Tips and Tricks to grow a Newsletter

Everybody who starts a newsletter has a difficult time growing it when they are first starting. Success stories are easy to come by online, but finding success for yourself is always more elusive. If you are having trouble growing your newsletter, these are a few tips that will help you to gain some traction, and improve the growth of your newsletter.

There are three main factors at play when growing a newsletter:






and Time

The good news is that you can control the first two of these, and use them to your advantage to grow your newsletter exponentially over time.

Creating Content for your Newsletter or Mailing List

Content is the most important factor

The statement "Content Is King" rings truer each and every year. As more creators have come online the competition for attention has increased with each new blog, YouTube channel, and Instagram influencer. So, if you want to grow your newsletter, you need make sure to produce the highest quality content possible in each and every email you send.

Organize Your Content

Make your content as easy to read as possible. Take yourself back to the days of writing essays for school, and follow your teacher's instructions. Organize your writing into easily digestible bite sized chunks, and order them in a hierarchy that readers can easily follow and understand on their first read.

Create a title and an engaging opening line to pique the reader's interest, and then tell them exactly what the rest of the emails is about in a sentence or two. This sets the ground for what readers expect to see in the rest of your email. This makes it more easy and enjoyable for the readers to digest your writing because they know what to expect, and they don't have to stop while they are reading to think about what the bigger picture is, because they already know what you are writing about right from the beginning.

After the intro, you should break the rest of your content into sections. I mean this both with the thoughts within your writing, and even with the design of the page. Use bold text, larger font sizes, and even different colors throughout your writing to visually signal that a new section of content is beginning. This helps your readers understand that you are making a transition to a different group of thoughts, and they won't be confused when you switch topics (notice how I'm doing that on this page with whitespace, font size, color, and bold text).

The main idea is to tell your readers what you are going to tell them before you tell them.

It's also a great idea to use some graphic elements like photos and icons to add visual interest to your newsletter. Giphs work great for comedic breaks in your writing, and charts and graphs work great if you are trying to convey a more complex point.

Marketing your Newsletter or Mailing List

Have a Niche

Before you write your next piece of content, make sure to ask yourself if you are targeting a specific niche. If you are not consistently writing to the same specific niche of readers, then you are fighting an uphill battle. Not only will picking a niche help you to create better content because you know what content your readers will be most interested in, but it will also allow you to know exactly where to market your content.

Create Value, Not Content

Now that you understand your niche, and you know what your readers care about, focus on giving value to your readers. There are really two ways to give value to your readers. The first is to create content that they care about, by sharing new or entertaining information within the niche. The second way to give value to your readers is actually to help them discover new content. One of the most powerful things you can do to grow your mailing list is to help other creators grow their blogs, social channels, and newsletters. This is not only a really easy way to create new content for your newsletter, but by helping to promote other creators in your niche, you can network with them and build connections that will help to promote your content in the future.

There are two really easy ways to incorporate other creators content into your newsletter. The first is to write a review of other creators content to help your readers find other content they will find interesting. This way you are giving back to your readers at the same time you are giving qualified followers to other creators. The second way is to simply create a blurb at the end of your newsletter, and write a simple overview of the creator or their recent content. This can be something as simple as "Check out what I'm reading this week", followed by a few sentences promoting your fellow creators.

Don't forget the main rule with cross promotion:

Always promote other creators before you try to get your own content promoted!

After you give some value to your peer creators, they will natrually help to cross promote your content as well.

Have a social media presence everywhere

Are you on Facebook and Instagram, but not on Twitter? Big Mistake! Not only is it easier to reach more people when you have a larger presence, you get other benefits as well. One of the biggest benefits you may not know about are backlinks from what I like to call the "link bots". These are bots that scrape, aggregate, and re-post links to social media content, and they exist on virtually every platform. If you don't promote your content on all social media platforms, then you are missing out on the not so obvious benefits of these bots (I've seen these on many platforms, but Twitter seems to have the largest presence of them).

Share your posts with teaser content

When you promote your content on social media, don't make the mistake of giving a title and general description. When you promote your content, share the title so that readers will know what the content is about, and share a teaser sentence with an unanswered question to draw them in to your content. Ths may sound like creating click bait, and it kind of is, but only because click bait works.

Understand where subscribers are coming from

If you are gaining any readers, no matter if it's just a few at first, you want to make sure that you know how you are acquiring them. If readers are subscribing through your blog or website, it should be an easy task to know where they are coming from with Google Analytics or MixPanel. If you are not sure how you are acquiring readers, one quick way to find out is to send a welcome email with a survey to each new subscriber. You can ask them how they heard about you, and a few other questions to find out more about them. What kind of content are they interested in? Where are they located? How often do they want to hear from you? Once you have a small stream of these readers, keep sharing your content regularly on websites and social media platforms where you are already acquiring readers and you presence will continue to grow over time.

Make it easy for readers to join your mailing list

Make sure that you have an easy and quick link handy for readers to join your mailing list. If readers are more than one click away from a form to join your mailing list, you are doing it wrong. Forgive the self promotion, but this is one feature that PostHeat offers that comes in handy for many newsletterss.

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Check out some of our other blog posts:

Growth Strategies Behind Today's Biggest Newsletters
Newsletter Interview with FontDiscovery
Newsletter Interview with Signals
Newsletter Interview with Brands Mean a Lot
Newsletters are the best Influencer Marketing Platform
How To Choose A Newsletter Niche
5 Ways to Monetize a Newsletter
Tips and Tricks to grow a Newsletter