As a podcaster, growing your email marketing list is a great way to continue to strengthen your fanbase and engage with your listeners. Growing your list means getting that newsletter in front of as many eyes as possible, which translates into fun work for you.

Email Reigns Supreme

As of the end of 2019, 3.8 billion people worldwide use email, while Facebook has 2.6 billion monthly active users. As of 2020, Facebook ads have an average click-through rate (CTR) of 0.90% (WordStream), while email campaigns have a CTR of 2.8% (Campaign Monitor). That’s a percent increase of over 100%!

In this post, we’re taking a look at ways to help you grow your email marketing list as a podcaster. We decided not to include social media here in order to provide some free and unique options, however we think social is a great tactic as well.

Your Website: More is More

You should give visitors to your website multiple opportunities to sign up for your newsletter through the use of a call to action (CTA). Remember not everyone enters your website from the homepage. Here are a couple of suggestions for good places to add your newsletter sign up:

  • Footer: Adding the CTA to a universal footer will give visitors the opportunity to opt-in on every page of your website. Users rely on website footers for useful tools like contact, about, and FAQs, making it an obvious home for your email CTA.
  • Contact Page: This is another very common place visitors look to learn more about who’s behind the website. Why not offer them a way to stay in touch?
  • In-Article Interrupter: Catching someone while they’re actively enjoying your content is a great place to encourage them to opt-in. This type of CTA can be done as an interrupter (embedding a one-field google form or creating a widget in WordPress would be two quick ways to accomplish this) or through a pop-up.
  • Dedicated Landing Page: Creating a page dedicated to your newsletter gives you a lot more real estate to make your case. It’s also necessary in many cases as you need somewhere to send the user to opt-in. Tip: include your CTA at the top (for those who don’t need more info/convincing) and then again at the bottom for those who like to scroll and learn more.

Include “Email to a Friend” CTA in your newsletter

Making it super simple for someone to share your emails is another way to potentially help your content get in front of new eyes. While someone forwarding your email to a friend is a definite possibility, giving them a visual prompt to share and a super quick way to do it can only help your odds.

You could also sweeten the deal for someone to share by giving them a promo code for stuff like locked content, merch, or discounts on webinars when they share your content.

Add Social Proof (when it’s meaningful)

We tend to put a higher value on something when it’s popular—it’s just human nature. The jacket with 4,000 five-star reviews is probably going to be more appealing than a similar one with a couple hundred. In the same respect, once you hit a certain threshold (this will vary greatly depending on the size of your listenership), it’s important to add that social currency to your opt-in.

This could come in the form of a dynamic widget that show’s your subscriber count in real-time or a number you manually update as you reach new milestones (every hundred or thousand as examples).

A/B Test Your Opt-In Language and Placement

Testing is important and helpful in every aspect of user interface (UI) design. Even slight differences in language or placement of your CTAs can make a difference. Potentially “subscribe” is too formal for your audience, and they interact more with something informal/friendly like “stay in touch” or “let’s go!” Here’s a great post from Activate Her Awesome with 44 Different Ways To Say Subscribe on Your CTA to get your creative juices flowing.

You May Also Like: 8 Podcast Discovery Newsletters With Affordable (or Free) Advertising Options

Guest Blog Posts

When you provide guest content, you’re getting your name and show or product in front of new eyes. Assuming the content is high-quality and helpful to the reader, they’re in the right mindset to want more of it. Just like with the in-article opt-in, including a way for someone to stay in touch with you and receive more of your content while they’re actively enjoying is great CTA timing.

This CTA could be placed in your bio or as in interrupter within the first couple paragraphs (or both).

Add Reviews and Testimonials to Your Opt-in Page

You likely have a page on your website dedicated to your newsletter, as it’s a great place to point people who may want more info before signing up. It’s also nice to have when real estate is tight, and you can’t have the opt-in directly on the page (think social media profiles or podcast bios).

Adding testimonials to this page can boost sign-ups and humanize you and your content. This is another version of social proof like we talked about above. We like things other people like. It’s not always easy to brag on yourself, so let other people do it for you by creating great content regularly.

Share an Example Newsletter

Allowing someone to see exactly what they’re opting into is another way to reassure the user and increase the likelihood they subscribe.

The important factor here is don’t let that example newsletter get too old and stale. Showing them a newsletter from three years ago that might have old branding and link to old blog content or podcast episodes does not a compelling argument.

Lots of email hosting platforms offer dynamic options that will link to the latest campaign within an audience. For example, if you have an email distribution list named “weekly newsletter,” your link will always point to the most recent email sent to that group. You may also have an archive of newsletter content that you could point someone to. Otherwise, if you’re working with a more manual system, you could set a reminder to update that link once a month or so to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.

Add CTA to your Email signature

This is one of those nice set-it-and-forget-it options. Most likely, you use your email every day to communicate. Like we said at the top, 3.8 billion people worldwide use email—that’s nearly half of the world’s population. And, since this is something you’re already actively participating in, it’s such a low-lift way to give another opportunity to sign-up. More opportunities mean more eyes, and more eyes mean the potential for more growth of your email marketing list.

Quality Content is King

Getting someone to subscribe to your emails is only one small aspect of growing and maintaining your list. Keeping those subscribers happy and actively engaging with your content is even more important to long-term growth and retention.

If you’re not regularly publishing content they feel brings value or entertainment to their in-box, they’re not likely to stick around for long. Make sure you’re ready to regularly communicate with a subscriber list and maintain that communication level before you start sending emails. However, this should not deter you from starting to collect email addresses from the very start.

Email is likely something you and your audience participate in daily and provides a perfect opportunity to re-engage and reinforce you and your brand in their minds. When it comes to building your email marketing list, removing barriers and providing as many opportunities to opt-in (without being annoying) is critical.

Bottom line, you should prompt your fans early and often to stay in touch with you and then truly deliver in your communications.