Content Marketing

How To Get More Email Subscribers (Fast and Easy)

If you already have a newsletter signup CTA on your website and a lead magnet, is there anything else you can do to get email subscribers without paying for promotion?

Fortunately, yes! 


Many solopreneurs, content creators, and brands with large email lists don’t do any paid promotion.

The real secret is that they execute the basic organic newsletter growth strategies more effectively (and consistently) than the average newsletter creator or email marketer.

For example, you probably already have a lead magnet. Yet the relevancy and value of the lead magnet is the difference between earning 100 or 100,000 email subscribers. So the real question isn’t do I have a lead magnet, but rather, how effective is my lead magnet?

In this post, we’ll discuss not just the basic strategies to get more email subscribers, but more importantly, how to effectively execute each of these strategies like the top 1% of newsletter and email marketers. 

Want us to
scale your traffic?

For the first time, The Copyblogger methodology is now available to a select few clients. We know it works. We’ve been doing it since 2006.

1. Improve Your Lead Magnet

If you already have a lead magnet, increasing your conversion rate by even a small amount can significantly boost email signups.

In fact, before executing any of the steps below, spend time optimizing your lead magnet, as this is the 80/20 of earning more email subscribers.

So, what makes a highly effective lead magnet?

Two main factors impact your lead magnet’s conversion rate:

Let’s explain both of them.


The relevancy of the lead magnet for that visitor is how specifically it addresses a pain point that the visitor feels. 

For example, someone reading a post on keyword research is more likely to download a free keyword research cheat sheet than a “5 marketing hacks” guide. Obviously, this means that creating more lead magnets will help, as you can then create lead magnets specific to each blog post’s topic.

HubSpot is excellent at creating very specific lead magnets that correspond with the blog post topic. For example, in this post on how to write a blog post, the lead magnet is a collection of six blog post templates: 


The usefulness of the lead magnet is the degree to which the lead magnet solves the reader’s problem.

For example, a free tool that automates a daily task the reader spends an hour on is much more useful than a “5 tips to X” style blog post (even if the tips are helpful/relevant). 

Therefore, even if you have a lead magnet, check that it’s actually relevant to the type of visitors you’re attracting and that it’s ideally useful enough that a person may be willing to pay money to access.

If you’re feeling stuck while creating your lead magnet, look at your blog’s most successful topics to identify the most painful problems your audience feels and then work backward to create a solution you can offer as a lead magnet.

Improving your lead magnet’s performance is important because if you get this step right, you can have a poorly optimized CTA and ignore the other advice in this post, and still produce an excellent email subscriber conversion rate. 

2. Optimize On Page CTAs

You probably already have a CTA on your website for people to subscribe to your newsletter.

Yet the number of email subscribers it earns depends on:

  • How many CTAs are on your website
  • Where the CTAs are positioned on the website
  • The visibility and size of the CTAs
  • The copy of the CTAs

There isn’t a perfect answer for how many CTAs you should have or where you should position them on your website, but here are some best practices.

Include a general CTA to subscribe to your newsletter both:

  • In the footer 
  • Somewhere on your homepage.  

You can also include a CTA for a general lead magnet in both:

  • The sidebar of your blog posts
  • An exit pop-up

Finally, include a CTA to more specific/relevant lead magnets:

  • Contextually, within each blog post
  • At the end of each blog post

Additionally, it’s a best practice to make your CTA stand out from the rest of the text on your website. While you can test different colors and fonts, the main point is to make it easily visible.

The copy of your CTA will also impact your conversion rate. Perhaps the best CTA copy is a testimonial of the newsletter itself, similar to Backlinko’s CTA:

If you’re not sure what a great CTA looks like, simply tell the reader what they’ll receive when signing up to your email list.

The biggest mistake I often see with CTA copy is over optimizing it by providing too much information or focusing on vague benefits that don’t clearly communicate what the reader will actually receive when subscribing.

Too much information: Learn how to cook keto recipes, exercise more effectively, access exclusive content, and hear behind-the-scenes stories of how keto changes lives.

Too vague: Subscribe to learn how to change your life.

Instead, simply tell them what they’ll receive by subscribing to your newsletter.

A clear, concise, and effective CTA: Subscribe to learn how to make keto meals in less than 10 minutes.

3. Add A Subscribe CTA To Your Emails

If you deliver truly outstanding content, subscribers will likely share the emails with their friends. Therefore, optimize your emails to earn more subscribers by including a link to subscribe at the bottom of each email.

Here’s a great example of how Pay Flynn executed this:

4. Offer A Referral Program

Alex Lieberman, the founder of Morning Brew, has repeatedly stated that Morning Brew’s main growth strategy was its referral program.

Today, they have a tiered referral program, a strategy every newsletter and email marketer should use to earn more subscribers.

You can offer a similar referral program through most newsletter platforms.

The key to a great referral program is making it easy for people to reach the first reward. For example, if people see that they need at least five or seven referrals to reach the first reward, most won’t even begin because the task seems too daunting. 

However, after they reach the first level, reaching the second level won’t feel as daunting, and they’ll be encouraged to continue sharing it after receiving the first prize.

Additionally, ensure that the first reward is something your audience will truly value. If the reward is a prize that will likely end up in the garbage or be deleted from their computer, come up with a better reward. 

This is a tip from Matt McGary, who provided several examples of more effective rewards. For his email list, the newsletter operator, the first tier prize is a database of links his readers would find helpful, and the next tier is a mini Facebook ad course.

Here’s the statistics from his referral program:

He also posted some sample digital asset reward examples on LinkedIn that The Milk Road, Justin Moore, and others used:

5. Partner With Other Brands/Creators

​​One of the easiest ways to earn more subscribers is to partner with another brand or creator with a similar-sized list and a similar audience.

You promote their lead magnet in your newsletter, and they promote your lead magnet in their newsletter. 

The key to a successful newsletter promotion swap is partnering with other newsletters with your ideal audience.

For example, if you run an SEO newsletter and want more SEO marketers to subscribe, partnering with another SEO newsletter of a similar size will be more successful than partnering with a general marketing newsletter, as only a fraction of their audience may be interested in SEO.  

You can also consider paid newsletter promotions. For example, here at Copyblogger, we offer a weekly newsletter and allow sponsorships. So we partnered with Nicholas Cole, and he promoted one of his lead magnets through our newsletter:

Another easy way to increase email subscribers is to add a CTA to subscribe to your LinkedIn profile or Twitter bio.

Here’s an example of someone who added a CTA to subscribe on their LinkedIn profile:

And here’s an example of a well optimized Twitter profile: 

Including a CTA to subscribe to your newsletter is also a much more effective way to capture and nurture leads than including a CTA to schedule a demo or buy a product, as most people discovering you for the first time aren’t yet ready to buy.

Similarly, you can promote your newsletter on social media by teasing what you’ll cover in the next newsletter.

This is the main strategy Matt McGarry has used to grow his newsletter to over 5,000 subscribers in just 100 days.

The copy for the social media post can be quite simple. Just state what you’ll cover in a line or two. 

This is also a great test to see what kind of content your audience cares about. If you earn a lot of opt-ins for that topic, you’ll know that people want more of that kind of content.

8. Host A Giveaway Or Contest

Hosting a giveaway or contest and offering a prize to one of new subscribers is excellent if you’re launching a newsletter.  

For example, Jay Acunzo earned his first email subscribers by offering a free copy of his book: 

However, you don’t want your current subscribers to feel cheated, so if you’ve already launched your newsletter, you can also offer a general giveaway to any subscribers:

Tim Ferriss has an excellent example of this:

9. Create Email Subscriber Exclusive Content

Offering email exclusive content is a great way to increase email subscribers, but how you promote it will determine how effectively it generates new subscribers.

For example, George Blackman offers video script retention analysis exclusively in his email newsletter:

Just one year later, he grew to over 8,000 email subscribers, proving that offering exclusive content is a highly effective strategy to earn more subscribers.

Another strategy is to simply gate a handful of your blog posts (though this is also essentially a lead magnet).

Here’s how Backlinko does it:

Once you click “unlock now,” you’re prompted to sign up for the email list: 

However, be mindful that people are accustomed to reading content for free, so many simply won’t read it if the topic is generic enough that they can Google and find the answer. Additionally, gated content does not benefit SEO, so avoid gating content that is ranking for critical keywords.

This is why it’s best to gate high-value case studies that provide exceptional content yet aren’t really designed to rank in search engines.

10. Double Down On Word of Mouth 

People are always looking to share resources with their friends and family.

If you can be the go-to resource people use to find interesting content, there’s a good chance that they’ll casually mention where they learned the information, which gives your brand more exposure.

As a result, you’ll organically earn more email subscribers. 

In fact, word of mouth was key to Morning Brew’s growth. The content was helpful and delivered in such a delightful manner that people loved sharing it with their friends either verbally or through word of mouth.

As you write the email, consider what you’re sending to subscribers and ask if they would share it with colleagues on a Zoom call or send it to a friend.

If the content in your emails isn’t that great, you need to revisit your content ideation strategy. 

Even if you effectively execute all of the email growth strategies in this post, you won’t grow your email list because people will unsubscribe. 

The problem is that most email marketers don’t realize that the content in their emails isn’t helpful. To solve this problem, add a poll at the bottom of your newsletter and ask people if they found it helpful:

You can also simply email your subscribers (especially new subscribers) and ask them what kind of content they want.

Here’s a template you can use:

Hi (name),

To send you the best content possible, we’d love to know; What are your three biggest challenges with (X)?

Also, what other publications or influencers do you enjoy following?



It’s also a good idea to become active in Slack, Reddit, and Facebook groups where your audience is already engaged and discussing top pain points.

Get More Help Growing Your Email List

These strategies are the main organic strategies you need to grow your email list. So before searching for other more obscure tactics, double down on improving your execution of each of the tips outlined above. 

We realize that email marketing can be challenging, so if you want more personalized help, consider joining the Copyblogger Academy. It’s a community of entrepreneurs and marketers led by seven-figure entrepreneurs Tim Stoddart and Charles Miller.

You’ll have access to eight plus courses on content marketing, email marketing, SEO, personal branding, and copywriting, and you can even ask the community for direct feedback on your work.

You can also join accountability calls to ensure you execute the material in the course and stay motivated through challenges. 

Sign up today to see if the Copyblogger Academy is a good fit for you. If you’re not 100% satisfied, you can get your money back in the first 30 days. 

Source link


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button