14 Proven Ways To Get More Email Subscribers
When you fire up your computer in the morning, what do you check first? If you’re like most of us, you want to know if anything important has landed in your inbox, so you open your emails and scan through your overnight arrivals. People check their emails about 15 times a day on average, which is why email marketing is so effective. When you create email campaigns that are relevant, enticing, and genuinely valuable to your email marketing subscribers, you can encourage them to become customers, spend more money, and remain loyal to your supportive brand. So what is the best way to get email subscribers? Here's how.
Table of contents
- Try different subscription methods on your website
- Optimise your sign-up process
- How to get email signups? Write great content!
- Offer something enticing
- Create adverts to get email marketing subscribers
- Ask for subscriptions
- Use social media to get more email marketing subscribers
- Make EDMs shareable
- Offer content upgrades
- Write guest posts
- Try a referral program
- Go to events
- Publish on Medium
- Post in forums
How to get more email subscribers?
So what is the best way to get more email subscribers? Here are 14 proven methods to grow your email subscriber list.
1. Try different subscription methods on your website
There are plenty of ways to ask for people’s email addresses on your website, and you should experiment with each of them to discover the most successful. These are some of the most common methods to grow your email subscriber list:
- Pop-ups—these can be a little irritating, but they’re estimated to have around a 3% conversion rate, so they work.1 That’s 30 potential signups for every 1,000 people who visit your site.
- Slide-ins—slide-ins are eye-catching little blocks that slide into view on the web page.
- Floating footer—this is a bar that stays stuck to the bottom of the page when scrolling, so the user can always see it.
- Blog listing page—what better place to promote your newsletter? The user is already browsing your blogs, so maybe you can convince them to subscribe.
- At the bottom of your blogs—if the user has reached the bottom of a blog, there’s a good chance they’ve read it. And if that’s the case, they may want to sign up for more.
- Opt-in checkbox on your enquiry forms—if users are already contacting you, they might also be interested in receiving your promotional emails, so it’s a good idea to include an opt-in checkbox to make it easy for them.
An intriguing pop-up that asks people to subscribe
2. Optimise your sign-up process
Optimising your landing page's sign-up process is the number one strategy on how to get email signups. It deserves an article by itself, but here’s a summary of the most effective strategies.
Consider using a single form field
Marketing is more effective when you use people’s first name, but unfortunately, asking for their name in the sign-up process reduces the chances of them finishing it. If you’re collecting emails for a monthly newsletter where you don’t include the recipients’ names, don’t bother asking for it. But if you’re collecting emails to promote special offers or other types of email marketing, asking for their name can lead to higher response rates when you use it in your marketing emails.2 You’ll need to decide which is best for your email marketing approach.
Make the benefits clear
Everything we do, we do it because we believe we’ll benefit in some way. Reading emails is no exception, so your email subscription form must clearly state how the user will benefit from signing up, to keep them interested. This is usually comprised of the following:
- A compelling headline—the headline should explain the biggest benefit for signing up, which grabs the user’s attention.
- Text—text that sits underneath the headline can include additional benefits that may convince them to sign up.
- Bullets—if you have the space, bullet point benefits that speak directly to the user’s needs can be highly persuasive.
The subscription page for Powered Up magazine—a free monthly magazine on how to grow your business
Include the email frequency
Some people are wary of signing up for emails because they already receive so many, and don’t want to strengthen the deluge. If your emails are infrequent (say, once a month or longer) be sure to include the information with the form, so people are reassured.
Make it exclusive
We place more value on things that are rare, which is why engagement rings cost thousands of dollars rather than hundreds. The same principle can work with your email marketing. If you describe how your emails will benefit your subscribers and no one else, they can feel as though they’re part of a small, privileged group, and may place more value on the information you send them.
If a user clicks on your subscription advert and is taken to a page that looks completely different, things can seem a bit fishy, and they may even think they’re being tricked. Make sure every step of your sign-up process is consistently designed and written, so that the entire experience “flows” nicely and persuades the user you’re legitimate. This includes adverts, landing pages, thank you pages, and thank you emails.
A/B testing is the process of testing two versions of something, to determine which is most successful. For your email subscription form, you might try different headlines, text, number of fields, and other elements, being sure to only test single variations so that it’s clear what made the difference (e.g. testing two unique headlines only).
3. How to get email signups? Write great content!
If you're looking for how to get more email signups, content is crucial.
If you’re emailing content updates to clients as part of a newsletter or magazine, growing your email subscribers list is easy when you write great content. It seems obvious, but when you create well-researched, engaging content that addresses the needs of your target audience, they’ll naturally want to know how else you might help them, and will smash the subscribe button with the enthusiasm of a 14-year old gamer.
Content comes in many different forms too—blogs, eBooks, white papers, reports, infographics, and videos to name a few. If you create a variety of SEO-optimised content that your target audience loves, and then distribute it across email and social media, your email marketing subscribers list will sprout nicely.
4. Offer something enticing
Offers are a highly-effective way to get new emails. Image from Keap
Many of us would happily exchange our email address for something valuable. Product discounts, time-limited coupons, and contests with big prizes are just a few examples of enticing offers that may grab people’s attention and persuade them to part with their precious email. These can be presented as pop-ups, banners, or another effective method and is another easy way to get more email subscribers.
5. Create adverts to get email marketing subscribers
Adverts have been successfully used by businesses for thousands of years.3 The ancient Egyptians used papyrus to create wall posters, Asian civilisations used rock painting, and modern businesses use the awesome data-driven power of firms like Google and Facebook to reach thousands of precisely-targeted prospects.
Modern adverts can be especially potent if you’re skilled at creating and measuring them (check out our article on which digital marketing metrics to measure). The two main types of digital ads are:
- Social ads—Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn all have powerful advert engines that allow you to target specific audiences.
- Google ads—as with the social platforms, Google has access to an unfathomable amount of personal data, which drives its advertising system and allows you to target your desired personas.
6. Ask for subscriptions
This method is often overlooked, but if you have a positive interaction with a customer, why not ask if they’d like to subscribe to your newsletter? You’ll need to sell it to them, but if you succinctly state the benefits, it’s often an easy way to get more email subscribers, because they don’t need to do anything.
7. Use social media to get more email subscribers
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social platforms are still some of the most popular websites on the planet, with people using them for an average of two and a half hours a day. Over the course of a year, that’s 38 straight days of social media use 😮.4 With such immense popularity, social media can be an emphatic way to get more email signups. Here are a few common ways to do so:
- Facebook signup button—Facebook allows you to add a “Sign Up” button to your business page, which can link directly to your website’s subscription page.
- Profile links—you can add links to your subscription page on your social profiles.
- Find niche groups/pages—Facebook and LinkedIn have tons of user-created groups and pages that may be relevant to your business, and can be great places to promote your content and newsletter.
- Facebook lead generation ad—this is a type of advert that allows the user to fill out a form on Facebook itself, without leaving the site.
- Promote gated content—if you’ve created gated long-form content such as eBooks or white papers, social media is a great place to promote them. If you find your target users, they may be happy to swap their email address for it.
- Create a contest—everybody loves free stuff, so creating a giveaway contest can be an awesome way to collect new email addresses.
- Pin posts—create a post encouraging people to sign up for your email marketing, and then pin it to the top of your page so it’s always visible.
8. Make EDMs shareable
Social share buttons on your email make them super-easy to share
If you’re sending valuable content to your email subscriber list, they may want to forward the emails to their colleagues, friends, or family to garner some brownie points. A “Share this” section in your email template allows them to easily do this. CRMs like HubSpot usually allow you to create a “web version” of the email that has its own URL, which can then be shared to the various social networks to boost subscriptions.
9. Offer content upgrades
Say you’ve published an article on “3 of the best televisions for 2021.” It’s comprehensive, informative, and creates a good impression on people who read it. As the person approaches the end of the article, you could show a pop-up that says “Want to learn about 7 more awesome new televisions that you should consider? Download our eBook on the best televisions for 2021.” If the original article is genuinely valuable to the user, there’s a good chance they’ll want to read more of the same, and will swap their email address for your eBook. Content upgrades can be a highly successful and easy way to grow your email subscriber list.
10. Write guest posts
A guest post is a blog or article that you write for another company. It includes your user profile and a link back to your website, which visitors can click on to find out more about your company, leading to a potential newsletter subscription. The backlink from their website is also great for SEO, particularly if it has a high domain authority (DA).
Guest posting can be a long-winded process though. You’ll need to find suitable websites to approach in your industry, craft enticing offers to them, and write the content itself. But the rewards are high if you’re successful: a wider audience for your newsletter, improved SEO, and a new business relationship.
11. Try a referral program
Email marketing subscribers are valuable, so there’s nothing wrong with paying for them. A simple referral program can offer people discounts, prizes, or cash bonuses when they convince their friends to join your email list. The program itself can be promoted through emails, social media, or digital ads, to make sure it reaches enough people to be worthy.
12. Go to events
Trade shows and networking events are ideal places to meet new people, and if the introductions blossom into a business relationship, you can eventually tell them about your superb newsletter. Voila—a new subscriber.
13. Publish on Medium
Medium is a free publishing platform where people write and publish their thoughts. It has around 60 million monthly users5—a mammoth new audience that may be interested in your content. By importing your blogs and articles into Medium, the platform automatically adds a “originally published on [your site]” link at the bottom of each article. If someone decides to click through to your site, you can then advertise your newsletter to them in the form of a pop-up, banner, or other type of ad.
14. Post in forums
Online forums are popular places for people to hangout and an often overlooked way to grow your email subscriber list. Reddit alone gets 2.3 billion monthly visits, and anyone is free to post on their thousands of diverse forums. If you identify a forum that is suitable for your content, you can share it on Reddit, include a backlink to your website, and hope that it resonates enough for people to visit.
The best ways to get email subscribers—summary
That's it! 14 of the best ways to get more email subscribers, using a variety of methods. With a little work, you'll be able to quickly pad out your subscriber list, and reach more people.
- 2020, 60 Exit Intent Pop-up Examples That Convert, Campaign Monitor
- Dirk Heerwegh, Tim Vanhove, Koen Matthijs & Geert Loosveldt, The effect of personalization on response rates and data quality in web surveys, International Journal of Social Research Methodology
- History of advertising, Wikipedia
- Dave Chaffey, 2021, Global social media statistics research summary [updated 2021], Smart Insights
- Kevin Nelson, 2019, Publishing Your Blog on Medium: 6 Reasons Why You Should do it, Sendible
Want to learn how to measure the success of your email marketing? Check out our guide to understanding the most critical email marketing metrics for your campaigns.