Optimizing Email Campaigns – Build A Bigger, Qualitative Subscriber List – Final Part!

In the last 2 parts of this article series to teach you – “How to build a bigger and qualitative subscriber list”, we learned 7 awesome techniques that work like a charm.

If you haven’t gone through them,

Here are 5 more techniques from me to wrap up that’ll help you build even a bigger list FASTER!

Table of Contents

Building A Rich Subscriber List

Idea #8: Apply “Content Upgrade” technique to YouTube Videos as well

But, for the downside, YouTube videos have a horrible CTR, some estimates show that it is as low as 0.72%.

Which means chances of getting someone converted to your subscriber or seller from YouTube videos are very low, even though YouTube videos usually get more views than articles to get read on your website.

It can be because of the tons of suggestions YouTube shows, or nobody really opens the video description where you put your link.

However, we don’t care, we care about how to get this hole filled and how to convert so many viewers!

By applying the “Content Upgrade” technique that I discussed in the first article.

If you forgot, Content Upgrade technique is to give something (a checklist, a pdf and so) away to the readers of a particular content which will add even more value to that content.

We applied that technique on website articles, and Brandon from Sold With Video is applying that on his YouTube Videos.

YT Giveaway

In this ending of the video where Brandon talks about how to get more views on your YouTube videos, he pitches a free mini-course to help people with YouTube SEO.

And clicking on the yellow “Get Access Now” button, you get redirected to an opt-in page where you have to enter your email to get the course delivered to your inbox.

YT Giveaway 2

So basically, you have to give something away related to your that YouTube video to get the viewers of that video converted.

Sounds very similar to the Content Upgrade technique, right?

Now, if you’ve read my first article where I discussed implementing Content Upgrade in detail, you probably already figured out how to apply this technique to your YouTube video.

However, for help, I’d take you through the process in brief –

#1. Think of your Giveaway, what viewers of that video will be interested in.

#2. Pitch your giveaway.

#3. Design and Position your giveaway, give it away.

Firstly, come up with a relevant idea for the giveaway content, means think of something for the giveaway content that viewers of that video will actually be interested in.

If you’re talking about building bigger biceps, an excel spreadsheet that helps you to track your workout might do.

Or suppose, you’re an e-commerce owner in KL, Malaysia. So you put a video of the unboxing of any of your very popular product. As a giveaway, you can offer the views a Discount link to that product.

Pick something similar like these, as I mentioned in the “Content Upgrade” technique – ‘Offer something they can’t refuse’.

Next, pitching your giveaway. Well, I remember suggesting you pitching the giveaway in advance, maybe at the starting or in the middle of the content – this creates interest.

So, find a way to pitch your giveaway in a subtle tone within your video.

For the Malaysian e-commerce example, when doing the unboxing, and price aspect come up, you can tell that you have a link to purchase that product in discount, at the end of the video.

Finally, positioning your giveaway. Always try to position the giveaway at the finishing.

Pitching your giveaway and positioning it has a strong correlation between them.

The best practice is, positioning your giveaway at the ending of the video, and within the video, pitching about that giveaway.

This does two things.

Creates more interest in the video, and makes the user watch till the end of that video, at least to get that giveaway.

Also, designing a card for the giveaway that stands out can bring more positive results.

Here’s an example for you, from a big name in marketing – Pat Flynn!

Pat flynn card

You’re all set!

Idea #9: Use Social Proofs to get the Trust

We all know, money gets you more money!

I say, subscribers get you more subscribers!


Show people how much people there are already in your subscriber list. It’s psychologically proven that when people see many other people are trusting someone, they tend to trust that person too.

But but! The irony is, rich only gets richer, the poor only get poorer!

It’s great if you have a rich subscriber list to show off, and get even more subscribers!

But what if you’re poor and have something like 27 subscribers in your list?

You can just tell them – See I got 27 subscribers! How authoritative I am – Subscribe me! You know that’s not going to work.

So if you have more subscribers, that gives you the social proof to get even more subscribers. If you don’t have that many subscribers, you don’t get the social proof to get a respectable amount of subscribers. Ultimately, it ends up being a paradox.

“You need social proof to get subscribers. But you need subscribers to get social proof.”

It’s something we can call the “Social Proof Paradox”, that’s very similar to a classic chicken or the egg problem.

So what’s the solution?

For the rich, it’s already solved. Show off your subscriber count as a social proof to get even more subscribers.

For the poor, you need testimonials, and most importantly, utilize other ways of gathering subscribers so that you can use this method of getting more subscribers.

Now, how this whole testimonial process is going to go?

First off, you need to treat your current subscribers great so that you can earn testimonials from them. Then, show that off in your newsletter opt-in page.

Cheat: If you’re having a hard time earning them, tell one of your friends to do it. I know it sounds little unethical, but ‘Rich only gets richer’ isn’t really fair too, right? 😉 And, I know you’ll deliver good stuff to their email. So you can cheat a little to spread good things, right? 😉

The testimonial would work better if it’s the form of a picture, or something visual. You might take a screenshot of it and attach in the page.


Such a tweet made to you will work fine.

And if you can’t get something in visual, try something like Neville did in NevBlog.

Testimonial nevblog

By the way, I’m impressed by the tone Neville used here – “Will you try out my emails too?” – just after a great testimonial.

Pleasing to the ear, and works like charm. Great work, Neville!

So, what have we learned? That you don’t always need a 20,000-person subscriber list to generate the social proof, such sweet testimonials do it fine too.

And to the subscriber-rich people, you also should try out this testimonial technique, along with subscriber count proof.

Idea #10: Leverage the Power of ‘About Us’ page

Let me give you a surprising fact – your ‘about’ page is one of the most visited pages on your website. Don’t trust me? Check your Google analytics right now. It’ll prove to be true in 90% of cases.

If you’re like most other people, you may think that about us page is just to talk about yourself and tell why you started the blog – that’s it!


You could leverage the power of ‘about us’ page to generate hundreds and thousands of email subscriber.


With this simple fact – People that visit your “About Us” page is actually interested in you, that’s why they’re taking time to know more about you. These people are highly likely to subscribe to you, if pitched right, like the blog commenters.

Simply after telling your story, you could throw a box with the pitch – “Now that you’ve known my story, and know what exactly I do, would you like to hear from me time to time?”

This pitch has some emotion blended into it and very likely to convert those people who got connected to your story.

According to the situation and your story, you could come up with similar pitches that are more suitable for your case.

When you visit backlinko’s about us page, this is what you see in the middle of the content –

About us opt-in

…Just after demonstrating what Backlinko is all about and where the owner, means Brian Dean got featured (Forbes, Washingtonpost, etc.). In short, how authoritative he is and how good he’s at his work.

Such pitch just after that demonstration, works like charm.

You’ll see another opt-in form at the bottom –

About us opt-in 2

Here he’s using that social proof with his subscriber count (exactly what I told in Idea #9), also showing how many big fishes take SEO advice from Brian into the inbox.

Won’t you like to be on the same floor with such big fishes? They get advice from Brian delivered into the inbox, you also have the option to input your email and get the same – both on the same floor.

As expected, Brian gets a great conversion rate from these 2 forms.

About conversion

9.31%, means if 1000 people visited the about page, 93 new subscribers! If 5000 people visited, 465 new subscribers!

Why would you leave 465 subscribers on the table?

Idea #11: Leverage the Power of Words

When I say “Great” vs When I say “Mesmerizing”, which one hits you more?

Don’t bother answering, I know.

The takeaway from this example is, use of different words can bring different result from the same thing.

And, you need to take the advantage of this psychological hack to make your ordinary pitch, extra-ordinary.

Replace the “Sign up for our newsletter” text with “Featured Download”, and see it work like a charm.

Don’t think it does so?

HubSpot download

HubSpot does the same thing and has over 2,25,000 subscribers to show for it.

When you read the HubSpot blog, you’ll see a slider coming along from the right showing you this box, and when you click “Download Now” you get redirected to this landing page to capture email –

Hubspot landing page

Now, why this little tweak works so effectively?

Perception, to answer in one word. When such words like featured, exclusive, advanced words are used to give away content, it enhances the perceived value of that content amazingly.

People then take that content seriously than ever and gets a lot more interested to get such perceptually “valuable” content. 

Ordinary pitches like “Sign up to my list and get a free ebook” do not do any good in today’s internet.

That’s why, your job is to describe your opt-in bribe (like a free ebook) with value terms as cited, to instantly 10x its perceived value and make the audience more interested to get it.

And, it’s a practice that direct mail marketers have been making over decades to enhance the perceived value of their offers…

Some value terms that can make your giveaway more enticing are:

  •       “Exclusive”
  •       “Featured”
  •       “Secrets”
  •       “Special Offer”
  •       “A to Z”
  •       “Step-by-Step”
  •       “In Depth”
  •       “Advanced”
  •       “Access”
  •       “Limited Time”

This terms are powerful and might be used in other places as well, other than the forms –

Newsletter squeeze

So I suggest using powerful value words whenever possible. And it’s not only about using powerful value words, rather it’s about using the right word in the right places, which can do a lot of trick for you.

Be choosy about words in all your pitches, they have a powerful impact.

However, it is not recommended to over-exaggerate – 

“Exclusive Access to a Featured, Limited Time Download”, sounds fluke right away.

Idea #12: Keep Subscribers from Unsubscribing, Get the first impression right

There’s a classic business quote that says – “it’s 5x cheaper to keep a customer than to gain a new one”.

The same goes with subscribers – it’s easier to keep your existing subscribers from unsubscribing than gaining new subscribers.

Now, you don’t want to overlook this easy job trying to focus too much on gaining new subscribers. It’ll be like both side opened pot like then – from the top, you’ll keep gaining subscribers and from you’ll keep losing.

Okay, how to not lose subscribers?


●        keep delivering them the promised value

●        and sometimes surprise them with awesome content that you didn’t promise them!

●        and sometimes make exclusive content only for them that you don’t publish on the website.

A great practice is, surprising them with a bonus content right off the bat, just after they subscribe.

For example, if you promised them a free ebook that they subscribed for, send them another free ebook as a welcome surprise. Trust me, this works like a charm to create a great first impression in their mind.

When I subscribed to Backlinko to get daily news update, I got this awesome surprise from Brian that I really was NOT expecting, and I know what impression of Brian that created on me.

Welcome surprise

You can do the same to make such an impression to your subscriber as well.

And, do not take that bonus content for granted. The ebook I got as a surprise was full of awesomeness. That actually made the impression as I thought – what awesome stuff to give away as a welcome surprise!

That’s It, Finally:

That’s all I had to share about building a qualitative, large email subscriber list. I hope these ideas will help you build a huge list of email, FAST!

Keep busy building emails, till then I’ll come up the guide to put these emails into work, in the next articles of the series.

Also, please take a moment to leave a comment to tell what you thought of the post. I’d love to hear from you.

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