If I were starting my business over again from scratch (or if I start any future businesses), the first thing I would do is start growing an email list. I believe that growing an email list is THAT important.
The most common setback I see people have with list building is that they are too shy about offering their lead magnet. They create their lead magnet, maybe put it up on their website on the home page, post it once on social media… and then wait for the magic to happen. (And it doesn’t.)
The reality is, we are marketing in a cluttered, noisy online world, and our audiences are forced to filter out many messages each day so the most relevant content rises to the top.
We assume that someone will sign-up for the lead magnet the first time they see an offer. Not true!
Quick activity: think about the last lead magnet you opted-in for, and try to remember how many times you may have seen that Facebook ad in your feed before you finally signed-up for it. Or, the next time you sign up for something, think about how many impressions it took before you finally took the offer! I will bet it was quite a few.
If you are serious about growing your email list, you have to make it a mini obsession. Just because you are tired of talking about it, doesn’t mean that everyone else has heard about it! 🙂 You may feel like a broken record, but trust me, your audience will hardly notice!
Your Website Has One Job
I say this a lot, but it is worth repeating here: every piece of marketing content you create has ONE JOB.
Your Instagram image should make someone stop scrolling.
The first line of your caption should make them click that “more” link to read the rest of your words. Your caption should drive them toward some call to action.
Your website’s job is to CONVERT traffic into leads and customers. (Consider reading this awesome article about how to use Google Analytics to tell if your website is converting.)
In order to create a high-converting website, you need to provide visitors with multiple opportunities to sign-up for your lead magnet.
List Building Action Plan
From this point on, all roads must lead back to your lead magnet. Every blog post, social media post, speaking engagement, (insert customer touch point) should be used as an opportunity to build your list.
Your ideal customer is consuming your content (blog posts, podcast episodes, live streams, videos, social media posts, etc.) and subconsciously asking themselves, “what next?”
The obvious answer should be to go download that thing that you are promoting everywhere (your lead magnet.)
Here are my favorite ways to do that.
Promote Your Lead Magnet on your Website
- Make it the main call to action (CTA) on your website.
Tell people exactly how you help them and make your lead magnet offer on your home page. Check out this example from Tailwind. They have a strong CTA of signing up for their Instagram and Pinterest scheduling service by logging in with your account. They tell you there is no credit card required. In this case, their lead magnet is a free trial.
2. Add a hello bar across the top of your site, or permanent footer to each page that promotes your lead magnet.
Check out this example from Natalie McGuire Design. In this case, she is actually sending people to a sales page, but I like how she asks a thought-provoking question that you feel compelled to find the answer to.
3. Put an opt-in box within your blog posts or at the end.
In the case of my website, every blog post promotes this Instagram Strategy Guide at the end. A lot of my traffic comes from search engines or social media, and people may never see my home page, so this ensures that they see it.
4. Put it on your bio or about page.
This is often a high-traffic page for most blogs. After someone reads one of your articles for the first time, they are interested in learning more about the author. It’s a great opportunity to offer them your core lead magnet again. This example is from Amy Porterfield’s About page.
5. Get them on your email list from your Get Started page.
Not everyone has one of these, but I love the Get Started page for many reasons. It gives you a place to showcase your very best stuff right away. In addition to putting your best blog posts front and center, it’s also another good opportunity to offer your lead magnet. This example is from Ashlyn Writes.
6. Add an exit pop-up or a splash page.
This example is from Optin Monster. When you make a move to close their website, a pop-up appears to offer you their lead magnet one more time.
Promote Your Lead Magnet Through Social Media
7. Make it the cover photo on your social media page.
This example is from Hope Botanicals. They have their offer of joining their email list for 15% off your first order as their Facebook cover image. When you click on the cover image, the link to join is in the image description.
8. Set it as the link in your Instagram bio.
Everyone that visits my Instagram bio is directed to download my Instagram Strategy Guide.
9. Regularly post about it on social media.
For myself (and my clients), I make it a habit to post about the lead magnet at least once per month across all social media channels.
10. Pin it to Pinterest.
Yes! You can pin directly to your lead magnet landing page. You don’t always have to pin a blog post. One important note here is that if you might want to promote this pin in the future (make an ad out of it), be clear on the pin that action is required to receive the lead magnet. I.e. they must sign up to get your guide, etc. This example is from Moms Make Sense.
11. Add it to your IGTV or YouTube video descriptions.
Folks may find you first through video, so send them back to your website by offering them your lead magnet. This example is from Sarah Beth Yoga.
12. Run Social Ads on Facebook and Instagram.
This is one of the quickest ways to grow your email list! In fact, I put on a Rapid List Building Workshop ALLLLL about this. You can learn more about it here. One way to really make this work for you is by re-targeting your website visitors using the Facebook pixel. They’ve visited your website and left without grabbing your freebie. You can offer it to them again and get opt-ins via ads for a very low cost. Here is an example from Allie Bjerk.
Promote Your Lead Magnet at Events
13. Offer it at the end of podcast interviews.
Most great podcast hosts will make sure you have a moment to plug your freebie (or they’ll even do it for you and link it in their show notes!) You’ve had 30 or 60 minutes to wow their audience, make sure they follow you for more greatness!
14. Plug it during your live streams.
You have an engaged audience on your live streams. They are soaking up your educational tidbits. Don’t forget to offer them more!
15. Don’t forget your speaking gigs!
If you speak at conferences or put on in-person workshops, offer your lead magnet! Everywhere you go you want to be growing that list.
So there you have 15 simple ways to grow your email list. I say the more, the better! Which ones will you knock out this week?
For more on list building:
- 3 Steps to Get Started With Email Marketing
- How to Create Lead Magnets that Cut Through the Clutter
- Rapid List Building Workshop (Paid)
Molly Marshall teaches small business owners and online entrepreneurs how to systematically and simply grow a profitable online presence through social media. Get your FREE Instagram Strategy Guide now!