Day 6: Let’s Get Subscribers!
So now you've got your blog set up, your social media, and even a blog post or two. What next? Now you need a way to collect email subscribers!
Yes, WordPress has their own email subscription widget. What does it do? It collects emails and will automatically send out your latest blog post to your subscribers. It sends your featured image and the excerpt with a read more link. That's it. You can't send them anything else, and you can't customize it.
When you use an email provider, (depending on which one you pick) you can send out anything you want, schedule it, automate it, and only send to certain people if you want! You have complete control over it!
Email subscribers convert into customers (if you have products or if you're using affiliate links) more than any other medium. When they subscribe to your email list, they really want to hear what you have to say!
Social media websites dictate what your followers see through algorithms. Facebook is the worst! Sometimes it will only show my post to 12 people that are following me. You can't control your social media and they can delete your account or change their algorithms. There's nothing you can do about that.
Email will always go to their inbox and you can control everything about it. That email list is YOURS! These are YOUR PEOPLE. I didn't understand this until I had already been blogging for 5 or 6 months, and I wish I could go back and start with an email list from the beginning!
This course contains affiliate links.
What Are the Options?
I use ConvertKit, and I love it! Other options include Aweber and Mailchimp. Take a look at them. Mailchimp is free up to 2000 subscribers. Aweber is free up to 100 subscribers. ConvertKit doesn't have a free option, but they offer better tools! (That's why I switched from Mailchimp to ConvertKit after a couple of months. I wish I had started with ConvertKit. It's so worth it! )
How Do You Get Subscribers?
You start by adding a sign up form to your blog. This can be on your sidebar or under your posts. I have a ConvertKit plugin that automatically adds my sign up forms to the bottom of all of my posts.
You'll need an incentive for people to subscribe to your list. This can be a weekly newsletter with extras that aren't available to the public. Or you can offer a freebie. Bloggers call them "lead magnets" or "opt-ins." Mine include access to my free mom life resource library, various printables that relate to the posts, and email courses (like this one!)
Definitely check out this Complete Guide to Email Marketing that ConvertKit wrote. It's got some great information!
What Do You Send Them?
This was what I struggled with the most when I started email marketing. What do you even send your subscribers? Well, you want to send them thing that make them feel like VIPs.
You can send:
- Helpful tips or information that the general public on your blog doesn't have access to.
- Freebies like printables.
- Sale alerts for your products or for your affiliates.
- Surveys to see what they're interested in.
- Your new blog posts.
Also check out this helpful guide from Aweber about what to send your email list. It includes templates!
Step 1: Pick an Email Provider
You can choose any of them. You can start with a free one like MailChimp or Aweber, but remember you get what you pay for. I highly recommend ConvertKit because of all of the amazing features that come with it. My second choice would be Aweber because they have a lot of similar tools like drip campaigns.
(Drip campaigns or sequences are emails that are automatically sent out based on when someone subscribes. Like the one you're getting right now!)
Step 2: Set Up Your Account and Create a Form
Whichever email provider you choose, you'll need to set up your account. Then create a form to add to your blog. For now, I'd suggest just using a newsletter as your opt-in incentive. You can create a lead magnet next week. If you really want to go for it now, then hooray! Do it! But don't feel obligated right now.
Step 3: Install the Form on Your Website
Depending on which one you chose, you can get the corresponding plugin or just use the embed code on a text widget or wherever you'd like to put it!
I use the ConvertKit plugin and it's very easy to choose which form I want from a drop down box on each post.