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My Number 1 Source of Email Subscribers. What’s Yours?

My Number 1 Source of Email Subscribers. What’s Yours?

As you may know, last year I made over 6-figures from my niche website business.

However, many of you may not know that my 2nd business venture is now just as large as my niche website business.  That business is my software business of Long Tail Pro.

How was I able to quickly launch a second successful business?

In a nutshell: Relationships and email.

I was able to build relationships and gain a following through my blog and email subscribers.   By providing true value through my blog posts and emails, individuals were able trust me and see the value in my software.

Obviously, this led to sales.  I can honestly say that without building an email list, my software business would not be anywhere near where it is today. It’s just smart business to start an email list.

Even if you don’t have a product to sell right now, you should be starting an email list.

For example, Fraser Cain – the owner of attributes a big part of the early success of his site to email subscribers.  He now receives over 4 million page views each month.

By collecting email addresses for those interested in his site, he has been able to collect a large following of newsletter (email) subscribers.

Although he doesn’t have any products to sell – these repeated visitors to his site eventually turns into more income through advertising revenue.

In fact, I recently did a second podcast interview with Fraser, (the first interview with Fraser is here) where he describes some of the tactics that he has used to boost his business through email. See how to get the 2nd podcast interview below.

He says that email marketing is “essential” for any business.

Are you building an email list like you should?

If not, you should start right away.  This will put your business in a position to build a loyal following and build long term success.

How I Get Email Subscribers

I want to give you the exact strategies and placements that are working well for me on my blog:

You can really increase your opt-in rates significantly by doing a couple of simple things.  Let me show you what is working, and perhaps what is not working so well.

I have 4 primary opt-in forms on my site that bring in new email subscribers.

1. After Post Opt-in form (lowest opt-in rate of just 0.4%): See image here:

Click to Enlarge

2.  Sidebar Opt in form (second lowest rate of 0.9%)…check it out.

Click to Enlarge

3. Free book Opt in form (Highest rate, but not most subscribers).  This gets the best opt-in rate because the only people visiting this page want the free book.  Its not my highest source of overall subscribers though because not everyone visits this page (only those that find the link).  So, the opt-in rate is high, but the visitors to the page is low.  I highly recommend you add a dedicated free giveaway opt in page:

Click to Enlarge

4. Splash Page opt in (Up to 9% Opt in rate depending on the version…Most of my subscribers come from this page!!)  I can set this page to show to everyone, or only new visitors, or even only visitors to my homepage.  Check this out:

Click to Enlarge

So as you can see the traditional opt in form placements of in the sidebar or after the post get subscribers, but they are the poorest performing.

Most of my subscribers come from my Splash page or my free book page.   I highly recommend that you implement both of these strategies if you are looking to increase your opt in rates.

First, figure out something you can give-away for free.  Then create a dedicated page.

I am currently getting most of my subscribers through my splash page.  This is actually the “Welcome Splash” plugin that Chris Guthrie and I developed a couple of months ago.

How to Create a Splash Page

So far, I’ve shared with you what’s working well for me to increase my emails subscribers. Building an email list is critical to your business!

I am now getting most of my daily subscribers through my Welcome Splash Page.  Check out this video showing how having a Splash Page can boost your email subscribers: See it in Action Right Here! 

As mentioned before, I developed this WordPress plugin, along with Chris Guthrie.  We have both been using this with great success on our blogs over the past couple of months.

Now we are letting others get the Welcome Splash plugin at a HUGE discount.  (Under $20 right now).

So, if you think you might ever want a splash page on any of your sites, I recommend picking it up now.

Bonus Offers

Also, the podcast interview I mentioned with Fraser Cain (owns a site getting 4 million unique visitors a month), is one of the bonus offers available.  It’s a very interesting interview where he shares his email strategies and how they are critical to his business.

Here are the other bonuses that come with your 1-time purchase of the Welcome Splash plugin:

  • Podcast interview with Fraser Cain on how email marketing has been a huge benefit to his business.
  • Interview with Danny on how to do email marketing for Amazon Associates sites.
  • Interview with Chris Guthrie and I about how we use email marketing on our blogs and specific strategies we use to increase our business.

Grab Welcome Splash and the bonus offers here

Overall, these are the strategies and specific opt in placement that I am using and seeing success from.  Hopefully you can take a look at what I have done on my blog here and be able to apply some of these strategies on your own sites as well.

26 Comments for this Post

  1. peter vickss

    peter vickss

    Great post as usual but email marketing is the only way of marketing of products people subscribe and when they get hundreds of email everyday they do not get time to read them.

  2. Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Very interesting – to be honest I’m actually very surprised that your sidebar opt-in box’s conversion rate is that low! I guess a reason for that would be that most people who wanted to subscribe would’ve already done so on the splash page before entering. Was the sidebar opt-in rate higher before you started using the splash page plugin?

    Also – have you split tested pages created with your splash page plugin compared to light-box pop ups (like with Pop Up Domination)? It would be interesting to see which has the higher conversion rate…


    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      No, the sidebar opt-in has always been about the same. I have split tested pop-up domination (used to use it). My opt in rate is twice as high with the Welcome Splash plugin compared to Pop-up domination.

  3. JamesW


    Great post Spencer, I have one on the sidebar and it’s quite enough for me.
    thanks for sharing these interesting spots to position our form.

  4. Sunil l Expedited Wealth Building

    Sunil l Expedited Wealth Building

    quality post Spencer.

    personally I have always struggled between balancing reader experience and the potential increase in subscribers. the numbers certainly don’t lie however. splash screens are very effective.

    currently my only opt in is my free report on the sidebar and the drop down bar on the top. may consider the after post opt in but seeing as it is your lowest converting I am having second thoughts 🙂

    have you considered removing it?

    • Chris Broholm

      Chris Broholm

      Hey Sunil,

      I think you bring up a great point and I saw this plugin coming a while ago because my daily routine for a while consisted of checking out Chris’ and Spencer’s sites (that was when Chris still updated his) and the thought of being attacked by this splashscreen TWICE when I’m already a member seems a little in-your-face.

      It’s like, people sign up out of spite just to get through to the next screen, not because they are interested in the actual message on the splash screen.

      But then again, even the President is using it so maybe I’m just overreacting. Would love to hear some other comments on the matter.

      I know its supposed to only show for new visitors but when you clear cache, logon with different computers, browsers and locations you can face that very same splash screen many times as a current subscriber.

      • Spencer Haws

        Spencer Haws

        Hey Chris – I understand that from a user perspective its not what everyone wants. But I find it much more appealing than a pop up for example (and we know how pervasive those are). Also, it does only show once for new visitors only (unless you clear your cache). Also, also tons of people use this method including Neil Patel,, the President, and many other marketers. Splash pages are fairly common for gathering email addresses.

        So, its a marketing tactic that everyone has to decide for themselves whether or not they want to use.

        • Chris Broholm

          Chris Broholm

          Hey Spencer,

          Thanks for leaving your thoughts.

          I’m just not sure, you didn’t really answer any of my concerns and I feel like your main arguments:

          More appeal than popups (didn’t mention popups)
          Everyone else does it (so we should as well)
          Only shows for new visitors (not true, as I wrote in my post above, and shows poorly on mobile devices)

          I’m not yet convinced. I still feel like splash pages are like twisting people’s arms to get their phone number. Sure you’ll get it, but at what cost?

        • Spencer Haws

          Spencer Haws

          Hey Chris – your concern is that you feel like its too “in your face”. I thought I addressed this by saying simply that its not for everyone. Its a tradeoff between getting more email opt in vs. less opt in and not as direct.

          You ask at “what cost” – you hint that the cost is losing readers. Since implementing the splash page, my daily visitors continue to increase and my time on page is just as high.

          Anyway, I agree that there are some people that will not like it – but its a tradeoff that is paying off well for me. You decide for yourself. (The money really is in the list).

        • Chris Broholm

          Chris Broholm

          Hey Spencer,

          Thanks for expanding a bit on your thoughts. I definitely feel more comfortable attempting a splash page on my own blog in the very near future.

          One thing I wanted to add, my concern was not losing readers, but perhaps those who felt forced to sign up didn’t connect with you as strongly on the email list, perhaps even unsubscribe?

          But if you say its working out better than before you got it, then I’d say that’s probably evidence enough.


  5. Arbel Arif

    Arbel Arif

    “No doubt, the money is in the list”
    Even on niche sites you can build a list.
    Great Post, SH!

  6. Kris @ Detailed Success

    Kris @ Detailed Success

    Thanks for the statistics Spencer.

    I haven’t implemented an email list yet, but it’s definitely next in line in my todo list.

  7. My Number 1 Source of Email Subscribers. What’s Yours? - Niche Blogging Ideas

    My Number 1 Source of Email Subscribers. What’s Yours? - Niche Blogging Ideas

    […] Wed, 04 Jul 2012 18:37:38 +0000 – My Number 1 Source of Email Subscribers. What’s Yours? […]

  8. Todd Magee

    Todd Magee

    Hey Spencer, I evaluated this plugin by viewing the sites (,, and, including your site) using Firefox. When I click on the ” No Thanks, please take me to the site” link, the opt out link does not work. FYI


    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Todd – if you go directly to the sites (rather than the links in my email) – it will work. The email took you to a non-active page, so the links didn’t work. The live plugin works as expected.


    Hey Spencer!

    What are your thoughts on pop ups? Have you tested them to get optins. My optins are pretty horrible on my community college site. Although, my copywriting isn’t the best and it is a tough market…What do you think?

    Thank You

  10. Muzi Mohale

    Muzi Mohale

    Hi Spencer, does your welcome splash page supports feedburner?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      No, currently it supports nearly all email providers though.

  11. Chris @ Npi

    Chris @ Npi

    Hi Spencer,
    nice tips about getting subscribers. Did you perform any A/B test for it?
    BR, Chris

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I tested out other opt-in forms. But I have not A/B tested specifically different layouts for the Splash page yet.

  12. Samuel


    Hey Spencer,

    I’m heavily considering this splash page as a replacement to a squeeze page. I have some niche blog sites where I use some ppc to drive traffic. I send the traffic to a squeeze page first.

    Do you think this would be a good replacement vs having a squeeze page? They pretty much do the same thing except I can have this splash page show up on any page the visitor lands on.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Yes, this could work as a squeeze page quite well. Get the opt in and then send them to the designated page.

  13. Chris @ Npi

    Chris @ Npi

    Thanks for the answer, have a nice weekend!

  14. Adrian Sutherland

    Adrian Sutherland

    Hi Spencer,

    Adrian the newbie here with probably a silly question.

    Inspired by you to build a business of multiple affiliate niche sites, and convinced an email list is important I have 2 questions:

    1. Do I build an individual email list for each affiliate niche site?

    2. What do I give the email list and how often?

    I don’t want to build an authority blog at this stage that requires replying to comments, I just want to build affiliate sites (amazon/adsense/clickbank etc)

    As I will be outsourcing 99% of my content requirements I don’t want to become slave to my email list/s… kind of defeats the purpose.

    Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers, Adrian

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I don’t build email lists for my niche sites. But if you decide to build the site into something bigger, then yes, you should build an email list.

Comments are closed.