There’s no magic place for finding the right subscribers to your newsletter. It’s simply a matter of consistently seeking people who are interested in your area of expertise, and convincing them to subscribe to your list.
In most cases, this means building your list one subscriber at a time. Even when you get the opportunity to promote your list to many people (for example, when speaking at an event), each person still makes their own decision to subscribe. The only exception is when an employer gives you a group of her employees’ e-mail addresses, and asks you to subscribe them all.
There are a number of places where you can promote your newsletter in order to encourage subscribers. Here are just a few:
- Your e-mail signature: Include a brief description of your newsletter at the bottom of every outgoing e-mail message, along with a link to the subscription page.
- Your Web site and blog: Include a subscription form (or at least a link to the form) prominently on every page of your Web site and blog.
- Other on-line properties: Include it on your Facebook business page, your Facebook personal profile and your profile page in other on-line communities. Always be aware of a community’s rules for self-promotion; but in most cases they do allow it on your profile page.
- Face-to-face meetings: Invite people you meet to join your mailing list. If the conversation strongly indicates they would like to join, you can offer to subscribe them yourself; otherwise, simply direct them to your Web site.
- Articles: If you publish articles in other places – such as other people’s newsletters, article directories, or guest blog posts – end by inviting readers to subscribe to your newsletter. This is better than promoting a product (That can come later).
- “Tell a Friend”: At the end of every newsletter, encourage your subscribers to pass it on to friends and colleagues. They are some of the easiest subscribers you’ll get because they have been referred by a friend.
- Cross-promotion: Find other newsletters and blogs that serve the same market as you, and offer to write guest articles, which include a link to your newsletter.
- Paid advertising: When you’ve established your newsletter and you know it’s working well for you, you might even consider paying to advertise in order to get new subscribers. Never buy random subscriber lists, though! Instead, your aim here is simply to be in front of your target market and convince them to subscribe to the newsletter. You can do this in a number of ways – for example, with Google AdWords, advertising in other newsletters, sponsoring another Web site, and so on.