Ways to Grow Your Mailing List with Social Media
Many people will tell you that you can’t – or shouldn’t – grow your mailing list through social media. That may have been true once upon a time, but nowadays, using your social media is necessary!
The trick lies in knowing how to do it. Here are ten proven suggestions…
1. Use YouTube Links and Annotations.
YouTube has become one of the most solid social networks of this decade, ranking within sight of Google and Facebook. (It also leaves its other nearest competitors, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn, way back down the track.)
By all means include links to your sign up page in your Description and insert static text links into your actual video frames. But don’t stop there — embed clickable hot spots, text and links within your videos using YouTube Annotations (found via your Video Manager dashboard). Your YouTube links are also now connected to your Google account. So you’re getting double the share power.
But none of that will grow your email list… unless you make sure your YouTube links make people want to click – and take those who do to:
- An email sign up box
- A strong motivation or reason to sign up
- A call to action, telling your viewers to do so
And remember to “Share” your uploads – all of which should contain sign up links, static or interactive.
2. Don’t neglect Pinterest.
Remember that Pinterest includes your clickable website URL in all your Pins. It doesn’t matter who shares them: Make sure that your URL actually takes people to a page that contains at least one sign up box!
Put “Pin it!” buttons under your blog images (if they’re your original photos). And if you’re not good at graphics, use a site like Visual.ly or Piktochart to create infographics people will want to share.
In addition to building your own pinboards, share your pins on other social media. The more targeted pins you can share, the more people will end up at your sign up page.
3. Make Full Use of your LinkedIn Profile Features.
LinkedIn recently changed its format for Profiles. You can now embed not only links but also SEO-optimized anchor text into various profile sections. Since LinkedIn now allows “rich media” to be added to your LinkedIn Summary and other sections, make sure your videos, portfolio, and slideshows contain a URL to your sign up the page too.
To change your web links to anchor text, select:
- Profile>>Edit Profile
- Edit (button)>>Edit Contact Info (button)
- Click on the blue pencil next to your current web URL. When the box opens up, click on the little blue pencil next to your web URL – not on the text itself – and change it to a call to action in the form of anchor text. Send readers straight to your sign up page.
4. Install “Share” buttons on all your social media sites, websites and blogs.
We’re not just talking about “Connect” or “Follow” buttons on your home page (you should have those too): We’re talking about “Share” buttons after each post or article. Top bloggers swear this is the most underutilized but incredibly effective way to drive people to your sign up page (and help make sure your content goes viral).
One of the easiest ways is to add social buttons to your WordPress blog is with a plugin like Sociable.
If you’ve been hit-and-miss about installing share buttons (or don’t have one at the end of your posts) do this right away:
- Make a list of all your sites and blogs
- Go through them, one by one
- Make sure Share buttons for all your social networks – and posts – are installed.
5. Think “Sign up” first when designing or upgrading your blog or website.
You don’t need to be reminded that your website or blog needs original articles and posts people will want to share. But what about design and layout?
Go take a look at all the top social-media-savvy blogs such as Copyblogger, MariSmith.com, Problogger, and Social Triggers…
You should notice three things about these top blogs:
- Their main sign up box is not only above the fold but is the design focal point of their home page. Your eye is instantly drawn to it.
- They all have more than one sign up box and incentive.
- They use multiple design elements – anchor text, web contact forms, and buttons.
There are two places you need to have a web contact form or sign up anchor text, minimum:
- At the top of your right-hand blog sidebar
- At the end of every post
Have both an invitation to subscribe and social sharing buttons at the bottom of every post, like this:
Other places you can put signup links, forms, and buttons:
- In your footer
- Right inside your Header
- On your “Contact” page
- On your “About” page
And just about anywhere else you can think of!
6. Track your Signups
Once you’ve made these changes, make sure you track your signups! Having your signup buttons, boxes and text links go to different incentives – all requiring people to sign up – can tell you which ones capture the most attention.
Track and test your signups. Points to watch for:
- Do you get more signups from anchor text links, web forms or buttons?
- Do you get more signups after a blog post? After a social media post?
- Do you get more signups with each new signup element you add? Or less?
You can also track by using your Autoresponder to segment each signup.
And if you do install a popup window, choose one that offers analytics. Speaking of which…
7. Consider installing a Popup Window
While everyone claims they hate popups, multiple studies and stats sites do show they work.
It’s important to install a reliable popup app that won’t do anything illegal. Popup Domination is a good one: It’s easy to use, offers multiple popup designs – and analytics – and is compatible with all major Autoresponders, including Aweber and GetResponse.
Popup Domination costs $77 at the time of writing, so be sure to measure the cost against your projected ROI.
8. Use clickable graphics “Hot Spots”
If you know HTML, it’s easy to turn any part of your header graphic and all your photos into the “Hot Spot” link. This is a great technique that often nets you more visually-oriented subscribers. (You’ll know them because they chronically click on header graphics and photos to see if they are links.)
If you are creating your own graphics with Adobe Elements or Photoshop (or even free graphics-editing programs like Gimp), you can easily add a button or banner graphic into your header, to make your Hot Spot or hyper-linked graphic stand out even more.
If you don’t know how to place clickable Hot Spots on graphics, there are plenty of articles like this one to show you how to:
- Create image maps
- Figure out the X and Y coordinates
- Serve up snippets of code to copy.
If that looks too complex, just make your entire header graphic or interior graphics clickable. Just add “href” links around the HTML for each photo.
<img src=“your photo.jpg” width=“450” height=“500” alt=“your photo description”>
<a href=“yoursignuppagefilename.htm”><img src=“yourphotoname.jpg” width=“450”
height=“500” alt=“your photo description”></a>
After you’ve sent someone from your social media post or Page to your site, having clickable graphics at the landing destination – or clickable areas within your graphics – provides yet another way to capture an email sign-up.
9. Send Valuable Stuff Regularly
If your readers know that you offer quality content on a regular basis, they’re more likely to subscribe. Make your newsletter or sign up offer as attractive as possible.
This can be as complex as a downloadable.PDF (which you can later archive on your site for subscribers only)… or as simple as a short, text-based email. You can even offer worksheets, videos, interactive quizzes or anything your readers would like. Just make sure it has value and that you do it regularly. Infrequent and sporadic emails interfere with the relationship you’re trying to build with your subscribers.
10. Add a signup form to your Facebook Business Page.
If you have GetResponse as your email provider, this is as simple as adding their app.
If you’re an Aweber user, relax – they offer a Facebook Page sign up app too.
You’ve just read ten top ways to optimize your email sign-ups and grow your list. Plan a new campaign right now and put these tips to work!