Grow your mailing list subscribers

Email subscribers can often seem elusive, with many businesses struggling to find the best way to grow their mailing list. The great news is that some tried and tested strategies for getting more customers to sign up! The potential for return on investment is huge when it comes to email marketing, provided that you keep implementing strategies to grow the number of subscribers you have. With the increased use of email for mobile, it could be said that email is even more important than ever when considering multi-channel marketing strategies in 2021. Here are some basic principles to follow to grow your subscription audience.


Choice is key

If there’s one thing that customers want with ubiquity, it’s choice. By not splashing signups all over your website or making them an obligatory part of the purchasing process, you are allowing customers the option not to subscribe. This doesn’t mean that you can’t advertise your newsletter or email blast, but simply that popups or banners need to be closable and not too intrusive to the overall customer experience. By making sure that those who do sign up are interested in the content and products you have to offer, your mailing list’s quality will increase. Return on investment will likely increase, too, since your brand only engages with loyal and profitable customers. Even those who do not sign up will come away with a positive user experience since they have been given choice and consideration.


Keep sign-ups simple

Have you ever gone to sign up for brand content and been deterred by the myriad of boxes and information to fill-in? Making subscription to mailing lists easy should be a number 1 priority for all businesses. Creating simple forms that require only a few clicks to get started means that you are less likely to experience “form-abandonment” and still get the most critical piece of information: a customer’s email address. If your business requires more information, it is easier to ask for it once customers have already engaged positively with your brand. Another option is offering points or incentives to hand over details such as birthdays or geographical locations. Remember, the most important thing is that they sign up for your content!


Set the tone

The moment after a customer has subscribed to a mailing list is a great opportunity to create a positive interaction. Whilst it’s unlikely that users will head straight to their inbox to check for an email from you, there are a few things you can do. Since signups usually happen on websites, you can create a popup box containing messages confirming that they have successfully subscribed and add a positive message of welcome, or repeat the offer of an incentive promised upon subscription. This instant communication can ensure that customer’s interaction with your brand is positive from the start, making it more likely that they will stay on your mailing list for longer. An instant and clear message can also set the tone for the type of content they will be receiving from you.


Optimise for mobile

It’s easy to miss the link between mobile and email, but none-the-less it’s there. One study claims that when an email is read on a mobile device first, the consumer is 65% more likely to purchase when viewing the same brand later on. Mobile users viewing your website or social media page still require the same seamless experience to be enticed to subscribe to your mailing list, whether through popups, forms or emails themselves. With more people – especially Gen-Z– relying increasingly on mobiles as their primary device for everything from social media to e-commerce, optimising email marketing content for mobile has never been more essential. Don’t miss out on the growing number of mobile subscribers!


Calls to action & incentives

A key element on the list of strategies to increase your subscriptions is to create a prominent call to action. This can be anything that encourages visitors to sign up for your email marketing content. The most eye-catching calls to action are those that include incentives for subscribing to the brand’s mailing list. They can consist of anything from one-time discounts to free giveaways and exclusive access to sale items. Incentives are a great way to increase signups. There is evidence to show that special offers in your call to action can yield a 4.24% conversion rate, whilst offering competitions for users to win can result in even higher conversion rates. Mailing lists can make customers feel included in brand conversations by providing news and exclusive previews of products. However, whatever the call to action or incentive used, remember that choice is essential to customers, so make sure that your content is prominent but not intrusive.


Pop-ups, banners & boxes

The way you choose to present subscription ads is important. The last thing you want to do is place a large and oppressive “sign up to our mailing list now” banner on every inch of your website. However, if your link is too small and hidden away, then you won’t win any subscribers at all. When it comes to websites, the most popular formats are popups, banners and boxes. In terms of conversion rates, banners at the top or bottom but start in a “hidden” state until triggered have a conversion rate of 2.2%. Full-width bars at either end of a site have a conversion rate of 1.34%, and popups yield the lowest conversion rate of 1.31%. Other options include inline forms, which are embedded in the page with your other content. They can be a very effective signup strategy because they are discreet but still able to capture attention. Ultimately, different formats will work well for different businesses, so as long as your subscription ads enhance the user experience rather than detracted by them, you’ll be on the right track.


Timing matters

It can often be irritating when you are bombarded with popups as soon as you land on a page or if the entire landing page is taken up with content encouraging you to sign up to a mailing list. But when is the best time to let people know that you have a mailing list? One way an appearance of a subscription ad can be triggered is by site visitor behaviour. The timings used to make this happen can be instrumental in whether visitors take you upon your request. One adequate time for signup requests to appear is at the checkout stage. This is because it is assumed that if customers are already entering their details to make a transaction, one more piece of admin won’t deter them. There are also mechanisms in place on specific websites that can trigger popups that display sign up ads for newsletter subscription when a visitor is exhibiting particular behaviours, for example, when a visitor is about to leave your website. Different users will respond effectively to other methods, so doing some A/B testing can help you decide which timing works best.



The strategies mentioned above are some of the easiest ways to increase subscriptions to your mailing list. Subscription ads can be beneficial; however, it’s important always to consider the customer first. Ultimately users respond well to ads that offer simplicity, choice and engaging content.




Written and researched by Paige Elford, Digital Marketing Graduate