10 Tips for Using a Blog to Increase Email List Signups

increase email list

Email marketing is still one of the most powerful online marketing strategies around. With a healthy and growing subscriber list, you can generate more leads and net more sales through every mailing.

Once you know the right timing and have a good content strategy for your mailing list, you should concentrate on how to increase email list signups. The tips below will help you do this right from your small business blog, and keep your subscriber base expanding.

How to Increase Email List Signups

1. Use a Feature Box

If you don’t already have one, a Feature Box on your blog can give you a significant increase in subscribers. The Feature Box is the area between your header and your content – if you’re running your blog on WordPress, there are some templates, such as Thesis and BlackBird, that have customizable feature boxes built right in.

You can also build a Feature Box in WordPress with widgets.

2. Offer a Freebie with Signup

Most people enjoy getting something for nothing. If you have an eBook, whitepaper or special report that’s associated with your business, you can give it away free to anyone who signs up for your email list.

One great way to increase email list signups with this tactic is to offer your free eBook or other bonus right in your Feature Box.

3. Provide Subscribers with Exclusive Content

If you’re fresh out of eBooks to give away, or your business doesn’t really lend itself to long-form content, you can entice more subscribers by offering them exclusive content that isn’t published to general visitors.

This might be a regular newsletter, video content or something as simple as read-it-first links, where you send subscribers’ private links to new blog posts before you make them public.

4. Use Plugins to Generate Leads

For small business blogs running on the WordPress platform, there are several plugins that will help you increase email list signups with professional opt-in boxes and forms.

The Magic Action Box plugin lets you create a Feature Box or other opt-in forms that are customized to your brand. There’s also the Bueno Gato Free Popup Creator plugin, which does just what the name implies.

5. Call Attention with an Unobtrusive Popup

Many people are using lightbox-style popups that gray out the rest of the page – which can work, but can also really annoy your visitors unless they’re done well.

Luckily, there’s a more unique way to attract subscribers with popups. The free Hello Bar is a narrow strip that “pops up” along the top edge of your blog. You can customize this to either direct visitors to your signup page, or have them enter their email address directly in the bar.

6. Provide More Chances for People to Sign Up

While you don’t want to go crazy with opt-in boxes, you should have at least one place on every page of your blog where people can subscribe to your email list. Place signup boxes at the top of the page (use a Feature Box for best effect), in the sidebar and at the end of every post.

With the individual post opt-in boxes, you can include a brief call to action. For example: “Enjoy this post? Enter your email address to sign up for our list, and get notified whenever we post fresh content.”

7. Split Test Your Wording Choices

If you’re not getting many email list signups, changing the wording on your calls to action can help. Try performing A/B testing on different wording, such as “Get Email Updates,” “Subscribe Today,” or even “Download Now!” if you’re offering a freebie for subscribers.

Then stick with the wording that performs the best.

8. Get Social for Greater Visibility

Social sharing is a great way to attract more visitors and increase email list signups. To boost your social media circulation, be sure to include social sharing buttons somewhere in your page template, and at the end of every blog post.

9. Switch to a Full RSS Feed

People who are subscribed to your blog receive email notifications whenever you post new content. Some marketers insist that using partial RSS feeds, which send only snippets of your posts to subscribers and require them to click through for the rest, are better because they increase traffic to your blog.

However, partial RSS feeds can serve to annoy subscribers, and they may not bother clicking through. If you allow full RSS feeds, you’ll not only get your content read more often, but you’ll also be emailing the opt-in form at the end of your posts to all of your RSS subscribers.

10. Practice Good SEO to Get More Visitors

The more people who find their way to your blog, the more potential email list signups you have. So, one of the best ways to increase email list signups is to make sure your blog is optimized for search engines, and therefore bringing you more traffic.

Newsletter Photo via Shutterstock

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Megan Totka Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for Chamber of Commerce. Chamber specializes in helping SMB's grow their business on the Web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. Megan specializes in reporting the latest business news, helpful tips and reliable resources and provides advice through her column on the Chamber blog.

16 Reactions
  1. As long as you have some good content, then people would not hesitate to sign up. And if your market needs some extra convincing, you can always give out a freebie in exchange for a signup. I just don’t know if it works as much as it used to.

    • Great point, Aira! I agree that quality content is the foundation of any successful blog. Periodic incentives can be effective, too.

  2. Great post!
    I”ll try using Thesis and BlackBird

  3. John @ lead nurturing

    Thanks for the help. Would a form building plugin work just as well as these suggestions for a wordpress site?

  4. Megan,

    Thanks for the useful tips!

    I’ve done #6 and the results are awesome. I use a sticky sidebar widget for WordPress – Q2W3 Fixed Widget – so that when readers scroll down, the sidebar always has this signup form always displayed on the sidebar 🙂

    I do have some worries on #9: I used to use full RSS feed, but my content has got stolen by many “creative” website owners who auto-grab my feed and auto-post them in their blog – without attribution or permission. With partial RSS feed, I mostly get attribution link – so…

    • Great points, Ivan. Sorry to hear you’ve had problems with content theft, but glad you found a workaround with the partial feed. Best of luck to you!

  5. Great list for your email list! Do you have a favorite mailing list service?

    • Hi, Martin! I’ve had good results with MailChimp and Constant Contact. I also have contacts who like Jango Mail and InfusionSoft.

  6. Hi , thanks for this useful article , but let me add another email list sign up plugin – http://wordpress.org/plugins/form-maker .