Editors Note: Joshua will be writing a column for us on Tuesdays! This will, at some point, be for paying members. But for now enjoy Joshua's wisdom!
Everyone knows social media is great for business.
- Generating leads
- Building exposure
- Connecting with your customers
But here’s the thing – you don’t actually *own* your social media audience.
If Instagram goes down…
so does your audience.
Same with Twitter or TikTok.
Build an email list
And if you already have an email list – prioritize it.
Unlike social media, an email newsletter gives you direct access to your audience (extremely powerful). It’s a bit harder to grow, but it’s incredibly worth it.
Here are 7 simple things I'm doing to grow my email list.
1. Define your (unique) value proposition
If you want people to join your email list, it’s important for them to know exactly why they should join.
Seems logical, doesn't it?
People aren't going to give their email to "just anyone". Think about this like a transaction — what are THEY getting in return for their email?
Is it even worth it for them?
This is the objection you have to address.
The reality is – nobody’s going to join your list for “company updates.”
It's too self-centered.
And more importantly, it's BORING.
They’re probably not going to join for “more tips” either — they already have enough free tips cluttering their inbox.
So make sure you clearly define:
- What’s in it for them
- Why they should choose you over everyone else (what's your differentiator?)
What can you offer that no one else can?
Remember, people value their email address.
They won’t give it out to just anyone.
Show people why you’re worth it.
2. Promote to your existing connections
Especially if you have a smaller email list (<500 subscribers), it can be hard to get people to join.
There’s little social proof.
You can't say “join 15,000+ entrepreneurs.”
So how can you get things going?
Go tell people.
Share it with your network.
Tell them you’re starting (or just started) an email newsletter. The better you know the person, the more likely they’ll be to join.
Just one thing —
make sure they're in your target audience.
The LAST thing you want is a list full of people who won't ever buy from you. If there's no chance they'll buy from you, what's the point?
3. Link it to your social media posts
I hate to break it to you but...
A link in your social media bio isn’t enough.
Neither is a website popup.
Sure, people are going to see it. But if you want people to join, you need to be persistent about it.
I do this a lot on Twitter.
- Find a top-performing tweet
- Add a tweet talking about your newsletter
That way, you leverage the initial tweet’s existing popularity.
Here's an example from my Twitter:
Hypefury is a great platform for plugging your newsletter into Twitter.
Just remember – give people a reason reason to join. Tell them what they’re going to get in return.
Nobody wants more "weekly tips."
4. Ask your subscribers to share
You already know word-of-mouth marketing is powerful.
This applies to list-building too.
If you want to build a big email list (and grow it at an exponential rate), you need your fans to do the promoting for you. You need people sharing it with THEIR friends.
So ask people.
Be direct about it.
Otherwise, they won’t do it.
Here’s an example (to put at the end of an email):
Found this email valuable? Forward it to a friend who would find it useful!
But now that new people are reading...
you need to get them subscribed too!
Make sure to include a link that takes people to your sign-up page. That way if that person wants to stay in the loop, they're able to easily subscribe.
Here’s an example from my branding coach Tim Beehler’s Strategy That Doesn't Suck weekly newsletter.
5. Announce the next issue on social media
We’ve already talked about putting the link on social media. But here’s another strategy you can use if you want to tap into your audience’s FOMO (fear of missing out).
Especially if you send out a formal newsletter, announcing the next issue is a great way to get people interested.
I've seen this a lot on Twitter.
Here's the strategy:
1-2 days before the newsletter is sent out, let your followers know about it. Tell them a little bit about what’s going to be included in the next issue. But don't tell them too much — this should only be a brief teaser!
It’s the perfect time to get them on your list.
6. Build a lead magnet
One of the most popular ways to grow an email list is by using lead magnets (also known as freebies).
You see this all the time.
For example, HubSpot may give away a free guide in exchange for your email:
- YOU get something of value
- and THEY get your email.
It’s a win-win.
Here are some cool freebie ideas if you need help.
7. Put it in your email footer
You probably send out tons of emails every day — so why not utilize this opportunity to grow your email list?
Mention it in your email footer.
7 ways to grow your email list:
- Define your (unique) value proposition
- Promote to your existing connections
- Link to it on your social media posts
- Ask people to share it at the end
- Announce the next issue on social media
- Build a lead magnet
- Put it in your email footer
About the Author
Hey! My name is Joshua.
I’m the founder & CEO of WordButler, an on-demand ghostwriting company helping digital entrepreneurs save time and money writing their content.
Unlike AI-generated content, WordButler creates content that ensures an authentic brand experience (stories, personality, tone, etc.)
Want to learn more?
Click HERE to request a free 20-minute consultation.