16 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Get More Email Subscribers in Less than 5 Minutes

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Businesses, bloggers, and entrepreneurs live and die by their email marketing.

“The money,” as it’s often said, “is in the list.”

That’s why there are so many great articles out there offering strategies for getting more leads and boosting conversion rates.

But what if you’re short on time? What if you’re not technologically savvy?

Since most list-building strategies are geared towards advanced users with seemingly infinite amounts of time on their hands, your Average Joe and Jane is often left out in the cold.

Not this time.

This article is for those sleep-deprived bloggers with day jobs. It’s for the mothers juggling twenty things at once. It’s for the hopeful entrepreneur who is not quite ready for A/B testing, search engine optimization, and other gobbledygook.

It’s for anyone who needs easy list-building strategies that can be implemented in less than 5 minutes.

Ready? Let’s get started…

1. Add an Exit-Intent® Popup

Hey, did you know that over 70% of the people who leave your website will never return?

Did you know you can convert many of these abandoning users into email subscribers with one simple trick?

exit intent

It’s called Exit-Intent® Technology. It detects user behavior and prompts them with an opt-in form when they’re about to leave.

Here’s How You Do It

You can create an Exit-Intent® popup in a matter of minutes.

Just follow our guide to creating your first campaign, then go to Display Rules » When should the campaign appear? » On Exit-Intent®. Click the toggle to activate the display rule.

Or, follow this easy video tutorial:

Don’t have OptinMonster yet? Click here to get started for free!

2. Add an Opt-In at End of Articles

Readers who reach the end of your article are primed.

Your headline grabbed their attention. Your introduction drew them in like moths to a flame. Your bullet points and anecdotes kept them on their edge of their seats.

Of the millions of articles they could have read, they read yours. And they read until the very end.

They like you. They really, really like you.

That’s why the end of your article is the perfect time to ask them to join your mailing list.

Here’s How You Do It

Adding a call to action in your author bio and the end of each article is a great way to strike while the iron is hot. Here’s how Jeff Goins does it:

Add CTA to your author bio to increase opt-ins

But what if your blog’s theme lacks an author bio section? What if your website has numerous authors?

Then you can use OptinMonster to create an after-content widget with enticing copy to compel your most-engaged readers to subscribe. All you need is an inline campaign, and a compelling CTA. Lilach Bulloch uses inline forms to help her convert 57% of website visitors.

Readers who make it to the end of your articles are focused. They’re engaged and looking for direction.

Give them direction. Direct them to your email list.

And while you’re doing that …

3. Turn Popular Posts into Lead Magnets

highly effective lead magnet ideas and examples

It has many names.

Lead magnets, giveaways, ethical bribes…

Whatever you call it, it’s mighty effective at compelling readers to subscribe to your email list:

“Want this neat bonus? It’s free! I just need your email address…”

The problem? Creating lead magnets can be tricky.

What if you don’t have time to write an eBook or create a PDF checklist? What if producing an email or video series is more than you can do right now? What if creating dazzling infographics is beyond your current skill set?

If this describes you, it doesn’t mean you are resigned to a fate of sitting on the sidelines while everyone else gains more email subscribers.

Not if you have 30 seconds to spare.

That’s all the time it takes to convert one of your popular articles into a handy, easy-to-print, PDF file.

Go to Print Friendly and enter the URL of the article you’d like to convert. Click the “PDF” button. Click “Download.”

Then all you have to do is offer it and deliver it to visitors. And that’s a simple process with OptinMonster.

Here’s How You Do It

All you need to do to deliver your lead magnet is use one of OptinMonster’s Success Themes.

Go to Success in the OptinMonster campaign builder. Choose Success Action » Display a Success Theme. The Download theme is a great option for lead magnet delivery.

optinmonster download success theme

To set this up on your own site, go to Download Location and add the URL for your lead magnet. Then visitors who sign up will be able to download it immediately.

Here are some more ways to deliver your lead magnet when people sign up.

Pretty easy, right? Almost as easy as…

4. Use Content Locking

You know what’s a really quick way to get more subscribers without having to create new content?

Content locking.

It’s where you block off part of the content visitors are reading until they subscribe. And it’s easy to do with OptinMonster. In fact, Trading Strategy Guides added 11,000 new subscribers by using content locking.

Here’s how you do it

First, you’ll want to identify which of your blog posts have the highest traffic. If you’re using WordPress, you can easily see your most popular posts in your dashboard by using MonsterInsights.

Or, you can use Google Analytics. Just click on Behavior » Site Content » Landing Pages. By default, it will show you data for the past 7 days. You can use the date range selector in the top right corner to get a longer view.

Create an after-post or inline campaign as described earlier, then go to Optin » Content Blocking in the OptinMonster campaign builder. Click the toggle to activate it, then choose how you want content to be blocked. You can either hide or remove it.

gated content locking

That’s it! Once visitors subscribe, they’ll magically get access to the content, and you’ll have new subscribers.

You can check out our guide to gated content marketing for more details on this strategy.

You could also …

5. Use a 2-Step Optin

Want to know a neat psychological trick that’s proven to increase email signups? It’s the Zeigarnik effect.

This bit of human psychology just means we’re primed to finish an action we start. And it’s why OptinMonster’s 2-step optins are so successful.

Here’s how you do it

With any campaign, go to Display Rules » When should the campaign appear? Enable MonsterLink™ (On Click). You’ll get some code you can add to any page of your site.

When visitors click the link, your email subscription campaign will appear.

web pop up design inspiration - usslc monsterlink campaign

For more detailed step by step instructions, see our guide on how to use MonsterLinks to load your popup with the click of a button.

6. Try a Different Button Color

What color is your opt-in button?

If you answered “I don’t know” or “what does it matter?” you’re potentially missing out on an easy way to increase opt-ins.

Did you know 85% of shoppers say color is a primary reason for why they buy a certain product?

Did you know the color blue creates a sensation of trust? Red a sense of urgency? Green a sense of relaxation?

By knowing how people perceive different colors and using this knowledge to your advantage, you can increase the likelihood someone will want to join your email list.

Split-Test-CTA

Here’s How You Do It

If you’re using OptinMonster, it’s pretty easy to change the button colors in any campaign. Just click on the button, and you’ll see the editing options on the left. Click on the color button to popup the color picker and choose your new color.

So what color should you use?

Research into color and conversions says it depends on the context.

All the psychology in the world won’t matter if your CTA color blends into the background, so be sure to choose a color that stands out from the rest of your blog or website.

And while we’re on the subject of buttons…

7. Split Test Button Copy

Do you use generic copy such as “Subscribe” or “Sign Up” for your opt-in buttons? If so, I have bad news for you:

It’s actually your CTA button’s copy – not its color or positioning – that matters most.

If you’ve never given your button’s copy a passing thought, it’s time to remedy the situation.

Provide value and relevance, but be sure not to exaggerate.

Keep it simple, but don’t be boring. It’s okay to use two sentences so long as they are short.

One particularly-effective strategy is to personalize your opt-in button.

Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers suggests writing button copy in the first person. By personalizing the words, they become more appealing to the reader.

Let’s look at a few examples.

Which sounds better?

cta-copy-1

Which wording can you relate to?

cta-copy-2

Which button would you rather click?

cta-copy-3

The differences are subtle, but during her testing Joanne found first-person pronouns (“I” and “my”) beat the competition by a whopping 24%.

Sometimes, “subtle” can be huge.

To get the same data on your button, you’ll need to split test. This is easy with OptinMonster.

Here’s How You Do It

Login to OptinMonster, and click on the three-dot menu to the right of the campaign you want to split test.

Select A/B Split Test, then Create Split Test. Name your split test and you’ll get a duplicate of your campaign.

create-split-test-step-2

Then change one element of your campaign, like the button wording. Save and publish the campaign, and OptinMonster will automatically divide your traffic and collect data so you know which one works best.

8. Prominently Display Testimonials

Did you know OptinMonster is recommended by the likes of Michael Stelzner, Ian Cleary, and Yoast?

Of course you did.

OptinMonster prominently displays these heavy hitters on our homepage and Testimonials page. There’s no way you could miss them.

Why do we do this? Because it shows we’re the real deal.

People won’t give their hard-earned money or email address to simply anyone. They want to know you’re on the up and up.

Offering testimonials helps build trust, and more trust means more email subscribers.

Here’s How You Do It

Go find a great endorsement you’ve received.

Look at the reviews people have given you. Browse through your comments and emails. Search for mentions on social media.

Be A Better Blogger found its featured testimonial when the great Amy Harrison tweeted the following:

Complimentary tweets can be turned into great user testimonials

This tweet was turned into a testimonial that’s displayed whenever a reader clicks on one of Be A Better Blogger’s MonsterLinks™:

Adding testimonials from trusted sources is a great way to increase opt-ins

That opt-in form? It’s currently sporting an awesome 26.09% conversion rate.

I’m no mathematician, but it would appear Testimonial + OptinMonster = More Email Subscribers.

Of course, all the awesome testimonials in the world won’t help you if readers can’t see them, so…

9. Remove Distractions

How many widgets do you have in your website’s sidebar?

How many different calls to action are at the end of your articles?

How many choices are your visitors given?

If you’re inundating your readers with options, how can they be expected to take the one action you want them to take?

Want more email subscribers? You need to cut down on the clutter.

Here’s How You Do It

The following screenshot from Henneke Duistermaat is a perfect example of a landing page that focuses on what’s important: getting that email address.

The fewer distractions, the more likely visitors are to opt-in to your mailing list

Per Henneke, this landing page has converted as high as 59.6 percent.

It’s easy to see why. Every aspect – from the headline to the testimonial – is designed to increase conversions. There are no social media icons, advertisements, or anything else to distract readers from the task at hand.

What lessons can we learn from Henneke’s landing page?

We should remove distractions. We shouldn’t prioritize our social media icons. We should move the “search” option (which few people ever use) to the footer. We should stick to one CTA for each article.

We should get rid of anything that doesn’t help us earn more email subscribers.

Here are some more tips on creating high-converting landing pages.

And while we’re removing unnecessary items…

10. Stop Asking For Too Much Information

On your opt-in forms, do you ask for “name” in addition to “email address”?

If so, let me ask you a question…

Do you need it? Do you do anything with that information?

If the answer is “no”, you need to stop asking people to provide it. A/B test after A/B test confirms the more information you ask from readers, the less likely they are to opt-in.

The more info requested on opt-in forms, the fewer sign ups you'll receive

Here’s How You Do It

Stick to the bare essentials. Only ask for the information you need.

Don’t need names? Don’t ask for them. Have no use for phone numbers? Don’t ask people to input them.

Just keep it simple.

The less data you request, the more email subscribers you’ll earn.

Customizing your optin form fields is easy to do with OptinMonster. On any campaign, you can easily choose to ask just for an email address.

How to Add Fields in v5 Builder

11. Share Your Campaign Everywhere

You know what the trouble is with some email campaigns?

There are limits to where you can share them.

It stands to reason that the more places you can display campaigns, the more chances you have to get more subscribers.

Luckily, this couldn’t be simpler with OptinMonster.

Here’s How You Do It

Once you’ve created a campaign you’re happy with, go to the publishing options. One of those is a Shareable MonsterLink™.

create a shareable monsterlink

Grab the link, and add it anywhere you want to show the campaign – social media, author bios, email signature and more.

See how simple that was?

And speaking of places to add a link …

12. Link to a Campaign in Your Twitter Bio

Right now, what information is in your Twitter bio?

Your occupation? A personal quote that holds special meaning to you? Perhaps a hashtag or two or ten?

Why don’t you use that precious real estate to promote your email list?

That’s how Brent Jones uses his Twitter bio:

Your Twitter bio is one more place you can promote your email signup

Simple, effective, and takes minutes to implement.

Here are some more ways to get leads from Twitter.

Here’s How You Do It

While logged into your Twitter account, click the “Edit profile” button on the right-hand side of your profile page. You’ll then be able to change your name, profile and header photos, bio, and more:

Updating your Twitter bio to include a link to your landing page is easy

Once you’ve added a link to your bio, click “Save changes” and admire your handiwork.

But there’s still somewhere else you can add that link …

13. Add an Opt-in Link to Your Email Signature

In a given day, how many emails do you send? Ten? Twenty? More?

If you’re like most people, the answer is: “A lot. I send lots and lots of emails.”

What if I told you each of those emails you send is an opportunity – either an opportunity lost or an opportunity gained?

By placing a hyperlinked CTA (call to action) in your email signature, you have the ability to turn every recipient into a subscriber.

Here’s How You Do It

Each email provider is slightly different, but for Gmail go to Settings » General. Scroll down and you’ll find the Signature section:

Customize your signature to turn each email into a lead-generating opportunity

The link in your signature could point to a landing page, your homepage (assuming it’s optimized), or an article with a particularly-appealing opt-in bribe.

14. Be More Social

Chances are you already spend several hours each week on various social media platforms.

That’s good – in a recent Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Social Media Examiner noted how a majority of marketers increase leads when they use social media for 6+ hours each week.

Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report notes the benefits of social media for lead generation

Ah, but there’s a catch.

How you are using those 6+ hours each week matters.

Sharing videos of kittens and puppies won’t help you unless your business is related to kittens and puppies. Publishing photos of food won’t help you unless you’re a chef or restaurant owner. Live tweeting a Kardashian TV show won’t help you unless… well, it’ll probably never help you.

To see the lead-generating benefits of social media, you need to be purposeful with those 6+ hours.

Here’s How You Do It

Be helpful. Answer questions. Share worthwhile content. Reach out to people. Make connections.

If people find you indispensable on social media, they’re going to want more of you.

More helpful advice. More answers to their questions. More worthwhile content.

And where will they go to get “more”?

Your email list.

15. Add a “Subscribe” Check Box, AND
16. Add a “Thanks for Commenting” Redirect

If you’re a WordPress user, there are two plugins that can boost opt-ins with little-to-no upkeep. Just ensure the plugins stay up to date (you will be notified when there are updates available in your WordPress dashboard), and you’re good to go.

The first is WPForms, which you can use to add a subscribe checkbox to any form on your site. This works with the most popular email service providers including MailChimp, Constant Contact, and AWeber.

With one simple click, readers can opt-in to your mailing list while submitting your contact form, or any other form. It makes subscribing very easy, and readers tend to like easy.

You can check out these step-by-step tutorials on how to add a MailChimp signup checkbox to your contact form, or see the tutorials for AWeber and Constant Contact instead.

The second plugin is Yoast Comment Hacks.

When someone leaves you a comment for the very first time, this plugin redirects them to a “thank you” page. Ramsay Taplin of Blog Tyrant uses this page to encourage subscriptions:

By utilizing Yoast's comment redirect plugin, Blog Tyrant thanks first time comments and asks them to opt-in

Check out these step-by-step instructions on how to set up an after-comment redirect on your WordPress site.

If you ask readers to subscribe when they are engaged (and it’s hard to get more engaged than “leaving a comment for the first time ever”), the odds of them taking you up on your offer are pretty good.

It’s Time To Get More Email Subscribers

You realize they’re yours for the taking, right?

Your ideal customer? Those readers who will hang on your every word? The people who will advocate for you and preach your virtues to their friends?

They’re all out there… ready to join your email list.

You just need to make it as easy for them to do so as possible.

OptinMonster can help, so if you’re not already a customer be sure to check out our list of features. For those who are short on time and tech savvy, we’re a breath of fresh, lead-generating air.

Next, check out our ultimate guides to email marketing, growth hacking, and SEO for even more success with marketing.

And be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more guides, tips, and tutorials.

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Sharon Hurley Hall has been a professional writer for more than 25 years, and is certified in content marketing and email marketing. Her career has included stints as a journalist, blogger, university lecturer, and ghost writer.