Newsletter Crew October 25, 2020

Seeking advice on growing newsletter subscribers

coffeeandbuzz

Hi everyone, first post here.

A week ago, I started a short daily business and financial newsletters. I got the inspiration from many of the newsletters I subscribe to and wanted to do something on my own. I sent it to friends and families first and I saw some good growth (the absolute number is still small), which makes all these very exciting. I really enjoy the process and I am now going to keep hustling and try growing the subscriber base. Any advice on how I can do it?

I have some ideas:

a) ask current subscribers to forward. but how can I properly incentive them? what's the best reward/motivation you have seen? i use mailerlite, but currently i haven't figured out the best way to track the forwarding process. what program can i use to determine that B signed up because of A's forwarding?

b) thinking of expanding my reach via social media platforms. which would be the best? I read around a bit and think twitter would be my best place to start. What are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading!

  1. 4

    I run https://thestartup.substack.com, got to about 210 subs after 3 posts so I'm still small time but good enough to talk about early hustle tactics.

    1. Post on EVERY social network lol. Starting out, the hustle is real, so you can't be picky lol. LinkedIn, Reddit, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter, IH, Quora, Pintrest, Facebook, etc. These pieces can act as digital breadcrumbs, with a trail leading back to your platform.
    2. Directories - I did it early, they're not great, but even a small number of subs is useful.
    3. Post about it daily and try to be on brand otherwise. This is my general Twitter strategy. I try to write about startups regularly, offering advice, sharing insight, etc. If I post at least 5 times daily, one of those posts, will usually have something to do with my newsletter.

    Very specific advice:

    1. Tweet storms. I use long threads where repost my thread content and @ everybody I mention, within my newsletter. e.g. https://twitter.com/RichardAwoyemi/status/1319660773707288577?s=20 (you will notice I even mentioned Kanye West because I used him in a gif 😅). You never know who may share or retweet.
    2. Pinterest - They get silly traffic (lost the statistic, something like 700mil people a day), so it makes sense to try and use it. Create pin groups in your field, add pictures that can be linked back to your newsletter, every little helps!
    3. Create value that people will want to share. One way I'm doing this as we speak, is adding in 2 new things to my newsletter soon:
      (1) Something to showcase other founders - which they can share with their networks and I can do the same with mine.
      (2) What I'm working on - Building something interesting in public so that people can join the journey as I build.

    Hope this helps - happy to help more if you have any other Qs.

    😅

    1. 1

      very good advice, thank you!
      for tweeting, what do you think is the best way to drop my newsletter link? for example, today, i wrote one sentence about what the content is about and just attached the link.

      1. 1

        I try to mix it up.

        • One day a week I'll post the whole article (or a summary) in tweet form an @ everybody.
        • I'll publicly tweet about my plans or article progress.
        • May respond to a relevant tweet with a topic I addressed in my article.
        • I may run polls asking what people want to me write about next.

        Stuff like this usually helps.

        1. 1

          all very practical ideas for me to implement. thanks!

  2. 2

    Hey there, welcome!

    I can share a few ways that I've personally grown email lists.

    1. You can use traditional methods like lead magnets. You need to create unique lead magnets that really complete or complement the article the person is reading. Then you can get traffic to these articles via SEO and convert those people into subscribers. I've done this for one email list and it works, you just need to know what you're doing re: SEO. You can get as high as 30% opt-in for a great lead magnet, however it's questionable how much the people who sign up for a PDF really want to hear from you daily/weekly.

    2. More recently, I built an email list via an email course to about 1.2K subs in about 2 weeks. I did have 8-9K twitter followers to more efficiently launch it, but the ongoing growth these days is mostly by word of mouth. I wrote about it here: https://bloggingfordevs.com/launch-a-newsletter/

    3. Just publish content and if people like it, as them to subscribe. It's definitely the slowest method and requires a lot of traffic, as opt-in rates are often very low without an incentive. Could work for you though, and perhaps on platforms like substack people are being more conditioned to subscribe to get future articles?

    If I can answer any questions on these, let me know :)

    1. 1

      appreciate the advice, thank you!

  3. 2

    Hi Coffeeandbuzz,

    I wrote a blog post about it, hope you find it relevant - https://newslettercafe.com/how-to-get-more-newsletter-subscribers/

    TL:DR -

    1. Publish on social media (Twitter, Reddit, Facebook groups, etc.).
    2. Add your newsletter to newsletter directories where people discover newsletters.
    3. Collaborate with other newsletters with similar audience.
    4. As you already mentioned, referral programs and giveaways could also work - Sparkloop or Growsurf are two tools that target newsletter creators.

    Good luck :)

    1. 1

      Very good and valuable advice. Thank you. Given what I have heard so far, I will start focusing more on Twitter and add value there.

      Currently waiting to hear back from the team at Sparkloop regarding some of the functionality I am looking for. Since I started out only with friends and families, the referral has really helped me to grow.

      Thanks again!

  4. 2

    growing the subscriber base. Any advice on how I can do it?

    I would think about how I discovered my favorite newsletters. When/where/how/why did I click the link to read the newsletter in the first place? Look for patterns.

    Have you ever been forwarded a newsletter by someone, and you immediately subscribed afterward? If so, study that example and try to glean something from it.

    The best organic growth comes from putting out content that's good enough to stand on its own, that people are eager to share on social media and in their communities. Reflect on times when you were eager to share content.

    Find the patterns, then apply and improve.

    thinking of expanding my reach via social media platforms. which would be the best?

    The answer to the question is obvious, but only after you answer this preceding question: where are my target customers already hanging out?

    ---

    Started this thread to get the juices flowing: What's the last newsletter you signed up for and why?

    1. 2

      thank you for the advice. agree that content is key. the newsletters i sign up for are simply only for the content.

      most of my target audience (or rather existing subscribers) are all on IG. but it seems there's more hurdle to share via IG, from an email perspective. it is a lot easier to share on twitter, linkedin. I will think of the best way to present my value via IG. i imagine i have to summarize the points further and turn it into an image.

      Thanks again.

      1. 1

        I will think of the best way to present my value via IG. i imagine i have to summarize the points further and turn it into an image.

        If you follow through on this it would make for a good case study.

  5. 2

    Maybe https://sparkloop.app/ is something for you?
    And maybe Pipewing.com for newsletter cross-promotions?

    1. 1

      this is great, thanks. i did chance upon sparkloop. have reached out to their team to ask if what i am doing is feasible on their platform. do you currently use sparkloop?

  6. 1

    I'm creating a marketplace for newsletter cross promotion. It's still under development but you can sign up for the early access list: https://www.getcrowdmagnet.com.

      1. 1

        Similar concept, but slightly different approach. It'd be great to learn more about your newsletter. Maybe we can setup a call? email me at [email protected] or signup for the early access list so I can reach to you and maybe we can schedule something. Best -Adam

    1. 1

      will check it out, thank you.

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