• Michael Linsin

How to Grow a High-Quality Email Subscriber List

Although an annoying practice, you can increase the number of subscribers to your blog by using pop-ups.

They're proven to work.

You can even improve on these pop-up numbers by offering a free gift - like an e-book or guide - in exchange for a reader's email address. So says every "advice" blogger on the interwebz. It's de rigueur for being in the cool kid's club.

It's also bad advice. Here's why:

It sends the wrong message.

Pop-ups send the message to every visitor that you don't really care about them as people and unique individuals. Instead, it tells them that they're just another number to boost your sales volume.

Those who sign up via pop-up may appreciate the information you provide, but they're unlikely to become raving fans. Competition is stiff. In order to grow, you need readers who feel a connection with you and want to eagerly share your blog with their friends and followers.

It builds a low-quality list.

When you offer a free gift in exchange for an email, you'll get a high percentage of subscribers who just want the gift. It may improve your numbers, but this group will rarely click through your newsletter and visit your site.

Your open and click-through rates will drop along with your sales percentages. A few may become regular readers, but they'll be less inclined to purchase than those who decide to subscribe of their own accord.

It's bad taste.

Pop-up ads are so ubiquitous that the absence of them feels like a breath of fresh air. It's another reason why many readers will want to stick around on your site and seek out how they can subscribe.

This act of seeking gets your readers heading in the direction you want. Namely, clicking through to other articles, reading your about page, and maybe even making a purchase. Playing a little hard to get works well in building romantic interest as well as a quality email list.

What to Do Instead

A little hard to get doesn't mean that you should make it difficult for readers to subscribe. The option should be readily available if they wish.

As such, I like having a subscribe button along the menu bar, as we have here at Renegade Blogger, or as a widget in your sidebar. Either or both work well.

But there is another strategy that I think is especially effective in getting high-quality readers who click through, share, and purchase. It's a strategy I've been using for the past eleven year to grow my Smart Classroom Management email list to over 120,000.

So what is it?

It's to place a call-to-action sentence at the bottom of every article. The idea being that if a reader enjoys your writing enough to read all the way to the end, then they'll likely benefit from everything else you have to offer.

They'll likely want to learn more and be wondering what their next step is. It's the perfect moment to ask them to subscribe in simple, direct language.

Just like this:

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