3 Things To Avoid When List Building – How To Improve Your Opt In Success

List Building TipsThe money is in the list, the money is in the list. This is a mantra that all website owners are sure to have heard or read somewhere.

The benefits of creating a list is that you get to interact with the people who are interested in what you have to say or what you have to offer. One of the most important lessons that any website owner will learn is that they should start collecting email addresses and building a list as soon as possible.

Having a list means that you are not solely dependent on search engine traffic or your website ranking in order to get regular visitors to your blog.

People will come to trust you and your judgement and will be happy to buy from you when you have something to offer or if you recommend products that are suitable for your audience.

I recently took part in a 30 Day List Building and Blogging Challenge and I was very happy that people joined my list. People were engaged enough with the information on the blog and with the subject that I write about – making money online and getting things done.

I am always looking for hints and tips in order to improve my opt in rate. I recently watched a webinar about list building and these are the valuable lessons I took from it. These are all actionable things that anyone looking to build a list should consider.

Three Mistakes To Avoid When Trying to Build A List

  • Failing to have an opt in form
  • Having the wrong type or no opt in incentive
  • Offering too many clickable options and diversions on your website

Mistake #1 – Failing To Have an Opt in Form
Opt in FormThe opt in form is basically a way for you to collect names and email addresses. They come in various shapes, sizes and colours and you can choose to place them anywhere on your website.

The easiest way to set up an opt in form is by using one of the email marketing services. You can choose to use a free product, like Mailchimp or you can use a paid service like Aweber. This is the one that most website owners use because it is efficient.

Don’t Rely on Your Visitors To Return on Their Own – Help Them
If you have a lot of visitors to your website, you may think that you do not need to have an opt in form because these visitors like what they see and they will return.

However, if you want to ensure that these people really do return, why not help them out by collecting their email address and then sending them updates of when new posts are published. By having their email address, people no longer have to remember to visit your site for new info. You can let them know quickly and easily.

This is also a fantastic way to create a sense of community because you can email people with questions or ask them for suggestions of what they would like to see on your site. This way you know that you are provide the service that people actually want, instead of just guessing and hoping and praying that you are right.

One Opt in Form is Good – Two is Better
Aweber 30 Day $1 TrialOn this blog, I have two opt in forms, both created using Aweber. The first is in the sidebar widget on the right side of this blog up near the top.

The second one is at the bottom of this blog post. By placing one here, I hope that people have enjoyed what they have read and would like to receive notification of future postings.

It is definitely a great feeling when I get an message in my in-box that a new person has discovered my blog and has signed up – Thank You :)

I have set up my forms so that I know whether people sign up from the blog post or from the main box at the top. This helps to see what type of things people really pulls people in and encourages them to sign up.

Your Task – Get Your Opt in Form in Place
If you do not have an opt in form on your website, it’s time to get something in place.  Click on the following link to try  Aweber’s 30 day trial for just $1.

Mistake #2 – Having The Wrong Type or No Opt-in Incentive
Sometimes you can be really lucky and find that people will sign up to your mailing list without any extra effort on your part. They have connected with your content and want to read more.

Other times it can be really frustrating when you have your opt in form in a clear and prominent position but you are not getting any sign ups. This can be really confusing if you check your traffic stats and find that your site gets lots of visitors.

Well, the problem could be two-fold:

There is No Incentive To Sign Up
We live in a world where, if you are asking for something, a person will always have the following question in the back of their mind “What’s in it for me?” You have to be able to respond to this question in some way.

If you do not offer something in exchange for that email address, then a lot of people are going by ignore the form. They may continue to visit your site and read your posts but they are not gonna give up their precious details for nothing in return.

People Don’t Want The Free Gift on Offer
Free Gift - No ThanksYou may think that you have offer something that is irresistible because it is free but have you really thought about your target audience and what they might be interested in? Does the incentive marry up with the content on your blog?

What’s the use of offering, for example,  a free ebook of tasty recipes if your website is about fashion?

I am still working on the ultimate free incentive to offer as a sign up gift. That is why my main opt in form doesn’t mention a free gift yet. In the mean time I have created a Freebies Page, where I offer free short reports and case studies that people can download if they sign up.

Your Task
Think about the theme of your website and make a list of the type of things that clearly link with the type of blog posts you write. Here are just some examples of free incentives you could offer:

  • an ebook
  • a check-list relating to your blog topic
  • a short video course
  • a podcast
  • a money off voucher

If you are unsure of what to offer, do as I have and set up a Freebies Page. That way you can provide a few options until you decide on the ultimate give-away.

Mistake #3 – Offering Too Many Clickable Options and Diversions on Your Website
What Do You Want Me To DoOne mistake that we bloggers make is that we put too many distractions on our websites. We want to make it look pretty and stand out from the crowd but the result can be a confusing mess of contradicting messages.

You will read that it is important to place your opt in form right at the top of your blog so that it is one of the first things that people see. This is great but if you have lots of tabs at the top, people may gravitate towards those and start clicking to see what info is available there.

Think About Your Website Layout & Design
Many bloggers advocate a simple and clean website design where there is hardly anything in the sidebar except your opt in form and maybe a couple of category links. Some would say that you shouldn’t add too many social buttons or banners either. Anything that a visitor can click on that isn’t your opt in form is a missed opportunity.

How you decide to set up your blog is your business. For example, I have a GIF image of a cup of tea in my sidebar. It doesn’t have any function but I just like it so it’s staying (for now).

Your Task
Take a look at your website. Do you think you have too many clickable distractions on display? Is your opt in form prominent enough? Does it stand out enough? Take a moment to evaluate the situation and decide whether you need to make a tweak here or there.

The good thing is that you can always try something for a while and if it doesn’t work, you can try something else.

In Closing
I am still fairly new at this list building stuff. I love learning from others and implementing their suggestions. I know that I have a couple of things that I need to tweak so I will be changing, amending and testing as I go.

Have Your Say: How is your list building going? Have you made any mistakes? Do you have any other suggestions to add? I would love you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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