It’s frustrating right?
I’m sure you’ve heard enough…
Enough of the ‘how to grow your email list’ type of posts that tell you that you absolutely have to do A, B and C to grow your list.
A, B and C in the likes of webinars, ads, or resource libraries.
I’m not here to tell you to do those things.
And your list growth isn’t doomed if you don’t do them either.
You should do what works for you. What’s within your strength and what works for your life.Engage in list building strategies that work for your life and are aligned with your strengths.Click To Tweet
I’ve always been on the search for tiny hacks that you can do to grow your list.
In this post, I’m sharing with you 5 specific hacks that I tried and which worked very well for my list growth.
While my average used to be about 30 subscribers a day, with these hacks my numbers are up anywhere from 40+ to 60 subscribers a day.
A plugin that’s responsible for a chunk of my subscribers – Convertplug.
I’ll get into the details of the plugin later in the post and how they compare to other tools I’ve used before. But let’s get into the specific hacks that I used.
Looking for more of such hacks? Swipe this guide of 43 hacks that grow your email list on less than an hour a day.
#1 Add a top-bar – To not just get subscribers but sell
I first tried a top bar at the end of December 2016 and had it up till mid January.
I did not use it for an opt-in but to promote my (then new) ebook ‘The 5-Step process to crush blogger overwhelm.”
I sent just 2 emails to my list and had no other promotion for it other than having the top bar on my site.
Apart from the days the email went out, I probably sold about 45 copies via the top bar with minimal effort.
The time and price point could have played a role in the sale.
December and January are when people are thinking about goals and planning and this ebook fell into that category. The ebook was also priced at just $7.
Sales started dwindling after mid-Jan and that’s when I decided to take down the top bar.
This is the top bar that I used.
Seeing how well the top bar converted, I decided to promote an opt-in the same way.
This is the top bar that I used for the opt-in. And I get 10-25 opt-ins from this info bar alone.
No two top bars convert the same
I’m not green to top bars.
I’ve tried them before with Pop-up Ally and Hello bar and they never converted as well this top bar. The opt-in as well as the copy was the very same.
I was too.
I thought a top-bar was a top bar. But now I know.
#2 Exit-intent pop-ups work. Period.
It’s not for everyone.
It can be annoying.
I’ve had my share of pop-ups gone wild when I never intended them to.
So if you have an exit intent pop-up always test them on a ‘new private window’ if you’re on Safari. If you’re on Chrome, open a ‘new incognito window’.
And here’s the important thing – disable your exit intent pop-ups on mobile. With the google rules that took effect from this year, you need to be careful about this.
I’ve always had an exit intent pop-up in one form or the other since I launched my blog. And here’s what I found out…
The same exit intent pop-up can convert differently
Yes – the same observation that I had with my top bar.
This is the one that I currently use and it converts very well on a daily basis.
I would be raving about this plugin if not for 2 functionalities that are missing as of now.
- Smart subscriber recognition. The ability to automatically not not show opt-in pop-ups to subscribers when they click over to your site from your email.
- 2-step opt-in based on a question.
Have a look at this example from Smart Blogger.
The question automatically segments your readers and gives you the ability to show a specific pop-up depending on the question.
Pop-up ally Pro on the other hand has both these functions which I love.
I was using Pop-up ally Pro for a good 9 months.
The reason I wanted to try Convertplug was because of the templates. The Convertplug templates are a whole lot easier to edit compared to Pop-up Ally Pro.
I still love Pop-up Ally but if you prefer something that gives you designer templates without the need for much tweaks, then you will love Convertplug.
They look sleek right out of the box and give you the option to play with a whole range of animations. Modals are also a breeze to set-up in Convertplug. [Click here to see one in action]
Take a look at my Convertplug walk-through below.
#3 Out with the old pin images
If you’ve been following my work for some time you know I don’t get along with Pinterest. But I was determined to make it work for me.
I have been rehauling my old pin images and creating multiple images for existing posts. These are examples of just 2 pin sets that I redid.
I’m still hit and miss when it comes to knowing which images work well. But my average daily clicks have steadily been increasing and some days they are up to 200 clicks.
This is a snapshot of the last 30 days.
But as I’ve mentioned time and again, your clicks back from Pinterest don’t matter if you’re not able to convert that traffic to subscribers.
This is where the exit intent pop-up as well as the top bar have played a part in capturing and converting that traffic.Your clicks from Pinterest don't matter if you're not able to convert that traffic to subscribers.Click To Tweet
#4 Optimize Popular posts
Rather than creating new content, it’s worth optimizing your top 10-15 posts to make the most of them. Here are a few ways you can do so:
- Add an opt-in form to the middle and bottom of the post
- Add a relevant content upgrade
- Try a different pin image
- Try a different headline on your pin image
- Add a relevant affiliate link
- Interlink your posts
- Boost your opt-in form with power words.
There were a few posts that were getting a lot of traffic but
1. had very little conversions
2. didn’t have a content upgrade
This post – How to start a blog and make your first 1K blogging – is currently my most trafficked post. The cheat sheet I had in there was not converting very well. I switched the content upgrade to my Blog Zero Guide and saw an uptick in subscribers.
This post – Why I invested in Convertkit vs Mailchimp when I was earning zero on my blog – was also getting quite a bit of traffic but I didn’t have a content upgrade.
I added my sales funnel cheatsheet content upgrade (I created this content upgrade for another post) and redirect subscribers to the Convertkit site via my affiliate link.
If they do eventually sign-up with Convertkit, I will have the opportunity to cookie them via my affiliate link.
Is the content upgrade entirely relevant to the post?
I could certainly do one that’s more aligned with the post, but for now that’s the closest one related to the topic without me having to go and create one from scratch.
#5 Pinning – manually
This is controversial to say in the least and I don’t have hard data to prove this yet.
On days where I’ve pinned manually without using a scheduler, my traffic and in turn my subscribers for the day are a lot higher.
I came across this ebook which also advocates manual pinning. I haven’t implemented all of the teachings in the ebook but just the group board strategy which I implemented resulted in more daily clicks.
I need to test this over a longer period of time but it’s fascinating how people can implement different strategies on Pinterest and find their own success.
Small tweaks – Big Difference
I get emails from subscribers apologizing for not being able to implement certain strategies to grow their list.
Don’t be apologetic. Small tweaks make a big difference.
Are these new, never-before-heard strategies?
Could my list be bigger by doing webinars. Sure!
But I’m not going to bend backwards and cry through the process. I’d rather work with what I have.
There’s a ton you can do to optimize your existing posts and website in general to capture traffic.
And its worth noting that the type of plugin you use may affect your conversion rate even if the opt-in form is used in the same location and has the same copy.
Not happy with your existing top bar and exit intent pop-ups? You might be better off testing a different plugin to see how your conversions fare.
Need more ideas? Download the swipe file.
Which of these do you you want to try out?