4 Ways to Grow and Sustain a Successful Mailing List


Social media is the only way to connect with your audience.


Email marketing is a super powerful yet personal way to form special relationships with your customers.

Combine that with social media…then your marketing efforts are pretty solid.

Growing a successful mailing list

1. Be creative with your call to action

Don’t be generic and just say, “Subscribe to us.” Tell your audience what they are receiving in return for supplying their email address. If it’s appropriate to be humorous, be humorous! Look at Funny or Die’s subscription box below:

funny or die newsletter sign up form

A catchy subscription box with a clear call to action is vital.

Also, if possible, give something away for free. It could be exclusive content or a discount code for a product. A lot of people expect something in return for giving up their email addresses. Make your offer clearly visible on your subscription box to catch their attention.

2. Use your social media outlets to promote your email marketing efforts.

It never hurts to promote more. But remember, don’t “sell” on social media platforms. It really pushes people away. Share a quick snippet of the content on your newsletter or whatever it is you’re providing your subscribers. Give your followers updates on what you are doing to improve the content you are providing. Generate excitement about what you are providing rather than you providing it. Here’s a tweet we sent regarding our recent update on the Funderstanding newsletter:

snapshot of Funderstanding tweet

Don’t be ashamed of showcasing your success! If someone has commented on how great your content is, let people know through social media. Give them reasons to subscribe to you, other than just free content; other people enjoy it too!

Sustaining a successful mailing list

1. Avoid being filtered as spam.

It’s critical to avoid certain words in your email subject line. Take a look at your spam inbox to see some of the most popular words, especially for the emails that have been automatically marked as spam, and avoid them at all costs! Trigger words for spam mail include:

  • Free
  • Deal
  • Offer
  • Never
  • Limited Time

Being creative with your subject line helps to avoid being filtered as spam while enticing subscribers to open the email. For example, our last newsletter’s subject line read, “Jumping for Better Scores; Creativity and Cupcakes.” It’s much more appealing than, “Funderstanding Newsletter – March 5, 2013,” right?

2. Always ask for feedback.

In each of your emails, you should always express that you value each of your customers. The best way to do this is to ask for feedback. For instance, in the Funderstanding newsletter, we always include the following section at the end:

“As always, we would love to hear from you. Maybe you want to ask our opinion on something. Maybe you are an author and want help publishing your book. You can always find us on our social networks (Facebook and Twitter). If you have something you think our readers would enjoy hearing about in upcoming newsletters, let us know!”

Remind yourself that all digital interactions are just substitutes for real human interactions. Breaking your promise to send material every two weeks is not any worse than canceling a meeting without notice. Customers subscribe to you with the expectation that you will always follow through with your promise. So make sure you do!

If you haven’t already, we highly recommend that you redistribute some of your Internet marketing efforts to incorporate email marketing. It’s a powerful way to build and maintain relationships with your audience. After all, your business would not be a business without your audience.

Want to know what we think about one of the top email management providers?

Our next article will be about Aweber and why you may not want to use it.