A well-executed email marketing campaign is the backbone of a successful content marketing strategy.
It’s far more effective at reaching raving fans than any other digital marketing tool you know, including social media.
The biggest challenge, however, has to be figuring out what to do to grow your email list.
How do you get more people to subscribe to your email newsletter?
More on that later, but first:
What’s an email Subscriber?
Before you begin working on your next email newsletter, it would be helpful to focus on your readers first.
An email subscriber refers to an audience member that explicitly opted in to receive your content via email.
What’s the Difference Between an Email Newsletter and Email Marketing Campaign?
An email newsletter differs from other email campaign materials in that it typically aims to engage and educate, even though it might still contain a call to action.
Note the word news in “newsletter.” In essence, it’s an informative piece of communication that aims to provide company and industry-based news to email subscribers.
An email marketing campaign, on the other hand, only focuses on sales.
Why Email Newsletters?
So, what are some of the benefits of running an email newsletter campaign?
According to Campaign Monitor, for every dollar you spend on email marketing, you’re likely to make $44 in returns.
With such high returns, no serious marketer can afford to ignore the value of an email marketing campaign to their business.
Establishes You as the Go-to Expert in Your Field
Email newsletters are a perfect way to develop your reputation and brand your business as the go-to expert in your field.
Whenever your clients and prospects encounter a problem, you’ll be the first person they would want to reach out to for a solution or answer.
It’s easy to track and monitor an email campaign.
You can easily monitor your click-through rates and open rates to find out what topics your email audience finds interesting.
The more you learn and understand your audience, the easier it will be for you to segment your email list and create targeted content.
Email recipients are also easy to convert, provided you’re targeting them with the right message.
Instead of going from door to door, trying to speak to different customers and get them to consider buying from you, you can use email marketing to send one marketing message to many prospects all at once.
You can send one newsletter to thousands of subscribers within minutes. What’s even better is that you can use data-driven insights to personalize each newsletter you send.
Increases Your Customers’ Lifetime Value (CLV)
The more you stay in touch with your current customers and prospects, the more they’re likely to warm up to you and spend on your products or services, time and again.
Because you’ll be there to constantly remind them that you have a solution to their problems.
It’s also a great opportunity to keep them updated on your new products or services, which they wouldn’t have otherwise known.
Does Your Business Really Need Newsletter Subscribers?
Studies show brand audiences prefer email messages to social media updates or text messages.
Other studies also show that 61% of consumers would prefer to be contacted via email.
How to Measure Your Email Newsletter Success
When measuring your overall email success, you must pay attention to a few key metrics.
Luckily for you, there are tools to help you monitor these metrics and even suggest necessary fixes.
Here are the metrics to watch:
Open rate refers to the number of subscribers that open your email newsletters to read them.
After opening your email, some of your subscribers may decide to go ahead and click on your CTA or link.
Click-Through Rate refers to the number of people who click on your CTA or link to visit your site or landing page
This refers to the number of people that opt-out of your email campaign. When a subscriber opts to unsubscribe from your campaign, that marks the end of them receiving your newsletters unless they decide to opt back.
Reasons for unsubscribing your email campaign abound.
It could be that the subscriber finds your email annoying, not helpful or they have other personal reasons for doing so.
While there are a few pointers to observe to reduce the number of people unsubscribing from your email list, it’s almost inevitable that, at some point, some of your subscribers will want out.
It’s only worrying when the subscribers are opting out in large numbers.
How to Write Email Newsletters that Your Subscribers will want to Read
The secret to writing email newsletters that your subscribers will want to read is being deliberate.
Don’t just write email content for the sake of it. You need a basic strategy, where each email message plays to the next.
Here are a few tips for writing an email newsletter that will delight your subscribers:
Evaluate If Writing an Email Newsletter is the Right Move for Your Business or Company
If an email newsletter doesn’t sit right with your marketing activities, then there’s no point in working on one.
You can start by doing some research. Find out if other companies in your industry are also using email newsletters and if people are actually subscribing to them.
What value are they offering? And do you have enough resources to sustain the campaign – internal support, time, and budget.
Figure Out What Kind of Email Newsletters You’d Like to Send
The biggest problem with the email newsletters that companies send is that they’re not focused on one particular aspect of their business.
Product news fits right into PR stories, while blog posts fit right into random events of the week.
It’s a mess when you mix them up. Not just in email marketing, but your overall content marketing strategy.
So, instead of covering everything that your company is involved with, why don’t you narrow it down to one specific vertical?
We can use Buzzfeed as an example. Their content is as broad as they come, covering a whole enchilada of everything in the meat world. Yet, they have a newsletter that only focuses on cats, “This Week in Cat.”
This is a newsletter for people obsessed with cats.
Balance Your Newsletter Content
Learn to balance your newsletters.
Focus on offering value or educating your subscribers and only using the time between to promote yourself.
The ratio is 90% to 10%. Where 90% of your content is dedicated to offering value and only 10% is used for promotion.
There’s nothing wrong with putting your intentions in the clear. In as much as your subscribers would love to hear from you, there’s only so much dollar that you can make from them before they tune out.
Clue Your Subscribers on the Kind of Messages they Should Expect in Your Newsletters
Your little group of subscribers should at least know what to expect when signing up for your newsletters.
Figure out how to properly communicate to them on your landing page.
Even more important, be specific.
Let them know what topics you cover in the newsletters, as well as how often will they be hearing from you.
Tell then what’s in the newsletter, and if possible, include a preview link.
As a subscriber, isn’t this awesome?
You’re opting in knowing what to expect and how often.
As a marketer, being upfront with this information will significantly reduce the number of people unsubscribing from your email list. Your spam rate is also going to drop.
Be Creative with Your Subject Lines
Having people sign up for your newsletters is one thing. Getting them to open your emails to read them is another.
One common trick marketers use is to create a sense of familiarity by sticking with one subject line for a predetermined period.
Well, this is not something we’d advise you to do.
The reason being, these subject lines grow tired really fast. Plus, there’s no incentive for a subscriber to click on them.
A more suitable alternative would be to try approaching everything with a creative mind. Try to use a different subject line with every new email that you send. And most importantly, make them engaging.
Let’s pluck a page straight out of Thrillist book. See how creative they are with their subject lines:
- Got $5? We Have a Feast for You
- Pizza Ice Cream, No Joke
- WARNING! This Email is Red Hot
- You Need to Drink All of This
Their emails are hard to resist. You can tell they put so much thought into coming up with these subject lines.
Pick Your Primary CTA
Part of creating a newsletter is that each Newsletter can have its own CTA. But that’s not to say these CTAs are equally important
Here’s the thing:
There are two types of newsletter CTAs.
1. Head honcho CTA: There has to be that one course of action that you’d like to see almost every single one of your subscribers take.
It’s that one action that your business lives for. It includes something like:
- Purchase a ticket
- Click here to buy
- Buy now
2. In-case-you-have-time CTA: This refers to the simple assignments that you have for the user. It could be something simple as ‘click here to read this blog post” or “helps us forward this email to one of your friends.” It’s more like asking your subscribers for a small favour or to do something that’s of their benefit.
Keep it Simple: Be a Minimalist
The last thing you want is to send your subscribers a cluttered newsletter.
However, this can easily be avoided by keeping your email copy concise and observing more white space in your design.
Be succinct. Figure out how to best communicate your message with the least number of words.
Your subscribers only have a few minutes to spare to read your emails. For those interested in more information, you can direct them to one of your blog posts that covers the topic in detail.
But for email newsletters, all you want to do is give your subscribers a taste of your content – just enough to make them learn something and get curious to want to learn more.
Learn to leverage white space to lessen the cluttered feel, especially on mobile.
Include Alt Text to Your Images
Images are incredibly important in any marketing activity. It’s only natural that you would also want to include them in your email marketing campaign.
But here’s where everything gets tricky.
Not all of your subscribers have enabled images. Meaning, some of them won’t get to see them.
And that’s exactly where alt texts come in handy.
For the uninitiated, alt texts refer to the alternative texts that appear when your images fail to load.
They’re especially important when using an image for CTA. You want to make sure people can still click on your CTA even when your images fail to load.
21 Great Tips to Get More People to Subscribe to Your Email List
1# Offer Incentives
60% of users say they only subscribe to email newsletters to receive an offer or sale.
So, have something for them. Something they won’t mind dishing out their email address and other details for.
Here are a few examples of incentives that your subscribers might love:
- Just for lulz
- Sign up for a puppy parcel. Have an adorable, little furry friend delivered right at your door, and get to experience unconditional love – and some poop, of course.
Now, more realistically
- Sign up to receive cutting-edge marketing material, delivered right into your inbox.
- Subscribe to receive our dining newsletters. We have exclusive deals and coupons on almost all the local restaurants.
2# Place Your Email Subscription Form or Button Where it Can Easily Be Seen or Found
Ever visited a website and wondered where they hide their subscription button (leave alone why)?
Turns out, this is a common problem with most sites.
Unless you make this option visible to everyone, then don’t expect to see your opt-ins increase.
First, make sure you have included your sign-up form in all the popular pages, especially your homepage, blog, and resources page.
To further get more people to click on your form, remember to add the link to your email signature, social media channels, company descriptions, and any other relevant location.
3# Use Popup Forms
Popup forms or leads forms are a great way to boost your newsletter subscriptions.
You can create a popup form that markets your offer on specific web pages, like your blog posts.
You have multiple options to go with: exit popups, drop-downs, and slide-ins.
So, it’s upon you to decide which option works best with your site visitors and website designers.
But regardless of what option you choose to go with, opt-in forms are 1, 375% better at converting your subscribers than traditional forms.
4# Make the Subscription Forms Easy to Fill Up
You have the option of requesting your customers for any information you deem fit.
Is their email address enough or would you need their name, as well?
Requesting for the first name allows you to personalize your email messages.
However, some would still argue that you only need their email address. The point is, the easier these sign-up forms are, the more your customers are likely to subscribe.
When setting up the forms for the first time, we’d suggest you only ask for their email address and make their names and other details optional to fill in.
5# Ask Your Subscribers to Share or Forward Your Email Newsletters
There’s no harm in asking your subscribers to forward your newsletters to their friends and families.
You’d be surprised by how many of them are willing to do that.
This may also elicit an emotional reaction.
Plus, people are more likely to open an email when it’s from a person they know.
It’s also a great strategy to get more people to subscribe to your email list. Just be sure to include a “learn more” or “sign up” button for the email recipients to subscribe.
6# Drive the Right Traffic
Whether you’re selling your own products or services, promoting affiliate products, or just driving repeat traffic, the only way to accomplish your goals is to focus on driving the right traffic.
So, what’s the right traffic?
Your blog might be driving tons and tons of traffic, but if the visitors have little to no interest in whatever you’re offering, then don’t expect them to sign up.
The more your site visitors opt into your email campaign, the likely they’re interested in what you’re offering. The more it’s likely that they’ll also be making a purchase.
So, how do you drive the right traffic:
- Brainstorm your post ideas: You want to make sure your topics focus on some of the things your target audience will want to read.
- Use the Right Keywords: You need to do some serious keyword research when setting up your campaign. Make sure you know the exact keywords people are using to search for your products or services.
7# A Viral Giveaway
After attracting the right people to your website or blog, what next? How do you get them to subscribe to your email newsletter?
A viral contest or giveaways is a great way to build an email list and drive even more traffic.
How to do about it:
- You can begin by installing the Raffle Press Plugin. If you can’t afford their paid version, use their free version. It works just fine.
- Announce an irresistible price
- Incentivize participants to share your giveaway and earn entries
- Encourage word-of-mouth advertising. This is an excellent way to drive more traffic and get even more signups for your newsletters.
8# Leverage Exit-Intent to Lock in Abandoning Visitors
Regular popups are intrusive and annoying in a sense.
So, why not give exit-intent pop-ups a try?
See, with these pop-ups, users only receive them when they’re about hop out of your site.
Think of exit-intent pop-ups as your last stab to convert abandoning visitors into subscribers.
Done properly, exit-intent pop-ups can help you convert an additional 2% to 4% of your site visitors into subscribers.
9# Let Your Subscribers Know What’s in for them
What are your subscribers bound to benefit by subscribing to your email list?
Remember that these are total strangers. They have absolutely no reason to give you their email addresses until you give them one.
So, spell it out and let them know how they’re going to benefit by joining your community of subscribers.
Be sure to mention how often you intend to email them, and with what content.
Here’s an example:
10# Have an Option for Your Readers to Download Your Content in PDF
You could use your blog post to get more people to subscribe to your email list. If anything, it’s a lot easier than you think.
The general rule of the thumb is that you should try to write lengthy articles – and by lengthy we mean 2000 words and above.
Now, imagine having 3000 words of content that you readers have to dig through.
Not so many people will have the time to read it in one sitting.
An easy solution would be to let them download the article in PDF form and save it to read later. The only condition for this is that they first have to subscribe to your email list.
As Andrea Moxham puts it, once you recognize a friction point (in this case, it’s lack of time), you can show empathy by finding a win-win solution for the parties involved.
11# Add an Opt-In Form at the Top of Your Blog Posts
It’s simple logic. For people to sign up to your email list they first have to find your subscription form.
Your job as an email marketer is to make sure everyone who lands on your website can at least spot the subscription form, regardless of where they land.
Successful Methods for Collecting Newsletter Subscriptions
As you can see, most marketers prefer the subscription bar – and it’s because it’s the most sophisticated and subtle way to get people to subscribe to your email list.
12# Use Your Blog as a Conversion Engine
The degree may vary, but no other method does a better job of skyrocketing your email subscription rate than your content strategy.
You just have to figure out the right strategy.
Think of your blog as a discovery tool. You’re not using it to just attract new customers, but to retain the old ones, as well.
You just have to focus on creating helpful, fascinating, and inspiring reads that benefit your readers and they’ll gladly accept to trade their email addresses to continue receiving your content.
You can even supercharge your email campaign by varying up your offers. Try experimenting with a white paper, an eBook, an online calculator, or a logbook to see which one generates the best results.
How about a readable collection of some of your blog posts in PDF? Options abound when it comes to choosing what to offer.
13# Host Webinars
Webinars are also a great way to get more people to subscribe to your email list. All you have to do is ask for it.
They’re a great way to attract and solicit email sign-ups from your audience in real-time.
They’re natural and a painless way to get your customers to willingly trade in their email addresses. You can even make them trade in their email to access the webinar or the follow-up recording.
The fact that the audience is interested in your webinar shows that they’ll also be willing to get you their email addresses.
14# Content Locking
Content locking is how you increase your email subscribers by denying your audience access to certain sections of your content.
In which case, users have to submit their email addresses to be granted access.
It’s an excellent way to get your readers to reconsider their stance. If they’re really interested in reading the rest of the content, then they’ll have no option but to submit their email address with you.
Here are a few content locking software and plugins that might help you out with this.
- Content Locker Pro
- Bloom Plugin
- WordPress Like Locker
- Viral WordPress Locker
- Viral Lock
- And so on
15# Use Interesting Colors
Don’t be boring.
Be fun with everything and how you play around with different colours to appeal to human emotions.
Choosing the right colour will get even more subscribers to warm up to your forms and consider leaving their email addresses.
The right choice of colour also sparks interest and compels users to take action.
Learn to utilize colours, images, texts, signup button, and pop-ups, if not for anything then it’s to grab your visitors’ attention and lure them into taking action.
16# Have Some Little Bit of Fun
You can organize fun challenges for your site visitors to participate in. Create fun activities such as puzzle videos games and quizzes.
It’s simple. Just create the fun quiz or game and invite your site visitors to participate. After that, ask them to submit their email address to receive their scores right in their email inbox.
17# Create a Dedicated Sign-up Page
You need a dedicated sign-up page that explains everything to the user.
Here, the user can learn more about your email newsletters. Like how often do you send them? What topics do you cover? How else do you use their email? And so on.
Another reason for doing this is to rank the page. It wouldn’t hurt for the page to appear in Google search.
This page should be added to the menu, just in case someone visits your site specifically to sign up for your email addresses.
Be sure to A/B test different aspects of the sign-up form. Find out what’s the most effective design, message, CTA, and so on.
You can even track page views and the number of signups to determine which message or offerings drive the most signups.
18# Use Double Opt-in Verification
Double opt-in refers to the process of asking email subscribers to verify their email addresses first before they’re added to your email list.
The first reason for this is to prevent people from entering a wrong email address or an email address they have no control of.
It’s how businesses also protect their emails from spammers and bots.
What happens is that when a user enters their email address, they’ll be asked to go log into their email, open the email that they’ve just received from you and click on the verification link provided.
That’s the only way they’ll be able to access your newsletter.
At the end of the day, you’re only interested in growing an email list of people who’re interested in the value you’re offering and not those that just want to take advantage of your email list.
19# Send Your Subscribers a Welcome Email
Immediately a subscriber verifies their email address, send them an email to welcome them on board.
This email is important because:
- It thanks the user for trusting you enough to give you their email address. It also welcomes them to join your community.
- The message will also contain the free offer you have promised them. They honoured your request by submitting their email address, now it’s your time to honour your deal of the bargain.
- It’s a great opportunity to introduce yourself and brief them on what to expect from you.
Here’s what you should observe while sending the welcome email:
Be brief and straight to the point. Be sure to track your email performance, especially the open rate and click-through rate.
If most of your subscribers aren’t opening your emails to read them, that’s a tale-tale sign that you should do something about your subject lines. Try to make them more intriguing. Give your subscribers a reason to want to click them and read.
20# Make the Unsubscribe Link Visible
With every email newsletter that you send, make sure the unsubscribe link can easily be seen.
Remember for your email list to work, you have to engage with your subscribers. Part of that is giving them the will to opt-out should they feel like they’re not drawing any value from your email campaign.
It’s not about getting more subscribers. It’s about maintaining them by constantly delivering value to them.
In addition to making the unsubscribe button visible, you have to make sure that it automatically unsubscribes the user when clicked without taking them through unnecessary hoops or asking too many questions.
21# Create a Custom Confirmation Page
After your email subscribers click on your confirmation link, they should be directed to a confirmation page.
This page serves the following purposes:
- It informs that that the verification process was successful and that they’re now part of your email community.
- It may also contain the opt-in bribe that got them to submit their email address in the first place. Did you promise it? Now it’s your time to make your promise true.
The freebie can be sent either via email or on the confirmation page, if not both. We suggest you send them in both their email and on the confirmation page, but remember to make them know that it’s the same freebie so that they don’t end up downloading it twice.
- This page is important for tracking your goals on Google Analytics. When a user gets to this page, it goes on to show that they’ve successfully subscribed to your email list. If anything, that’s how you know you’ve achieved your subscription goal