Growing your Email List


It's all about your email list

Once upon a time there was a lot of internet marketing gurus who told you, me and everyone else that the magic was in “the list.” This list was the people who signed up to receive our emails in their inbox. And it would be magical if we could just get them to sign up.

Now, between you and me, so much has been made of this list thing, and about growing your email list, that I have been hesitant to write about it.

My three lists aren't very big – I'm no expert

So I'm not going to tell you about how important it is to get your list or use your list. After all, I only have three small lists:

  • My daily post newsletter: 798
  • My learn better e-course: 278
  • My blog more e-course: 372

These are tiny lists. But then again, I don't do much with them except share info (either daily posts or course lessons). I'm sure if I were selling something or using these lists to drive more business I might get stressed about the size of them.

Additionally, I've only been casually working at making the sign up forms available on the site in the last year. So take all of this for what it's worth.

Adoption Rates

What I'd like to do is show you the adoption rates on my three lists so you can see what I really want to share today.


That's my daily blogging list and you can see it started growing right after I started daily blogging. It's 2 people away from 800. And every month it grows a bit (from 70-100).


This is my “Learn better” e-course, a free, five week program on how to learn more effectively. It's just under 300, but look at how long it's taken to get there – ten months.

BloggingMoreListThis last list is from my four-part “Blog more regularly” e-course. It's also free. It has just over 370 folks that have signed up. But what you might notice if you read the small print is that this list was created on July 30, 2013 – just under two months ago.

So how did this list grow so fast? (Especially since there was a 10-day period where the signup form was unavailable.)

I hate pop-ups!

You know I've said before how much I hate pop-ups. I can't stand them on mobile sites even more! And I hate when they pop up in my face 10 seconds into reading a post on a site that I've just visited for the first time.

It's like they want me to sign up to marry them, ten minutes into our first date!

But nevertheless, when an online friend told me about a new platform for delivering email courses (called Drip) I got pretty excited. This was from Rob, who also runs HitTail, which I use and love.

I had been working on a new autoresponder course that I had planned to put into MailChimp, and when I found Drip, I asked to try it out.

And in less than two months, I had more sign-ups for that course than I did after almost a year of my “learn better” course.

Using a pop-up. But a nice one.

If you've been on my site in the last two months, you'll have noticed off to the bottom right, a small item that pops up every now and then, but stays out of your way. My site traffic hasn't decreased, so people aren't taking off because of it. And some people have thanked me for using such a nice pop-up.

Want to grow your list even if you don't have email courses?

I know some of you are thinking – wait a minute, I don't have an autoresponder email course, so I can't use Drip.

That's ok, I want to tell you about another service that just launched that offers a similar sign up form (in a nice, clean, non-intrusive pop-up).

It's called OptinMonster.

OptinMonsterYou can see from the feature list that you get more than just a nice bottom-of-the-page pop-up form that stays out of the way. You also get the ability to do A/B testing, and to determine when and where this pop-up appears.

But what's really interesting is the “Exit-Intent Technology.”

Growing your Email list with Exit Intent Tech

What's exit intent? It's when the user moves the mouse to outside the browser content window. You know, like when you're going to type in another url, use a bookmark, or close the browser. At that point, and at that point only, you can ask OptinMonster to pop up one of those large modal windows on top of your screen.

But what makes this different is that it's not at the start of their visit. It's at the end. It's like a last-minute “Hey, want to go on another date?” question, even if the date has gone poorly. After all, the chances are that you won't have another date. So why not ask. At least once.

That's what OptinMonster does for you – it gives you a last minute try. If the user clicks exit, the cookie will ensure that they don't see it again. So it's not every visit. But it's at least once.

Combine that with the nice little bottom-of-the-screen pop-up, and you have a solution that has shown 600% increases on some sites.

Who doesn't want that kind of lift?

So if you want to invite people to email courses, check out Drip. And for everything else, check out OptinMonster.