How to optimize your website to become a list building machine

You need an email list to grow your business.

And I’m sure it's been on your to-do list forever. And you might even already have a freebie or an email list and it's growing slowly. But what you would really like is to amp up that list. So, that your business grows a little bit faster. I’m with you. I wanted the same thing this year.

Today, I’m gonna talk to you about how to optimize your website to become a list building machine.

Let's get your email list growing at the rate you would like it or at least better than it has been in the last six months, right? 

 
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Step One: Give them a reason to join your email list.

So, the first thing is that you need to create a juicy opt-in, something that people want. I heard the best advice from Hailey Dale from Your Content Empire (she's amazing!), she said create a freebie that someone would be willing to pay for. Whatever your freebie is it needs to be so valuable and so juicy that people would be willing to pay for it if they wanted the information.

So, you create something along those lines it might be an e-book, a workbook, a video series, an email series, you can do one of those five-day challenges, something that adds a lot of value and shows people what you have to offer. That's the first step,  you're gonna create this really awesome freebie. 

Step Two: Prioritize Your Opt-ins

And then you need to prioritize your opt-in forms or sign up boxes, whatever you want to call them, on your website. So, you want to put that sucker everywhere and I mean everywhere.

People need to see something several times (like 7-12 times) before they're willing to commit to either buying or signing up or giving you your email address, they need to see it a lot of times. 

Places where you can put your opt-in. 

 Optimizing your website to build your email list by prioritizing your opt-ins.

Above the fold on your website. This is a common thing that people talk about being things above the fold. That just means that, everything you can see when you click on the screen, you don't have to scroll. 

Sometimes there'll be an announcement bar across the top or it could be a button inside your hero header. (Like Melyssa Griffins)

One of those options or maybe it's a button inside your navigation that specifically just sends people over to your freebie. 

Or you can also put it in your footer.

You can also put it in your blog sidebar.

You could create an exit intent pop-up. So, that when people are trying to close your browser or go to close your browser, it pops up and says “hey, wait a minute. do you want to sign up for this cool freebie?” (Like Stacey Tuschel)

Prioritize your opt-in to build your email list.

Another thing you can create is, a welcome mat, which is just a temporary page that pops up before people go to your homepage. So, it would say “Hey, welcome to my website! You can sign up for my free be here or view the whole website and this button” and you have two buttons you give them the option.

Also create a specific landing page. So, when you're in Facebook groups and you see people talking about or asking questions that your freebie would answer, you can send them to the landing page that specifically tells them about your freebie. The landing page is a page that has no header, no footer, no sidebar nothing. It's just only information about the freebie. And that takes away all distractions and people can just sign up there. You can also use that landing page as a welcome mat. So, you could do both and only have one page. 

You can also include your opt-in inside of blog posts. So, if you're writing about something that's relevant to your freebie you add a little box in the middle of your blog post asking people to sign up and get the freebie to further their knowledge and you know get a little more help with whatever you're talking about. You can also put it at the bottom of every blog post. You know you've finished it up and you say “Hey I’ve written more about this extensively in my freebie get it here.” 

Any place where it's relevant, any place where you can see that getting the freebie adds value to whatever they read that's going to help optimize it, because they're gonna be seeing it in so many places that they're like “oh, yeah, I should do that” It's like when you drive by the gym. So, say you drive by this new fitness studio in your town like every day while you take your kids to daycare you drive there, you drive back you drive there, you drive back you drive and you see this fitness studio and they have a class that you just think would be so cool, it's right on the window but you never sign up. You drive by it every day, you've seen it 30 times this month but you don't sign up and then your friend says “I’m going to this class tonight and it's so much fun” and you say “I want to go too” its because you've seen it enough times. You could have already gone to the workout class, but now that you have another reason. Now you see it again your friend didn't ask you to go she just said she was going and you're like “I’ve been wanting to do that. So I’m gonna go ahead and go” do you see? Like you drive by it every day you could have already gone. It's just that you know eventually you get to the point where you're like “yeah, I’m ready to do this.” “I’m ready to get it.”

That's exactly what it's like on your website they see your they see your pop-up, they see your sidebar, they're like “oh, man” and then they finally read one blog post I’m like “yeah, I’m ready to sign up for this freebie and get some more help on that” that's what you're going for. 

Create content upgrade for topics that aren't covered by your main freebie. 

The other thing that you need to do, that you can do is on blog posts that aren't necessarily relevant to that specific freebie. You create what's called an content upgrade. So, say that you wrote a blog post about decluttering your house. And so, you talked about how you declutter and how it makes you feel and all this stuff and that's the end of that blog post, you say “hey I have a checklist I’ve went through and I’ve written down all the places that you might be storing clutter in your house. Go through this checklist, print it out and it'll help you declutter your house” it's not that super of a juicy freebie, but it is helpful and it is making whatever you talked about easier for your readers and your subscribers.

That's the content upgrade. That's what you want to create on blog posts that aren't necessarily relevant to your main freebie. You're over reaching freebie. Good content upgrades are worksheets, checklists, videos that go into a little more detail. Just something that somebody could print out and get a little more use out of your blog post.

The only trick to actually getting people to sign up for your email list is to offer it.

And, I think that that's the biggest mistake I see most of the time a lot of people aren't even offering the option to sign up for their list. So, pop you're opt-in in your blog posts, on your home page, on your about page anywhere that you think it'll fit.

You can also offer multiple freebies in one section. So, I for example, if I wrote a blog post about Adobe Illustrator this is something I talk about a lot on my blog. I can add the opt-in to the couple of different templates and I have available. And I would just space those out so that it doesn't feel like I’m cramming it down their throats, but I’m making it helpful and showing them that I have more resources on this topic, that they're obviously interested in because they're here reading this blog posts.

That is how you optimize your website to get more people on your list. So, That you can email them and have total control over what they see! 

If you'd like more guidance on creating a strategic website, check out my blueprint for a strategic website!