Embroidery hoop with as per my last email stitching

How to grow your email subscribers list

Social & Email
By Team Holly & Co

25TH AUGUST 2023

Is it still worth growing your newsletter subscribers? The answer is definitely yes. Emails are a cost-effective way to engage and strengthen your relationship with customers, surface products and share key updates. Read on to see how to increase those open rates…

Multi-Coloured Felt Spam Cushion by Lucy Sparrow

Why is email marketing important for small businesses?

Email marketing is arguably more important than it’s ever been. Yet many businesses focus much of their time on Instagram. There was an era when Insta offered an instant way to connect and allowed us to see the satisfyingly immediate effect of our efforts when the number of followers or post likes increased. But in recent years, this has drastically changed. What once worked on the platform, now doesn’t. It’s no wonder so many are struggling to keep up with it and feeling deflated.

Ask yourself, “Where would my business be if I lost my Instagram account tomorrow?” If that thought makes you panic, firstly read our article on how to stop your Instagram from being hacked and then maybe it’s time to start nurturing your mailing list. When you nail your email marketing, you can build a dedicated following that eagerly awaits your updates and isn’t impacted by ever-changing algorithms.

Despite the benefits of easily digestible video content on social media, a recent Econsultancy survey found that 73% of UK marketers consider email to be an excellent or decent medium for delivering a return on investment¹.

How to build an email list for free

The main thing you need to think about is what you can offer people via email that is really worth them giving you their email address. And importantly, it needs to interest them both at sign-up and beyond. You can give customers a sign-up discount initially, but you risk them signing up for this and then immediately unsubscribing or never reading another email. So think about why people will continue to read your emails. Give them something they can’t get anywhere else, that they can’t get through your social channels. Think of it a bit like a members’ club — your biggest fans need rewarding.

Email ideas to attract new subscribers

Below are some of the benefits you could consider giving your subscribers:

  • Being the first to know about new products, drops and collaborations
  • Early access to sales
  • Exclusive, subscriber-only content
  • Exclusive competitions and offers
  • Curated content: content that may appear elsewhere but not all in one place
It’s time to expand your reach beyond social media by growing your emailing list.

Top tips for promoting your email

Once you’ve worked out what you can offer via email, think about how and where you’re going to tell people about it — and keep doing it.

  • Surface it. Always offer visitors to your website the chance to sign up for your newsletters. You can have a sign-up box on the landing page, but a pop-up window is also a good idea so that people can’t miss it. Be sure to mention all the perks in the pop-up copy, making it sound as enticing as it really is!
  • If you have an e-commerce site, you should have an opt-in at checkout. Don’t forget that with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation which protects customers’ rights to their data and therefore their privacy), you have to allow people to opt in, you can’t simply ask people to opt out ie. ‘Check this box if you don’t want to receive our emails’. Never use people’s email addresses unless they’ve agreed to be part of the mailing list.
  • Remind people on your social media accounts why they should sign up. Use both your Instagram grid and Stories to share shots of what your email looks like and why it’s worth signing up. Make it relevant, for example If a new product collection is coming, encourage followers to sign up so they hear when it drops first.
  • Utilise your packaging. Your packaging offers a great opportunity to let customers know about exclusive email-subscriber content and offers. You could create an attractive advice slip, which could itself be Instagrammable.
  • If you have a bricks and mortar shop, consider putting a QR code near the shelf edge or at the till. Again, make your signage attractive and think about why people would sign up in the moment.
  • Remember, word-of-mouth marketing is the best marketing. So be bold in asking people to share your email if they liked it… And if you haven’t already, sign up to our email and see what we do.
Sequinned envelope
Remember, word-of-mouth marketing is the best marketing, so be bold in asking people to share your email if they liked it… And if you haven’t already, sign up to our email and see what we do.
Holly Tucker MBE with Dell Laptop

How often should I send marketing emails?

Before pushing ahead on encouraging sign-ups, it’s good to think about frequency of emails and to make sure that you can schedule the time for it. Plan how often you can produce emails that really deliver against your sign-up promise.

  • Plan your email marketing content. That way you will know roughly what you’ll be writing about or sharing each time (whether than be weekly, monthly etc). It can be a plan that’s subject to change but plot it on a calendar, so you have a clear idea in your head of what’s coming up.
  • When you’re stuck for ideas, just mail out as and when you have something to say. This should be temporary though while you build up your list — regularity is key in having customers look out for your updates.
  • Measure the effectiveness of your email marketing and look at your data regularly. You need to know how many people have opened it and what they have clicked on, which will give you more confidence about what content is of interest. The same applies if you already have an email — look at your figures and decide what you can do to offer a new and improved style of communicating.

Growing your email subscribers: key takeaways…

1. Make your customers feel special:

Keep offering subscribers access to content, treats and offers that they can’t get anywhere else. It doesn’t have to be a huge offering every time, it’s the sense of exclusivity that’s important.

2. With emails, choose quality over quantity:

Be realistic about the frequency with which you can send emails. It might be every week, every month or maybe every quarter. Choose whatever works for you and the rhythm of your work but try to stick with the regularity.

3. Shout about your newsletter:

Tell people about your email everywhere that you can, after all, if they don’t know about it they can’t sign up! Think about all the places you connect with your customers and how you can weave in mentioning your email.

Sources: 1. Avasam marketing stats.

Images: ‘Per My Last Email’ – by Ellucy Stitches, ‘Spam’ – by Sew Your Soul.

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