6 Ways to Grow Your Email List Without Ads

Are you missing opportunities to grow your email list? As an online business owner, your email list is so valuable because your social media following could disappear tomorrow. If Facebook and Instagram went away, if LinkedIn just completely disappeared, what would you be left with? Your email list! Those are your contacts. And so today we’re going to talk about six places that you can grow your email list, right on your website, even if you don’t want to run any ads.

How Do I Get People to Sign Up for My Email List?

First of all, how do you even get people to sign up for your email list? I would recommend having something that you’re giving away for free. If you have a service-based business, then this is going to be some kind of freebie or opt-in. If you have a product based business, then you can do a coupon like 10% off or 20% off. A coupon code is a great opportunity for you.

But for most of us with service-based businesses, we’re going to do something like a free PDF, a free download,  mini course, an audio training, a video training, or a webinar.

6 ways to grow your email list without ads

Really, there are tons of different opportunities to give something away for free. Think about things that your ideal audience would want to know before working with you. What would they find valuable?

My freebie on my website right now is a guide for a stress-free brand photo shoot. It walks people through how to choose the right photographer, how to choose their outfits and locations, and what shots to make sure that their photographer gets. And it really provides value on something that my ideal clients need before working with me. They need great photos in order to make their website and branding great.

Successful Freebies Give Quick Wins

So think about things that somebody would need before working with you. What’s a question that they have or a problem that they have that you can solve in a very succinct way? You want a freebie that will give them a quick win, that will solve a problem that they have right now and set you up as an authority figure in their life.

Now that we’ve kind of done a quick overview of what to give away, here are six places that you can look to have a sign up for your freebie on your website.

Have an Optin on Your Homepage

The first place is right on your home page. Think about doing this above the fold, which is on the top part of your website. When somebody goes to your website, this is a part that will appear on their screen right away. That’s a great place to put your freebie.

Or if you don’t want it front and center, you can consider putting it at the bottom of your homepage. That way when someone scrolls down through your website, they have an opportunity to get something free for you at the bottom.

Create an Optin in a Top Bar

The second place that you can consider putting it is in the top bar. That’s a little bar that appears at the very top of the page. It’s usually a different color than your menu so that it stands out.

A top bar optin looks very simple. You’re probably not going to have a preview image of your freebie of a PDF or a video or whatever it is. You’re just going to have a few words that says what people are signing up for and a quick form to sign up, or maybe a button to go to a landing page to sign up.

Have an Optin Box in Your Blog’s Sidebar

The third place that you can consider having a place for somebody to sign up for your freebie is in your sidebar. If you have a blog on your website, then I would definitely recommend having a sidebar on your blog posts. It’s a great way for people to get to know you. You can have a little bio of yourself, like two to three sentences, very short, with a picture of you for people to connect with. You can also have some links to your social media, some links to your services or other blog posts and a box where people can sign up for your freebie.

In the sidebar optin box, have one to two sentences about the value that somebody could get by downloading your freebie and then have a form for them to sign up for it. You can also do a preview image here. It’s a great place to put it, just make sure that the you stack one thing on top of another. So you’ll have a preview image on the top, a brief description of the freebie underneath it, and then the form at the bottom. That way it’s not taking up too much space because your sidebar really is pretty narrow.

Put an Optin Box in Your Blog Posts

The fourth place that you can consider having an opt-in box is in your blog posts itself. Now you can do this either within the posts or at the very bottom of the post. My template currently for my blog posts have any opt-in box already built in. So every blog post I publish, there’s already a box on the bottom with my current freebie on there.

But if you’re making a checklist or a PDF that relates to that specific post, then you can consider having one within the post itself. These are called content upgrades. It’s kind of like next level freebie. So instead of just having the one freebie, you would probably have several different freebies and a lot of them can be shorter. They relate very specifically to the content that you’re writing.

Content upgrades are great if blogging is an important part of your marketing strategy, but if it’s not, don’t worry if you’re not ready to create content upgrades. It is a lot of extra work to create and set up.

Have a Pop-up

A fifth place that people can sign up for your freebie on your website is a pop-up. I know everybody hates pop-ups; no one likes pop-ups. But you know what? Popups work because they interrupt the scroll. They get our attention. You don’t have to have a pop-up on your site, but they are effective.

Create a Landing Page

The last place that we’re going to talk about, having a freebie on your website is on a landing page. Everyone should have a landing page for their freebie because it makes it easy to share your freebie.

Because your freebie is going answer questions or solve a problem that your ideal audience has, you’ll want to be able to share it when you see someone asking that question or expressing their concern over that problem. Instead of sending them to your website directly, you’re going to be sending them to this landing page.

A landing page is a separate page on your website. It’s not usually visible in your menu bar. The sole purpose of your landing page is to give people an opportunity to sign up for your freebie. You aren’t advertising your services or sharing your life story on the landing page. The landing page just has one call to action, to sign up for your freebie.

What to Put On Your Landing Page

The landing page would have a brief overview of the value that they’re getting out of your freebie. I love doing these as bullet points because we want to make it easy for people to read quick for them to consume.

Also have a preview image of your freebie on the landing page. A preview image could be a screenshot of your PDF or mockup of you on a video.

Then you’ll just need a form for people to sign up. Most people hate long forms and will choose to not sign up rather than filing out a long form. So for your optin forms, you’ll want to just have a spot for them to put in their name and their email address.

The landing page is short, it’s simple. It gets the point across. And the only action they can take on that page is to sign up or to leave the page. There isn’t a link to anything else on there. It’s a sole purpose is to ask people to sign up for your freebie.

Have Multiple Places for People to Sign Up for Your Email List

I love having multiple places for people to sign up for freebies because it gives them multiple opportunities. Have you ever been walking through the store and you walk right past what you need because you’re concentrated on something else? That can happen even on a website. People might not see the first place that you have a freebie signup and they might not see the second. So let’s give them multiple opportunities to sign up and get the value that you’re offering.

I’d love to hear in the comments, how are you going to get more people to sign up for your freebie, right on your website, which of these ways are you going to put into practice? And if you need help getting a website that does all of these things, and let’s talk about giving your brand a promotion.

Learn how to grow your email list without running ads
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