5 Ways to get more people to subscribe to your emails

Say that, for your whole life, you would only cook chicken one way. Do you think you’d always find chicken tempting? No, you’d lose interest. You’d want to mix things up.

The same is true for approaching how to grow your email subscriber list. You can’t use one method and expect it to work forever.

As a marketer, you know that your email list is your ticket to building brand awareness and converting leads to paying customers. The opt-in landing page is not the only ticket to success, there are far more effective ways to generate new leads.

To encourage the flow of your customer lifecycle, you need to continuously feed new potential leads into the cycle by encouraging them to subscribe to your email messages — and to do that, you must be following best practices to get more people subscribed to your emails. 

Things to consider before revamping your subscription process

Before we dive into those email subscription best practices, we want to get one thing straight: You need to be actively maintaining the list you currently have. It’s not enough to amass a giant list anymore. Instead, build an actively engaged subscriber list. And to obtain that, you need to practice proper email list hygiene. 

Email list hygiene

Email list hygiene is the practice of maintaining an active list. Keep an eye on your email analytics. If you see a change, you may need to weed out subscribers on your current list. Some key performance indicators (KPI) shifts to look for include:

  • An increase in unsubscribes/opt outs

  • A decrease in deliverability

  • An increase in spam complaints 

  • A decrease in opens

emma example

Source: Emma

If you notice these changes, it’s time you start removing. In particular, look at bounce backs and spam reports. The individuals behind this data either aren’t interested in your content or have faulty email addresses (whether fake or incorrect). Sending to these addresses is a waste of your brand’s time and resources. 

Defining inactive subscribers

One reason you may notice a change in KPIs is due to an increase in inactive subscribers. 

What makes inactive subscribers different from the above individuals? Well, they’re a little more nuanced. This group is often split up into two categories: dormant and unengaged.

  • Dormant/“Sleepy” subscribers: Subscribers that have, for one reason or another, disappeared from the inbox. They were once actively engaging with you, but they’ve stopped. Make sure you don’t write them off. Instead, attempt to re-engage with them first.

  • Unengaged subscribers: Subscribers that have lost interest. How you know they’ve lost interest: You’ve attempted to re-engage with them and they’ve not responded. Then it’s time to remove them from your email list. 

Once you’ve gone through your current subscriber list, you’re ready to work on rebuilding and funneling new leads into your customer lifecycle. Remember: make sure to utilize several subscription tactics. Gone are the days when the single sign-up landing page was enough.

5 best practices that’ll get people subscribing to your emails

Let’s back up and elaborate on what we just said: There’s nothing wrong with the traditional sign-up landing page. It will aid in the process of growing your email list. However, it shouldn’t be the only method that you use. Even if you share that landing page across multiple channels, you aren’t guaranteed to gather the number of leads you hope to. 

If you’re not sure how to gather more subscribers for your email list, consider these five best practices.

1. Lead magnets 

Consumers visit your website because they want something you have. So, while they’re there, offer them something extra. Marketers already know how well incentives work. That’s where having a lead magnet comes in handy. 

Lead magnets entice visitors to give you their email address and other relevant information voluntarily. To do this successfully, you need something valuable in return. Lead magnets should: 

  • Demonstrate your brand’s expertise or thought leadership

  • Educate viewers on a particular process or skill

  • Offer valuable advice or insights on a particular subject matter 

  • Help build market awareness

wishpond example

Source: Wishpond

Lead magnets come in different forms and can include:

  • Case studies

  • Checklists

  • E-books

  • Guides 

  • Infographics

  • Webinars

  • Whitepapers

2. An exit-intent pop up

Exit-intent pop ups help quickly grab the attention of visitors before they close out of your site. Exit intents can detect several actions and inactions of those losing interest in a page. These actions may include:

  • Page scrolling or reaching the end of the page

  • Idleness or inactivity

Depending on your site’s settings, an exit-intent pop up will appear as a last-ditch effort to engage with a visitor. 

Grubhub example

Source: GrubHub

While it shouldn’t be your only source to generate subscribers, they can be quite handy. In fact, the average conversion rate for all pop ups is approximately 3.09%. Some studies have shown that exit-intent pop ups could recover nearly 50% of visitors abandoning the site.

3. An opt in within blogs or articles

Part of your marketing strategy involves constantly pushing out top quality content regularly. So, why not include an opt-in call to action (CTA) at the bottom of your blogs or articles?

Typically, your CTA leads readers to relevant content on your site. You retain their attention, and they’re supplied with more information. Many companies are now using a branded CTA that drives consumers to downloadable content or opt-in forms.

For example, our friends at Campaign Monitor end their blogs with a downloadable lead magnet. From there, the consumer simply enters their information, and they get access to the free guide. 

campaign monitor example

Source: Campaign Monitor

Much like an exit-intent pop up, this is the last piece of information your reader is likely to see on your page. So, make sure you create a CTA that’s not only eye-catching but worth the additional click.

4. “Thanks for commenting” redirect

Another way to get more subscribers is to continue contact once they’ve engaged with your site. For example, you could include a “thank you for commenting” redirect that appears once someone has left a comment on your blog. 

This redirect is a great opportunity to build a relationship with a consumer by sincerely thanking them, and then asking to subscribe to your newsletter.  

WPbeginners example

Source: WPBeginners

Once a reader leaves a comment, you should always thank them for their time, and what better way to keep the conversation going than by asking them to join your community?

5. Incentivize sharing

Sharing is caring. The same concept applies when getting new subscribers. Try offering an incentive for sharing your email campaigns. 

This would require asking your current subscribers to share something with their friends in order to get something in return. 

For example, in the below example from ZooShoo, for every friend that’s referred to the brand and makes a conversion, the original subscriber gets a $10 reward. 

Zooshoo email example

Source: Campaign Monitor

The idea here is to encourage your current subscribers to spread brand awareness and brand advocacy. And if their efforts end up with their friend joining, subscribing, or purchasing, your original subscriber gets rewarded for their efforts. 

Wrap up

Maintaining a healthy email list is a crucial part of any viable digital marketing strategy. Part of that process is continuously adding to your list. If you aren’t seeing the results you want through your traditional newsletter sign-up process, then consider one of these other five options:

  • Lead magnets 

  • An exit-intent pop up

  • An opt in within blogs or articles

  • A “thanks for commenting” redirect

  • Incentivize sharing

Did you know your newsletter’s design may be impacting your engagement rates? Check out these six design best practices and boost your engagement.

About the Author

Emma is an email marketing platform that gives you all the tools you need to send campaigns that really connect with your subscribers. With our

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