List Building 101: How to Make Your Newsletter Grow
You know that having a newsletter is an important component of your platform and that the list you send your newsletter to is invaluable to you. (If you don’t, check out our article on newsletters here and here.) What may not be so clear is how you can continue to grow that list over time. Below are some strategies to help you do just that.
Provide really valuable content in an engaging way.
Above all other strategies, valuable content creation is king. If you are giving your readers useful, relevant, timely information that they can really use, your newsletter will be valuable and it will be shared with others. Word of mouth and forwards are your greatest ally in trying to achieve a bigger newsletter list.
Make it easy, obvious, and everywhere.
It should be really easy to join your newsletter list, and it’s your job to make sure that is the case. You should have a “join” button on every page of your website, visibly situated on your blog and on your newsletter itself. You can even include an invitation to join your list in the signature line of your email. Make the link attractive and appealing to the eye, and have it say something catchy or meaningful in a tone consistent with your brand. That message may get more attention than a standard “join our newsletter” link.
Don’t forget to ask people in person, too! You are busy giving workshops or speaking to audiences. Ask them to sign up for your newsletter while you have them in front of you. Same goes for interviews. Share your web address and tell listeners or readers that they can join your newsletter there.
Incentivize new members.
Make the invitation to join your mailing list an attractive offer to newcomers. This is where you can make great use of your “freebies.” To thank them for joining, give them access to an extra or two that they could not get otherwise. This could be some sample chapters of your book, videos, a free app, white papers, an ebook of your previous book, or a sneak peak at your new, yet-to-be-released book. Help them along by showing immediately what is in it for them if they join.
Incentivize existing members.
In the same way that you want to thank new members for joining, give your already loyal followers a thank you gift for inviting others to join. You can make use of the same extra content you utilized to get new members or you can up the ante a bit and give existing members something unique just for them. Maybe that would be a personalized copy of your book, a guest blog spot on your blog, or a link to his or her website in the newsletter the following week.
Leverage social media.
It’s safe to assume that there is not a one-to-one correlation between your Facebook fans or LinkedIn connections and your newsletter list. The same is likely true for all of the social media platforms you are engaged with. Make a habit of trying to convert those connections to subscribers. Contests are a great way to accomplish this. Give away something that your connections would want. This doesn’t have to be related to you or your content directly. It could be a free tablet or ereader device, a subscription to a service people love, or a simple versatile gift certificate. The cost of entry is simply joining your newsletter list.
It’s important to remember that you have to provide recipients a way to opt out of your newsletter, and it’s true that you may see some people utilize that option after the contest ends. Just keep in mind your best strategy for list building, which is delivering meaningful, valuable content, and you will earn their loyalty and they will stay.
Keep these things in mind as you go about your way building your platform and conveying your message out into the world and watch your list grow!