Online Marketing

How to Grow Newsletter Subscribers by Turning Readers into Fans

grow newsletter subscribers

Updated on June 24, 2024

When you’re building a blog, one critical component is having a plan to grow your newsletter subscribers. Allowing readers to subscribe gives you a direct line of communication with your audience. Think of your blog as a megaphone to reach people, while your newsletter lets those interested individuals connect with you on a deeper level. The goal is to turn casual readers into devoted fans. Here’s how to make that happen and grow your newsletter subscribers along the way.

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Write About What Your Audience Cares About

Before you can start converting readers into subscribers, you need to attract the right audience by creating content they genuinely care about. This starts with clearly understanding your target reader by creating a marketing persona – visualizing one fictional reader and outlining details about their personality, demographics, needs, and pain points.

With a well-defined persona in mind, conduct keyword research to identify relevant phrases. Analyze keywords to find terms that have decent search volume but aren’t overly competitive. Focus on specific, niche keywords that your future readers would find valuable, but where there’s an opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

With your keywords in hand, plan your content using a content calendar, and prioritize creating high-quality articles over sheer quantity. If an article is taking longer than expected, don’t be afraid to extend your schedule. It’s better to spend the time needed to craft a truly excellent piece of content that will resonate with your intended audience.

Writing content your audience cares about involves several steps, each with its own in-depth process. Here’s a recap of the steps involved, with links to more detailed guides if you want to dive deeper:

  1. Create a Marketing Persona
  2. Perform Keyword Research
  3. Create a Content Calendar
  4. Write High-Quality Content

Craft an Irresistible Incentive

To turn readers into subscribers, you need to offer an incentive – often called a “lead magnet” – that provides immediate value in exchange for their email address. Popular options include e-books, discounts, online courses, white papers, cheat sheets, or exclusive content.

The right lead magnet depends on your blog’s topic and your target audience. Think about the hurdle or roadblock preventing new readers from ultimately achieving your primary goal, whether that’s making a purchase, generating affiliate referrals, or something else. Then, create a lead magnet that helps bridge that gap and moves readers closer to your end goal.

For example, here on the ClearPath Online blog, the ultimate aim is for you to sign up for digital marketing coaching to grow your blog’s audience. A common hurdle for new readers is a lack of confidence in their ability to do SEO themselves. To bridge this gap, the lead magnet offered is a free course on how to do SEO yourself. It allows readers to gain confidence in their SEO skills and determine if coaching would be a good fit for their needs. This lead magnet helps move readers closer to the primary goal of signing up for coaching.

Optimize Subscription Forms

To increase the chances of readers subscribing, reduce friction by minimizing form fields to only what’s absolutely essential – ideally just an email address field. Lengthy forms with several fields can be intimidating and cause people to abandon the process before completing it.

In addition to minimizing form fields, make sure your subscription forms are visually appealing and easy to spot. Use contrasting colors that grab attention and clear call-to-action text so readers know exactly what to do. The design should be clean and uncluttered. Consider using graphics, images or illustrations related to your lead magnet to further draw the eye. Your forms should look like a natural part of your site’s branding and content flow. With an optimized form design, you’ll increase the chances of catching your readers’ interest and having them complete the subscription process.

You’ll also want to place your lead magnet’s subscription form in multiple locations, wherever it makes the most sense and relevance for the reader’s experience. A common approach is to include it in your website’s footer area, so it’s easily accessible after someone finishes reading an article. However, don’t be afraid to also embed forms inline within articles when the surrounding content is highly relevant to your incentive offer.

Share Across Multiple Channels

While having your lead magnet prominently featured on your blog is crucial, don’t stop there. Leverage the incentive by promoting it across other channels and platforms you’re active on, such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook groups or pages, podcasts, and more. Whenever you’re discussing a topic related to your incentive, mention its availability.

The key is to use those external channels to drive traffic back to your website and blog, where you have maximum control over the user experience.

Be Cautious with Exit Intent Pop-Ups

One popular tactic for boosting lead magnet conversions is the use of exit intent pop-ups – those boxes that appear when your cursor moves toward the browser’s URL bar, as if you’re about to leave the site. While effective, these pop-ups can also be quite annoying to some users.

Carefully consider whether exit intent pop-ups truly align with your audience’s preferences and expectations. In some cases, it may be better to prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to your subscriber numbers. Having fewer but more engaged, genuinely interested subscribers could be more valuable than inflating your list with people who were coerced into signing up.


Growing your newsletter subscribers begins with creating content tailored to your target audience’s interests and offering value-packed incentives. However, that’s just the start. To retain those hard-earned subscribers and turn them into devoted fans, you must continue delivering high-quality, relevant content on a consistent basis.

Always keep your readers’ needs and perspectives at the forefront as you explore and implement strategies to grow your blog. Prioritize quality over quantity in both your content and subscriber acquisition tactics. Focus on the right engagement methods for your particular audience, rather than techniques that may not align with their preferences. And never lose sight of your ultimate goals – whether it’s product sales, affiliate marketing, or something else entirely.

Consistently serving up valuable content and incentives tailored specifically for your audience will keep subscribers engaged and positioned to eventually take your desired actions. With the right balance of quality, relevance and subscriber nurturing, you can successfully grow your newsletter and turn casual readers into loyal followers.

Do you want to listen to this article? Here’s the podcast episode:

About the Author

Jennifer Rogina is the Co-Founder & Lead Marketer of ClearPath Online, a DIY SEO tool for entrepreneurs to grow their own website traffic. Jennifer has been a digital marketing specialist since 2008. In that time she has focused on search engine optimization, digital analytics, and conversion optimization.



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