One of the sessions I had the pleasure of attending at BlogWorld New York 2011 Phil Hollows’ talk on list building. Phil is the CEO and founder of FeedBlitz, an alternative to FeedBurner, so I was really excited to hear his opinions on list building and email marking. He started by talking about how this is still one of the best ways to reach your audience, something that was echoed by other speakers, like Nath Lussier and Erica Douglass. During his session, Phil gave us a number of what he called “power tips” for building your list so you can start sending emails that really convert, whatever your goals may be. Here are four of them:
- Make your subscription form visible.
Is your subscription form on every single page? Do you have to click around to find it? Do you have to scroll? There are some things that you should ask yourself. Phil also made a really good point – you know how a lot of sites have little icons for RSS, email, Twitter, and Facebook, all in a row? Why do we so often put RSS first? Even though we’re a really tech-friendly crowd, chances are that many of your readers don’t use RSS readers or even know what the RSS symbol means. Instead, put the email icon first – give them something friendly and familiar to click.
- Enable social media cross promotion.
You want your list-building efforts to be retweetable and otherwise sharable. Ask for subscriptions on your Facebook page and make your emails easy to email to your friends.
- Add incentives.
This is of course a tried and true method of getting people to sign up for your list, but it is one that deserves repeating. What do your readers get for signing up? Common giveaways include an email course, a weekly newsletter, or a short ebook, but you can get creative. The more incentives you can give your readers, the more likely they are to sign up. Make sure you publicize the incentives so people are enticed to sign up.
- Make the most of offline events.
Conferences like BlogWorld are great places to get people to sign up for your mailing list, believe it or not. If you’re speaking, bring up a sign-up sheet. Create business cards that mention your mailing list and direct people to the right page. QR codes are also all the rage – Phil actually mentioned that he walks around with one on his t-shirt and people can scan him!
While I was able to stick around for a few more tips from Phil, all of which were as good as the ones listed above, I ultimately had to skip out a bit early to help the BlogWorld team with another task…so like you, I’m really looking forward to making use of my virtual ticket in a few weeks to learn the rest of Phil’s tips for building a list. Stay tuned for information on picking up your virtual ticket to listen to the recorded sessions!