You’ve probably heard the expression “The money’s in the list” tossed around your office. Many marketers believe that your email list is one of the most valuable marketing assets for your brand because you actually own the data, unlike your social media followers.
However, just collecting hundreds of uninterested subscribers who aren’t engaging your content won’t help you convert them into customers. Instead, you need to grow newsletter subscribers with connections who are interested in your message and act as brand advocates for your services.
Email marketing remains the most effective digital marketing strategy and is an essential communication method for reaching your customer base. In fact, 72% of consumers still prefer updates via newsletter, compared to just 17% who prefer social media. With strategic planning, you can begin to grow newsletter subscribers and keep engagement rates high with connections who are loyal to your brand.
How do you go about that? While it’s easier said than done, the following tactics will help you build a high-quality email list to kick-start your digital marketing strategy.
What is a newsletter?
Before diving into tactics, it’s important you understand what exactly a newsletter is and how it can help your business grow. A newsletter is an email communication that’s sent on a consistent basis and includes information about your business, services, and products.
However, newsletters aren’t necessarily selling products; they’re communicating value to your subscribers. In fact, certain methodologies recommend structuring your newsletter with 90% educational and 10% promotional content. Newsletters are meant to create a conversation between your brand and subscribers to keep them in touch with updates and, hopefully, motivate them to take action.
Source: Really Good Emails
We love this newsletter from Google Design because it’s strictly informational and provides instant value to the reader. Not only does it include a quirky note from the Google editors, but it also offers nuggets of blogs, Google design updates, and recommendations from a technologist. As a reader, you feel more connected to the company because it feels personal.
How newsletters benefit your brand
With the right strategy to stay top of mind with customers, you can grow newsletter subscribers who continuously open and engage with your message. In fact, you’re 40 times more likely to get new customers from an impactful newsletter strategy than other digital methods.
Consistent communication with your customers not only helps you build trust, but it also establishes your brand as an authoritative voice in your industry. Once you’re able to form trust, your subscribers will begin to funnel down your customer journey and share your content with their network, which means more qualified subscribers.
How to measure your newsletter’s success
While newsletters can increase your brand awareness and convert subscribers, it’s important you’re measuring success, so you know where to improve. So how do you know if you’re winning the heart of your growing subscriber list? Consider the following metrics and testing strategies:
- Open rate: test subject lines and preheader text
- Delivery rate: test sending emails out at different points in the day
- Click rate: test the position of your CTA, message, and design
- Conversion rate: test the email’s content value
7 effective tactics to grow newsletter subscribers
Now that you know the benefits of developing an email newsletter, it’s time to turn up the volume and learn how to grow newsletter subscribers to build your business.
1. Offer incentives.
Let’s start out with the biggest way to grow newsletter subscribers: incentives. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how great your newsletter content is; potential subscribers need to feel like they’re receiving something in return for their email address. Why? Now, more than ever, consumers are guarding their data carefully. Your newsletter incentive needs to be worth it.
Incentives can include:
- Free shipping
- Percentage off first order
- Educational course
- Gated content like whitepapers, eBooks, etc.
Check out this example from Tattly, who utilizes a 20% incentive with every new subscription to their newsletter. Combined with their fun product line, Tattly also includes catchy copy that makes the signing up for the newsletter fun. This subscription is also easy—users don’t need to take the time to fill out a daunting form—it’s just a few keyword strikes and you’re in.
2. Develop data capture forms.
Linking to a new signup page means that you’re sending your users away from the main site for them to input their personal information. Those precious extra clicks away decrease the chances of the user actually signing up for your newsletter. Instead, include a data capture form directly on your landing pages within the sidebar, footer, or header to make it easy for the user to submit their information.
3. Run contests or sweepstakes.
What’s something the majority of people won’t be able to resist? Anything for free. The trick here is that you don’t have to give away anything extravagant. Oftentimes, your products or services are the best giveaways. Not only does this encourage newsletter signups, but it also gets new subscribers involved in your brand a little more deeply, which could result in future conversions.
Even better? The right kind of contest can go viral and attract even more subscribers to promote your brand. Advertise your contests on your social media to encourage sharing and on your website.
4. Test button elements.
What color is your button? What does the copy say? If you’re thinking this doesn’t matter, you could be missing out on an opportunity to grow newsletter subscribers. In fact, 85% of consumers say that color is a driving factor when researching to buy a new product. The right color can elicit a sense of trust, urgency, or even relaxation. Utilize a color that stands out on your website and doesn’t fade into the background.
For your button copy, play around with different verbiage beyond the typical “sign up” or “subscribe.” Consider copy that keeps it simple and personalized and provides value to your user. Your user shouldn’t have to guess what happens when they subscribe to your newsletter. Effective button copy includes:
- Start My Free Trial
- Give Me 15% Off
- Send Me My eBook
- Gimme New Content
5. Utilize social media.
Just like every business needs a robust email database, they also need a strong social media presence to attract newsletter subscribers. If someone is following your Facebook page or has liked your Twitter, they already feel connected to your brand. Encourage them to join your conversation with consistent posts that highlight the benefits of your newsletter.
Additionally, social media sites make it easy to add newsletter signup options to your brand’s page through custom tabs, lead generation forms, or even adding a link in your about section.
Source: Allbirds, Facebook
Sneaker company Allbirds utilizes its Facebook page to grow newsletter subscribers by including a “Sign Up” button directly on their profile.
6. Use exit intent popup offers.
The truth is: everyone who visits your site won’t sign up for your newsletter right away. While some users find popups aggressive, utilizing this technique is a great way to capture contact information quickly. Instead of launching a popup when a user first enters your site, employ exit intent technology to detect user behavior and prompt a signup form as they’re about to leave your site. With exit intent, you know the user has been on your site long enough to understand your brand and what your newsletter could offer, which makes subscribing less intimidating.
7. Give your subscribers control.
As you’re trying to attract more subscribers, it’s important to consider how to retain your email list and avoid unsubscribes. If you notice an increase in unsubscribes, it could mean that your current list is overwhelmed.
Who can blame them? The average person receives 121 emails per day. To help relieve inbox anxiety, consider offering a “light subscription” option or even a preference center for users to set the timing at their own pace. Your preference center options could include daily, weekly, or monthly options.
The goal of an email list is to keep subscribers on your newsletter list, even if they aren’t receiving your full volume of communication. It’s always better to have an engaged subscriber than someone who receives all your emails but never opens them.
Source: Really Good Emails
Wistia developed a comprehensive preference center that sets up expectations for subscribers and offers control over the frequency and type of email. We love how Wistia sets expectations with the subscriber, so there aren’t any surprises.
If you’re ready to start generating results with your email marketing, you need to first develop a quality newsletter subscriber list. To do so, employ creative tactics that entice potential subscribers to not only sign up, but also engage with your content on a regular basis. Think about it this way: What would grab your attention enough to subscribe to a newsletter?
You can grow newsletter subscribers with a few strategic tactics, including:
- Offering incentives or a contest giveaway
- Testing various button and copy options
- Displaying data forms at the right moments
- Creating a preference center
Now that you understand how to grow your subscriber list, it’s time to start creating powerful newsletters that keep your contacts engaged. Try Campaign Monitor for free to kick-start your email marketing strategy.