5 Ways to Increase Your Newsletter List

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Newsletters never go out of style. With everything that is available in social and new media, newsletters are still a primary source of customer contact. Whether you have one, had one, or want to start a new one, there are several things you can do to increase your newsletter reach.

“One way to increase newsletter signups is to have more than one newsletter, and target them toward specific niches within your audience,” suggests Andrew Schrage, MoneyCrashers.com. “In your calls to action, don’t merely ask people to sign up for your newsletter – specifically explain to them how they can benefit from doing so.”

Here are 5 ways to add subscribers to your newsletter list.

1. Ask. “It’s amazing how many businesses miss the opportunity,” says Craig Fitzgerald, editorial director, IMN. “If you don’t ask the question, while you have someone on the phone or in front of you, chances are pretty good they won’t sign up on the website either.”

“Adding a ‘forward to a friend’ link within a newsletter is an easy way to help fuel word of mouth and generate follow-on subscribers,” explains Miranda Burford, online marketing specialist at 99designs. “The key to this is to provide relevant and useful content to your existing subscriber base, so they’ll forward it on to friends and colleagues who will then sign up and share.”

2. Offer Deals. “We’ve been in business since 2003 and currently have increased our email subscribers over 1,500 in two weeks this past May by doing this one thing,” shares Erica Tevis owner of online retailer Little Thing Favors. “We offered an instant 15% off coupon good on any size order (no minimum) for customers who made same-day purchases if they signed up for the newsletter.”

3. Contests and Giveaways. “Oftentimes, we’ll set up a giveaway contest, where the only entry requirement is signing up for our newsletter and liking our page,” says Lynn Maleh, PR and social media specialist, Coalition Technologies. “Contests ALWAYS draw a lot of attention and are a great way of building your online community.”

“I’ve found one of the most effective ways to do this is by hosting giveaways on blogs that reach our target audience,” adds Carrie Brenner, marketing specialist at GiftCardRescue.com. “Since we target consumers who are savvy with their money and are interested in saving more, most of our giveaways have been hosted on personal finance blogs and frugal ‘mommy’ blogs. For example, our list giveaway was featured on six different money-saving mom blogs. We received over 700 new newsletter sign ups in the four days of the contest.”

4. White Papers. “Nothing beats white papers when it comes to giving users an incentive to sign up for a newsletter,” believes Justin Belmont, founder & editor-in-chief, Prose Media LLC. “Since these publications are perceived as having high inherent value, customers feel comfortable providing their contact info in order to download them. The ultimate soft sell, a white paper is a well-written report (typically 10-20 pages) about a topic germane to your industry and your prospective clients.”

5. Free eBooks and Webinars. “I give a free 18-page high-touch e-book, called Yoga Biz Essentials, to anyone who signs up for my weekly free newsletter, which shares business and marketing tips for yoga teachers,” explains Cailen Ascher, founder of CALM biz. “I’ve found that since adding the e-book as an opt-in bonus, I’ve had a lot more subscribers join my list. Another thing I do to promote sign-ups and spread my business message is offer free webinars for which people have to register in advance.”

No matter what method you use, be sure to provide your readers with good newsletter content that is relevant to your industry. That is the best way to get – and keep – newsletter subscribers.

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