Increasing Newsletter Subscriptions with Cross-Promotion
Growing your email list is the first step to building a direct, engaged audience. But the work doesn’t end once you win a subscriber over to your list.
From there, it becomes a question of how to increase the value of this direct audience. One way to do so is to shift your focus slightly away from the number of email subscribers you have and think about your total number of newsletter subscriptions.
In short, if you offer more than one newsletter, try encouraging subscribers to opt into receiving more than one newsletter. Getting the people on your email list to subscribe to multiple newsletters saves you the effort of having to earn a new subscriber, all while allowing you to drive more value from the audience you already have in two ways:
- You get more chances to connect with your engaged audience. Because email is a direct link to your readers, you can already count on your newsletter subscribers to engage more than your audiences elsewhere. By earning additional newsletter subscriptions, you get the ability to send more email to—and therefore, engage—your most attentive audiences without fatiguing the rest of your list.
- Each additional subscription gives you another monetization opportunity, regardless of your business model. With more newsletter subscriptions, you have more chances to earn click-throughs, driving onsite ad revenue. If you have a paid subscription product, each click gets your audience closer to hitting your paywall meter, potentially converting them into a paid subscriber. Plus, when you monetize your newsletters with in-email advertising, more newsletter subscriptions gives you more space to show ads.
Your existing email readers already know what they can expect from your content, so they may be willing to subscribe to additional content if asked. That’s where email cross-promotion comes in. Here are a few options for cross-promoting your additional newsletters to your existing email audience, allowing you to maximize your total newsletter subscriptions.
1) Use your welcome email to let new subscribers know about your other newsletters.
On average, your email subscribers will never be more engaged than they are when they open your welcome email. With their higher-than-average open rates, welcome emails are an ideal space to show subscribers what you have to offer, including your other emails. Take advantage of this opportunity to let your incoming newsletter subscribers know about your other newsletters, perhaps even providing sample content from those other emails.
2) Implement a preference center.
An email preference center showcases all of your newsletters in a single place, potentially giving your subscribers the opportunity to discover what else you have to offer. Of course, realistically, a preference page will probably only earn you a handful of subscriptions. The preference center’s real strength is in preserving unsubscribers who may try to opt out of your communication. By directing potential unsubscribers to a preference center, you may convince them to opt in to a newsletter (or two) that’s more relevant to their interests.
3) Cross-promote your other email products within your newsletter content.
Newsletters are an effective tool for content discovery, meaning that they often lead readers to stumble onto content they might not normally consume. Don’t limit this potential to merely discovering your articles; let them discover other newsletters they might enjoy as well. You can cross-promote newsletters through a section in your newsletter template specifically devoted to showing off your other email products, or you can just link to one within the text of your newsletter itself.
4) Optimize your onsite calls-to-action to effectively cross-promote other newsletters to your existing email audience.
When visitors come to your site from a particular newsletter, using your onsite CTAs to promote that same newsletter is a wasted opportunity. Make strategic use of your onsite email capture, identifying when users are visiting your site from email and showing them an invitation to receive a different newsletter. For instance, if a particular article straddles the line between two newsletter categories, try promoting the newsletter that covers a different category than the one the user already receives.
5) Make it easy for subscribers to receive additional newsletters with one-click opt-in.
No matter where you promote your other newsletter products, it’s important to remove as much friction from the signup process as possible. Specifically: if users already receive a newsletter from you, there’s no need to collect their email address. You already have it. Rather than directing audiences to a landing page where they can sign up for another newsletter, make your newsletter cross-promotion CTAs automatically register users for the new email.
6) Send another newsletter proactively.
The best way to show your other newsletters to your audience? By simply showing them your other newsletters.
Rather than waiting on your audience to respond to your newsletter cross-promotion, you can use your first-party data to identify interested segments of your existing email audience who already consume content featured in your other newsletters. Then, because you already have their email address, you can proactively opt them into a newsletter you know is relevant to their interests. As long as you provide a clear, prominent link to opt out of the new email, you can send this email without negatively affecting engagement or getting spam complaints.
Only have one newsletter?
Offering only a single newsletter—even if it’s highly personalized—doesn’t provide the opportunity for engagement and monetization that having an arsenal of additional newsletters does. If you want to add another newsletter product to your email program, here are a few examples of new newsletters you can try:
- Category-specific newsletters: If your site covers multiple categories, offer a separate newsletter for each one. Not only does this approach give you additional chances for engagement, it allows readers to self-select the most relevant email content.
- Wrap-up: Package your top content across sections of your site into a weekly best-of newsletter. Readers may even discover another area of your site that piques their interest and keeps them coming back to click.
- Pop-up newsletters: Is there a major event that commands the attention of the industry that you cover? Devote an entire newsletter to it! Sports publishers could create a newsletter around a major tournament or playoffs, while entertainment publishers may benefit from the interest around award season.
- Long-form reads: Some publishers send longer newsletters on the weekends, when they know their audience has more time to sit down and read. Package together your top few long-form articles of the week, or you may even send long-form content within the email itself (provided self-contained email content aligns with your email newsletter goals).
Strapped for time? You may be able to automate all or parts of the newsletters you offer, enabling you to increase newsletter output with minimal effort. Check out our Automation Solution Guide to see how we help publishers send more email without putting a strain on resources.
Editor, PostUp PlayBook