5 tips for getting more newsletter subscribers

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Newsletters have become an excellent way to build communities and share content outside of the confines of social media. It seems as though you can subscribe to newsletters on just about any topic these days. 

The Brussels Times has a delightful, conversational lunchtime digest, Belgium in Brief; Tom Moylan offers thematic stories, ideas and skills in Speaking Moylanguage; and who can get through a day in the EU Bubble without at least taking a peek at Politico’s Brussels Bible Playbook?

But if you’re looking to create your own newsletter, or simply continue to grow your audience base, how do you get started?

Here are my five tips for getting more eyeballs on your newsletter content:

1. Make it as easy as possible for people to sign up

This may sound painfully obvious, but you would be amazed at how many organisations miss this crucial step. While many may think that a newsletter signup form is perfectly fine only in the footer or even on its own page on your website, this could lead to missed subscriber opportunities. 

Not everyone will make it to the footer of your website. Most won’t even make it past your homepage. Because of this, we need to make it as easy (and obvious) as possible for people to sign up.

Adding a signup form prominently in the header of your website is a great place to start. This is typically where website visitors will expect to find it. 

You can also add a signup link on your social media channels to bring in additional subscribers who already follow you elsewhere, or even in the body of your blog posts. Think about those key places where people are already engaging with your content.

2. Incentivise wherever you can – even before signing up

FOMO – fear of missing out – is a powerful thing. 

If you’re offering your newsletter audience exclusive content or deals, be sure to mention it wherever you can to entice new subscribers to join in on the fun, too.

And if you aren’t already doing this, it might be worth considering adding something exclusive for your subscribers so that you can further incentivise newcomers. 

People won’t subscribe to your newsletter just because you want them to. It’s important to add value to people’s lives – in other words, we need to clearly answer the age-old question, “what’s in it for me?”


via Mailchimp

3. Be transparent and set expectations right off the bat

The last thing you want is to gain hundreds of new subscribers, only for them to unsubscribe just a few days later. One of the most common reasons for this? Mismatched expectations.

How often should your audience expect to hear from you? Daily, weekly, monthly? Be sure to communicate this from the beginning to avoid a mass exodus of subscribers. 

A short line next to your signup form is all you need, such as Join our monthly newsletter to receive exclusive content delivered right to your inbox.

On a similar note, be sure that all of your subscribers are aware of what they’re committing to. Thanks to GDPR, passive email consent is a thing of the past. It’s important for subscribers to know who you are, why they’re hearing from you and that they actively opted-in to receive your content.

4. Sharing is caring

A great way to get more subscribers is to encourage your current audience to share or forward your newsletter with friends and colleagues.

This is the virtual equivalent to word-of-mouth marketing and can help you extend your potential reach well beyond the people who already follow your content.

Just be careful here: If a subscriber forwards your email to a friend, and the friend decides to click ‘unsubscribe’ in the forwarded email, this will unsubscribe the original subscriber without their knowledge.

5. Create an automated welcome campaign

Most newsletter tools offer basic automation features, so use this to your advantage. By setting up a simple workflow, or drip campaign, you can engage with new subscribers immediately without lifting a finger.

When someone subscribes to your newsletter, you can trigger a welcome email (or two or three) that is automatically sent out. This email can be used to not only welcome your new subscriber to the community, but you can also use this as an opportunity to highlight recent or popular content that may be of interest to them.


via Automizy

Automation allows you to interact with your audience in a thoughtful, timely way without the added hassle of constantly watching over your mailing list. 

Mailchimp offers tons of excellent use cases and examples of automation, so be sure to try it out for yourself if you’re looking for new ways to engage with your subscribers. After all, if subscribers are delighted by the ways in which you communicate with them, they’re much more likely to recommend your newsletter to others!

What are some of your favourite ways to engage with newsletter subscribers? Let us know on Twitter @clear_europe.

And if you’re interested in learning more about how to set up a successful newsletter, we’ve recently delivered sessions on this very topic. Get in touch for a customised quote.

About Ali Colwell

Ali Colwell is a trainer, copywriter and the Managing Director of Clear Europe. Her previous work includes helping finance and technology companies in Belgium and New York elevate their online branding and social media efforts.

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