Are your email subscribers trickling in at a handful a week, or less? Or you’re just getting started with email marketing and have no idea what to offer your subscribers?

Let me share with you the strategy I used recently that grew my list by 64% in only two days – and no, this is not a trick statistic where I’ve just started a list and grew it from one subscriber to five! We’re talking way bigger numbers than that!

First up I want to tell you what I’ve done wrong! I made the very common mistake of offering my email list what I thought they needed…not what they wanted. How do you know if you’re making the same mistake? Take a look at your analytics. If you have visitors coming to your site and you’re measuring your conversions, you’ll know if it’s not working!

After a review of my own analytics I knew I had to seriously consider revising my opt-in offering.

An opt-in is some sort of enticing offer or freebie that you give your subscribers in exchange for their email address. Perhaps an e-book or a training series or similar. Gone are the days when people just signed up with nothing in return. So to craft a suitable opt-in offering you need to know what your community (aka potential customers) want.

How do you know what your community wants? You engage with them.

  • Talk to them in social media
  • Send out regular newsletters sharing useful information or tips
  • Provide regular blog posts with information that is relevant to your audience
  • Start conversations

I’m going to share with you the gold nugget that nailed it for me. I offered up a portion of my services for free. And no, I’m not crazy! I promoted across social media that I would give a half hour website review for free to anyone who wanted one. And let me tell you, lots of people did. I kept this offer available for just one week – I had such a huge response that I couldn’t fit any more reviews in. This wasn’t my opt-in offer though. This was my market research. This is where I got to the nitty gritty of what my community wanted.

When people signed up for the website review they had a series of 5 questions they had to answer in a survey format. Then I’d record the review and send them the video. All for free. Another win here is that when I sent them the video I asked them to share the love on social media. And they did! So I have screen grabs about how helpful, informative and insightful my website reviews are. I also have a host of testimonials I can now use on my own website.

BUT, the thing that got me a 64% increase to my email list? By analysing the survey data they had all completed, I now knew what it was that my community wanted! And I changed my opt-in offering to suit. And bang. Within two days, a 64% increase because rather than providing them with what I thought they needed, I gave them what they wanted.

My opt-in is a little different than what you usually see. It’s not an e-book or some sort of download. I created a Website Health Clinic, which provides a series of email training based on your responses to specific, targeted questions about how you’ve currently setup your own website. This free email training is only available to those who have taken my Website Health Clinic.

Your next steps – engage with your community and find out what it is that they really want. Start with a fresh mind; get rid of all of your pre-conceived notions. By starting the conversation with your tribe you’ll soon notice a pattern in either the questions you’re regularly asked or problems that people keep having (problems that you can solve). And then craft your opt-in offer to suit.

{Featured image via LearnVe$t}