Growing Your Magazine’s Email Subscriber List


at Audience development

Email marketing is by far the most effective way to monetize your magazine, but how do you use it to keep your subscriber list growing? It’s difficult to foresee if and when your mailing list’s retention rates will start to reduce, so what’s the right way to take control of it before it starts to shrink? How do you get more subscribers while keeping existing ones happy? How do you do this all while still effectively monetizing? These are all good questions. Here are some tips on how you can grow your magazine’s email subscriber list.

How to Get More Subscribers

The key is to build your magazine website around email capture architecture: This is the most effective method to maximize the growth of your mailing list. Here’s how to develop it:

Creating downloadable freebies

The best way to grow your subscriber list is by creating downloadable freebies, such as ebooks, case studies, white papers, etc. Research what people are looking for in your industry and give it to them as a downloadable in exchange for their email address. Just be aware that having one freebie is not enough – you should have twenty or more free offers to achieve consistent mailing list growth. The downloadables should be offered all around your magazine portal to help you convert. It’s very important that you rotate your offers every 90 days, because each offer’s appeal wears off and conversion rates will start dropping.

Ask for your visitors to sign up

Just ask for it. As soon as the website loads, ask for your visitors to sign up. Just show the popup and come up with an attractive proposition on why it’s worth it to sign up to your mailing list. Some people might say that this is a very intrusive or crudel method to collect emails and you will probably lose some visitors, but don’t worry: these weren’t your targeted customers anyway. The conversion rate you should aim for is 1.5%. Test it within your niche; if you’re getting lower conversion rates, you can try different methods, or simply delay the popup for ten seconds or so. Be sure not to cover more than 40% of your mobile website with the subscription popup because Google will penalize you by sending less traffic.

Use your content to drive curiosity and convert

You can give each visitor some free content and, if they want to read more, ask them to subscribe. This can be done for each individual article so the visitor can read a few paragraphs free before being asked to sign up, or you can give a few free articles and then if they want to read more, ask them to subscribe.  

Creating a checkbox that says, “I want to subscribe to X mailing list.”

Capture emails on all forms and order pages by creating a checkbox that says, “I want to subscribe to X mailing list.” Also, capture emails on unfinished forms and order pages, so you can follow them up later.  

Add email capture forms inside your content

Add email capture forms inside your content to make it easier for your visitors to get more of your awesomeness.

Add a menu item to your sitemap that offers a free newsletter on different topic

Your visitors will appreciate the free stuff and might find some topics interesting enough to subscribe.  

How to Keep More Subscribers

Keeping your subscribers happy and on your list is an interesting challenge. The number one rule here is to engage them with valuable and interesting content, but to not bother them with what they might perceive as spam. This balance is what you need to strive for when you send out your emails. Here are a few useful tips to make sure you keep more subscribers, even those who are on the fence about their subscription:

Give them different subscription options

Give them different subscription options that allow them to control frequency and content. For example, give them options for daily, weekly, or monthly newsletters or even offer them a few treats such as free offers. This is important for those who go to your unsubscribe page because they’re receiving too many emails from you, but may not necessarily wish to unsubscribe completely. 

Make sure your subscribers get the best experience on your newsletter

After all, you still have those emails, so you want to do something with them. It’s a good idea to follow up with them after 90-180 days. If you offer them something of value, believe me, you’ll be impressed by how many of them are willing to subscribe again. Just make sure that you resubscribe them to a lower-frequency mailing list. If you start slow, mailing them maybe just once a week at first, you can gradually ramp them up and better retain them.

How to Keep Open Rates High

To make your email marketing most effective, you need to monitor your open rates and make sure to keep them as high as possible. There are a few important factors you need to practice in order to keep this process running smoothly. At first, you need to keep your list clean to get the real numbers. Only after that should you start focusing on optimization.

Keep your mailing list clean and tidy. The best approach to this is to:

a. Make it easy for subscribers to voluntary unsubscribe from one or all of your mailing lists. Move everybody who has unsubscribed to another list. Do not delete them.

b. Purge all inactive subscribers from your active list after 180 days. Retain these as well by moving them to another list. Try to follow up with them after some time has passed.

c. Get rid of hard bounce email addresses. These are the addresses where your newsletter went undelivered. The most common reasons this happens are that the mailbox no longer exists, the domain no longer exists, or the server has blocked your address permanently.

Make your subject line snappy

Your newsletter subject line is 47% responsible for your newsletter’s open rate. Focus on finding the best pattern that works for your industry. Try to keep it between 6-10 words. Keep in mind that personalization helps in every case. Here are a few ideas:  

a. Reasons why – “X reasons why you should do Y”

b. Benefits – “Follow these simple tips to get X subscribers in the next Y days”

c. Question – “Do you think you can learn this?”

Focus next on the first sentence of your newsletter’s body

It’s responsible for 27% of your open rate successes. Test how it looks on the most popular email tools, like Gmail, Yahoo, etc. There is a part of the first sentence that is visible, so it’s important that it does some work. Here’s how to make it better:

a. Never make it about you; make it about them.

b. Start with your strongest statement to give it value and impact right away.

c. Again, personalize it.

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All this looks even better in action. Call or email Flip180 Media your email marketing questions. We would love to help you build your email subscriber list and get the most out of it.

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