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Phil Hollows

Phil Hollows: Chat Transcript


For our most recent Facebook chat, we were pleased to have Phil Hollows stop by as our special guest. Phil is known by many for his work at FeedBlitz and is the author of List Building for Bloggers. In January, Phil will be presenting at NMX; his session is “The 7 Deadly Sins of List Building.”

If you missed our weekly Facebook chat, you can see the transcript below to see what Phil has to say about email lists.

New Media Expo Phil – Let’s start with something basic. Why does a blogger or podcaster, or anyone who creates content online need to build a list?
Patti Hosking What is the most effective outreach when marketing to PR firms, Phil?
Phil Hollows Hi! Several reasons: Because email is the most engaging subscription mechanism available because it is the most engaging
Phil Hollows So compare an email update to a tweet or an FB post – it’s much richer and more appealing for readers, which yields much greater engagement
Phil Hollows Seth Godin says that his email readership engages 10x more than any other mechanism
New Media Expo All – don’t forget to refresh your page to see responses and new questions.
Phil Hollows Secondly, you own and control your list. That’s a big deal when Facebook and other social sites change the rules, hide updates etc.
New Media Expo How does one even begin building a list?
Phil Hollows So if the rules change or your Google rank tanks, your email readership will be there for you and your business
Phil Hollows @Patti I don’t know – not my area of expertise ;)
Carol McElroy McHolland Generally speaking – what are the minimum stats/pieces of info you would ask for in an opt-in email form? Which would you require and which would be optional?
Phil Hollows To build a list you can sign up with a service like mine, FeedBlitz, or you can run with plugins or other solutions for your site. You should always have an opt-in form, even for a brand new site – you never know who’s going to stop by.
Megan Enloe Can’t agree more with the concept of controlling your own list as apposed to one controlled by Facebook or Twitter. If you are going to put all or most of your eggs in one basket, at least make it one you have control over.
Phil Hollows Think of capturing email subscribers as the flip side to SEO. Your SEO gets the visitors *to* your site; email subscriptions enable you to *capture* them once they arrive. Else your SEO efforts may be largely wasted.
Megan Enloe How often should an email go out to your list? How much is too much or too little?
Phil Hollows Hi Carol – Email address required, obviously. After that as little as possible. The more friction you add to the process the less likely a visitor will convert. For example, if you want to run a birthday promotion, don’t ask for date of birth – too personal,might put people off! Ask for birth *month* and send a mailimg to everyone that month with their birthday surprise.
Rick Calvert that’s a good tip Phil!
Phil Hollows Hi Megan: On frequncy your list will tell you when you’re getting it wrong! Too often, people will leave. Too little, people will leave. It varies for some people how much they want to hear from you, so you can offer multiple versions of your list – say a daily and a weekly digest – and offer people the choice when they sign up
Phil Hollows That way they self-select into the time frame they’re comfortable hearing from you – greater engagement, fewer unsubscribes.
New Media Expo What is a good open rate, Phil Hollows?
Mary Jo Manzanares I like the birthday example Phil. I’m of that age where I’m offended when it asks for a year.
Dave Cynkin Phil, for content creators who don’t have a handle on content marketing yet, what advice would you give them for inviting visitors to join their list and providing something of value?
Phil Hollows It varies – but if you’ve a good engaged list then getting in the 20% range is very possible. For larger or more stale lists the open rate might be less – and I’ve seen large lists with 2% open rates. While that sounds bad – and it kinda is! – there’s still enough activity from that group to generate revenue
Megan Enloe Unless you’re my doctor you don’t get to ask for my birthday.
Phil Hollows What you really need to do, whatever the open rate, is work on improving it. Looking for patterns.
Phil Hollows So short, SEO-optimized keyworkd rich post titles translate really well into email subejct lines
Phil Hollows Get the important information at the start of the subject line
Phil Hollows Because on a smart phone in portrait mode you only have about 35 characters and the blink of an eye to persuade the owner to open the email. Make it count!
Phil Hollows Dave – Start writing great content. Have an email subscription service on your site so that you get the visitors engaged and wanting to hear from you. Secondly, having a relevant incentive to join a list is a fabulous idea – there’s a trade in return for them giving you their email address.
Phil Hollows It helps establish trust and value from the very beginning.
New Media Expo Phil Hollows – Please share some common mistakes people make when building their lists and also in marketing to those on their lists.
Phil Hollows Great questions! Let’s see on common mistakes…
Phil Hollows 1) Hiding the email subscription option below the fold or behind an ambiguous icon.
Phil Hollows 2) Not offering incentives to enncourage new signups
Phil Hollows 3) Being too aggressive with popups! <– Pet Peeve
Phil Hollows 4) Writing rambly subject lines and / or redundantly repeating site name / company in the subject line
Phil Hollows In terms of errors when building a list:
New Media Expo Phil Hollows Please also share some ways we can entice our communities to join our list.
Phil Hollows 1) Not mailing enough or mailing too often
Carol McElroy McHolland Hi Phil – thanks. Yes, the conventional wisdom now says as little as possible and I tend to agree. But, that doesn’t provide for much “mining”. Would you mine information with later surveys, questions, etc.?
Phil Hollows 2) all “20% off, free shipping” and not providing content / value
Bob Dunn oh, I hate popups … but question back on the open rates, do open rates show just the first time that it’s opened, or is it counted if they go back and open again, as I usually get around 60%
Phil Hollows 3) Not creating targeted lists for different content categories
Phil Hollows 4) Going too far off topic!
Phil Hollows To join a list make sure your form(s) are clearly visible, above the fold
Phil Hollows Use social proof (x,000 readers) to help visitors realize that they are not alone and that they can trust you
Phil Hollows Incentives!
Phil Hollows Use email signup links in your email signature, business cards and printed / offline collateral.
Phil Hollows Bob: Popups work – they’re really effective – but they must be used respectfully. You need to be on the 2nd or 3rd page view of the session before you pop one up, because at that point you know the visitor’s interest has been piqued and they’re exploring more. The popups that slam into your face before one has even had teh chance to tread the first page show that the site owner doesn’t respect me as a prospect. I always bug out.
New Media Expo What type of newsletter or email content receives the best response , Phil Hollows?
Phil Hollows Carol: For mining you can always ask for more information when you move the visitor down the funnel. So for a blog subscription you migth just want email address. For an e-book or white paper, perhaps name and (for corporates) job title, company etc.
Bob Dunn Yeah, I grumble because they are effective, like you, it’s a pet peeve :)
Phil Hollows There’s no point asking for information if it isn’t relevant to the mission or if you’re never going to use it.
Phil Hollows So the deeper in you get, the viasitor is that much more engaged and willing to part with more information to get the more valuable item you’re offering.
Phil Hollows Bob – don’t get me started ;)
Carol McElroy McHolland I realize all industries are different, but can you give an example or two of fresh/creative/useful execution you’ve seen recently?
Phil Hollows OK so what gets the best response? The content that’s the best fit for your audience! But if you’re writing a post with an action in mind, make sure that you have a clear, explicit call to action.
Bob Dunn did you see the other part of my comment questioning open rates? … should have known better to start if off with a comment on popups
Phil Hollows And I’m a big believer in making calls to action imperative and to the point. get the download. Buy now. Don’t be like me and be all English and say “please”! :) Be the boot camp drill sergeant and TELL THEM what to do
New Media Expo Phil Hollows Which brings us to – how can you tell what gets the best response?
Phil Hollows LOL Bob! That 20% rate should be a unique rate – at least per day. But if you see a recipient engaging multiple times with a piece, that’s a great “tell” that you’ve written something they’re very interested in.
Allison Boyer ” I’m a big believer in making calls to action imperative and to the point” – love that advice, I think a lot of marketing via email (and otherwise) is just too wordy. Any advice for self-editing? I’m bad at that personally and my communications always seem to go on too long.
Phil Hollows how to tell? Metrics, metrics, metrics. Track what subject lines delivered the most opens. Figure out why. Test!
Phil Hollows Vary calls to action – what happens to your click through rates?
Phil Hollows And if your actions end up being say a purchase or a download, what you want to maximize is the # of people taking that action at the end of the day. So you might want to consider testing more focused subject lines or calls to action if that yields better desired activity. I mean, everyone loves kittens, right? So lots of opens for cute kitten emails. Pretty poor impact if what you want to do is sell a book on oil drilling.
Phil Hollows hey Allison :) Practice! Think SEO keywords.
Carol McElroy McHolland Hey Allison – I read this book once a year – it’s a classic and I promise it will help. :) See below…
New Media Expo When it comes to the short attention span, Phil Hollows, should email communication be brief or do people generally read through?
Phil Hollows The other great thing you can do is build lists based on activity. So if soneone’s downlaoded an ebook, say, or already bought from your store, they’re MUCH mroe likely to repeat that activity. So target them with mailings – they will be much more effective than a general broadcast.
Phil Hollows Also use autoresponders to nuture people based on what they have done.
Phil Hollows So for example, if you download the FeedBurner Migration Guide from FeedBlitz, our goal is to have you start a trial. So the autoresponder you get when you download the Guide helps explain all the good things you can do at FeedBlitz thaht you can’t at Feedburner. Then, when a trial starts, we start you off on a training course sequence to help you be sucessful. We’re trying to nurture the prospect into being a trial user, and then a trial user into becoming a successful customer.
Phil Hollows Tough to keep up! Great questions :)
Phil Hollows OK so mostly brevity is the soul of wit, so if you can get your point across quickly, so much the better. Seth Godin’s emails are ytpically very brief – learn!
Phil Hollows OTOH Copyblogger’s are typically longer because the agenda is much more educational. If you’re posting about food, perhaps it’s better to have the whole recipe in the email. So longer is better.
Phil Hollows I know that I’ve sent several thousand-word emails out because I was writing my book (ListBuildingForBloggers.com) one hapter – one blog post! – at a time. But the interesting thing was, those who did read all the words were really engaged with them anbd bought the book. So it really does vary! See what works best for your audience
Carol McElroy McHolland Excellent example re: FeedBlitz/FeedBurner. “and then a trial user into becoming a SUCCESSFUL customer.”.
New Media Expo Is it bad form to send out more than one email per day – if they all tout something different?
Phil Hollows Carol – I tend not to subscribe to much beyond what I need for the mission here at FeedBlitz. I think one example of what NOT to do (although it was creative!) was American Apparel’s crossing the taste line with their Hurricane Sandy email promotion.
Phil Hollows Sending more than one email ad day is OK *if* that’s what the subscriber list expects and *if* it’s relevant
Phil Hollows For example, many of feedBlitz’s customers happen to be coupon / deal bloggers. Coupons expire and their subscribers want the best deals *now* – so these guys often have “express” mailings that mail out multiple times a day – it’s what works for their audience.
Phil Hollows For some people though a daly mailing starts to feel like they are being “bombarded” – and that’s a quick way to low engagement, unsubscribes and spam complaints. You don’t want that. That’s why we recommend creating a weekly digest variant of yout blog subscription, where you can mail out a summary of the week’s activities autoamtically.
Phil Hollows Five minutes! Have I missed anyone?!
Phil Hollows (LOL – Facebook is asking me to slow down – hope they don’t block me from this chat!)
New Media Expo Phil Hollows Thanks so much for coming by and sharing your lunch hour with us. I hope you won’t be a stranger to the NMX community and we’ll see you in January!
Phil Hollows Join me at my talk in January at NMX “The Seven Deadly Sins of List Building”
Dan R Morris Oh man. . . I get here right at the end.
Phil Hollows You can also follow me on Twitter as @phollows email me phil@feedblitz.com
Carol McElroy McHolland Thanks, Phil. Cheers! :)
Phil Hollows THANK YOU so much for inviting me here to chat – it was a pleasure and a privilege :)
Megan Enloe Thanks for stopping by Phil.
Megan Enloe No problem Dan. Phil Hollows will be at the Expo in January. You can ask your questions in person:-)
Bob Dunn Thanks Phil a lot of great stuff here… now have to go and get my next newsletter ready to send out via Feedblitz :)
New Media Expo Also, I’m sure Phil Hollows won’t mind coming back to respond to any late questions. We’re always open on the Facebook page!
Allison Boyer Thank you, Phil! See you in January!
Our next Facebook chat will be tomorrow, Wednesday, November 7 at 10am PT/1pm ET. Our special guest will be Chris Ducker who will discuss outsourcing. Chris will also be presenting his session, “45 Things New Media Content Creators Can Outsource to Virtual Assistants to Help Grow Their Business” at New Media Expo in January, so be sure to see him live at the event!


The 12 New Media Days of Christmas 2011: 11 Emailers List-Building


During the 12 New Media Days of Christmas, we’re counting down the days until Santa comes by featuring some of the best blog posts of 2011 from awesome writers within the BlogWorld community! Skip to the end to read more posts in this holiday series and don’t forget to leave a comment if you’ve written a post about today’s topic!

You won’t get far in this industry without hear the phrase “the money’s in the list.” What that means is that you need to build an email list to make the most of the relationship you’re building with your readers. You can use your list for affiliate marketing, selling your own products, or even just driving traffic back to your site. So, today, I have a great group of posts from 2011 that talk about building and using an email list. Enjoy!

Post too long? Head to the Quick Links section for just a list of the links included in this post without all the analysis and quotes!

1. Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing for Bloggers by Paul Cunningham at Blogging Teacher

If you’re new to email marking and only have time to read one post, this is the link for you. In this post, Paul writes about the nuts and bolts to using email to connect with your readers. He goes over everything from how to avoid being called a spammer to what kind of content you should consider sending to your list. From the post:

Your mailing list is like a cup of coffee. Too hot and your subscribers can’t handle it. Too cold and it loses its appeal. But when you get the temperature just right they will enjoy what you serve up to them…

Getting that temperature just right means understanding your audience, and delivering them the right types of content at the right times.

After checking out Paul’s post, you can follow him on Twitter @paulcunningham.


2. 5 Most Powerful Ways To Build an Email List Online by Michael Dunlop at Income Diary

I like this post because it’s a list of tools that you can (and should) consider using to build your own email list. It’s important to remember that not every technique is going to work for every person. In fact, you might not like any of the list-building techniques in Michael’s post. But I think it is important to be aware of your options! Writes Michael,

Sending an email to your list about a product takes literally minutes. The reward is always thousands of dollars for me. If I did it 4 times in a month which isn’t much at all, that’s likely to be at least an additional $10,000 in revenue that month! Hopefully by now your excited about the idea of building a list.

Get out there and build that list, friends! After checking out Michael’s post at Income Diary, You can also find more from him at Retireat21, Fiked, Popup Domination, Site Profit Domination, Expert Photography, and Awesomeweb. You can also find him on Twitter @michaeldunlop.


3. Why the Money Really is in the Email List by Natalie Sisson at The Suitcase Entrepreneur

We keep saying that the money is in the list, but why is that? This post is part of Natalie’s Build Your Online Business (BYOB) series, and it’s a fantastic post to check out if you’re new to list-building and want to do a good job connecting with readers. As Natalie puts it, your list is your tribe, and being about to build that relationship with them is important! Building a list doesn’t have to be spammy. It can be about making real connections. Writes Natalie,

When I think about how many visitors I lost in the early days because I had nothing to offer and no way of being able to contact them again, it makes me kick myself. I also had this strange perception in my head that `list’ and ‘building’ were two dirty words. In fact they are two of the smartest words ever.

Natalie is on Twitter @womanzworld and you can also add her to your circles on Google+. Her Build Your Own Business Guide is available as an audio book, ebook, or complete package with coaching video.


4. Aweber vs. Mailchimp: Which is the Best Email Newsletter Service? by Tom Ewer at WPMU.org

Aweber and Mailchimp aren’t you’re only two choices if you’re interested in starting a new mailing list, but they are two of the biggest brands in the industry. I personally grappled with the choice, and ultimately went with Aweber, but I don’t know that I’ll stay with that decision forever, since Mailchimp is a fantastic services as well. In this post, Tom talks about about the differences between these two services and ultimately gives you his preference. Writes Tom,

Both services are popular with good reason. MailChimp’s no-cost entry level service is a huge attraction to many. But the general consensus leans in favor of AWeber when it comes to the most important aspects of list management, such as tracking and spam management.

You can find Tom on Twitter @tomewer and like his Facebook page. He also blogs at Leaving Work Behind, where you can sign up for his mailing list to download his free guide on keyword research and competition analysis.


5. The #1 Trick for Increasing Email Open Rates by Steve Scott at SteveScottSite.com

Your list doesn’t matter one iota if nobody opens the emails you send. In this post, Steve shares his best top for increasing your open rates – and I have to say, I 100% agree with him! I also love how he uses an analogy to describe what he means, and I think anyone who’s read or watched Game of Thrones will totally understand this post! Writes Steve,

In April, the TV show “Game of Thrones” premiered on HBO.  Like many shows on this network, each episode is part of a large story.  So you have to watch each to understand what’s going on.  In a way, it’s similar to the popular shows like The Sopranos, Lost or 24.

What draws people to shows like these is how they’re set up.  An important part of the plot is to create tension.  The writers introduce a number of storylines that are not resolved for many years.  People watch them because they feel compelled to get answers.

You can also check out Steve’s 45 Ways to Take Your Email Marketing to the Next Level or download his free online income guide. He’s on Twitter @stevescott1, and you can also like his blog on Facebook and add him to your circles on Google+.


6. Are You in the Three Danger Zones of Spamminess? by Phil Hollows at Feedblitz

This list is actually part of entire awesome blog post series about list building for bloggers by Phil, but I wanted to take a moment to highlight this one because I think a lot of list-builders are definitely in the danger zone. Your subscribers signed up for your mailing list. They want to hear from you. Don’t be too afraid to email them! But if you aren’t careful, email programs could accidentally label you as spam, and this means your message will be less likely to reach your readers. Writes Phil,

The thing is, of course, is that most bloggers are untrained as marketers. Specifically, we’re largely not trained as email marketers. We put up our subscription forms and hope for the best. Usually, that’s fine.

But sometimes that lack of expertise can hurt, because it can lead us to create content that ends up setting off content filters. It’s actually all too easy to do, in fact, because in social media we can easily add widgets and plugins that are designed for the web, but which can completely foul up your feed and eviscerate your mailings.

In addition to checking out this post and others in the list building for bloggers series, you can also buy Phil’s List Building for Bloggers ebook. He’s on Twitter @phollows and you can check out the Feedblitz Facebook Ap here.


7. Sephora’s Beauty Roulette: A Creative Email List Builing Tactic by DJ Waldow at Waldow Social

In this post, DJ offers a screencast mini case study on one company’s interesting way to get people to sign up on their email list. He talks about what Sephora (a makeup company) does write, along with what he believes they could be doing better. Hopefully, this will inspire you to think of some of your own creative ways to encourage people to sign up for your mailing list. From DJ’s post:

You can have the most compelling email creative and copy, the best subject line, the highest inbox deliverability; however, if you don’t have an email list to send to … well … you have nothing….

My friend and Social Fresh president, Jason Keath, shared this super-creative email list building technique from Sephora with me last week. The landing page has some dynamic aspects to it, so I figured it would be best to show you via a screencast (thanks, Screenr!).

You can find DJ on Twitter @djwaldow and is the original Social Butterfly Guy.


8. How to Get a Clean Email List – 3 Mailing List Maintenance Tips You Should Do by Paul Ventura at Converting Copy

This post was definitely a kick in the pants for me, because I’ve been neglecting my email list maintenance. Depending on the email management company you use, some of Paul’s tips might even help you save money! At the very list, his recommendations can help you understand your audience better and connect with them in a more relevant way. Writes Paul,

Just like anything else in your life, your website or business’ mailing list can become cluttered and require upkeep from time to time to continue working in your best interest. Here are a few mailing list maintenance tips you can use to get a clean email list.

You can get Paul’s free 10 Day Fast Track Affiliate Course if you want to read more from him, and you can also find him on Twitter @convertcopy and like his blog on Facebook.


9. The Most Important, Can’t-Ignore Law of Email Marketing by Lisa Barone at Outspoken Media

The “law” Lisa shares in this post may at first seem like common sense, but it is a law that is broken so often that I think it is super important to include on this list. Before you ever send a single message to your email list, make sure you understand Lisa’s post and make sure you don’t make the mistake made by so many so-called “experts” out there. Lisa writes,

Hey you! Yes…you, the one sending out all those email newsletters. We need to talk.

I mean, sure, we’ve already talked to some degree. We’ve talked about best practices for email marketing, how email is NOT dead and why it’s actually the Batman to social media’s Robin, but NONE of that matters if you ignore the most important email marketing law of them all. Get this wrong and the rest of it simply doesn’t matter.

Lisa is the co-founder of Outspoken Media and can be found on Twitter @lisabarone. You can also like Outspoken Media on Facebook and follow the company on Twitter @outspokenmedia.


10. Call It What You Want, It’s the Future of Email Marketing by Garry Lee at RedEye (Guest Post for Unbounce)

Grab a cup of coffee and sink your teeth into this post. It’s super smart and full of tips about what Garry calls “behavioural emails.” Yes, you can just mass email your list once or twice a week, but how effective are you really being? More importantly, how effective could you be if you did a little research? From Garry’s post:

In the past few years behavioural email has become one of the most effective forms of email marketing. Resulting in ROI figures as high as 750% and open rates of 70% it is certainly a strategy that online marketers are realising is essential to their online marketing (not just email) strategies.

Garry is the Director of Analytics and Usability at RedEye and you can find him on Twitter @garrylee316.


11. Episode 19 of The Daily Interaction: Savvy Email Etiquette by Farnoosh Brock at Prolific Living

This last link I wanted to share about email is actually a podcast from Farnoosh about a topic that is very important no matter what kinds of emails you’re sending: etiquette. This post is not about list-building or even about email marketing, but I think this is one of the most important topic matters you can ever understand if you use email, whether you’re emailing your list or just emailing with your friends. From Farnoosh’s show notes:

What is the most sensible, smart, savvy and professional way to use email in today’s world? I give you tips around things that have worked very well for me as well as things that have made me, well, you know, take a second look at my own approach, to say the least.

After listening to the podcast, you can check out more episode of The Daily Interaction here. Farnoosh is also the author of the Fear-Crushing Travel Guide, Motivation: From Goals to Greatness, and The 10 Minute Daily Invigorator, as well as the Comprehensive Guide to Green Juicing. She’s on Twitter @prolificliving.

Quick Links

For those of you short on time, here’s a list of the links covered in this post:

  1. Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing for Bloggers by Paul Cunningham (@paulcunningham)
  2. 5 Most Powerful Ways To Build an Email List Online by Michael Dunlop (@michaeldunlop)
  3. Why the Money Really is in the Email List by Natalie Sisson (@womanzworld)
  4. Aweber vs. Mailchimp: Which is the Best Email Newsletter Service? by Tom Ewer (@tomewer)
  5. The #1 Trick for Increasing Email Open Rates by Steve Scott (@stevescott1)
  6. Are You in the Three Danger Zones of Spamminess? by Phil Hollows (@phollows)
  7. Sephora’s Beauty Roulette: A Creative Email List Builing Tactic by DJ Waldow (@djwaldow)
  8. How to Get a Clean Email List – 3 Mailing List Maintenance Tips You Should Do by Paul Ventura (@convertcopy)
  9. The Most Important, Can’t-Ignore Law of Email Marketing by Lisa Barone (@lisabarone)
  10. Call It What You Want, It’s the Future of Email Marketing by Garry Lee (@garrylee316)
  11. Episode 19 of The Daily Interaction: Savvy Email Etiquette by Farnoosh Brock (@prolificliving)

Other posts in the 12 New Media Days of Christmas series will be linked here as they go live:

12 Bloggers Monetizing
11 Emailers List-Building (this post)
10 Google+ Users a-Sharing
9 Vloggers Recording
8 Links a-Baiting
7 Community Managers a-Managing
6 Publishers a-Publishing
5 Traffic Tips
4 New Media Case Studies
3 Must-Read New Media Interviews
2 Top New Media News Stories of 2011
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

You can also check out the all the posts from 2010 and 2011 here, and don’t forget: If you wrote a post in 2011 about today’s topic (email marking and list building), PLEASE leave the link in a comment below to share with the community!

Four Power Tips for List Building


“Email is the most effective form of subscriber attention today.”

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!

Thanks, Phil, for a great session. Readers, make sure you read more about Phil and his company, FeedBlitz, on his website and follow him on Twitter @phollows.

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