It may seem like the key to successful email marketing is creating a large list of subscribers so that more people are able to see the content you send out in your newsletter. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone who gets your emails will open them, so blindly sending your newsletter to a long but generic list may not be delivering the results you want in terms of opened emails and click-through rates. So how do you increase subscribers while continuing to target an audience that is eager to see what you have to say? Follow along with the tips below to learn the best strategies for organic growth of your subscriber list that will encourage greater returns from your email marketing efforts.

Do Not Send Unwanted Emails

Every person who receives your email newsletter should have opted in to receive it.

Illustration of envelopes, one with a heart on it.

They may do this by entering their email address in a form on your website, signing up in person, or checking a box during the checkout process for your online store. If you pay for a list of email addresses or start adding customer emails to your list without their permission, you may find that more of your emails get flagged as spam. Eventually, even those who have voluntarily subscribed to your newsletter may have difficulty seeing your emails, because they may become automatically diverted to the spam folder.

Create Plenty of Opportunities to Subscribe

If you want potential customers to take an action—whether it’s making a purchase or signing up for your newsletter—you should make it as simple as possible.

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That means that you should not ask for too much information to sign up, just an email address and maybe a name. You should also make sign-up forms easy to read and quick to load, so there will be fewer chances for users to abandon their efforts and move on. In addition, you’ll want to create many different opportunities for people to sign up. If only one page on your site provides visitors the chance to subscribe to your newsletter, chances are that you’ll miss out on a lot of potential subscribers. Here’s a closer look at some of the places it’s appropriate to include a sign-up form for your newsletter to encourage more people to opt in:

  • Your Blog – Your blog is an excellent place to look for potential newsletter subscribers, because people who are reading your blog are clearly interested in the content you’re posting. That means they are more likely to want to hear from you in the future, so include a form at the bottom of each blog post where people can enter their information.
  • Social Media– Tying your various marketing efforts together will only make your overall approach more successful. If you have a strong following on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, then you should leverage that fandom by promoting your newsletter on these sites. This will create more points of potential contact with your brand, which can be incredibly valuable when it comes to retaining existing customers.
  • Gated Content– If you have exclusive content available on your site, such as eBooks or in-depth how-to guides, you can require that users sign up for your newsletter before they access this content. In this situation, you already have readers who are looking for more information, so they might be happy to sign up for a newsletter that promises even more industry insight.
Offer Incentives for Subscribers

As you think about the ways to grow your subscriber list, you should consider why people should want your newsletter in the first place.

Illustration showing a signup form with a free gift.

When you promote your newsletter, be sure to make these reasons clear. You might even go a step further by offering a free trial or sample product to people who sign up within a given period, since small incentives can go a long way for potential customers.

Create More Options for Subscribers

If you have the time and resources to fine-tune your email marketing campaign, you may have several variations of your newsletter or possible add-ons that can be selected by subscribers when they sign up.

Illustration of a web page with a large Subscribe button.

The ability to customize the information received through emails can make people more likely to subscribe and actually read the emails once they’ve been sent.

Encourage Your Readers to Forward Your Messages

When you put exclusive offers or deals in an email, it can be worth adding a button that lets readers quickly forward the message to friends and family.

Illustration of an envelope being sent out.

If you do use this strategy, be sure that there’s a link to become a subscriber, since this can turn a single email view into an ongoing relationship.

Make It Easy to Unsubscribe

Though it sounds counterintuitive, it should be just as easy to opt out of your email list as it was to opt into it.

Illustration of an unsubscribe button.

If readers find that they aren’t getting what they wanted out of your newsletter or they are simply trying to de-clutter their inboxes, they might be quick to mark your messages as spam if it’s not easy to unsubscribe. Remember—you want to build a list of readers who will engage with your newsletter and be eager to keep up with your brand. It’s not simply a numbers game.

If you are looking to improve your email marketing efforts, Pennington Creative is ready to help. You can get a glimpse of what we do by subscribing to our own newsletter, or contact us to set up a discovery call where you can discuss the marketing needs of your business.

About the Author

Marissa - Digital Marketing Manager, Account Services
Marissa Storrs

Digital Marketing Manager, Client Engagement

Marissa - Digital Marketing Manager, Account Services
Adrienne Lobl

Digital Marketing Specialist, Graphic Design Onboarding Services