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16 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Get More Email Subscribers in Less than 5 Minutes

Businesses, bloggers, and entrepreneurs live and die by their email subscribers.

“The money,” as it’s often said, “is in the list.”

That’s why there are so many great articles out there offering strategies for getting more leads and boosting conversion rates.

But what if you’re short on time? What if you’re not technologically savvy?

Since most list-building strategies are geared towards advanced users with seemingly infinite amounts of time on their hands, your Average Joe and Jane is often left out in the cold.

Not this time.

This article is for those sleep-deprived bloggers with day jobs. It’s for the mothers juggling twenty things at once. It’s for the hopeful entrepreneur who is not quite ready for A/B testing, search engine optimization, and other gobbledygook.

It’s for anyone who needs easy list-building strategies that can be implemented in less than 5 minutes.

Ready? Let’s get started…

1. Add Opt-in Link to Your Email Signature

In a given day, how many emails do you send? Ten? Twenty? More?

If you’re like most people, the answer is: “A lot. I send lots and lots of emails.”

What if I told you each of those emails you send is an opportunity – either an opportunity lost or an opportunity gained?

By placing a hyperlinked CTA (call to action) in your email signature, you have the ability to turn every recipient into a subscriber.

Here’s How You Do It

Each email provider is slightly different, but for Gmail go to Settings > General. Scroll down and you’ll find the Signature section:

Customize your signature to turn each email into a lead-generating opportunity

The link in your signature could point to a landing page, your homepage (assuming it’s optimized), or an article with a particularly-appealing opt-in bribe.

And speaking of opt-in bribes…

2. Use PrintFriendly.com to Turn Popular Posts into Lead Magnets

Lead Magnet

It has many names.

Lead magnets, giveaways, content upgrades, ethical bribes…

Whatever you call it, it’s mighty effective at compelling readers to subscribe to your email list:

“Want this neat bonus? It’s free! I just need your email address…”

The problem? Creating lead magnets can be tricky.

What if you don’t have time to write an eBook or create a PDF checklist? What if producing an email or video series is more than you can do right now? What if creating dazzling infographics is beyond your current skill set?

If this describes you, it doesn’t mean you are resigned to a fate of sitting on the sidelines while everyone else gains more email subscribers.

Not if you have 30 seconds to spare.

That’s all the time it takes to convert one of your popular articles into a handy, easy-to-print, PDF file.

Here’s How You Do It

Go to Print Friendly and enter the URL of the article you’d like to convert. Click the “PDF” button. Click “Download.”

That’s it.

Pretty easy, right? Almost as easy as…

3. Linking to a Landing Page in Your Twitter Bio

Right now, what information is in your Twitter bio?

Your occupation? A personal quote that holds special meaning to you? Perhaps a hashtag or two or ten?

Why don’t you use that precious real estate to promote your email list?

That’s how Brent Jones uses his Twitter bio:

Your Twitter bio is one more place you can promote your landing pages

Simple, effective, and takes minutes to implement.

Here’s How You Do It

While logged into your Twitter account, click the “Edit profile” button on the right-hand side of your profile page. You’ll then be able to change your name, profile and header photos, bio, and more:

Updating your Twitter bio to include a link to your landing page is easy

Once you’ve added a link to your bio, click “Save changes” and admire your handiwork.

But don’t sign out of Twitter just yet…

4. Pin a Tweet to Your Landing Page or Email Magnet

Your pinned tweet is special.

It’s high profile. It’s the first tweet people see when they visit your Twitter page. Leave it pinned long enough, and it’ll earn more favorites, retweets, and replies than all your other tweets combined.

That makes it an excellent method for acquiring email subscribers.

What kind of tweet should you pin? Well, you have several options…

Yaro Starak of Entrepreneurs Journey pins popular articles that are optimized for conversions:

pinned-tweet-1

Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard tends to pin tweets for posts featuring content upgrades:

pinned-tweet-2

Yours truly prefers the direct approach:

pinned-tweet-3

Whichever tweet you choose to pin, just make sure it links to something with the potential to bring in more email subscribers.

Here’s How You Do It

Select the tweet you would like to feature. If the tweet doesn’t yet exist, go ahead and create it.

Underneath the tweet, on the right-hand side, there is an ellipses (three small dots). This is the “More” button.

Click it and select “Pin to your profile page.”

That’s it.

Now let’s head over to Facebook and do the same thing…

5. Pin a Post to Your Facebook Page

Everything that applied to a pinned tweet applies to a pinned Facebook post. Because of its high visibility, a pinned Facebook post is going to earn more likes, more comments, and – most importantly – more clicks than a typical Facebook post.

And if the pinned Facebook post is pointing to an optimized article or landing page, those extra clicks could result in more email subscribers on your mailing list.

Here’s How You Do It

Pinning a Facebook post is an effective method for promoting optimized articles or landing pages

Select (or create and publish) the post you would like to pin.

In the top-right corner, you will see a downward-facing arrow. Click the arrow and select “Pin to Top.”

Done.

While you’re signed into Facebook, let’s look at the handy “call to action” feature…

6. Add “Sign Up” Button to Facebook Page

In December 2014, Facebook debuted a new feature designed to help businesses meet their goals.

It’s the call-to-action button, and with it you can place a highly-visible link pointing to any destination on or off Facebook. The only shortcoming is the limited number of button options:

  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Use App
  • Play Game
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch Video

Of course, you only need one button option if it’s the right button option. “Sign Up” meets our needs perfectly.

Here’s How You Do It

On your Facebook Page, click the “Create Call to Action” button:

Utilize Facebook's CTA feature to gain more subscribers

Next, select the button you want to display.

Choose “Sign Up” if you’re pointing users to a basic landing page. If you want to direct readers to a video page that’s customized for opt-ins, “Watch Video” is a better choice.

Once you’ve selected your button, enter the URL to your landing page:

Enter your URL and select a button to utilize Facebook's CTA feature

Click “Save Changes.”

Congrats! Your Facebook page is now proudly displaying a CTA button designed to lead subscribers to your opt-in page.

In just a few minutes, you’ve managed to optimize your Twitter and Facebook accounts for easy opt-ins. However, that doesn’t mean you’re finished with social media…

7. Be More Social

Chances are you already spend several hours each week on various social media platforms.

That’s good – in their latest Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Social Media Examiner noted how a majority of marketers increase leads when they use social media for 6+ hours each week.

Social Media Examiner’s 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report notes the benefits of social media for lead generation

Ah, but there’s a catch.

How you are using those 6+ hours each week matters.

Sharing videos of kittens and puppies won’t help you unless your business is related to kittens and puppies. Publishing photos of food won’t help you unless you’re a chef or restaurant owner. Live tweeting a Kardashian TV show won’t help you unless… well, it’ll probably never help you.

To see the lead-generating benefits of social media, you need to be purposeful with those 6+ hours.

Here’s How You Do It

Be helpful. Answer questions. Share worthwhile content. Reach out to people. Make connections.

If people find you indispensable on social media, they’re going to want more of you.

More helpful advice. More answers to their questions. More worthwhile content.

And where will they go to get “more”?

Your email list.

8. Try a Different Color

What color is your opt-in button?

If you answered “I don’t know” or “what does it matter?” you’re potentially missing out on an easy way to increase opt-ins.

Did you know 85% of shoppers say color is a primary reason for why they buy a certain product?

Did you know the color blue creates a sensation of trust? Red a sense of urgency? Green a sense of relaxation?

By knowing how people perceive different colors and using this knowledge to your advantage, you can increase the likelihood someone will want to join your email list.

Split-Test-CTA

Here’s How You Do It

There are many lead-generation tools out there and each have different instructions for changing colors, copy, borders, etc.

So what color should you use?

HubSpot’s Performable has found red to be a highly-effective color for CTA buttons. Unbounce has long been a fan of orange. OptinMonster has used a green button to grow its list of over 30,000 subscribers.

However, what will work for you depends on your situation. All the psychology in the world won’t matter if your CTA color blends into the background, so be sure to choose a color that stands out from the rest of your blog or website.

And while we’re on the subject of buttons…

9. Change Button Copy

Do you use generic copy such as “Subscribe” or “Sign Up” for your opt-in buttons? If so, I have bad news for you:

According to conversion consultant Jeremy Smith, it’s your CTA button’s copy – not its color or positioning – that matters most.

If you’ve never given your button’s copy a passing thought, it’s time to remedy the situation.

Here’s How You Do It

Provide value and relevance, but be sure not to exaggerate.

Keep it simple, but don’t be boring. According to Jeremy, it’s okay to use two sentences so long as they are short.

One particularly-effective strategy is to personalize your opt-in button.

Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers suggests writing button copy in the first person. By personalizing the words, they become more appealing to the reader.

Let’s look at a few examples.

Which sounds better?

cta-copy-1

Which wording can you relate to?

cta-copy-2

Which button would you rather click?

cta-copy-3

The differences are subtle, but during her testing Joanne found first-person pronouns (“I” and “my”) beat the competition by a whopping 24%.

Sometimes, “subtle” can be huge.

And speaking of huge…

10. Add Exit-Intent Popup

Hey, did you know that over 70% of the people who leave your website will never return?

Did you know you can convert many of these abandoning users into email subscribers with one simple trick?

It’s called Exit-Intent Technology. It detects user behavior and prompts them with an opt-in form when they’re about to leave.

11. Prominently Display Testimonials

 

People won’t give their hard-earned money or email address to simply anyone. They want to know you’re on the up and up.

Offering testimonials helps build trust, and more trust means more email subscribers.

Here’s How You Do It

Go find a great endorsement you’ve received.

Look at the reviews people have given you. Browse through your comments and emails. Search for mentions on social media.

Be A Better Blogger found its featured testimonial when the great Amy Harrison tweeted the following:

Complimentary tweets can be turned into great user testimonials

Adding testimonials from trusted sources is a great way to increase opt-ins

That opt-in form? It’s currently sporting an awesome 26.09% conversion rate.

Of course, all the awesome testimonials in the world won’t help you if readers can’t see them…

12. Remove Distractions

How many widgets do you have in your website’s sidebar?

How many different calls to action are at the end of your articles?

How many choices are your visitors given?

If you’re inundating your readers with options, how can they be expected to take the one action you want them to take?

Want more email subscribers? You need to cut down on the clutter.

Here’s How You Do It

The following screenshot from Henneke Duistermaat is a perfect example of a landing page that focuses on what’s important: getting that email address.

The fewer distractions, the more likely visitors are to opt-in to your mailing list

Per Henneke, this landing page has converted as high as 59.6 percent.

It’s easy to see why. Every aspect – from the headline to the testimonial – is designed to increase conversions. There are no social media icons, advertisements, or anything else to distract readers from the task at hand.

What lessons can we learn from Henneke’s landing page?

We should remove distractions. We shouldn’t prioritize our social media icons. We should move the “search” option (which few people ever use) to the footer. We should stick to one CTA for each article.

We should get rid of anything that doesn’t help us earn more email subscribers.

And while we’re removing unnecessary items…

13. Stop Asking For Too Much Information

On your opt-in forms, do you ask for “name” in addition to “email address”?

If so, let me ask you a question…

Do you need it? Do you do anything with that information?

If the answer is “no”, you need to stop asking people to provide it. A/B test after A/B test confirms the more information you ask from readers, the less likely they are to opt-in.

The more info requested on opt-in forms, the fewer sign ups you'll receive

Here’s How You Do It

Stick to the bare essentials. Only ask for the information you need.

Don’t need names? Don’t ask for them. Have no use for phone numbers? Don’t ask people to input them.

Just keep it simple.

The less data you request, the more email subscribers you’ll earn.

And speaking of simple…

14. Add “Subscribe” Check Box, AND
15. Add “Thanks for Commenting” Redirect

If you’re a WordPress user, there are two plugins that can boost opt-ins with little-to-no upkeep. Just ensure the plugins stay up to date (you will be notified when there are updates available in your WordPress dashboard), and you’re good to go.

The first is the AWeber Web Form Widget. Available only to AWeber users, the plugin places a “subscribe” check box in the comments section of articles:

AWeber's plugin for WordPress makes it easy to opt-in while leaving comments

With one simple click, readers can opt-in to your mailing list while submitting a comment. It makes subscribing very easy, and readers tend to like easy.

The second plugin is Yoast Comment Hacks.

When someone leaves you a comment for the very first time, this plugin redirects them to a “thank you” page. Ramsay Taplin of Blog Tyrant uses this page to encourage subscriptions:

By utilizing Yoast's comment redirect plugin, Blog Tyrant thanks first time comments and asks them to opt-in

If you ask readers to subscribe when they are engaged (and it’s hard to get more engaged than “leaving a comment for the first time ever”), the odds of them taking you up on your offer are pretty good.

Readers are also engaged when they’ve reached the end of your articles. That’s why it’s a good idea to…

16. Add Opt-In at End of Articles

Readers who reach the end of your article are primed.

Your headline grabbed their attention. Your introduction drew them in like moths to a flame. Your bullet points and anecdotes kept them on their edge of their seats.

Of the millions of articles they could have read, they read yours. And they read until the very end.

They like you. They really, really like you.

That’s why the end of your article is the perfect time to ask them to join your mailing list.

Here’s How You Do It

Adding a call to action in your author bio and the end of each article is a great way to strike while the iron is hot. Here’s how Jeff Goins does it:

Add CTA to your author bio to increase opt-ins

But what if your blog’s theme lacks an author bio section? What if your website has numerous authors?

Pamela Wilson’s Big Brand System uses an after-content widget with enticing copy to compel her most-engaged readers to subscribe.

Each article, regardless of the author, shares this common CTA:

Add CTA at the end of every article to increase opt-ins

Readers who make it to the end of your articles are focused. They’re engaged and looking for direction.

Give them direction. Direct them to your email list.

It’s Time To Get More Email Subscribers

You realize they’re yours for the taking, right?

Your ideal customer? Those readers who will hang on your every word? The people who will advocate for you and preach your virtues to their friends?

They’re all out there… ready to join your email list.

You just need to make it as easy for them to do so as possible.