5 Places to Build Your Blog’s Email List
By Justin Premick December 16, 2011
This is a guest post by Gregory Ciotti, an AWeber user who blogs about WordPress marketing at Sparring Mind.
But over-used and badly placed web forms can leave your readers feeling bombarded and annoyed, while ruining your site’s layout and crowding out your content.
There are, however, a few spots on your blog that readers will be primed to opt-in. These locations are great because they are inviting to readers and stand out, but aren’t intrusive to their enjoyment of your content.
So where are they?
From my experience and through numerous split-testing experiments, I’ve identified what I believe to be the 5 best places to put your web forms.
You don’t necessarily need to use all 5 at once. Decide for yourself how many feels right and what is best for your readers, using the feedback that you get from them.
Readers are generally most ready to submit their email address in these locations, so take a look below and see if you can implement your AWeber opt-ins in these spots on your blog.
Above The Fold Feature Box
This may seem to be a bit confusing, but hear me out.
The feature box is a large box above the fold near the header of your website.
Generally speaking, your feature box should be right below your logo and should include a title and a brief description (think 3-4 bullet points) of what your blog is and why a reader would benefit from getting your updates.
DIYThemes (makers of the Thesis Theme for WordPress) implemented this and saw subscription rates go through the roof. This is something that people will definitely notice, yet it is not annoying like some other methods to grab potential subscribers’ attention.
The Classic: Top Of The Sidebar
You’ve definitely seen this one before as it is used on most blogs, including the one you’re reading right now.
You might think people would be blind to this location, but it simply isn’t true. People have a tendency to opt-in at a higher rate on sidebar web forms — as long as they are at the top of the sidebar.
This is most likely due to familiarity: They’ve seen these opt-ins before, and aren’t as hesitant to put in their email address if they see your form in this comfortably familiar location.
Make sure that your form stands out, but in a good way!
It helps to use a color that contrasts with your site’s background. You can use AWeber’s web form generator to do this or use these forms created by graphic designer Alex, built specifically for AWeber.
At The End Of Each Post
This is the most underrated location in my opinion.
Say someone reads your 1000+ word post, each and every line.
I’d say that they really enjoyed your writing if they are willing stick around that long, to the very bottom of the post.
So why not politely ask them if they’d like to get updates?
The point is, a reader who is inclined to finish your whole post is generally very engaged in your content and primed to get updates when you post again. So make it easy for them and include an web form at the end of each post.
Your “About Me” Page
This location works for the same reason as the last one. If a reader is going to read all about you and you make your “About Me” page a really compelling and interesting one, then they certainly might opt-in.
Other “resource” pages are also great for a web form.
Think “Start Here” pages, or pages where you list all of a certain type of post, or long resource pages that were too important for a blog post so you made them a page.
Generally speaking, any links on your homepage are going to get clicked a lot in comparison to other parts on your site, so make them count with an AWeber web form and you’ll find your list growing faster in no time.
A Dedicated Subscription Page
You might think that having a feature box and a sidebar opt-in would be enough, but then you’d be greatly underestimating the value of a dedicated subscription page.
While offering a “freebie” for your opt-ins using an AWeber autoresponder is great for any form, it works especially well on subscription landing pages that promise a free e-Book or other gift in return for the visitor’s email.
This page is also going to specifically highlight the benefits of opting in and since it’s a separate page, it can include a lengthy description rather than short bits of information to truly convince people who may me holding out.
It is wise to link to this page from your homepage and really sit down to explain why a visitor will benefit from your newsletter, making sure you put the emphasis on what they will be getting from you that they simply cannot find elsewhere.
Are you a WordPress user? Want to see how you can get the most out of the amazing AWeber + WordPress combination? Head on over to Sparring Mind to see how you can build your AWeber list with quality content on WordPress.