The Insider Guide to Increasing Your Email Subscribers

Increasing emails subscribers
Increasing emails subscribers

It’s 2021, so it’s a fair bet we all know that email marketing is important.

Even more important? Increasing email subscribers. Brands with large subscriber lists ultimately see more marketing ROI and convert more paying customers.

Let’s talk about how you can build yours.

Quick Takeaways

  • Consumers prefer email over all other methods of communicating with brands.
  • Personalized touches and a fresh approach make your emails stand out.
  • Prominent, widespread placement of your subscription form is key.
  • Valuable content speaks for itself; know what your audience cares about and build content around it.
  • Pop-ups (when they’re done right) can significantly drive conversions.

Why Email is Important

Today, 3.9 billion users around the world are using email, 293.6 billion emails are sent every day, and just about half of consumers indicate they want to receive promotional emails from brands they like.

Hubspot found that 99% of email users check their inbox every day, more than 50% check their personal emails more than ten times a day, and 73% prefer email over any other medium for communicating with brands.

Email is also the first thing people do online every day — before they check the news, go on social media, or start work.

58% of people check email each day before doing anything else online

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The takeaway: email is one of the surest ways brands can widen their reach, build a sales funnel, and connect with existing customers.

How You Can Increase Email Subscribers

Get Personal

Personalization matters when it comes to email engagement, and thanks to email automation tools it’s easier than ever.

Individualized subject lines increase open rates by up to 26% and birthday emails generate 342% higher revenue compared to regular promotional emails.

Dynamic content takes personalization a step further by segmenting audiences and using past behavior to create customized content tailored to each subscriber’s preferences.

By including topics or suggesting products relevant to an audience segment, you’ll see better engagement and increase the likelihood recipients will stay subscribed to your list because the content they’re receiving is relevant to them.

In short: people like to feel special, and through personalized email marketing you can provide special experiences for your subscribers.

Some ideas for email personalization:

  • Mention a subscriber’s geographic location (Ready to beat the heat in Miami this summer? Check out our new swimwear collection!)
  • Acknowledge important dates like birthdays or anniversary of subscription (Hooray! You’ve been a member for one whole year!)
  • Show customers you know what they like (If you liked this dress, you might like these too!)

DSW Birthday EmailJetBlue Anniversary Email

Loosen Up

Nobody likes a bore, especially when they’ve got a full inbox to get through every day. People send and receive an average of 121 emails per day for business alone. If you want yours to get results, your brand has to stand out.

One way to do it is to ditch the formal tone and talk to your customers like you know them. And why wouldn’t you?

You do know about your customer base, and if they’re subscribed to your email list, they know you too. Taking a more conversational tone in your emails means talking to your customers, not at them, and builds the connection between your brand and audience.

Quick tips for getting conversational:

  • Talk directly to your customer using the second person perspective (use “you”) and by grouping your brand and your customer in a shared experience (“We all need a new [insert product here] every now and then.”).
  • Use concise language and short sentences, and don’t shy away from casual words and contractions that you’d actually use in a verbal conversation (“We’re seriously excited about this new podcast episode.”).

Retaining subscribers is easier than gaining new ones, and making a genuine connection with your emails keeps you off the unsubscribe list during inevitable inbox cleanouts.

Perfect Your Placement

No one can subscribe to your email list if they don’t see it in the first place. Be sure to place your subscription link prominently in your emails so customers don’t miss it. Go beyond your emails, too. Place your subscription link strategically on your website — at the bottom of blog posts, above the fold on your homepage, or as a constant in your website’s sidebar.

Some brands even utilize splash pages that serve as the first stop for all of your website visitors and use concise but compelling content like teasers, testimonials, and gated content incentives to get visitors to convert to subscribers.

Make it Easy

We’ve all been there — we click to subscribe to a brand’s email list only to be met with a long, complicated form that asks for our name, address, family history . . .

You get the picture. It’s a fast-paced world out there, and people are busy. The last thing you want to do is make your subscription form so long or inconvenient that people decide it’s not worth their time even after they liked your content.

Think about the information you need to have from your subscribers. Name and email, yes. Birthday if you’ll use it for personalized emails. If you want more information about their content or product preferences, think about using checkboxes that are quicker and easier than manually entering responses.

Definitely keep your content and subscription form mobile-friendly. In the United States, 75% of email users check their inbox with a mobile device, meaning there’s a high likelihood your potential subscriber is reading your message from a smartphone.

In the end, increasing email subscribers means making it quick and convenient for them to subscribe the second they feel interested.

Create Great Content

You might think this one should go without saying. But actually, brands can get so caught up in trying to increase email subscribers that they don’t think enough about whether their content is something people would want to subscribe to.

Good content speaks for itself. The more value your content provides to your customers, the more likely they’ll be to want more of it. So, be sure to create content that covers topics you know your customers are interested in.

Incorporate visual content like product images and videos to make your content more engaging. Stay in the know about industry trends and news and provide your take on them to establish your brand as a thought leader.

Most importantly, pay attention to subscriber behavior and measure content performance so you can do more of what’s working and less of what’s not.

Use Pop-ups (but Don’t be Annoying)

Okay, this one might get controversial. In general, people think about pop-ups as annoying (that’s why pop-up blockers are a thing). But you can utilize pop-ups as a tool for inviting people to subscribe in a non-annoying way, and when you do they can be really effective.

The key is to only use pop-ups when someone is already showing interest in your content or their behavior is indicating that they may want to subscribe when invited.

For instance: having a “Subscribe now!” pop-up appear the second someone arrives on your website? Likely annoying. Using an exit pop-up after they’ve read a blog post? Good plan.

One company used a well-timed pop-up to increase conversions by 2100% — hard to ignore.

Here’s more on good use of pop-ups:

Get Your Winning Content Strategy in Place

Ready to implement a winning content strategy that drives subscriptions? Learn more about our Content Builder Services and get in touch with us to learn how we can help!

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

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