So, you’re doing all the things…
You’re putting yourself out there as a web writer and freelance copywriter, so people can get to know, like, and trust you.
You’re establishing lots of social media connections and followers. You’re publishing content — articles on LinkedIn, your own blog, and possibly on guest blogs, too — to build an audience. You’re establishing a network.
But, now what?
What do you do with all these people you’ve worked so hard to reach and connect with?
Social media algorithms change all the time. The social media platforms themselves may have service disruptions, like Facebook’s extended outage in October. And, you can’t count on people coming back to your website all the time on their own.
It’s so much better to be able to directly communicate with the people you’ve made connections with.
It’s so much better to have your own email list.
You’ve probably heard this before. You know it’s a good idea. (And, if you don’t, read Why You Need an Email List by Kimberly Weitkamp.)
But, you have hundreds or thousands of people you’re connected with on social media and who consume your content. How are you going to get them on an email list?
Clients and prospects ask me this all the time.
Even complete strangers have asked me this question at networking events, once they find out email marketing is one of my copywriting specialties.
I’ve found the easiest answer is this:
Give them a reason to give you their email address.
Sounds simple. But, we web writers know it isn’t always easy.
Because, as fun and affirming as the “You’ve Got Mail” notification used to be back in the ‘90s, today nobody really wants yet another email hitting their already crowded inbox.
Let’s be real…
Another email coming to my inbox? Yes, please! Sign me up!
Has that ever been your response, when you enter your email address into an online form?
If you’re honest, the answer is probably no.
And, this is why it doesn’t work just to ask people to sign up for your list.
The tough-love truth is nobody wants to be another name on our list. They don’t want more emails — even ours — no matter how brilliantly written they are.
They don’t want the emails. They want what the emails are delivering.
So, you have to tell them what they’ll get out of being on your email list. You have to give them a reason why.
But, more than that, you must call them to action.
4 Easy Ways to Encourage People to Sign Up for Your Email List From Social Media
1. Call-to-Action Post
Sometimes, this can be a simple CTA post on the social media platform where your connections already are.
For example, you could post something like, “Want weekly Content Marketing inspiration, tips, and other fun goodies? Subscribe to my weekly newsletter to join my tribe of Content Masters!” Then, follow that with your sign-up link.
Of course, this can’t be the only thing you post on social media. It should be a complement to other regular posts that deliver value about your topic… in this example, content marketing.
A good ratio to maintain is 1:5. Or, in other words, for every five value posts, you earn the right to post a CTA to sign up for your list.
2. Call-to-Action Comment
It’s also appropriate (and effective) to put a CTA to sign up for your email list in the comments of your other regular value-driven posts.
An example of this would be something like, “By the way, if you like this and want more ____ (insights/tips/humor/etc.) like it, be sure to sign up for my free weekly newsletter at (link).”
3. Post About an Upcoming Special Edition of Your Newsletter
You won’t want to do this for more than one special edition each month, or else they’ll no longer be “special.” This tactic is especially relevant if you’re sending your newsletter on or close to a holiday.
For example, “Don’t miss the SPOOKtacular Halloween Edition of my free weekly newsletter!” Or, “Let’s ring in the new year together! You’re going to love the special New Year’s Edition of my newsletter.” And, of course, include your sign-up link.
4. Call-to-Action Link in Your Bio
Granted, most people won’t be looking at your social media bio regularly. But, some people will. So, you want to include a CTA with your sign-up link in your bio on each of your social media accounts, as well.
3 More Ways to Encourage People to Sign Up for Your Email List From Articles You Publish on Your Blog and/or LinkedIn
1. Call-to-Action at the End of the Article
When you publish an article on LinkedIn or to your own blog, anyone who reads it has just given you their time and attention. If they’ve read to the end, you can safely assume they’ve found value in what you published. And, that makes the end of your articles a great place to offer them a chance to get more… by signing up for your email list.
2. Call-to-Action in your Author Bio
If you’re publishing articles on LinkedIn, there’s an automatic link to your bio attached to the end of the article. But, what about articles you publish on your blog? Or, as a guest post on someone else’s blog?
It’s common to publish a small author bio at the end of an article, and this is an appropriate place to put a link to sign up for your email list. Especially when you’re publishing the article on your own blog.
When it comes to guest blogging, not all blog owners will allow this for their guest authors, but some do. So, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
3. Call-to-Action in Your Gravatar
If you’re guest blogging or even leaving comments on blogs, it’s a good idea to set up your profile on gravatar.com, since some blogs pull their author bios directly from there. You can easily include a CTA along with your list sign-up link in the “Name and Details” area of your Gravatar profile.
Include Their Why in Your List Sign-Up Call-to-Action
Remember, people don’t want to be another name on your list. They don’t want more emails in their already crowded inbox. So, your list sign-up CTA has to give them a reason to give you their email address.
Here are five reasons people will give you their email address:
They want the lead magnet you’re offering. Need to know more about lead magnets? Read The Best Lead Magnet for Freelance Copywriters by Steve Slaunwhite and/or 5 Simple Steps to a Lead Magnet That Pulls by Jim Wright.
They want the premium “insider” content you share only via email. What do you talk about in the emails you send your list? Do you deliver insights and tips about how to get more organic traffic? Do you talk about how to improve their results from email marketing? Do you deliver unique content strategies to improve customer retention? Whatever it is, tell them about it as part of your CTA.
They want to feel smart and informed. People get to “borrow” your expertise when you share it with them in your email content. So, share freely. Get them excited about having a leg up on their competition. Give updates on what’s new in the digital-marketing industry. Become their trusted resource.
They want to be interesting and have interesting things to say to their peers. The same content that makes them feel smart and informed will give them interesting things to say to their peers. You can subtly — or even directly — remind them of this as you encourage them to sign up to be on your email list.
They want to be successful. How will your emails help them succeed? Will you be giving them more tools for their toolbox? Insider insights to help them get better results with ____ (content marketing/email/whatever your topic of expertise is)? Tell them as part of your call-to-action!
When you include at least one of these why’s in your call-to-action, it will be powerful in getting your connections, followers, and readers onto your email list.
From there, you can develop a more direct — and even deeper — relationship with them… without worrying about the next change coming to social media.
Now, I’d love to hear from YOU! Which of these seven CTA tactics will you use first? Please tell me in a comments below!