11 Ways To Optimize Your Blog For Email Opt-Ins

11 Ways To Get More Email Subscribers & Increase Conversions

email marketing

Are you publishing content on a blog but not converting enough leads from it?

Email marketing and blogging go together like peanut butter and jelly but it takes more skill and experimentation that achieves the end result we seek. It’s not easy, it requires hard work, creativity and consistency to ensure you find the rhythm that works for you and your audience as quickly as possible.

I’ve spent a lot of time, effort and money finding my rhythm and there are a few tricks or “tried and true” methods I’ve come across. There are also a few tricks that used to work really well and have become more saturated. I’ll discuss those too.

1. ebooks Are Out. Courses & Libraries Are In.

White papers, checklists and reports were driving a lot of email subscribers for a few years until it became more common to see eBooks. Providing concise eBooks that contained unique and actionable information have been effective in recent years but we are reaching the point of saturation.

Many experts including John Jantsch and Derek Halpern have recently noted the shift towards free online courses and content libraries as incentives for email subscribers.

Copyblogger is a great example of a site that has already successfully moved over to this model. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of killer content they have behind the free subscriber barrier.

2. Make Sure Your Opt-Ins Are Mobile-Friendly

The rise in mobile traffic is steady and will not stop. The majority of opt-ins I see are not well formatted for mobile. 30% of the Top Dog Social Media site traffic is from mobile devices and that figure has risen by over 35% in the past three years in row.

Here’s a good example of a mobile friendly opt-in form from our good friends at Social Media Examiner:


3. Appeal To Pain Points & Build Value

Let’s say you run a blog that’s about gluten free cooking and your opt-in incentive is a video course on gluten free home cooking essentials. You know that one of the major struggles of your audience is dough. When you go gluten free, it’s difficult to get the dough for bread, pizza and other baked goods just right.

To drive email subscribers to your course, you should create a kick ass video or blog on how to make gluten free dough. Add a call to action in your content that directs people to your free course so they can get access to an entire course that will make them a gluten free cooking master.

Sound like a lot of work? It is, but the competition online is getting stiffer every day.

4. Try a Generous Teaser Video

If making an entire course for your opt-in incentive seems too daunting, try making a 30-60 minute training video and use the first 10 minutes (roughly) in a blog post. Your call to action would be to opt-in for the full video but that first 10 minutes better be great on its own.

This can annoy people if it isn’t done tastefully, which is why I call it the generous teaser video.

5. Use a Lightbox Plugin

You know those annoying pop up opt-in forms that are always pestering you at your favorite sites? You might be surprised to find out that they work really well. In some cases, conversions were increased a whopping 1375%.


The good light box plugins have features that make the pop ups less annoying by controlling how often they are seen and on which pages they show up.

Here’s a couple well-reviewed WordPress plugins to check out:

  • OptinMonster
  • HybridConnect

6. Use Webinars To Deliver “Urgent Education”

Do timely educational webinars – they create urgency and do a great job at capturing many emails in a short period of time that are highly targeted.

For example, when social media experts advertise webinars showing you how to prepare for the upcoming Facebook algorithm changes or how to capitalize on a major trend happening right now, etc.

A screenshot showing Mari Smith’s webinar in Oct 2014


7. Promote Opt-In Incentives On Your Podcast

I’m not big into podcasting but a friend with a popular show recently said something that made me rethink their value. Discussing your opt-in incentive for 1.5 minutes on a 45-minute podcast is equal to a 50-word blurb in a 1500 article (the exact amount of words in this paragraph).

Podcast listeners are providing you with a much higher level of attention than your average blog post reader. It really gives you a great opportunity to build rapport, deliver value and then have the credibility to gain that email conversion.

8. Don’t Slack on The Visuals

If you’re struggling to collect email subscribers, there is a potential harsh reality you’ll face: your visuals (or lack there of) are scaring people away. Having great visual content will produce a lot more social shares and thus a lot more traffic to your website.

9. Setup Goals In Google Analytics

It’s easier to find out how to build your email list when you can easily find out which content is driving the most subscribers. Google Analytics can help you do this but you must set up the Goals section first so it knows to each track of certain actions being taken on your site.

Here’s a great video guide to setting up Goals in Google Analytics:

10. Put Out More Content…or Don’t?

Consistently putting out great content is key to building an email list. Getting more subscribers then becomes a game of getting more traffic and most people would generally agree that a simple way to get more traffic is by putting out more blog posts.

It turns out they might be wrong. Sort of.

Coschedule put out an interesting study that compared posting 2 blog posts per week to 3 per week. The results? Their conclusion was that posting twice a week produced better results. Posting three per week resulted in reduced social shares and comments. I encourage you to check out the full article so you can see the full data.

11. Put an Opt-In Form Below Your Header

Derek Halpern is a big proponent of putting an opt-in form smack dab between your site’s header and the main content below it. Although it’s not something I personally use, it’s tough to argue with a guy is a proven legend in the world of email marketing.


What’s Your Email Marketing Strategy?

How have you optimized your blog to drive more email subscribers? Let me know your answer in the comments below and how email marketing has affected your business.


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