How to grow your email list? 💌

Carmen Jiménez
35 replies
What do you think is the best way to make your newsletter subscribers grow? Maybe offering some kind of free resource? Or by advertisement? What worked better for you?


Clay Huston
I got my first 100 from a Facebook ad. CPAs are high these days so it's not the most scalable. Currently trying to build out a referral program
Mathilde Odel
Offer for FREE a product/service to your prospect and you ask them to leave their address. It works a lot for me. Mix the free product and the ad. After that, I built an emails campaign to speak every week or month about my company and my goals to involve my potential customer in the project. Your prospects will speak about your company to their family/friends... Because the human love to be a part of a great mission and they need to share it ! Speak about a brand and a mission, not a product
Alex Papageorge
@mathildeodel Love this. Follow up question - To your first point (free product) - Do you feel the "free product" needs to be correlated (or at least in the same wheelhouse) as the product/newsletter your selling? Or does the fact that it's valuable and free serve it's purpose enough, although there's not much synergy between the two products? Curious to hear thoughts
Mathilde Odel
@alex_papageorge Hello Alex, of course it needs to be correlated ! If you offer something for free that is different from your product/business, how can it works ? If you sell Nike shoes you can't offer for free a book about Bitcoin.
Matt Olevinsky
We have the following exp: - give users the option to try the product at 1 click (no email needed) - after the first 5-10 min of experience we ask about saving his progress (if the user liked the service). Also we've added buttons inside UI - as a result - low spam level, good engagement level Try that case. Maybe it will work for you.
Yuliia Mamonov 🇺🇦
@matvey_olevinsky I love this approach! Wouldn't work with our product but in general I love the idea!
Initial 100 via Twitter and LinkedIn After that, directories, other media channels, forums, and encouraging word of mouth. Additionally, I would @ people I reference/quote on social media which was potentially an excellent way for influencers to pick it up. I would also make sure it was visible on my social platform bio, mostly where I was present discussing things related to the topics in my newsletter.
Yuliia Mamonov 🇺🇦
@rawoyemi totally agree about tagging people: it works wonders! If you don't mind me asking - What type of product do you promote through directories? And how does it work for you?
menajem benchimol
We got our first 100 subscribers from Facebook ads, Facebook groups, and Reddit. Check out this article we wrote on IndieHackers with a detailed explanation of our experience, how much we spent etc. Facebook Ads: We’d heard a few other people say they were crushing it using Facebook Ads to grow their newsletter and we figured we’d give it a shot as well. For context, we didn’t have a large advertising budget, so the idea of spending money for subscribers wasn’t our favorite idea. We figured we’d spend $50 and see what happened. Here’s what we did: We created a lead magnet. We’d heard from multiple people that you should promote lead magnet rather than just the newsletter itself. We used interests as our primary parameter for Facebook to find relevant people, creating some short ad copy, and our CTA sent them to the signup page on our website. Results: We got 50 signups at about $.50/per sign up. We were stoked with these results. Unfortunately, when we looked at where all the traffic came from, it was clear these were low-quality emails, as our open rates were practically non-existent. 🙁 Facebook Ads Attempt #2: The lesson here is that we shouldn’t have kept our targeting to “worldwide”. Here’s what we did with the remained $25.00: We ran the same test, except this time only targeted tier 1 countries (USA, Canada, Australia, UK, etc..) and used the same interest targeting that we did previously. Results: We saw about a $3.00/per sign up. Which was more than we were willing to spend for free subscribers. Ultimately, we decided to stop running Facebook Ads. Reddit - This is one of the hardest channels to make work and not for the faint of heart. My first tip with Reddit is to keep the promotion to a minimum… like, an absolute bare minimum. Secondly, always lead with value. That said, some Subreddits are so anti-advertisement that even if you lead with value and add your link in a subtle way, you’ll still get your post removed or worse… shadow-banned 😱 all while getting flamed in the process. But, don’t stress it, it’s just part of using Reddit. Here’s what we did: Found 3-5 relevant subreddits Looked at the top posts of all time and emulated their headlines and content Created a valuable post (this was typically just repurposing our free content in a different format) w/ a clickbaity title (yep - this tactic still works!)
Alex Papageorge
@mbenchi10 @alex_papageorge I think you're pretty spot on. The viral effects of the platform are amazing but the trickiness of selling what you're trying to sell without being flagged is challenging to put it lightly (as I'm sure we're both experienced)
Nikola Sokolov
Scraped my Insta followers emails with Then moved on to target competitors followers via cold email (free ebooks mostly) and custom audiences on FB (again, ebooks).
Tasos Valtinos
For me Linkedin worked pretty well. However you need to work a lot on connecting with relevant people first, and then just a couple of good posts bring a lot of traction/signups/optins.
Minh Dang
LinkedIn and Lead411 my dear. Work pretty well
Deep Sherchan
From my experience ebooks or case study, pdf downloads have worked the most. Right now the most popular method is promoting a webinar on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram to capture email ids of prospects, then follow them up with weekly free content. Many also scrap their existing LinkedIn network to kickstart their newsletter and slowly filter them out. Compared to other social networks, on LinkedIn eBooks are quite popular than webinars.
Viki Marketing
A valuable bait works.
MJ Zuppe
Hi @copybycarmen! We've found that creating rich and authoritative, problem-solving content that targets our niche audience was best for ROI. We only boost content on social media or create a lead magnet (like we did here: around topics or content that's already proven to perform. Cheap and fast gimmicks to get email list subs up seem to always come at the cost of lower open rates and decreasing your inbox reputation.
Paul Nica
I know that offering some sort of free resource that provides a lot of value works pretty good, but depends on what kind of people you want in your email list and what resource are you providing.
Nick Frost
There are some great responses in this thread! Getting your newsletter (if that's the email list you're building) organic growth is a matter of being discoverable by readers in your niche, but also more broadly. I recommend submitting your newsletter to and, so you can get subscribers organically. The two backlinks for SEO are a plus!
Fritz Brumder
#1 by far is offering a product that is free or low entry point. Ideally it hints at your value proposition quickly.
Zara Ameh
I do not want this anymore
Jun Gong
We've done a few campaigns - something like bounty campaigns, so if you want to get the rewards or raffles, you need to sign up for the email, follow us on twitter, and etc. These campaigns work really well.