The simple mistake which differentiates an average blogger from a successful blogger is not concentrating enough on email marketing which is the king of all marketing techniques. They are great for driving organic traffic to your blog which holds much more importance than social media traffic. If you run an online business, there is no better way to share your products and services with your readers than over an email.
Now that we have established the importance and revenue slice email marketing holds in the current internet marketing scenario, the next question is how we build that email list which will lead to more traffic and more conversions. It is very difficult to make people subscribe to your blog if you are offering what every other blog is offering. Everybody thinks that their blog is unique and people will throng to read it but it takes a few months to realize that while content is the king, it needs to be circulated to people and not vice-versa.
Today, we are going to solve that eternal question that everybody wants an answer to, and that is how to grow a good subscriber list. We are going to talk about Josh Earl who built a list of 200,000 subscribers in just ten days.
His giveaway lasted for around 10 days and he invested 267$ to power his giveaway.
Josh started with around 5000 subscribers when he started a giveaway which boosted his subscriber count by around 3400% to approximately 200,000 subscribers.
First of all, let us tell you that not all giveaways work as Josh’s did. There are thousands of giveaways that are happening all around the world at a particular moment so why only some of them achieve the ideal results? This is exactly what we are going to find out in this case study.
What did Josh do, to turn his giveaway into a subscribing machine and what made his techniques different than the thousand other giveaways that go live every day?
Most contents or giveaways running on the internet make this mistake of offering something as a prize which does not resonate with the theme of their blogs. The result is that most of the people who have subscribed to the blog have only subscribed for the prize and not for the content the blog has to offer.
For example, if you have a blog on web hosting, the ideal subscribers of your blog should be people who are interested in hosting services. The best way to get such people would be to offer a good yearly hosting plan as a prize for the giveaway so that only people who need such hosting services will subscribe to your email list.
This will lead to more conversions and traffic when you email them about a new hosting provider or a discount on a great hosting plan. Josh offered a premium software to the people who took part in his giveaway. Offering a compelling yet relevant incentive to the people almost doubles the chances of them subscribing to your blog.
The most common mistake that people do is that they inform their existing subscribers or twitter and facebook followers about their giveaway and then wait for the miracle to happen. Most blogs who commit this mistake are small blogs which are trying to build their subscribers list and they overestimate the power of their followers.
Josh thought of a unique way to overcome this problem and contacted the editors of popular email newsletters to ask them for covering his giveaway in their next newsletter. This gave Josh a huge boost in organic traffic from readers of those email newsletters. This also helped him boost his social media followers as new people came to know about his blog and followed him on social media if they found the content relevant.
When we enter a giveaway, we always think that the more number of people participate in this giveaway, the less our chances of winning will be. This makes us hesitant to share the giveaway with other people. This is actually a grave mistake that email marketers commit when it comes to running a giveaway.
Josh overcame this roadblock by harnessing the self-interest of people. He offered more points for sharing and asked his subscribers to share the giveaway on their social channels. This made his giveaway go viral as more and more people shared his giveaway to improve their chances of winning.
Results of This Giveaway: – The Traffic Surge
Josh received 3, 98,896 unique visitors on his blog in the period of the giveaway. The usual unique visitors count in a similar time frame is around 5800 visitors.
Josh’s twitter count more than doubled from 13,460 followers to 32, 427 followers.
His blog became the 49,137th most popular site on the internet as per his Alexa rankings.
He collected 187,991 real email addresses during the course of the giveaway after the cleanup of bogus addresses.
The bounce rate of his website decreased by 41% which lead to an improvement in his site’s popularity in the eyes of search engines.
When the first email containing the details of the giveaway went out, the giveaway link was broken. He got emails from many people informing him of the same and he fixed the link before sending out another email with the correct link. Always double check your HTML link and test it before emailing it to your subscribers as a broken link can dissuade the people to wait for the new link.
The continuous viral traffic directing to his website ate his disk space and made his site crash due to overload. Add some extra space to your server if you are anticipating high influx of traffic before starting the giveaway. This will make sure that you do not experience a downtime during the course of the giveaway.
Another major mistake which Josh “almost” did was that he moved the date of end of the giveaway by a week as he was tired of all the problems, crashes, broken links, and error mails he was getting from his readers. Better sense prevailed and he consulted his trusted friends and moved the giveaway back to its original end date.
Obstacles and mistakes
So these are some of most unique strategies that Josh used to make his giveaway go viral and gain around 200,000 subscribers in just ten days but he also learned a few lessons from some of his mistakes.
Let us go through some of the obstructions Josh had to encounter and remove to make his giveaway run smoothly:
So these were some of the takeaways from the success story of Josh who multiplied his email subscribers overnight by using simple yet effective tricks which worked in his favour. He also learned many things from this viral giveaway and corrected them on the go.
Advice for newbies
There are a few other rare tricks and tips which you can use apart from these which will boost your subscribers explosively and enhance your conversions drastically. Some of these tips are:
- Use a full-screen welcome form for visitors
Studies have shown that using a full-screen email subscription opt-in form can increase your subscriber count significantly. The visitors have an option to close the form to proceed to the website but they cannot ignore the form completely like they do when it is situation on the header or a sidebar.
Many plugins offer this feature but make sure that you personalise the opt-in form to suit your niche to attract more visitors. Do not make it difficult for your readers to close the form but use attractive text and content to make sure that they don’t.
- Create a sense of urgency
Most people have a fear of missing out (FOMO) and using words like “Limited number” or “Only First 5 Subscribers” or “Limited time” can help them subscribe to your blog as they want to be a part of that elite community you are creating around your blog.
People want to participate in something not everybody has access to so using such words prompts them that you are offering something useful and unique. Offer a great ebook related to your niche or a gift voucher to those who subscribe to enhance the subscription rate further. (Recommended Read: How to sell more with less traffic)
- Use content upgrades to make people subscribe to your blog.
Content upgrades are added features like videos, spreadsheets, or checklists related to the content which the user can see only if he or she subscribes to your blog. Identify your top ten posts which get the most traffic and then add content upgrades to these posts for maximum conversions. Video upgrades tend to work better as compared to other content upgrade formats as people want to see videos related to your content.
- Personalize your email newsletters
People ignore automated mails as they get thousands of such emails in a day. Adding a personal experience in the mail or addressing the readers by their name goes a long way in building your reader base.
Use a striking or title for the email to divert the attention of the subscribers to your mail. Another important factor to consider is that send out your emails at a time when you think your subscribers are most active. Sending an email when it is night time can drown your email under several other emails by the time your readers open their mailbox in the morning. (Recommended read:
- Optimize your blog for mobile
Studies have shown that almost 60% of the people use mobiles to browse through your blog and optimizing your blog for mobile can go a long way in improving your conversions. Use a column format for email opts-in and large fonts so that people can fill the forms easily on the mobile screen. Do not use wonky email forms or fonts which are not readable as this can drive away readers even before they open your post for reading.
- Clean your email list regularly
Do not forget to work on your email list once you have made people subscribe as some of the email addresses are fake and can result in bounce-back of emails. Also remove addresses which have the highest “not-opened” rate as these emails are not contributing much to your blog in terms of traffic or revenue. You can also re-mail your newsletters to these addresses with a catchy subject line to see if it makes a difference to the open-through rate.
So these are some proven tricks which can help you build a huge subscriber base for your blog. The next step of email marketing is to optimize these emails so that they have a maximum open-through rate. Do not leave your subscribers hanging once you have asked them to subscribe to your blog as this can damage the reputation of your blog. Use this email marketing method to sell your products or services as emails are the most powerful way of bringing organic traffic to your blog. It is also one of the cheapest ways to get revenue as the return on investment is very high and you can get maximum revenue with minimum investment.
You can find Josh’s website here. So now that you have read about the benefits that a great email subscriber list can bring for your blog, it is time to put these tricks to action and share your experiences in the comments below.