product or create a following (aka Tribe) with social media, you need to understand something that is extremely important for your long-term success.

It’s NOT just about the number of fans / followers that you can accumulate!

You must have fan engagement in order to truly succeed.

There are plenty of Twitter accounts and Facebook pages with hefty follower counts but horrible engagement. You don’t want that. You want good, quality followers who interact.

Think of it like this… if you throw a party and 1000 people show up you would be pretty excited. You might even brag about it. Some might consider the fact that you got 1000 people there to be “Social Proof” that you have an audience or a platform. At first, from the outside looking in, it might appear that you’ve succeeded. But have you?

Just getting them there is only a small part of the equation. It’s what you do after they are there that really counts.

Pick up from the party idea… what happens if those 1000 people don’t engage? When they just sit around, lean up against the wall and don’t interact? The party would be pretty lame wouldn’t it? Most people would soon get bored and stop paying attention or just leave.

On the contrary if your party is happening and people are talking, finding value and having a good time… they will stay and most likely invite their friends to stop by as well.

You see, social media is like a

What’s Your Value Proposition?

When I am working with clients who have a product or service they are trying to sell, I always begin with two questions…

1. What’s your Value Proposition?
2. Is your Value Proposition clearly stated and easily understood?

The answers are critical to the long term success and sustainability of a business.

The Value Proposition is what’s in it for the potential customer… it’s the value that you are proposing they will get.

Think about it this way… What need are you fulfilling? What solution are you offering? What pain are you relieving? What are you giving them in exchange for their money and/or time, and is it worth it (to them for the exchange)? And… how can you state that in a clear, simple, succinct way that will get their attention immediately?

It plays off an understanding of the WIIFM Factor – What’s In It For Me?

But here’s one of the most important parts…

You are not your customer.

Many times our own Curse of Knowledge can get in the way of being able to see or understand what our REAL Value Proposition is or should be in relationship to who we are trying to sell too. It’s hard but necessary to step out of our own shoes and into theirs (“theirs” being our potential customers). You must remove any emotional attachment that you might have (because it’s your baby) and see it through the eyes of someone new.

As I watched this intriguing “Web Tips” video with Chris Brogan and Derek Halpern of Social Triggers, I was reminded yet again of the significance of the Value Proposition, especially when you are trying to convert online visitors into online buyers or members… but the principles hold true regardless of what action you are trying to get someone to take. Even if you are simply trying to build a following and get more blog or RSS subscribers… go watch the video and you’ll see what I mean.

Do yourself a favor and spend some time with your offerings and see if the Value Proposition is there and if it’s clear enough and compelling enough to elicit a response. One thing is for sure… if it’s not, you’ll know because you won’t be getting the return on your investment like you had hoped (but that can be turned around, IF your Value Proposition becomes your emphasis).

Thoughts? Comments?

3 Benefits of Writing Blog Posts in Advance (and Resources to Schedule Your Posts)

My goal is to post on my blog 3-4 times per week. Some weeks I nail it, other weeks I fall off the rocker. It’s not that I intend to have these highs and lows but it’s what happens when the work needs to get done and busyness takes over.

Perhaps you can relate.

Since I know that consistency is key when it comes to growing a blog readership and it’s something that I preach to my clients on a regular basis, overcoming the gaps in post frequency is of considerable need.

So, while I hope this post will share something of value to you, it’s also a reminder to me. Call it a dose of my own medicine. : )

3 Benefits of Writing Blog Posts in Advance

1. You’ll Avoid the “Hurry Up Post” – The hurry up post is what happens when you realize you haven’t blogged in a few days and you scramble to push something out quick. In most instances though, that quick post is not the best content you could have produced and doing so will impact your potential readership. Writing in advance will give you more time to nurture a thought (because you can save it as a draft and come back to it to work on it as you have time and as your thoughts connect).

2. You Can Get Ahead – It’s tough sometimes to write in advance because, well… you’re busy. But if you can get a few posts knocked out ahead of time and keep the cycle moving, you will give yourself a buffer for those days that you either have no margin to spare or when you run up on that occasional writers block with little or no inspiration to write.

3. You Can “Set it and Forget it” – Once you have posts pre-written, you can schedule them to post in the future. This way, you don’t have to be tied down to posting when you are busy doing the other work that you need to be doing. See the scheduling resources below.

Almost all blog platforms enable you the ability to schedule posts. In WordPress it’s quite easy. Here’s an article with instructions how.

Another great resource for scheduling your posts is to use an editorial calendar so you, at a glance, can see what is scheduled. Chris Brogan has an insightful word on that here with a suggested plugin to help you do the trick.

At the core, content… frequency and consistency is what will help your blog grow. Writing posts in advance and scheduling them is just one way to help yourself succeed.

It may be common practice to some and common sense to others but sometimes implementing the most obvious things is what gets overlooked.

Increase Facebook Interactions and Engagement with this Simple Tool

The key to success on Facebook, and in any form of social media or marketing for that matter, is engagement. For it to work the best that it can you must figure out how to interact and keep your followers attention.

One simple and great way to do that on Facebook is with the new Facebook QUESTION feature.

Facebook released it recently after nearly a year of beta testing. The new version of Questions takes the focus off public inquiries (a service already dominated by Q&A sites like Quora) and instead focuses on soliciting recommendations from friends. You can read more about its release and a few details around it here.

Here’s how to use it:

1. Look at the STATUS update area and you’ll see QUESTION. Click it.

Facebook Questions Tool Feature

2. Once you click it, it will expand and you will have the option to post a simple question or you can post a multi question poll. Personally I think the poll function is a great option to use but either one work.

Facebook Poll

Facebook Questions Poll

3. Pose an engaging question that you think more of your readers will interact with, press the ASK QUESTION button and you’re done (sample below was a quick test via my personal FB page, 3 people responded instantly).

Ask a Question

Like I said, it’s simple but it’s a great way to increase interactions and engagement on Facebook (especially for those who have Facebook Pages, where engagement is like gold).

Note: How the QUESTION feature shows up on a PAGE news feed versus a PROFILE is a bit different (from what I can tell). On a PROFILE it shows the question / poll expanded as I have shown above. On a PAGE it just lists a link to the question. Hopefully Facebook enables PAGES to show the expanded view as well as I think that would make it more interactive on PAGES. Good post on it here and another one from Hyperarts here. Here’s a screen shot of how it’s showing up on a PAGE.

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