10 Free Tools For Growing Your Email List When You’re Dead-Broke

by | Beginner Blogging, List Building, Tools + Apps

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may receive a commission if you use them. I only recommend product I use, love & trust. 

Everyone wants a big sexy email list right? You’ll get more sales, fans, traffic and a deeper connection with your audience. But when you’re first starting your blog, it’s kind of scary to pop open your wallet with your ultra-skinny budget. Which is why today I’m sharing with you the 6 best free tools for growing your email list in 2018 in our 6th day of the 7 days of Freebies series. 

But before I do, be sure to check out the other posts in this popular series:

 

10 free tools for growing your email list when you're first starting your blog,

The Best Free Email Service Provider For Bloggers:

 

Mailerlite – Free up to 1000 Subscribers

Even though Mailchimp might be the most well-known free email provider Mailerlite definitely takes the cake. With beautiful free landing pages, free automation & Advance segmenting and tagging it’s clearly the better choice. Unlike Mailchimp, with MailerLite’s free plan you can free personalized support – perfect for us less techie bloggers.

MailerLite makes it easy for you to add opt-in forms on your site and create stunning pop-ups without having to get any additional plug-ins – which is ideal for people using Squarespace.

I love MailerLite so much- I created a free MailerLite mini-course walking you through how to set up your freebie, send weekly newsletters, set up automations & add popups + opt-in forms to your blog. You’ll find it inside my free mega resource library – The Vault  – click here for instant access. 

Best Free Plugins For Popups & Growing Your List:

 

Privy –

best free tools for growing your email list

Privy is perfect for bloggers who sell physical products & ecommerce shops but it can totally work for regular bloggers too. Privy lets you create pop-ups, slide ups, embed forms, hello bars and much more.  But my favorite thing about Privy besides the robust free plan is the PRIZE WHEEL.  Readers can spin the wheel for a chance to win free shipping, discount codes, (you set the amounts and odds), really anything you want.   Then after they give you their email address – Privy shows them the coupon code. 

MailMunch (free forms & landing pages with upgrades available)

free plugins to grow your lis

Mailmunch has come a long way since I first heard about them years ago. This is the only free list building plugin I found that lets you create landing pages for free on your site – (grant it they only have two templates available for the free version but you can customize them a little bit) Mailmunch also lets you create embed opt-in forms, top bars, scroll ups, sidebars. This plugin is great if you don’t like the free plugins &  opt-in forms that come with your email service provider. 

Don’t like their free landing pages? Check out this kick-butt blog post from Design Your Own Lovely Blog on how to create free landing pages yourself using wordpress.

Popup Ally Plugin (free version)

free plugins to grow your lis

With the free version of Popupally you’re allow to create a couple different of opt-in forms – embedded, regular pop-ups and exit intent popups (so if someone tries to leave your site, a popup comes up). What I like about this plug-in vs all of the other free plug-ins for opt-in forms is it doesn’t have that “created by” thing in the corner. So it doesn’t ruin the look of the pretty form you create or one of the templates you use.

But my favorite feature is even with the free version you can have your opt-in forms automatically add themselves to all your blog post so you never have to remember to put them in manually. You can even set certain forms to only show up on certain types of blog posts.  Which will lead to more subscribers, since your freebie is more relevant to what their reading.

The Best Free Tools For Creating Captivate Free Opt-in Gifts

 

Opt-in gifts or freebies are special free pieces of content readers can only get in exchange for giving you their email address. You can create a series of text based emails  (a free mini-course or challenge) that automatically to people or you can spice it up with videos, ebooks and handouts using the tools below for an extra pop.

Canva – (For ebooks, printables, checklists, handouts & mini-course slides)

Canva.com is a non-designers dream when it comes creating anything you want to look pretty & professional.  In less than 6 minutes you can create stunning cheat sheets, checklists and workbooks thanks to the boatload of free templates Canva comes with.  While you’re there, create eye-catch Pinterest & social graphics so you  can promote your new freebie everywhere.

Zoom.us (Free Version) – Recording video mini-courses

Did you know besides being an amazing app to host free coaching session –  you can use zoom.us to create videos for your free course?

With Zoom you can:

  1. Wait to hit record until your slides or screen is ready to go (no unprofessional switching over to your slides or Google hangouts on air screen flashing)
  2. Choose the window you want to record and it won’t show the rest of your computer screen
  3.  You can show your face or not
  4.  Not have cheesie water marks in the corner of your videos so you can use them in a  paid courses.
  5. Use the free mp3 version of your videos as an audio course.

The only drawback to Zoom – no editing. If you’re looking for a cheap tool that records & edits check out Screen-Cast-O-Matic – it’s only $15 bucks.

Google Hangouts On Air (Found in Youtube Live) & Chantango

This fantastic duo  is a one-two punch for delivering live workshops & webinars to fatten up your skinny email list for FREE. Now a solid webinar takes time to create and promote but when done right – they’re a list building godsend. Especially if you can host one for another bloggers audience.  Here’s a free click by click tutorial showing you how you can set up one for free on your site today. (No opt-in required)

 

The Best Free Tools For Getting The Word Out About Your Freebies & Blog

 

Buffer (Free)

Buffer lets you schedule tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram posts for free.  With the free plan you can manage 3 social media accounts and schedule 10 post for each.  I figured out a nifty trick on how to get Buffer to recycle tweets & posts for free – check it out. 

Sumo – Free Version (Social Share Icons)

If you want to get the word out about your blog and freebie you need to make it easy for people to share. Sumo (formally Sumo-me) offers a wide variety of free & paid tools to help you spread the word about your blog and grow your list. Be aware you will have to upgrade to a paid plan if you want the opt-in forms to hook up to your email  provider.

That’s why I suggest sticking with the free social share buttons (you can customize the color the match your branding).

Click to Tweet

With this free list building tool all you do is – write the message that you want others to share .Click the “Generate New Link” button to create a custom link. (Like this). Then put that link in your freebies and blog post to make it crazy-easy for people to share your stuff for you.

Tailwind

If I could marry an app, Tailwind would be it. Tailwind is an easy to use app that let’s you schedule  your pins to your Pinterest  boards ultra-fast so you have a constant new stream of traffic. Which means more email subscribers! Tailwind’s Google Chrome Extension makes scheduling other people’s pins to your board soooo fast.  (And the more you spread the love on  Pinterest the faster you grow)

But it’s soo much more than a scheduler. Tailwind:

  • Has amazing analytics so you can tell which group boards give you the most repins and which ones you should ditch
  • Tells you the best time to schedule your Pin
  • Let’s you schedule the same pin to post on multiple boards with one-click (and lets you separate out when you post so it doesn’t spam your followers
  • Has this nifty things called Tribes – which are kind of like group board but you can only get in if you have Tailwind

Tailwind is a paid tool but, you can get your first 400 pins / one month free Tailwind scheduling right here (no credit card required).

Board Booster:

If you’re looking for a more set it and forget auto-pinner (Tailwind requires about 20 minutes per week of attention keep it running at it’s best) then Boardbooster is the pinner for you.  Boardbooster let’s you schedule pins on a loop thanks to secret boards.

Here’s how I set up my Boardbooster.

  1. I went on Tailwind to get my analytics (their reports are easier to read)
  2.  Found my top 5 performing group boards that were the Pin anything type boards (You know the kind where you’ll find a mix of recipes, blogging tips, parent advice and traveling hacks) that had the most followers.
  3. I went to those 5 boards to re-read the their rules
  4. I set up for Boardboost to constantly pin (1-4 per pins day) to those boards from my KateDoster.com board

While BoardBooster isn’t free (it’s a 1 penny a pin – I’m on the 500 per pin plan) BUT I can give you a special 100 pin credit so you can check it out. (No credit card required).

 

There you have it 9 free tools (and 2 paid tools with amazing free trials) to help you grow your email list without opening up your wallet.

 

Got the 411 on any other free apps and tools for growing your email list? Drop them in the comments below.

Then check out the 108 ways to grow your email guide inside my free resource library the vault. Click here to sign up for free!

Jonesing for more free goodies? Here are the other posts in my 7 days of freebie for bloggers series:

 

Don't Worry About What To Email Your List Until 2020!

 

Get two years worth of strategic weekly newsletter topics proven to bloat your piggy bank and leave subscribers feverishly refreshing their inboxes waiting for your next email. 

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