How to Increase Subscribers to Your Newsletter and Email Marketing Campaigns

Reading Time: 12 mins

To some companies, email marketing may seem like an old fashioned concept. Now that we have various forms of Digital Marketing, with Inbound Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Content Marketing to start, Email Marketing may seem retro. But it is still an incredibly important and lucrative marketing channel that you must make use of.

So how do you go about boosting your subscriber lists to your Newsletter and other Email Marketing Campaigns? We’ve compiled a few handy tips and methods in order to give your company a boost of Email Subscriber opt-ins.


Assess your Landing Page

When you look at the landing page for subscribing to newsletters or your latest email campaign, there are a few things you should ask yourself:

  • Is your heading clear and enticing?
  • Do you list the benefits a customer will gain from subscribing to your emails?
  • Does your call-to-action to subscribe stand out from the rest of the page?
  • Is the placement of the subscription form effective?

You don’t want to constantly annoy potential customers with sign-up forms, so placing is essential. The best places are on the right hand side, as people generally read top to bottom and won’t notice this initially, and again at the bottom of a page, as the likelihood is that if they’ve read an entire piece of content, they are most certainly interested in your offerings. It may also be worthwhile giving customers an insight into what to expect, with a snapshot of the emails they will be receiving.

There are many other places you can place the forms. For instance, do you have a form on your “About Us” page? This is a page many people visit before leaving a site, so it may be worthwhile gaining some more returning traffic by enticing people to sign-up to company updates.

TED has a simplistic and clear newsletter page
TED has a simplistic and clear newsletter page

Change your wording

Which sounds more enticing? “Get email updates” or “Download Free Ebook Now!”

If the call-to-action is plain and boring, people are going to be a lot less likely to follow through and subscribe. If you have something to offer, make this known. And if not, “Join us for News and Updates” sounds better than “Subscribe to Emails”. Have a play with your wording, and consider what your target audience is most likely to respond to. For B2B purposes, no nonsense is the way forward, But for B2C, they are more likely to respond to more enticing wording, or offers and freebies.

Pop-ups and Overlays

Love them or hate them, pop-ups get the results you need. What you need to consider is whether you will be severely turning off your target audience or not.

What’s the smart way about doing this? Using a WordPress plug-in such as Optinmonster allows you to create professional pop-ups in a matter of minutes. There are a huge range of plugins and other forms of pop-ups out there, so it’s a matter of browsing and seeing what suits your business best.

Do you want the background to fade whilst the pop-up is displayed? Do you want the pop-up in the centre or bottom-right hand corner? How direct do you want to be? The choice is yours.

MoneySavingExpert utilising a one-step pop-up
MoneySavingExpert utilising a one-step pop-up

Exit-Intent Technology for Abandoning Customers

People who are going to leave, are going to leave regardless of what you’re offering. So why not have one last shot at attempting to keep them to stay on the page, or at least interested in what you have to offer?

By tracking the mouse to assess when a user is about to leave, you can display your overlay at just the right time. If they haven’t already subscribed, what have you got to lose? Absolutely nothing. Here’s a chance to turn an abandoning visitor who will probably never return again, to a fully-fledged Email Subscriber. You can do all this with BounceExchange.

Bounce Exchange: Exit-Intent Technology from Bounce Exchange on Vimeo.

Optimal Time to Opt-In

When do you think the best time to ask a user to subscribe to your emails is? It’s straight after they’ve taken an action they is of some value to them; whether that is gaining information from your website or content, or perhaps they’ve purchased something from your Ecommerce website.

If you ask a customer to subscribe to your newsletter straight after they’ve scored a bargain through your company, they’re much more likely to be happy to pass over their details. Makes sense, right?

Give Them a Reason to Subscribe

Okay so, you want to get more subscribers. But what will the customer get out of subscribing? They don’t want yet more emails clogging up their inbox for no reason. Consider offering a money-off coupon, special deals, or some other form of benefit.

If you’re not an Ecommerce business, explain the value and benefits of what you’re offering to send via email; whether it’s tips and tricks within your industry, or news and valuable information they should not miss out on. Whatever your business, you can offer the customer some form of incentive to sign up to your emails. Consider putting together a more extensive ebook or whitepaper, as a bonus for those who choose to sign-up.

Tesco promises exclusive offers upon sign-up
Tesco promises exclusive offers upon sign-up


Do you have customer fill in other forms on your website? If you offer whitepapers or ebooks, what details do you gain when a customer downloads them?

It may be worthwhile adding a checkbox at the bottom of the form, which subscribes them to your newsletter. This is perhaps one of the simplest methods if you have customers filling in alternative forms otherwise, including when checking out.

Segment and Categorise

Just because someone has signed up to your newsletter, doesn’t mean they’re going to be interested in every little thing you have to say.

Instead, it may be worthwhile segmenting users into different interests, so you can personalise your email output, and avoid annoying potential customers with stuff they are not interested in; which will only force their hand to unsubscribe. And you don’t want that to happen.

Coca Cola makes use of segmenting subscribers
Coca Cola makes use of segmenting subscribers

Encourage Sharing

Why inhibit the reach of your emails or newsletters when you can have your customers share them for you?

This can be from the emails themselves, with a comment such as “if you found this resource helpful, why not send it to a friend?” or perhaps on a landing page, suggesting they spread the word to others who may find the content useful. Ensure users can share on Twitter and Facebook at least, and consider other Social Networks depending on your business.

Content and Competitions

This can be a tricky one for some businesses, but it gives people a more valuable reason to sign-up to your newsletter or email updates.

Of course, the prize must be in-line with your target audience, company, or industry, to ensure that the people signing up are the people you want. There’s no point in offering the prize of a new iPad if you are a car dealership. People will be uninterested in your actual products and offerings.

The best way of doing this is to give away a sample, trial, or demo, of the services or product that your company offers. Doing this will mean that the people subscribing to your emails are genuinely interested in what your company offers, rather than purely being interested in a free tablet.


Saving Unsubscribers

If a user chooses to unsubscribe, you shouldn’t make this an impossible task. Instead, you may wish to lead them to an unsubscribe landing page that offers the option to reduce the mailing frequency of emails. If they are sick of constant emails every week, but still wish to view your content, maybe they wouldn’t mind opting for a monthly email instead.

Going from 52 emails a year to just 12 will be a significant change in their inbox, and you still retain a potential customer who can return to your site at a later date.

Subscription Bar

Another thing you may have noticed numerous blogs make use of, is a Subscription bar at the top of the website. This is a very tidy and unobtrusive way of reminding people, whether they’re navigating elsewhere or not, to subscribe to your newsletter or email campaign.

You can do this with the HelloBar optimisation tool, or alternatively, the WordPress plugin Viperbar. Both are sure to have a significant impact on your subscriber list.

Viperbar example

Social Proof

Already have a lot of subscribers? Show the public that fact! If anything is likely to convince customers to subscribe, it’s that other have already beaten them to the punch. Who wants to miss out on the resources and offers you are sending out to a host of other people? Of course, telling the world that you have 42 subscribers may not be as convincing. But if you have a few thousand, then it’s definitely worth mentioning.

Otherwise, ask for customer feedback, or from an influential member of someone in your industry. If someone your target audience admires acknowledges and recommends your newsletter, then they’ll be much more likely to opt-in.

Feature Box

There’s a difference between a Feature Box and a pop-up, in that feature boxes are much less intrusive. If a customer does not wish to subscribe, they can carry on reading the content, whereas a pop-up fully takes over their view. And users of your website will want to stay in control of their browsing. Why should they submit to what you want them to do?

Copyblogger makes use of a noticeable yet unobtrusive Feature Box

So if you’re struggling to give your email subscriber list a boost, try out some of these tools and tactics. It could be the lifeline that your Digital Marketing strategy needs.

If you need a hand putting together a Digital or Email Marketing Strategy together, get in touch with us at Xanthos, we would love to help you out!

What has been the most effective tactic to gain email or newsletter subscribers for your company? Have you come across any particularly useful tools? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.