How To Build An Email List

One of the most common questions I get is how to build an email list or how to get more email subscribers. I do this a few different ways.

Choose an Email Newsletter/Autoresponder Service

Of course, before you can do anything you need to choose an email service to add subscribers too. I use AWeber, and while there are many other competitors out there, AWeber is my favorite due to ease of use and functionality for internet marketers.

1) & 2) Permanent opt-in forms

1) I have one opt-in subscription form at the top of every page. It’s large, you can’t missed it at the top of every page. This form has different backgrounds that randomly show so it looks different each time the page loads.

2) I have a simple form at the bottom on every single blog post page. The position and color of this doesn’t change, it’s a small form for convenience. Click the image below for a larger view.

3) Pop-up form

I use a plugin called Pippity to control my “nice” pop-up forms on the site. At the moment I have three variations that I am testing with different designs. They pop up after a certain amount of time on the site and when closed do not reappear for 8 days even if the visitor returns. I do this to reduce the annoyance of the pop-ups to regular visitors. There is another popular plugin called Popup Domination, but I prefer Pippity because of it’s ease of use and analytics capabilities.

For example I can tell which forms are used the most by new subscribers, how long the pop-ups are displayed for before being closed and make variations of the same design to test timing options.

4) Contact form

Another plugin that is brilliant is Gravity Forms. I use this for my Contact page, where it asks a series of questions to the visitor, with the final one being whether they would like to subscribe to my newsletter or not. It uses the AWeber form add-on to add any person automatically to my newsletter who selects they would like to be added to my list.

My opt-in rate for people who contact me (I get a lot per day!) is over 80%, so if you have a lot of people emailing you for support or asking you questions, Gravity Forms can be a great way to add relevant subscribers.

5) Subscribe Page

This subscribe page is for search engine visitors, searchers on my own site or if I need to provide a direct link via email to someone.

6) Paypal integration

AWeber has a great “app” that allows you to add anyone who pays you via Paypal to your email list. So whenever anyone buys one of my services, such as my Complete Blog Setup, they are asked via email if they want to subscribe to my newsletter.

Summary

There are multiple areas of opportunity and “touch points” with readers and clients that you can use to offer your email subscription list. However, as I’ve talked about before (How Much Does An Email Subscriber Cost You?), it’s what you do once you have them that is very important, as an email list, and the methods used to gather subscribers, cost money.

There are a couple of ways I can name now that I don’t use, but what are the ways you use to gain email subscribers?

The tools I use to build my email list are:
a) AWeber
b) Pippity
c) Gravity Forms

Premium Series: Pippity Popup Plugin Review

In my Premium Series I’m taking a look at Premium WordPress plugins and WordPress themes that I personally use, either for myself and for others. All opinions are my own and not influenced by affiliate commissions or anyone connected to the product.

Pippity is a WordPress plugin that promises to make your popups less annoying to visitors. I use a popup (or hover over) to promote my newsletter and the two free ebooks you get for subscribing. The optin does pretty well with the fairly basic AWeber popup I used, so I thought it would be interesting to test.

Setting up the popup is very easy. Simply choose from one of the many themes, as shown in the screenshot below

You simply have to do a few steps for each theme, it’s all point and click stuff:

– Choose the theme you want. There are quite a lot of choices by default.
– A lot of themes have color choices too so choose the combination you like, or select your own colors.
– Enter the text for each section you want to use.
– Set the appearance options. How long before the pop-up appears? How many days before you show it again to the same person? How many pages should they have viewed before it appears? Should it appear on Posts only page?
– Finally enter your newsletter subscription form code. Pippity will automatically extract the relevant info and connect it up.

If you want to see how my pop up looks go here and it will be forced to appear for you.

You can create many different popups and test what change in conversion rate they generate. Below is an example of the screen straight after installing the plugin and setting up the forms – hence the figures are all zero. In a few weeks I’ll update this to show the latest figures.

Pippity — People Pleasing Popups Positively Increasing Sign-Ups

Overall I’m impressed as to how easy the plugin is to use, and how many features it has. The plugin is low priced for one site and you can get an attractive popup that is customized for the experience you want to give your visitors. In under 5 minutes.

It will take longer to tweak and get exactly what you want, and test different variations and combinations of course. I haven’t used it long enough yet to say whether it is better than the standard AWeber one, but I wouldn’t have installed it if I didn’t think it would be.

It’s very fast too, it hasn’t made a measurable difference to my page loading speed, and it currently works with AWeber, Madmimi, MailChimp, Constant Contact, 1ShoppingCart, Get Response, Campaign Monitor, Graphic Mail and iContact.

BTG logo Summary

Where I use this: Right here on Blog Tech Guy.

Pros: Lots of templates; easy to use; no coding required; custom CSS allowed.

Cons: Not free, but nothing anywhere near as powerful as this plugin is free.

Cost: From $49.

From: Pippity (affiliate link).