7 Tactics to Grow Your Newsletter List

Sending a newsletter to only a few subscribers is not fun. In this video, I cover 7 tactics you can use to help grow your newsletter.

by Jason Bagley

Email Marketing | Inbound Marketing

| 7 min
Grow your newsletter with these 7 tactics

If you’re interested in learning more about marketing, lead generation and sales, subscribe to Jason’s YouTube channel.

Video transcription

Hey, everyone. Welcome back to the channel. I’m Jason Bagley. In today’s video, I’m going to be talking about how to grow your newsletter list.

Now, the reason why I’m shooting this video and creating these ideas is it’s something we’re trying to do at SiteCare. We’ve really put a lot of focus into our newsletter; we’ve looked around and seen what amazing newsletters are out there; it’s like, how can we compete with those? Well, at least we know what the standard is, and we’re trying to reach that. We also need to grow our newsletter!

And so I came up with these seven ideas that we’re going to start implementing ourselves, and I thought, “Hey, I’m sure some people would love to know some of the thoughts around how else they can grow their newsletter.”

So let’s kick things off.

1: Create a better offer

So the first tip is to create the right email offer. What I’m talking about here is most websites have, at the bottom of their site, “Subscribe to our newsletter, put your email address in there, subscribe.” That does not entice anybody to subscribe to somebody’s newsletter. Only the likes of Nike, or maybe Amazon or Google, if they have a newsletter, could write that and people would care enough to put in their email address, right?

First, you just need to create the right email offer.

Here are two examples. Instead of having “Subscribe” to your newsletter, have “Master email marketing in seven days, enter your email address here.” That’s a great example. Or “Get our free email course, subscribe,” or “Try it.” Right? So here you’re giving them some idea of what they’re going to expect, or you’re trying to say to them, “Hey, here’s something that can level you up in your life.” That’s what they care about.

People want information because they want to get better at something, learn something, or be kept in the loop. So tell them those things, give them that little carrot in order for them to subscribe.

2: Install website pop-ups

The second tip is to use pop-ups on your site. Now, I know we don’t like pop-ups on websites, but they do work. And there’s a couple of ways you can do this so that it’s not as intrusive as it normally is when you’re busy reading a really good article, and boom, “Subscribe to our newsletter” pop-ups take over; you can’t even find the close buttons. It’s super irritating.

So there are two very simple apps you can use for this. They work across all types of sites; whether you’re using Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, it doesn’t really matter. The first is wisepops.com (see the link in the description), as well as sumo.com. Both of these work; you can just plug one in, and they make some really neatly designed pop-ups.

Don’t show the pop-up to a person landing on your site for the very first time because they will be like, “Whoa, buddy, you’re trying to get married here on the first date. It just doesn’t work that way.” So what I would suggest doing is maybe two options here. After they’re visited three or four pages on your site, you then show them the pop-up.

Or a better way is if somebody scrolls up. They’re obviously scrolling down to read an article, and then when they’re scrolling up, maybe give it a one or two-second delay (and all of these apps will allow you to do this, then they’re scrolling back to the top.) Now they’re not reading, so there’s not something important that they’re doing. And therefore, you can show the pop-up to them.

An exit pop-up is also pretty cool, so if someone’s actually leaving your site, you can serve them a pop-up too. Experiment around with it. I would say stick away from serving a pop-up first thing to a person when they land on your site. Please don’t do that.

3: Save blog posts as a PDF

The third tip is to use the content you already have on your site. Go and look at your top 10 blog posts that have received the most traffic over the last six months. I mean, you could actually do this across all your blog posts, but I would maybe make it a bit more targeted towards those blog posts that have a lot of traffic, that are doing really well for you. And at the bottom of them, have a simple way of downloading the article as a PDF.

This sounds ridiculous and I’m not saying build another PDF that has some checklist in it. I’m saying keep this simple. Just take the blog post you have, convert it into a PDF, save it as a PDF, and have that as a download at the bottom of your blog post and say, “Download this article as a PDF.”

You will be surprised how many people want to download articles. I’ve done it. I’ve downloaded articles as PDFs to send to others. That’s a simple way of doing it, and that’ll grow your newsletter.

4: Build a dedicated landing page

The fourth tip is to build a landing page. Don’t just have your newsletter as a little signup box at the bottom of your site, or a banner across the top, or using just pop-ups. Build a dedicated landing page just for your newsletter.

Number one, you now have a link to subscribe to your newsletter that you can include in your email signatures. You can also share this on Twitter and Facebook too. In the last tip, number seven, I’ll tell you why you also need a landing page for this. This allows you to be very focused on the content that you put on the landing page. You can show them why they should subscribe to the newsletter, you can list out previous issues of your newsletter, and you can show some really great testimonials. People love to see, “This is the best damn newsletter I’ve ever received.”

5: Create a referral program

The next tip is to have a referral program. Now, this does depend on the type of newsletter you’re sending, I would say. But for the most part, it’s about asking people to share it, but give them something to motivate them to do that.

There’s an app called Sparkloop, which builds the whole referral mechanism for you. You just include it in the footer of your newsletter and say, “Hey, if you refer someone, we’ll give you something.”

A couple of newsletters, like The Hustle, for example, actually give you free things. If you refer 10 people, they will give you a really cool Hustle cup; then you get a t-shirt, then as you go through the different levels they’ll give you better and better prizes. Some people unlock really great content. For example, James Clear’s newsletter, if you share it a couple of times, he’ll send you a really cool PDF on some content he’s put together that’s not available online. So that’s also a great way of growing your newsletter list.

6: Crosspost to other newsletters

The sixth tip is to ask to be included in other people’s newsletters. What other newsletters do you think would be a good fit for promoting yours, and what newsletters would you want to promote in your newsletter? Reach out to those newsletters.

“Hey, why don’t we do a bit of a share-share here? I’ll punt your newsletter and you punt our newsletter.”

Obviously, do it in an interesting way, like, “Oh hey, this newsletter over here, love how they’re doing X, Y, and Z. Go ahead and subscribe to it.” And then they could do the same.

You’re now spreading your wings a little bit, getting other newsletters to share yours because if someone’s reading one newsletter, they’re more likely to subscribe to another, but obviously, give them a reason to subscribe.

7: Leverage paid ads

And the last tip is to use some cash. Run some paid ads. Use Facebook, use Google, spend some cash, and that’s why you need that landing page.

You can run ads to drive people to the landing page to sign up. Once again, when it comes to ads, you’re going to have to go back to tip number one about why they should subscribe and having a really interesting email offer for why they should subscribe. But you can pretty much get newsletter subscribers pretty cheap these days if you run some excellent paid ads. And maybe do it localized to start and then spread out after that. That’s also a great way to grow your newsletter list.

Those are seven ways that you can go and grow your newsletter list. We’re busy implementing these step by step at sitecare.com to grow our list. We’ve already started sending out our newsletter. Please subscribe to my Youtube channel – it’s a little cheeky little ask here at the end of this video.

I hope you enjoyed this, love to hear some of your tips on how to grow your newsletter. Drop those in the comments below, and I’ll see you in the next video.

Jason Bagley | Vice President, Digital Strategy

Jason Bagley is the VP of Digital Strategy at SiteCare. For more than 12 years, Jason built and ran a highly successful lead generation agency, which SiteCare acquired in 2020.

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