Growing your podcast is great, but do you know what’s even better? Growing your email list! Your email list is the most valuable asset you have. This is an audience that has specifically opted in to stay connected with you with a genuine interest in the content you are creating.
Your email list becomes that coveted direct line of communication to your listeners and it can become one of the most powerful tools to grow your business, give you insights to what content to create, the ability to share newsworthy information and is your list of prospects that could potentially become students, customers and clients. Yes, it’s that important and that amazing!
So what are some ways you can start attracting new subscribers?
Offer Podcast Announcements
One of the easiest ways to get people on your list is promising to send regular updates and announcements about your podcast. If your podcast is starting to get some momentum and gain new listeners, you need to be doing this now so that you can stay connected and retain them.
There are a couple different approaches you can take. One is simply sending out an update to alert your audience when new episodes drop, like Donald Miller does with his Building a Storybrand podcast, or you can go one step further and go the Tim Ferriss route and turn your updates into more of a digest format where you provide more comprehensive content, including helpful tips, and recommendations.
Offer a lead magnet
A lead magnet is one of the most common and best ways to get people on your list. The idea is that you offer something free related to your core product that will persuade people to give out their email address.
An enticing lead magnet should solve a problem, deliver an easy solution, be quick to digest and be instantly accessible (because nobody wants to wait).
Some examples of potential lead magnets might include:
- Cheat sheet
- Exclusive content (blog/rare interviews)
Another idea would be to repurpose some existing content and offer it as a PDF as a lead magnet in exchange for their email address. Take a popular topic that resonated with your listeners or some key takeaways from an episode and use that to create a guide that aligns with your brand. Promote it on your site and in your show notes.
“Gated content” is content that the user can access only after they provide their email address. This works especially well for eBooks, email series, and webinars, which are usually heftier resources but can also be very effective in building your list. Offer a sample of the content and make it enticing for the user so that they want to give their email to get the rest.
Speaking of courses, creating a mini email course can be another great way to initiate a conversation with a new subscriber and provide something of real value. It’s also a way to attract the “right” subscribers to your email list. People that are more likely to convert down the road. A good email course establishes trust and you as an authority that people want to learn more from.
Building a mini course is going to take a little bit of work, but it could become a nice evergreen tool that you could eventually set it and forget it and just let it continue to work for you. To get started:
- Pick a topic that has real value to your audience
- Position yourself as “the guide” – This is a very effective technique from Donald Miller’s Storybrand where you are not the hero of the story, your customer is. You are the guide with the experience and the empathy that is here to help them solve their problem.
- Teach them to do something that will have an actual positive outcome (for example: Learn how to be less busy and more productive in 1 week)
- Keep the email course to around 5-7 emails, spaced over a period of one to two weeks. You don’t want to give away everything at once, but you want to keep them interested for the duration of the series.
A typical email course could look something like this:
Email 1: Confirmation email. Let them know that they’ve been signed up
Email 2: Welcome Email – Express your excitement and tease a little bit about what is coming.
Email 3: Content
Email 4: Content
Email 5: Content
Email 5: Ask them to share about your podcast on social, leave a review and let them know that they will be receiving regular updates from you.
Host a Free Webinar
Take your teaching one step further and create a webinar where you can give meaningful advice on a topic that you are passionate about and that aligns with your brand. Even if you don’t have anything to sell, that’s OK. Remember, this is about building your list.
Pick a topic that you think would resonate with your listeners. The idea is to provide an experience for them as well as give them a lot of value. They’re going to love that you’re not asking for anything and in return, they’ll be more inclined to continuing engaging and opening your emails.
Creating your first webinar is easier than you might think, and it can be a lot of fun.
- Pick your topic and plan out your content.
- Create some slides using Keynote or PowerPoint and add in some enticing visual elements.
- Pick a webinar hosting platform. There’s a lot of hosting platforms like Crowdcast and GoToMeeting that offer trial periods for you to experiment and see which one you like the best. You could even use Zoom or YouTube Live as secondary options.
- Create a sign-up page. ConvertKit makes this really easy to set-up. You’ll want to include the date, time, who it’s hosted by and what they can expect to learn from it.
- Connect the landing page to your email marketing to ensure that they will receive the registration confirmation and be sure to send reminder emails to them before the event so you can get the highest attendance possible.
Remember, people don’t learn by just giving them the facts. They learn by stories and experiences. Share the mistakes you’ve learned along the way and how you can help them realize their goals. You’ll build community as well as authority.
Host a challenge
Here’s where you incentivize your listeners to hit a milestone in a short amount of time by offering a reward or challenge to create buzz and excitement. Pat Flynn did something like this where he hosted a 72 hour 0-100 subscriber challenge that worked really well.
Covert Kit also hosted a landing page challenge earlier this year that awarded $10,000 to the first person who grew their email to 100 subscribers. Now you don’t have to give away 10 grand to build your email list, but you get the idea. Create something that challenges your listeners to accomplish something to help build excitement and anticipation.
Remember that it’s not just emails you’re collecting, it’s relationships. It’s people. You have the responsibility to serve them well and in turn, they will become advocates and champions for your show.
Building your email list won’t happen overnight, but when you do it right it can become the most powerful tool in your arsenal for creating strong connections between you and your listeners.
We know how important building an email list is for podcasters, entrepreneurs and small businesses, so we created a very easy to use email capture option in Fusebox that can be configured directly in your plug-in settings in WordPress. This is just one of the amazing features that make Fusebox such a powerful and favorite player among so many podcasters. We encourage you to try it out and use it to start building your email list.
It’s an exciting time to join us. We’re adding new features all the time and we’re committed to supporting and helping you grow your listening audience with all the tools, knowledge and community to help you succeed. Remember, we’re here for you!