How to Build Your Email Marketing List with a WordPress Website

How to Build Your Email Marketing List with a WordPress Website

Reader Comments (49)

  1. Somewhere on the internet I also read about buying a email lists. Is it really true? and Does it work? Can you please put some light on this questions.

    • Beyond being spam, it’s not effective. Those people didn’t sign up to hear from you, and therefore they won’t pay much attention or convert.

    • And the chance of your unsolicited email (spam) getting opened drops close to zero as our email security settings get more sophisticated by the day.

    • To add to that, no legit provider will let you import email lists just like that. Both Aweber and MailChimp takes spam rate very carefully. If you import a list, they require double-optin. If you have an unusually large unsubscribe rate or your emails are being marked as SPAM… your account can get potentially banned from those services.

    • I wouldn’t buy an email list, you have no way of knowing if the emails were picked up legally or if they have ANY interest in your niche. 🙂 It might take longer but building your own fro mscratch is much safer. 🙂

  2. I just moved my site over to Genesis/StudioPress recently and love the platform. I have opt-in boxes in the sidebar and at the end of every blog post. Still considering one across the top of the blog page as well.

    Any thoughts on a free ebook to encourage subscribers?

    • Vince, that’s a tried and true method for gaining opt-ins. Might I suggest a serialized mini-course you deliver over time instead? That way, people don’t just grab the PDF and unsub. Plus, after getting several high-value emails from you, they know that you can be trusted.

    • I’ve done a fair bit of testing, and ebooks (while they make decent email bait) also increase your chances of getting junk email addresses.

      We’re all got email addresses we use when we want something but don’t want to get the emails, right?

      Since we’re already using good content to draw our visitors to our site, usually the best draw for readers to sign up for an email list is to offer them future good content. That way they leave a good email address.

      If you end a blog post with a quick idea of future posts you’ll be writing (the format usually looks like this: “We just finished talking about ABC, and to really take advantage of this information I’ll be writing about XYZ in the future, so join my email list so you’ll get that information when it arrives”) then people will have a good reason to want to join your email list.

      I end each of my blog posts this way on my blog if you’d like some specific examples (at and it’s one reason I get over a 20% signup rate from new visitors.

      • Er…yes, listen to what Brian says (I just read his first sentence and thought he was agreeing that ebooks were the way to go when I wrote my previous response).

        But if you haven’t had time to create a mini course or you’re just starting your blog, consider using the promise of future information as a good way to get email signups.

        Brian is spot on.

  3. Doesn’t the article sounds like an advertisement a bit too much? We got used to a higher standard here at Copyblogger. 🙂

    I am guessing a few sentences on how to actually build the lists would water the tone down a bit?

    • You haven’t been here very long if you haven’t seen us do promotions. 🙂

      Much as we love our readers, the blog exists to let readers know about the tools we create. We see those two things as being very congruent.

    • We do one of these posts a month that feature our themes and how to get the most out of them (and have for nearly two years). Not too bad a trade for all the other content, right? 😉

      For how to build your list (beyond design), follow the first link in the post to our free multi-part email marketing tutorial.

  4. I have read many a times that building a solid email marketing list is important for online success. But building a solid email marketing list is not easy and it is time taking. Any suggestion in this case?

    • You’re already creating good content on your blog, right?

      Email list building is not nearly as time consuming as creating a good blog post. One of the keys to making blogging worth the time you put into it is to get that content read repeatedly, and a good blog post is automatically makes for great email content.

      It’s just one of the things you can do to make your blog post worth the time you spent writing it, and it doesn’t take long at all.

      List building is just one of many ways a good blog post can bring traffic to your site, build loyalty amongst your readers, and make sales. Writing the post is the hard part. The rest is pretty easy and you’re missing out if you’re not taking those last steps and using your blog to it’s full potential.

  5. I recently purchased the Genesis Design Framework, and I’m happy with it.

    I wholeheartedly agree with minimizing distractions. I have a graphic design background and it drives me nuts when I see web designs that are a ‘hot mess,’ in my opinion. I’m not sure if web designers are taught to pay attention to white space, font styles, line spacing, colors, etc. I understand wanting to show off your personality with your website, it’s one of the reasons why I chose the ‘Modern Blogger’ child theme, but you don’t have to hit visitors in the face with a bunch of affiliate ads all over the place or a not-so-great color scheme.

    Web design

    I’d love to learn ‘how to’ design my own website, but the coding seems too tedious for me. I’m grateful I’ve learned as much as I can about web design and can ‘tweak’ my websites.

    By the way… I’m happy the StudioPress ‘child themes’ are clean.

  6. Although this is essentially an advert for genesis I really like the way you’re making it obvious to new bloggers how the correct theme will help you on your mission to build a list by blogging.

    Having the obvious box top right above the fold is so much better than the days of putting the rss feed button.

    Out of interest how easy is to add the aweber code into genesis? I do lots of gigs over at fiverr to instal aweber forms, but have yet to see anyone who’s using genesis. Do this means it super easy, or that the average genesis user is technical enough to do it themselves?


  7. A good way to get more subscribers is to have more forms! On one of my blogs I decided to have 3.

    One right below the navigation area also known as the feature box area. Another at the end of every blog post and finally one in the sidebar.

    Here’s a breakdown of which form my subscribers used.

    Feature Box: 46%
    End of Post: 5%
    Sidebar: 49%

    As you can see, the feature box got almost as many subscribers as the sidebar. The end of post area got a decent amount of subscribers as well.

    I believe the additional signup forms helped me get more subscribers to my blog. So if you only have one in the sidebar you may want to consider adding an email signup form in other areas too.

    • I’ve got a lightbox that pops up right when somebody hits my site, and that accounts for over 60% of my signups. Since you have stats on the other forms, I’m curious if you’ve tried a lightbox Howie.

      Thanks for sharing your signup stats. I’m surprised the sidebar does so well and the end of post doesn’t. I thought people usually ignore the sidebar because they’re reading content. What’s your secret? 🙂

  8. Thanks for the great article! We focus 100% on our list, we offer a ton of value for free, but only if you join the list. Every blog post you create is seen by your entire list, it works! Thanks for the post!!

  9. This post came at just the right time for me! I recently switched over Studiopress and I’m in the process of setting up an email email marketing list. Is there a best practice for frequency? I’m a freelance writer and I blog about that topic. I want to share the content with subscribers but not overshare.

  10. Great post just what I needed. My blog is new and I’m learning all the technical stuff and how it all works and fits together. I’m piecing the whole thing together bit by bit. I get tons of help of Copyblogger so thanks to a fab site!

  11. That’s the sole purpose of my Blog and I must have half a dozen ways to optin.

    Some may argue it’s over-kill but it gets results.

    James Scholes

  12. I moved over to Genesis a few months ago and use the Enterprise theme, check it out: – one thing you forgot to mention about Genesis, the support on the forum is second to none. The people you have manning (and womanning) the forum all deserve a big raise. They are so helpful and incredibly fast in their response, etc. You guys have made it SO easy! Thank you!

  13. I love using Genesis and through this e-mail list growing fast. But, I think its more of the article you producing for the readers that’s make them subscribe to their e-mail list rather than of attracting through the design.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • What exactly are you wondering about? Are you wanting Genesis to be able to automatically post seo content on individual posts?

  14. We are trying something new to us, as a blog we publish both public content and password protected posts, to get access they sign up for the password to get the good stuff. They instantly know that they are getting stuff and that it doesn’t fill up their inbox. However we do send an email to tell them when we have uploaded a new members only post along with email only content.


  15. You have given some good tips on making a list. I think list is very valuable because you can market to your subscribers many times, so it is good for repeat business. I realized this fact very late however now i have started working on making a list. Thanks for sharing these tips! Cheers!

  16. I like this article, is very interesting. I am just looking for a theme that fits this need to capture the attention of my visitors to my blog content. I was thinking of StudioPress, as one of them. I will also discuss other options. Thank you.

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