How To Grow Your Email Subscribers

By Christina

Feb 16, 2023

Emails can feel irrelevant and old-fashioned when compared to the fast-paced and ever-changing social media space.  There are many businesses that feel it's not worth building a mailing list.  But it's still the best way to build your own tribe.

When you get your email marketing right, you will be able to build a dedicated fan base that actively looks out for the arrival of your newsletter as well as regular email updates.

How To Grow Your Email Subscribers

Grow your email subscribers by creating an offer people can't refuse so they sign up.  Keep their interest by providing them with stuff they want to know about and encourage them to ask their friends to sign up as well.

  • Give people a reason to sign up - be the first to know, etc...
  • Be consistent with your emails and do them on a regular basis
  • Shout about your emails
  • Ask people to sign up

Social Media vs Email

When people are viewing social media they tend to just want quick, easily digestible video content. 

However, in a survey last year, 49% of people said they wanted to hear from their favourite brands on a weekly basis. 

Personally I like to follow certain brands on their social media accounts but rarely see their posts as I don't engage with them.  But send me a newsletter or email about something needed and the credit card comes out.

Many businesses, especially here in Suffolk (UK) spend much of their time on social media, such as Instagram and Facebook. 

Businesses fell in love with social media because they can see an instant way to connect to customers and are rewarded by quickly seeing the immediate effect, when the followers and likes increase.  With the arrival of TikTok, this no longer works, so Instagram keeps changing how it does things and it's a bigger effort to keep up with those changes.  And if you really think about it, every time there is a new kid on the block, you've got to learn how to use it and build a fan base again.  Whereas your website and email list is always there working in exactly the same way.  So if social media went away tomorrow, you still have your mailing list to fall back on.

Read on to understand all the things you need to consider to create a great mailing list...

Make your emails matter

You need to think about what you can offer people via email that makes it worth them giving you their email address.  More importantly it needs to interest them at sign up as well as creating interest in the long term to be able to keep people subscribed.  Some companies offer a discount to sign up, but often people will just sign up just for the discount and will leave immediately and unsubscribe or never read another email.  So really have a good think about why people will want to continue to read your emails.  Can you offer them something they can't get anywhere else, or they can't get from your social media channels. 

Here are some things you could consider giving your subscribers:

  • First to know about new products, latest information or collaborations
  • Early access to sales
  • Exclusive subscriber-only content
  • Exclusive competitions and offers

How many emails should you send?

This really comes down to how much time you have to be able to create email content.  You could start with one a quarter then work your way up to at least one a month and so on.  But always have a plan of action of what needs to be included in the email and when the deadline is.  This will help you stay on track.

  • It is worth making an email content plan so you know roughly what you'll be writing about or sharing each time.  It's not set in stone and can change, but plot it on a calendar, so you have a clear idea of what's coming up.
  • If you get stuck for ideas, only mail out as and when you have something worth while to say.  It will get easier the more you create content, but regularity is key in having customers look out for your updates.
  • If you can afford to use a mailing system like MailChimp or have a mailing system built into your websites content manager, like we do.  Look at your data.  How many have been opened and what was clicked on within the email, which offers were redeemed.  Use the data to drive changes to your content and email design.

Now it's time to shout about it

Once you've worked out what you can offer via email, think about how and where you're going to tell people about it - and keep doing it.

  • Always make it easy for visitors to your website to sign up to your newsletter.  You can have a sign-up box on each page or on a specific landing page, pop up windows can be a good idea when a person is leaving your website.
  • E-commerce websites should have an opt-in to your sales emails at the checkout.
  • Remind people on your social media accounts why they should sign up.  As an example you can let your followers know a new product line is on its way, if they want to be the first to know, then they have to sign up for an email notification.
  • If you have a bricks and mortar shop, consider a QR code near the shelf edge or at the till.  Again, make your signage attractive and think about why people would sign up in the moment.

Word of mouth marketing is the best and cheapest form of marketing, don't be scared to ask people to share your email if they like it.

The main thing is to keep talking about it across all your touch points with your customers.

You need to really believe in your email marketing and what it offers, you'll then feel proud enough to talk about it whenever you talk about your business or when people want to find out more.  So really invest some time in getting the design right and plan the content you want to include way before it is needed - rushing towards a deadline isn't fun and mistakes always happen.

Key takeaways:

Make your customers feel special: Keep offering your subscribers access to content, treats and offers that they can't get anywhere else.  It doesn't have to be a huge expensive offering every time, it's feeling exclusive that is important.

Quality over quantity: Be realistic about how many emails you have time to send.  Choose whatever works for you but do stick to a regular schedule.

Shout about it: Tell people about your email everywhere that you can, people can't sign up to it if they don't know about it.

Further Reading - business advice and marketing

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