bloggiesta email challenge

How to Optimize Your Blog for Email Signups

Posted 16 January, 2015 in Blogging Tips / 9 Comments

Hey Bloggiesta friends! If you’re new here, it’s kind of like email marketing month here on Book Bumblings because of the month’s Be a Better Blogger theme. So when I found out the next Bloggiesta was this month, and remembered that one of my blogging goals was to host a Bloggiesta challenge asap, I knew exactly what topic to go with!

A lot of bloggers don’t realize the importance of email marketing. But while popular social networks come and go and change their algorithms weekly, email isn’t going anywhere. We’re all addicted to our inboxes and there’s no use denying it.

So, how do you get people to subscribe to your list? It’s all about optimization.

How to Optimize Your Blog for Email Signups

I actually went pretty in-depth into this in “How to Grow Your Book Blog’s Email List.” I talk about a lot of different tactics for choosing where to put signup forms and stuff like that, in addition to the tools to use to make it easy.

But since it’s a Bloggiesta weekend and we all have lots to do, I’ll cut to the chase. At the bare minimum, you want to have email signup forms in your sidebar, at the very top of the page, and below each post.

(Note: You will need a WordPress self-hosted blog or (possibly) Blogger for the below challenge)

Part 1: Add a Hello Bar

Here’s how you do it:

1. Make sure that your email marketing provider integrates with Hello Bar. Both of my personal recommendations do, btw. 😉

2. Add a Hello Bar. Sign up for Hello Bar and install it. It’s really easy and takes about 10 minutes. To create a new Hello Bar: C

– Click “Create New,” –> “Collect Emails.”

– Select if you want to collect emails or names and emails, and then select the mailing list you want the emails added to.

– Toggle the settings in the next step. To remove Hello Bar branding (The ‘H’ on the side), you’ll have to become a paying customer. Turning off “Pushes page down” make the bar cover up the top of the page, instead of moving it down below the bar. Keeping on “Remains at top” ensures it stays on the screen as the reader scrolls down. Those are my preferred settings.

– Select the colors for your bar. You’ll want these to match the rest of your website. It should stand out, but not clash.

– Finally, it’s time to customize the text! What do you want your readers to see? You want it to be fun and persuasive.

– Unless you’re paying, you skip the next step and voila! You’re done!

3. Optional: Add an A/B Test. If you want, test which of two or more versions gets more signups by clicking the gear in the dashboard list, and selecting “create variation.” Then change one thing about the bar (background color, text, etc.) and see which works better!

Part 2: Add a Sidebar Signup

This one’s easy. Either with an embedded form, plugin, or whatever. There’s about a thousand options. I use the MailChimp plugin. If you don’t want to embed a form like the one in my sidebar, you can create a standout button that links to a signup page.

Part 3: Add Something at the Bottom of Your Posts

As I talk about in this post, the perfect time to ask someone for their email address is when they just finished loving one of your posts. So go ahead and install the Optin Forms plugin to add a pretty box at the bottom of each post.

If you can’t use the plugin (like if you’re on Blogger or WordPress.com), you can make an image that says something like, “Like this post? Click here to subscribe to them all!” that links to a MailChimp or MadMimi signup form.

Bonus: Install SumoMe

Another awesome email plugin is SumoMe. But their email list building tools kind of go beyond the basics, like popovers and slide ins, so if those words sound intimidating, follow the three steps above and install SumoMe in a month or two. 🙂

If you want to do any more of this email marketing stuff, you’re in luck! Just by doing this stuff, you’ve completed the Be a Better Blogger challenge for the month. Two challenges in one! If you go over to the challenge post, there are other ideas for your email marketing there.

Good luck, and get your Bloggiesta on!

How to Optimize Your Book Blog for Email Signups

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9 Responses to “How to Optimize Your Blog for Email Signups”

  1. I have a Hello Bar on my blog now and am looking at MailChiimp. Don’t know if I’ll get that all set up by the end of the Bloggiesta tomorrow, but I’m on the way! :O)

    Great post and mini-challenge! I definitely moves me in a direction I need to go with my blog!

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