Publishers are starting to realize the unharnessed value of an engaged email database and how it can increase digital revenues. An opt-in email newsletter list can be one of your most valuable assets—because then you own the relationship with that reader.

8 ways to grow your subscriber database

  1. It all starts with content. Create and send good content. Growth is pointless if you ultimately damage that relationship by sending bad or irrelevant content.
  2. Integrate clients into your consumer communications. Does your organization have an engaged database? 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. 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, but are driven by time on page, percentage of scroll, or exit intent.
  4. Consider using lead generation advertising. Facebook 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Don’t forget contests! 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. 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. Take advantage of referral marketing. 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.
  8. Most of us are selling something on the web. Include a link to your newsletter offerings in your confirmation emails. Also include 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.

You can start right now

All of the above are real-world examples of revenue tactics you can start TODAY to grow your email database. The key to growth is to attack list-building from as many angles as possible.

 

 

Editor’s note: This article has been updated since May 2017.

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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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