Email lists are one of the most effective ways of getting returning visitors to your blog. If you don’t already have one, you’re missing out on a lot of great opportunities!
With an email list, you can:
- send your subscribers updates when you publish new blog posts
- promote your products and services or affiliate links
- interact with your audience and learn more about their needs
Theses are just a few of the many different opportunities you’ll gain from having a list of people to contact whenever you want.
This quick tutorial will show you how to add email subscriptions to your WordPress blog.
1. Sign Up to MailChimp
To start things off, you’ll need a platform to manage your email lists. I recommend MailChimp because it’s free as long as you have less than 2,000 subscribers. When get more than 2,000 subscribers, you’ll probably be earning enough blog income to pay for MailChimp’s premium services anyways. Sign up below:
Once you have your account set up, you’ll want to create your first list. I could totally show you how to do that here but MailChimp already has an awesome tutorial on their site. Follow their tutorial and then come back!
You can create however many email lists you want! This might come in handy if you want to segment your audience into different categories.
2. Install an Opt-in Form Plugin for WordPress
Next, you’ll need to install a plugin to integrate MailChimp into WordPress.
While there are many different free opt in plugins for WordPress, I recommend using the premium plugin – ConvertPlus that can be purchased for $24. (If you wish to go the free route, scroll down for your options)
I think it’s the best WordPress email subscription plugin for 3 reasons:
- It’s a fraction of the price of other premium opt-in plugins which makes it affordable for new bloggers
- It comes with several awesome-looking templates that will surely catch the eyes of your readers (Great-looking opt-in forms are proven to significantly increase the number of subscribers you get)
- It allows me to easily offer opt-in freebies in exchange for my readers’ emails. As soon as I started using this strategy, I received a 700% boost in monthly email subscribers and the additional blog earnings helped pay off the plugin cost within the first month!
Here’s are some opt-in form examples of what you can design using ConvertPlus (and please subscribe!):
Best Free Email Opt-in Plugins for WordPress
I know that as a new blogger you might not want to pay for a premium opt-in plugin when you’re not making money, so here are some free options I recommend:
3. Create Your Opt-in Form
The instructions for creating an opt-in form will vary depending on the plugin you choose to use. However, there will usually be documentation that comes with the plugin to help you create one.
When your opt-in form is all set up, you can then connect it to your MailChimp account and choose a list. When readers subscribe using your opt-in form, they’ll automatically go to that list.
Awesome Places to Put Your Opt-in Forms
You’ll want to place your opt-in forms in strategic locations around your blog. Here are some places I recommend:
Sidebar – When readers view your posts on computers with larger screens, often they’ll see your sidebar (if you have one). Placing a widget containing your opt-in form in this location with a captivating invite to subscribe will definitely catch some eyes!
To add an opt-in widget to your sidebar, go to Appearance > Widgets from your WordPress dashboard and drag a corresponding opt-in widget to your sidebar from there. The three plugins I mentioned above will give you opt-in widgets to go with your forms!
Footer – Your footer is typically a place where a reader goes if they want to find out more information about your blog or if they reach the end of your blog posts. Having an opt-in form there for when they do scroll down to your footer is an excellent way to convert them to subscribers. You can add an opt-in footer widget the same way you would add a opt-in sidebar widget except drag it to the footer section instead!
Pop-up Forms – Based on personal experience, implementing your opt-in forms in the form of a pop-up is the most effective way of converting readers to subscribers. As they’re reading one of your posts or visiting a page on your site, it’ll jump out of nowhere asking them if they want to subscribe. Just make sure you only show the pop-up once so readers don’t get annoyed!
Useful Tip: Don’t forget to offer Opt-in Freebies to maximize the effectiveness of your opt-in forms!
I hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions or would like to add a nice comment, drop a comment down below!