Note: you can listen to this episode above or load it up in iTunes.

How to Get Readers Excited to Join and Stay on Your Email List

Today’s episode is part 4 of the new ‘Today, Not Someday’ podcast series. The focus is actioning your ‘someday’ list, the things you’ve always wanted to do to improve your blog but have struggled to make happen. For details about how the series works, check out episode one here. Part 2 was about why you should sell a product on your blog (and how to dot it). Part 3 was about how to get people to sign up onto your email list.

The focus of today’s episode is about how to create the most effective ‘opt-in’, or ‘lead magnet’ for your blog, or if you already have one, how to make it even more powerful. An opt-in is a free special offer that you can give to people who join your email list. Having an opt-in is one of the most significant things you can to do to increase your subscriber numbers and grow your business.

Posting box by Ventsislav Bratovanov on

In This Episode

You can listen to today’s episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we’d also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment). In today’s episode:

  • Why having an opt-in or lead magnet for your email list is so powerful
  • How to create an opt-in for your email list
  • What format your opt-in should use
  • More than 20 ideas of what you can offer as your opt-in gift
  • How to decide what your opt-in gift should be about
  • How I created an opt-in for my Digital Photography School blog this year
  • Why you should update your opt-in
  • Why you should have more than one opt-in
  • How you can give people something that will still make them want to stay on your list, even after they have their gift
  • What your opt-in should look like
  • Tools you can use to help you deliver and promote your opt-in
  • Where you should mention your opt-in

Further Reading and Resources for How to Get Readers Excited to Join and Stay on Your Email List

Tools you can use to deliver and promote your opt-in

These tools are great and I use them for my blogs:

Meet my new friend, Edgar

I’d like to welcome a new sponsor to the ProBlogger podcast for the duration of this 10 part series, my friend ‘Edgar‘.

Edgar is a tool I’ve been using since January of this year that does exactly what this series is about. It enables you to make the work you do on social media keep paying off for the long term.

You put a little work into Edgar today by adding social media updates highlighting the great content in your blog’s archives and Edgar goes to work to share them to your followers not just once but by queuing your updates to keep delivering to into the future.

The team at Edgar have put together a special deal for ProBlogger readers which gives you a free one month trial. Sign up for it at

Other episodes in the Today, Not Someday Series:

How did you go with today’s episode?

What opt-in are you going to create to increase your blog subscriber numbers?

If you already have an opt-in, how are you going to improve it? If you’re creating a new one, what will it be?

I’d love to hear from you about what you’re working on in the comments below, or on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #TodayNotSomeday.

Enjoy this podcast? Sign up to our ProBloggerPLUS newsletter to get notified of all new tutorials and podcasts below.


  • CarrieLLewis

    Thanks for another great podcast, Darren. This series has been especially helpful.

    My primary blog is for helping artists learn how to be more proficient in drawing with colored pencils ( I have one-on-one online courses available and I also do personal critiques on finished artwork for students and non-students alike.

    I have two ideas for opt-ins.

    The first idea is to give away one personal critique per month for three or four months. These retail at $30 each so it would be a good value for an artist who wanted an outside opinion on a finished drawing or painting. I am considering limiting the scope of the personal critique to a basic overview.

    The second idea is to give a one-time discount on the cost of an art course. Right now, art courses range from $105 to $195 dollars, but will probably be increasing in price in 2016.

    This wouldn’t require any additional time on my part beyond writing up the offer and it would be a good value for new subscribers who are interested in courses (as most of them are) and would also give them incentive to follow-up by enrolling in a course.

    Actually, with Christmas right around the corner, I could also offer a coupon on any service as an opt-in for new subscribers, then follow up with one of the other two after Christmas.

    I’m not sure either of these are good ideas or, if they are, which is best. The thought crosses my mind that I could actually do all and give new subscribers a choice.

    Thanks again for the great podcast. I’ve been following this series with interest.

    Best wishes,

    Carrie L. Lewis

    • Hi Carrie – my feeling is that while the 2nd two feel like good deals that they might not work as well because they require a purchase. I’m thinking that something for free for everyone who signs up will be best and then you could do a followup of some kind with an Autoresponder (stay tuned for a podcast on using Autoresponders) as an email later on for new subscribers.

      • CarrieLLewis


        I was wondering about that myself, so thanks for the clarification.

        I hadn’t considered an autoresponder. That’s a good idea.

  • Plenty Tml

    Hi Darren,

    Thank you for your inspiration. I am an avid listener.Your podcast is the best advice I have received for my particular need, and I am very grateful for it. Your call to action to post my experience with Opt-in lists was compelling, so I wanted to share my experience.

    My blog is (the full name is I am in an unusual situation in that I blog anonymously about the Twelve Steps as they apply to people who are compulsive debtors, under earners and over spenders.

    People sign up through an Aweber opt-in form to receive daily inspirational emails about staying solvent and getting out of debt, and enjoying life in spite of debts. So when they opt in, they receive this value right away, every day, in perpetuity.

    This feels like it may be a non-profit business where donations are accepted, but I like the example of being financially self-sufficient by bringing value to people, as a way to show others how they can make a niche for themselves.

    I do not affiliate the site with any financial advisors, but I do link to books in related areas through an affiliate account. I currently make no money on the site except through Amazon affiliate links – primarily to relevant books.

    I now have a full year of posts, and plan to convert these into an eBook format. I believe putting this content into an eBook would help the site be self-sufficient. I plan to test the market for the eBook with a survey, asking current subscribers what format it should take, and which parts of the blog posts they appreciate most.

    I have been considering having alternative opt ins – such as one for weekly subscribers and one for monthly subscribers, where I would send a month of posts in Ebook form.

    My wife is devoted to the blow, reading every post, and she recommends I not be overly pushy selling anything or asking for any financial support. But for the blog to thrive, I feel it needs to grow in readership and financial stability.


    Dave M

  • Joan LateBloomer

    Darren, I’m launching a blog for “midlife moms” within the next month. The photo I’m using as part of my brand I took years ago, but now has special meaning, as the flower is a “late bloomer.” I’D like to offer the print as a download on my opt-in. As a fellow photographer, would you watermark this photo or not?

  • Building an email list is one of my main priorities, but proves to be a struggle. I know I am not alone, but I say it is very frustrating. The lack of readers has me almost to the point of giving up.