It’s no secret that I’m an email marketing geek. I’ve published countless email newsletters, taught thousands of email marketing students (on Udemy alone), and have obsessed with email marketing for years.
And one of the most vital topics all newsletter writers need to study – is how to promote and grow their email newsletter.
That’s what we’re about to discuss. Here are the nine best email newsletter growth hacks and list-building methods I’ve learned after studying this topic for endless hours.
9 Ways To Grow Your Email Newsletter And Build Your Email List
Here are the nine best email newsletter growth hacks I’ve yet to discover.
(These email list-building methods rock no matter what niche or industry you love the most.)
1. Build An Optimized Email Marketing Funnel To Earn More From Each Subscriber
Building an optimized email marketing funnel is the first step to growing any email list or newsletter. Your email newsletter funnel works with and empowers every other promotional method. It’s the cornerstone – and engine – of your email newsletter’s growth.
A simple email funnel includes the following components.
- A lead capture page (AKA a newsletter registration page.)
- A thank you page (AKA a confirmation page.)
- An email follow-up campaign (AKA an email autoresponder campaign.)
I have a ton of experience building various email newsletter funnels.
Almost all of them are different.
But – the best usually follow these rules.
Here are the fundamentals ALL email funnels should meet.
- Make your newsletter registration page clear and to the point.
- Your potential subscriber should understand the benefits of joining your newsletter in under five seconds after landing on your registration page.
- Immediately redirect your subscriber to a confirmation page after subscribing.
- Your confirmation page should thank the subscriber, remind them to check their email, and also PROMOTE something.
- Your confirmation page promotion is critical – especially if you have a tiny budget. Earning sales early in the funnel can make it much easier to afford advertising.
- Have an email follow-up that thanks the reader and offers any bonus surprise goodies.
- Your email follow-up is another excellent opportunity to SELL something. That said, I believe the confirmation page is more critical.
The above rules will help guarantee that your email marketing funnel rocks.
(An email funnel will help ensure the following methods are ten times more potent, powerful, and practical.)
2. Create High-Quality Content
Once you have an email funnel that promotes your newsletter, your new job is to advertise your funnel everywhere!
You can attract the attention of your target audience by creating blog posts, articles, videos, tutorials, reviews, webinars, social posts, courses, books, and Podcasts.
You can then promote your newsletter funnel within your content – or the content’s description.
Start by conducting thorough research about your ideal reader.
- What type of tutorials – or content – does your ideal subscriber watch?
- What topics excite your dream subscribers the most?
- What topics are red-hot in your niche right now?
- What content style is the most exciting for YOU to create?
Don’t forget to optimize your content for search engines by incorporating relevant keywords and meta tags. And always PROMOTE your newsletter within your content. 🙂
3. Collaborate With Other Email Newsletters
Collaborating with newsletter writers, influencers, or industry experts can be a powerful strategy to promote your newsletter and increase its reach.
Other newsletter writers can help create buzz around your newsletter by sharing it with their subscribers, endorsing its value, and contributing content.
And you don’t have to beg on social media to connect with other newsletters. You can either pay them outright – or agree to a mutually beneficial swap.
Here are my favorite platforms for connecting with other newsletters who will promote you for a fee.
- Udimi – Udimi is the world’s top solo ad marketplace. You can buy solo ads from other newsletters for cheap – around fifty cents to a dollar per click. Udimi doesn’t have the best traffic overall. But – the traffic is fast and inexpensive. It works best for internet marketing and work-from-home style niches.
- SparkLoop Partner Program – SparkLoop is an excellent platform for newsletters. The Spark Loop Partner Program connects you with popular newsletters in various niches that will help you advertise. And – you don’t need a massive budget to start. You also get guaranteed subscribers on a CPA (cost per acquisition) basis.
- Swapstack – Swapstack is another excellent platform for newsletter writers. Swapstack offers several services for newsletter owners who want to promote their newsletter – and they also have monetization features to help newsletters earn revenue.
- PassionFroot – PassionFroot is another handy platform for connecting with influencers. You can order all kinds of traffic on the PassionFroot platform – from email newsletter ads to YouTube and TikTok promotions.
- BeeHiiv Boosts – BeeHiiv is one of the niftiest email newsletter apps. BeeHiiv Boosts is their ad network. Other newsletters in the network will promote YOUR newsletter for a pre-defined CPA (cost per acquisition.)
Endorsements from other newsletters carry weight and can lend credibility to your newsletter, attracting more subscribers and engagement. Paid endorsements cost a little bit of cash – but are arguably the EASIEST way to grow your newsletter.
4. Use Pop-Up Forms On Your Website
Another effective way to build your email list is by incorporating prominent and easy-to-use opt-in forms throughout your site.
(Sumo is my favorite platform for building free email pop-ups and registration forms. And you can easily add them to nearly any website.)
Strategically place these forms in vital locations, such as your homepage, sidebar, and at the end of blog posts.
Ensure your opt-in forms are visually appealing and communicate the value of joining your newsletter.
Keep the form fields simple and only ask for essential information, such as name and email address, to minimize friction and increase the likelihood of conversions. (I think asking ONLY for email is better these days.)
5. Offer A Valuable Lead Magnet Or Incentive
Many prospects won’t join you for the hell of it. They need some incentive. One of the most effective strategies is to offer a valuable lead magnet or bribe to entice visitors to subscribe.
Provide something of value, such as an exclusive e-book, a free webinar, or a discount code. (Or – do what I do. Offer an entire goodie bag stuffed with bonuses!)
Here are some good lead magnet ideas.
- A free book
- A webinar
- A tutorial
- An email course
- A cheat sheet
- A discount
- A free consultation
- Entry into a contest
- A quiz
- A case study
- A video course
- Anything else you can imagine! 🙂
Offering a subscriber incentive helps you grow your subscriber base and potentially builds trust and credibility with your audience. Choose a lead magnet that aligns with your target audience’s interests and needs – otherwise, you risk attracting the WRONG subscribers.
For example – if you gave away real gold coins as a lead magnet, you could attract millions of subscribers overnight! But – would these subscribers want to read your newsletter? Perhaps not. Maybe they only wanted the free gold!
6. Leverage Social Media
Social media platforms like X, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are excellent for promoting your newsletter and enticing followers to sign up.
There are three main social media strategies.
- One effective strategy is to create engaging and shareable content related to your newsletter’s topics, accompanied by a call to action urging users to subscribe.
- Another tip is to ALWAYS promote your newsletter registration page in your social media profile bio! It’s the perfect place to promote it!
- You could also consider running targeted ad campaigns on social media platforms, allowing you to reach specific demographics interested in your newsletter’s content.
No matter what – always engage with your existing followers. Respond to comments and messages and try to create a sense of community.
Don’t forget to include social media icons or links in your newsletter, making it easy for readers to share and promote it on their social media profiles.
7. Consider Other Paid Advertising Channels
Paid advertising can be a highly effective marketing tool in promoting your newsletter and driving traffic to your website.
Here are popular paid channels for newsletters.
- X Ads – The X ad platform is arguably one of the best avenues for newsletters that want to spend advertising money. X is aggressively marketing their advertising platform – and they are hungry for advertisers! X users also love to read text – a characteristic all newsletter publishers should seek in their audience. The traffic on X is also inexpensive – less than a dollar per click. But – you might find that other platforms convert better, pound for pound.
- Refind Ads – Refind is a massive email newsletter (with over 300,000 subscribers) that will promote your newsletter for a small fee. Refind seems like one of the best newsletter ad platforms – but they seem to be flying somewhat under the radar! I haven’t tried them yet, but they are at the top of my list for experimentation. Their reviews are excellent – and they will sell you leads on a CPA (cost per acquisition) basis – so you get guaranteed subscribers.
- Quora Ads – Quora Ads is another underrated ad network for newsletters. The targeting is excellent – and your average Quora user loves to read. It’s a match made in heaven for newsletter publishers. 🙂
- TikTok Ads – TikTok ads are on fire at present. But – you must be halfway decent at creating organic-looking videos to make TikTok work. (This isn’t my wheelhouse. So – I prefer newsletter advertising instead! But – if you’re good with video creation, don’t overlook TikTok Ads.)
- Facebook Ads – Facebook is one of the original advertising platforms for newsletters. One of the best benefits of Facebook ads is that you can target nearly any audience you want. Facebook’s targeting can help result in tremendously high opt-in rates. The only downside of Facebook Ads is the cost – which can be tricky to overcome if your funnel isn’t the best.
I don’t recommend paid ads lightly. Advertising requires meticulous planning and monitoring to ensure you don’t blow your marketing budget! (Doubly so if you don’t have much cash.)
8. Implement A Referral Program
Implementing a referral program can be a highly effective strategy to promote your newsletter and gain more subscribers. Referral programs work best once you have a few thousand subscribers.
You can then offer incentives to your subscribers for referring their friends and contacts to sign up. You can hopefully tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing that way.
Here are two popular apps that can build email newsletter referral programs.
- SparkLoop – SparkLoop is likely my favorite newsletter referral program because of its OTHER features (like SparkLoop Upscribe, which helps small newsletters earn revenue by promoting other email lists.) SparkLoop also has excellent referral program features.
- Viral Loops – Viral Loops is another famous newsletter referral program. Viral Loops makes it tremendously easy to start a newsletter referral program. No messy coding or technical jargon!
You can offer rewards such as discounts, exclusive content, bonus goodies, consultations, or even freebies for every successful referral.
Track and measure the success of your referral program to identify what strategies are working best and make adjustments as needed.
9. Cross-Promote Other Newsletters
Newsletter cross-promotions are another genius way to grow your email list once you get several thousand subscribers. The philosophy is straightforward. You promote my newsletter, and I’ll promote yours. We’ll trade promotions! How can we lose?
The idea of cross-promoting newsletters isn’t new. A company named Safe-Swaps (that then evolved into Udimi) has utilized this theme for well over a decade.
In fact – I have a stellar reputation on Safe-Swaps and over 100+ successful email joint venture swaps to my name – on record.
Safe-Swaps is still around. But Safe-Swaps isn’t nearly as popular or prominent as it was ten years ago. That’s why I recommend LetterGrowth instead these days.
LetterGrowth is similar to Safe-Swaps. But – LetterGrowth seems to have more emphasis on newsletters – rather than email marketers. And LetterGrowth appears to have a ton more activity than Safe-Swaps. So – if you want to cross-promote these days, LetterGrowth is the first place to check.
10. Guest Blog On Other Websites
Guest blogging boosts your credibility and generates more traffic to your website. Hopefully, the new traffic can help send traffic to your email funnel.
Here are my three best tips for guest blogging.
- Look for websites that align with your niche and have an active and engaged readership.
- Pitch your ideas to the website owners and offer to write a high-quality guest post that provides value to their audience.
- In your bio or author box, include a link to your email newsletter sign-up page to encourage readers to subscribe.
Remember to promote your guest post on social media to maximize its reach and impact!
Email Newsletter Growth FAQs
I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you navigate the world of email newsletter growth.
1. How Can I Get My First 100 Email Subscribers?
Email your friends, family members, contacts, students, and colleagues. Invite them to register! (Only skip this if you’re in a weird niche. Lol.)
I would also consider buying a solo ad on Udimi. Udimi doesn’t have the best traffic. But you can buy a 100-click solo ad for around $50 to $75. A 100-click ad should help you get at least a couple dozen subscribers.
Leveraging the power of social media can also be instrumental in driving traffic to your website and encouraging your first sign-ups.
Don’t forget to engage your existing subscribers by providing them with valuable, personalized content they will hopefully share with others, expanding your reach even further.
(You can also remind your subscribers to help spread the word!)
2. How Can I Advertise My Email Newsletter For Cheap?
Before spending any cash – examine how you can spread the word for free. Take advantage of your online presence by promoting your newsletter on your website, blog, and social media platforms.
And when you want to spend cash – consider running targeted online ads on platforms like PassionFroot, Facebook, X, TikTok, and SparkLoop. These are, in my estimation, the highest-impact ad networks for newsletters.
3. Should I Ask Friends To Join My Email Newsletter?
Yes! As long as they might enjoy your content! So – consider the content of your newsletter. Is it something your friends would genuinely be interested in?
If so, inviting them could be a great way to expand your subscriber base and gain support from people who already know and trust you.
However, if your newsletter focuses on a niche topic that your friends may not be interested in, it may be more effective to seek out a target audience who shares your interests.
4. How Can I Leverage YouTube To Promote My Newsletter?
You can create compelling video content related to the topics covered in your newsletter – and then promote your newsletter at the end of the content. You can also advertise your newsletter in the YouTube video’s description.
The content you create can include tutorials, interviews, reviews, or informative videos that provide value to viewers. Ensure your videos have a call-to-action, encouraging viewers to subscribe to your newsletter for more content.
Further optimize your YouTube channel by including links to your newsletter in the channel description, video descriptions, and end screens to help drive traffic to your newsletter sign-up page.
Engaging with your YouTube community by responding to comments and encouraging discussion can also help build rapport and promote your newsletter.
5. How Can I Leverage TikTok To Promote My Newsletter?
Here’s how to make the most out of TikTok for newsletter promotion.
- Promote Your Newsletter In Your Bio: Step one is to create a user profile that promotes your newsletter. You want everyone who clicks on your profile to know you write newsletters! (And – include a LINK to your REGISTRATION PAGE!)
- Engaging Content: Create short, attention-grabbing videos related to your newsletter content. Provide valuable insights, tips, or teaser snippets enticing viewers to sign up for your newsletter.
- Trend Challenges: Participate in trending challenges on TikTok and creatively incorporate your newsletter promotion within the challenge.
- Compelling Call-to-Action: Include a clear and compelling call-to-action that encourages viewers to visit your newsletter registration page. Use visually appealing text overlays or captions to highlight the call to action.
- Hashtag Strategy: Utilize relevant and popular hashtags related to your newsletter content. Hashtags can help your videos get discovered by users interested in similar topics, increasing your chances of gaining more subscribers.
Prioritize authenticity, creativity, and value in your TikTok content. Show your personality and make your videos entertaining to increase engagement.
Thanks for reading my guide about email newsletter growth hacks and how to build your email list.
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And – if you ever have questions about email marketing, newsletter publishing, or email list building, I’m one of the best humans on earth to ask.
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Thanks for reading.
I hope to see you next time!