7 (Easy) Ways to Grow your Email Newsletter List

An opt-in email newsletter list is one of a publishers’ most valuable assets. Why? Because they own the relationship with that reader. Publishers are starting to realize the unharnessed value of an engaged email database.

So how do you grow your subscriber database?

Read on to learn 7 ways (actually eight!) to increase your email list. I’m betting there are a few you haven’t thought of!

  1. It all starts with content. Growth is pointless if you will ultimately damage that relationship by sending bad or irrelevant content. Create and send good content.
  2. Does your organization have an engaged advertising base? Integrate clients into your consumer communications. Your clients must eat, right? Send an opt-in campaign introducing them to relevant content that pertains to their business or personal interests. Repeat with editorial and art contributors and contacts.
  3. Popular e-newsletter The Skimm credits its rapid subscriber growth to referral marketing. Tools like Untorch or Kickoff Labs can help you build a referral program, plus track and reward your most influential subscribers along the way.
  4. Pop-ups. Yes, they are a bit annoying, but they work. The most effective pop-ups aren’t the ones that hit you the second you arrive on a page, (no one wants a guy to ask for your number the moment you sit down in a bar), but driven by time on page, percentage of scroll, or exit intent.
  5. Facebook offers lead generation advertising. It allows you to promote and collect data without the user even having to leave Facebook. Promote your email newsletters and download the sign-ups inside the ad platform. (Bonus points if you connect directly to your ESP and create an awesome welcome email specifically for this audience).
  6. Contests are one of the easiest ways to grow an email newsletter list. Give away something fun and people will gladly exchange their information for a chance to win. And, it doesn’t have to be anything crazy! I’ve seen a contest for a $100 gift card and a “Skip to the front of the line” pass at popular restaurant generate thousands of sign-ups.
  7. Add a “Sign-up” button to your Facebook page. It’s easy to do and it will start a small but steady flow of organic leads to straight to your sign-up page.

Bonus tip!

Most of us are selling something on the web. Include a link to your newsletter offerings in your confirmation emails. Include in subscriptions, products, back-issues, etc. Too many publishers waste the valuable real estate inside transactional emails. If these transactions don’t already require an email address, add that right now.  Plug your newsletters and engage these audiences even further.

Start right now.

Finally, the above are all examples of things you can start doing right now to grow your email database. As your email lists start to grow, keep them engaged by sending good, relevant content. The key to growth is to attack list-building from as many angles as possible.


More about Alan: Alan Centofante has helped over 100 niche publishers build their audiences since the 1980s.  Nothing is more fun than helping a magazine become a #1 Bestseller in their market!  His company is now helping niche media clients build their digital revenue with his company’s propriety email marketing database and digital revenue case studies. He spends his free time eating, beveraging, and biking or basically being totally worthless.  The perfect day is going on a 40 mile bike ride, ending up at a great bar with amazing food. Heaven!


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