5 Actionable List Building Tricks To Implement in Less Than 2 Hours

Hanne   34

I love challenges… Especially the kind that kick me into action and help to get big results in very little time.

If you’re like me and you would like to boost your email list quickly, I’ve got just the little challenge for you.

In this post, you’ll discover 5 things that you can do to get more subscribers. Each one can be done in less than 2 hours.

So, this weekend, instead of spending your time looking at holiday pictures posted by some "friend" on Facebook (which will NOT help your business grow), I challenge you to pick one item from this post and to implement it…

Ready to grow that list? Here we go!


1. Create a (New) Opt-in Offer

I would like to receive another newsletter!

Nobody Ever

The famous phrase “Subscribe to Our Newsletter” is one of the 3 biggest conversion killers on any opt-in form and should be banned from the internet.

That’s why you need an opt-in offer; a valuable piece of information to give to your audience in exchange for their email address. This could be many different things, an eBook, a video, a mini-course, a checklist, ... as long as it is appealing to your readers.

You already have an opt-in offer? Great! Let’s make another one.

More opt-in offers = more list building opportunities.

Maybe your reader isn’t interested in eBook A but would love to see Checklist B. Different offers will resonate with different people. And unless your name is Nostradamus, it's impossible to guess which offer will be a home run.

That’s why, when we started optimizing the opt-in forms on Eofire, the first thing we did was test 5 different opt-in offers against each other.

The original opt-in offer

The new opt-in offers

Guess what, the opt-in offer that was promoted site wide was NOT the winner and this little experiment lifted conversions by 50.13%.

Different opt-in offer lifts conversions by +50.13%

A good opt-in offer is a quick piece of information that answers a specific question your audience is having. That's why a list of tools or resources makes for a good opt-in offer. 

Because we want to test this (new) opt-in offer quickly, I suggest you make a resource page.

This is a page that's hosted on your website. After subscribing, your reader gets access to this page.

How to make an opt-in offer resource page

  • Brainstorm a list of resources or tools that you use that would be helpful to your audience. Eg. 8 Free Tools to Check Your Google Rankings, 6 Essential Kitchen Utensils That Will Save You Hours, 9 WP Plugins That Will Speed Up Your Site Immediately,...
  • Create a new page on your site and choose the “review resource” landing page from the Thrive Landing Page library. You now have a page that looks exactly is the image below.

Thrive Landing Page template: Review Resource

  • Customize the images and the text.
  • Create a new opt-in form in Thrive Leads, as the after sign-up action select “redirect to URL” and paste the URL of the page you just created.
  • Use a plugin like Yoast SEO to set the index settings of the page to "Nofollow" and "No index" this will avoid people finding this page through Google.
  • Publish the page. Your new opt-in offer is live!

2. A/B Test Your Most Displayed Opt-in Form

We recently ran a test on the Thrive Themes website for our primary opt-in form (the one that is shown to new visitors on all of our blog posts).

Multiple-choice lightbox VS. Multiple-choice screen filler

We tested a multiple-choice lightbox against a multiple-choice screen filler with a completely different design. Both are offering the same opt-in offers with the same copy and display immediately on page load.

The result?

+80.2% in Conversion Rate

+80,2% in conversion rate for the screen filler… That’s a lot of extra subscribers for very little effort! And you can do the same.

How to Add an Opt-in Form Variation

3. Create a (New) Landing Page for Your Opt-in Offer

What do you do if someone wants to come visit you? You give them your address. And not just the street you live in, but also the exact house number so that they can put it in their GPS and arrive quickly without detour.

A landing page is the home of your opt-in offer, it allows you to give a direct address to interested people.

If you already have a landing page, let’s make a new version to test.

Not sure what a landing page is or why you would need one? Check out our beginner's guide to landing pages

How to Build a Lead Generation Landing Page

4. Create a Content Upgrade for Your Best Article

A content upgrade is an opt-in offer that is specific to one piece of content on your site. Because the offer is so closely related to the blog article, signup rates are typically much higher than for a more general opt-in offer.

You can see an example in the blog post 6 Mental Shortcuts That Make Your (Customer’s) Brain Say BUY. The content upgrade is a summary of the 6 psychological triggers + 2 extra brain hacks.

Example of a content upgrade

Content upgrades work, but it also takes time to create them. That’s why I suggest you find your best content (the content that gets a lot of traffic) and create a content upgrade for that blog article.

How to Add a Content Upgrade to Your Article

  • Find the article that gets the most traffic. If you’re using Thrive Leads and you have an opt-in offer that shows on all of your blog articles, you can use the content marketing report and sort by impressions. The article with the most opt-in form impressions is the one that gets the most traffic. Or you can use Google Analytics to find the article that gets most visits. Go to "Behaviour" and click on "Landing Pages".

5. Make a Quiz

Quizzes are fun to take and you can use an opt-in gate to turn your quiz into a list building machine.

There’s only one rule to keep in mind if you want your quiz to be successful at generating leads: the offer you’re making has to be valuable enough so that people want to give their email!

This means that the quiz taker needs to be curious enough to see the result to actually give their email.

You can find examples of how marketing pro’s are doing it here.

How to Make a List Building Quiz

Need more help? Sign up for the free Thrive University Course: How to Use Quizzes to Boost Conversions.

Are you Up for the Challenge?

What strategy will you implement this weekend? Let me know in the comments below!

by Hanne  May 12, 2017


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  • Isn’t the weekend for relaxing and recharging? We Entrepreneurs work so much.. Don’t guilt shame us on working on our business on the weekend.. 🙂 going to a festival now..

    • Many people work on their business “after hours” 🙂 But you can still apply the techniques during the week… It will bring in the same results 😉

  • Great article on ways to quickly create an opt-in offer and build the list…as we know money is in the list 🙂 I will try and get one of them up this weekend.

  • Hi Hanne,

    I’m working right now on a strategy to try do increase my list, but I want to find out a way to have more responsive leads. Email is going down to 2 to 5% Click Rate. Really, really terrible. Most of my audience is using mobile devices and I believe that’s the future, just as Gary Vee says.

    Any plans or ideas to capture more leads and engage people on mobile ? I trust you guys with the solutions you offer, I don’t care if I need to pay for new tools, and I’m willing to pay to get the job done.

    • Hi Claudemir,

      I think there are multiple things at play here:

      1. Your click rate in email is down: this means that people open your email (good thing) but don’t click on the link. Question is… Why not? Is the copy not enticing enough for them to click? Is the information not interesting to them? I would start by trying to write your emails in such a way that your reader will want to click! You can use some curiosity and make sure to write about the benefits of clicking on the link (“You’ll discover…” or “You’ll be able to do XYZ faster/better/cheaper/…” etc.)

      2. Mobile traffic is up. Are the emails you’re sending mobile responsive? Have you read one of your own emails on mobile? Maybe you have a big logo at the top that pushes the link down so that people don’t see it. Maybe the text is too small. Maybe the image or button isn’t showing etc. Make sure to check your emails on mobile and in doubt, use text emails without any fancy stuff (no images or logos or…) this way it will load fast, even on mobile network.

      3. To capture leads on mobile, for now, you can already use a specific opt-in form on mobile. So you could use a screen filler or lightbox on desktop and not show those on mobile and then use a 2-Step ribbon on mobile so that this is a good experience for your user.

      Hope this helps 🙂

  • Very nice articel, small but can make a big difference in little time, 80/20 rule 🙂
    I must do this on the next days!

  • Awesome article,
    Thanks for giving a step-by-step action plan for what needs to be done and how to be done.

    Could you please tell me how to have this page secret?

    I mean anyone can access the link of that resource page via the sitemap or by going through the pages and other several methods (especially if your audience is on the same blogging niche (smart-guys everywhere)).

    Is there a way to secure our optin offers via a password protected page? If yes how? Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Mahesh,

      We have tons of these pages and they are never “secret” (apart from the noindex I talk about in the article).
      The reason is that this would add an unnecessary layer of complexity. Like I explained, more opt-in offers mean more subscribers, so you want to be able to make these offers quickly and make a lot of them. Trying to protect the pages would only slow down this process without any real benefit.

      Think about it, somebody found the page so helpful they share it on social media? ==> Perfect! You now get people to come to your website! Make sure to have an exit intent lightbox on that page (that doesn’t show for subscribers) and you’ll even be capable of capturing leads 😀 Win-Win

      Somebody takes the time to go to your sitemap and find that page: Perfect this means they are really interested in you/your brand/…

      Honestly I would not worry about this

  • Thank you Hanne. I’m working this weekend. I want to reach my goals quicker and faster. I executed your last idea I read of yours about the photo on the home page. Great content!!

  • The link to 10 traffic generating ideas appears to be incorrect. It’s taking me to a page about creating landing pages instead.

  • The Quiz idea is definitely spot on, even in academic field it’s not hard to come up with a comprehensive test which assesses one’s skill (much like a miniature version of, say, GMAT). Now that Thrive Quiz Builder is out and thrive I guess that there’s no excuse anymore. 🙂

  • Hanne – Love your articles. I have them all snoozed in my inbox to read at some point. Would be a great idea to have a PDF version somewhere to download them and read them on the go.

    • Hi Hector, thanks for the suggestion 🙂 I’m afraid those PDF’s would then just stay on your hard drive though 🙂 But I’m glad you like the articles and come back whenever you have some spare time! Also, that way you’re sure to have the latest information!

  • Really like your step by step guides – I need to spend time getting to know my thrive themes wonders – having the focus that you provide is very useful – thanks 🙂

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