How to Build Your Email Marketing List
with a WordPress Website

image of StudioPress logo

Many online publishers run into the same vexing problem when they start email marketing:

You know that email subscribers drive traffic and make up the long-term, profitable audience for your brand or business. But only a handful of your site’s visitors are choosing to sign-up.

Maybe you’ve just started building your list, or maybe you’ve had that opt-in form on your page for months.

No matter how many unique daily visitors you get — or how amazing your service or product is — if they aren’t finding your valued subscriber content, all the likes, tweets, pins, and pluses in the world aren’t going to build that loyal following you need to grow.

Getting your readers and prospects to opt-in to your email list grows harder every day for a very simple reason …

Your prospects have a very limited focus

During most everyday tasks, psychologists now say that our minds wander 30-70% of the time.

Have you ever surfed the internet, only to find an hour later you had no idea what you set out to look for in the first place?

With mobile devices putting us all on an “on all day” multi-tasking collision course, it’s no wonder the visitors to your site are blind to your email opt-in form … if you even have one, that is.

Thankfully the special-ops team over at StudioPress has done much of the hard work for us with a handful of premium WordPress themes designed specifically to boost your email opt-ins. Here’s why …

They know that attention is selective. And when you give someone specific instructions to focus on one thing, they will unconsciously filter out all other stimuli.

Most of the world’s 2.1 billion internet users check their email daily, and most of us can’t pass up valuable information or content, especially when it’s offered for free.

Email is still your prospect’s preferred form of permission-based marketing. And that is great for your bottom line because:

  • Email marketing is still the most cost-effective way of promotion
  • By consistently offering valuable content, you build loyal followers
  • More followers drive repeat traffic through referrals and word-of-mouth
  • You can track data easily and watch your response rates as they climb or fall
  • Higher engagement means higher conversion rates that boost your bottom line

That’s why, when readers and prospects scan your page, you need to laser-focus their attention visually and verbally to the critical information you have to offer.

By offering them something they really need or want — in exchange for that email opt-in — you’re hard-wiring your brand or business for loyal repeat visitors and customers.

To help you get started, take a look these four specially designed WordPress themes from StudioPress.com that make email opt-ins a primary focus for your brand or business:

1. Minimize distractions

image of the focus theme for WordPress

If you’re serious about focusing your audience’s attention, then clean lines and minimal distractions are the key.

Your compelling content becomes the center-piece of this brilliant theme with its mobile responsive design that also grabs the attention of smart-phone and tablet users.

With a clear call-to-action, valuable content, and email opt-in, you’ll be growing your audience in no time.

Click here for the sharp relief of Focus Theme

2. Grab their attention and keep it

image of the streamline theme for WordPress

By drawing the eye of your readers with bright colors and great fonts, you can get them to pay closer attention to the value of your services and subscriber content.

The Streamline theme offers a stunning, minimalist design that offers not one, but two email opt-in forms and intuitively gets out of your way to highlight your best stuff.

By showing your prospects what matters most, you’ll find it’s easy to build those loyal followers, and connect with them on a continual basis.

Click here to zoom-in with Streamline Theme

3. Build your email list quickly

image of the generate theme for WordPress

If you want to put the emphasis on building your email list front and center, there is no better way to do it than by filtering out the noise altogether and making your call-to-action crystal clear.

The Generate theme lives up to its namesake, by making your email opt-in the focal point of your site and pulling in the attention of your audience with great lines and bold content.

Designed to make your site both simple and sophisticated, Generate explicitly asks your readers to join your community in exchange for the valuable information or services you offer.

Click here to accelerate opt-ins with Generate Theme

4. Opt-in with simplicity and style

image of the decor theme for WordPress

The easier you make it for your readers, clients and prospects to become subscribers to your relevant, valuable content, the hungrier they’ll be for more.

The Decor theme offers sophisticated lines and a spacious openness that enhances the laser-focused email sign-up, making it a snap to grow your audience.

This mobile responsive theme effortlessly showcases your products and services on any device while offering a bold frame that enchants the eye.

Click here to wow them with Decor Theme

74,093 people take WordPress further with StudioPress

Here’s the deal …

Our Genesis Design Framework for WordPress empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress.

With search-optimized code and functions, 47 turn-key designs, and unlimited support, updates, and websites you can build, Mashable calls Genesis the “best of the best” among premium WordPress themes.

Serious online publishers trust Genesis to provide a solid foundation for their sites. (And by “serious,” I mean people planning to get somewhere with this whole Internet thing.)

Whether you’re a novice or an advanced developer, Genesis provides you with the rock-solid infrastructure to take WordPress places you never thought it could go.

Click here to check out Genesis and all the turn-key designs today.

About the author

Kelton Reid


Kelton Reid is Director of Multimedia Production for Copyblogger Media, and an independent screenwriter and novelist. Get more from Kelton on Twitter and .

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Comments

  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.

    • I think it’s an extremely bad practice and I don’t recommend it. It’s spam, and will do your list more harm than good.

    • 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.

    • Kelton Reid :

      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?

    • Kelton Reid :

      Offering a free report or product is a great way to up your opt-ins! You should also check out this great post by Joel Friedlander http://www.copyblogger.com/blog-archive-ebooks/

    • 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 http://imfbo.com) 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. Great blog!! You definitely went above and beyond using the examples. 2 THUMPS UP! :)

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

    • Online success is not easy and it takes time. :)

    • 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.

  6. I haven’t built up my email list yet. Hmm….now considering the best ways to do that (without purchasing these themes LOL) *and* keep my subscribers.

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

    Andrew

  9. 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? :)

  10. 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!!

  11. Could you tell me which of your themes are compatible with mobile browsers?

    Like this one: http://demo.studiopress.com/focus/ (if you resize the window, the theme adapts itself. That’s what I want!

    I’m actually looking for a theme to do that, and btw: Love Copyblogger <3 :)

    ¡Thank you!

  12. 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.

  13. 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!
    Cheers

  14. That’s the sole purpose of my James-Scholes.com Blog and I must have half a dozen ways to optin.

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

    James Scholes

  15. I moved over to Genesis a few months ago and use the Enterprise theme, check it out: http://www.marcensign.com – 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!

  16. 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!

  17. Genesis has been a boost and is a core part of my Blog design. I still struggle with technical issues and wonder about the SE support for auto-blogs?

  18. 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.

    Regards
    Andi

  19. 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!

  20. 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.