One of the primary goals of a large percentage of websites and blogs is to build their email list. Whether your website is geared toward selling your own products, or is an affiliate advertiser – a list of subscribers are part of your audience, potential customers, and loyal readers.
In this article we’ll look at 7 list building case studies that can help grow your subscriber list. Scroll away!
Stuart Walker and his team at nichehacks.com performed a simple experiment, at the end of which their subscription rate increased by 147.5% in just 30 days.
They started with only a 100-150 subscribers in early 2014. Then they began performing one small change at a time, the aim being to build their email list. By April they had 280 subscribers, so they continued doing so. In the next 2 months, the subscribers jumped to just under 700 per month.
The website changes were simple. Adding 1 additional opt-in box brought in some additional subscribers. Adding even more optins, in various locations on the website, brought in a far more subscribers.
Nichehacks.com shows how in the case of optins, more is better. You can view nichehacks case study here.
Noah Kagan of AppSumo.com, in his Copyblogger blog post, explains an experiment he did in the early days of his website. Initially, Noah just did not want to bother people with emails. Lists were the furthest thing from his mind, until his subscribers started requesting more info.
Noah realized building subscriber lists was an important part of owning and running a website. He decided to make an aggressive effort towards having a bigger list.
It worked. Using several such techniques, Noah found his subscription rates skyrocketed. Here’s what he did:
Noah found these to show substantial results. Here’s Noah’s article on Copyblogger.
A simple list building challenge created by Nathalie Lussier. She challenged herself to do nothing but building her subscriber list, for 30 days. Selling products and other such tasks take a backseat.
What Nathalie didn’t plan for when posting this on her blog, was the number of bloggers who wanted to join in on the 30 day challenge. The case study turned into an “Iron Blogger Marathon.”
In doing so, Nathalie did not reach the goal of 15,000 new subscribers, but she did get 3,000 new subscribers. Other bloggers also made big strides in their subscription rates.
From Nathalie’s experiment, it could indeed do what it set out to do. Read Nathalie’s words about it here.
Matthew Woodward notes how pop-ups on websites can help build lists, if done properly. His case study consisted of finding out why some helped gain subscription sign-ups, while others just annoyed the visitor.
What Matthew found in this case study was – to develop creative touches. When a visitor is about to leave your website, the pop-up ought to provide something that is so tempting, that a majority of visitors should buckle and provide their email.
Matthew cites masterful pop-up technicians who use this technique on their websites. You can see for yourself by visiting Matthew’s blog here.
In the last case study, Matthew speaks about pop-ups, and in this one, Justin Rondeau performed another experiment on pop-ups. Justin wrote about these studies on econsultancy.com‘s blog.
Studying different systems of overlay techniques, Justin shows the results from a series of tests. He studied A/B testing on:
The results of these list building case studies are surprising. Before viewing the results of each A/B test, we recommend that you predict the winner. I will admit that I was correct only about one of them.
Using overlays are a proven list building technique. Go ahead, read Justin’s article to know how best to use overlays.
Brian Dean’s (backlinko.com) famous, thorough case study about increasing search traffic can’t be left out.
The study focuses on the content of other top-rated websites and blogs. Brian found the articles receiving the best attention on those websites, and he planned on how to make them bigger and better.
For example, an article on the 10 Biggest Skyscrapers, getting many views and shares. Brian’s idea meant writing a similar article, on the 50 Tallest Skyscrapers. He’d use similar keywords and phrases and would essentially climb and expand the other article.
So how can you use this in list-building?
Search engines will send more traffic to your site, and using the previous case studies, you can capture the emails from the huge amount of traffic that comes to read your content.
Ahfaz Ahmed launched a free eBook to his fans on Facebook. He ended up getting 200 subscribers in 48 hours.
The case study shows how easily you can convert your audience who are not in your email list by providing a free incentive.
Content upgrades are good but now they aren’t enough to convert visitors and when your website traffic is low, using content upgrades or using traditional list building methods will not bring significant results.
The steps used by Ahfaz to launch an eBook were very simple:
He got around 360 pageviews within 48 hours of launch and managed to get 200 subscribers with a conversion rate of 51%.
The benefits of launching an eBook to your social fans are:
Using free incentives like an eBook on social media can help you explode your list growth. Go ahead and read this list building case study.
Building a subscriber list is so very important, in and of itself. Also because subscribers who convert to customers, can refer more customers. Gladly, the people in this list have carried out experiments with list building, so that you can learn from them.
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