How to get first 100 subscribers for your newsletter, and then another 10,000?

Your first 100 subscribers is a really important milestone. It means you crossed the chasm between “me, my partner and two close friends” and newsletter as self-sustaining project accompanying your business.

How to get first 100 subscribes?

I think this article pretty much sums it up. You get your first 100 subscribers via friends, family and just releasing your newsletter to already running channels: Facebook wall, website pop-up and so on.

From 100 subscribers and up, your strategy changes dramatically.

Nurturing your newsletter

The growth of newsletter is fueled on the one side by optimizing conversion rate (making acquisition as smooth as possible) and decreasing churn rate (fatigue) of your subscribers.

The first is always a matter of heated debate — optimizing pop-up windows, adjusting the copy text and so on.

The latter is very difficult to do, and is very subjective. Users subscribe because they expect some value and the value decreases over time for them. People change their perception and forget about initial incentive.

Constant incentive to subscribe

There’s however one shortcut that can keep your newsletter self-sustaining: virality. Traditional newsletters are dramatically anti-viral, viralless and unviral.

It means that once send, it is very unlikely that e-mail will be forwarded or that push notification will be shared and your only channel is the pop-up on your website.

There are reasons for that:

  • Sending things that do not matter. Newsletters are usually too calm, too boring to be shared with friends. Virality = dopamine shot. 
    Another thing is, the newsletters sometimes become too personalized.
  • No incentives to share. Newsletters do not usually contain “share button”. There’s no simple CTA to click and no reason to do that.

These are the issues I noticed with traditional e-mails or push notifications. They can be addressed in two ways:

  • improving existing channels of acquisition and delivery: adding referral program (rewards after sharing with friends) or CTA buttons (links) to share and so on.
  • introducing new channel, which is my solution for unread newsletters: Pushletter.

Solution

Messenger is about sharing and newsletters sent with Messenger can be instantly shared.

For example, if you send a gallery via Pushletter, each element of the gallery can be shared separately. It is huge change compared to e-mail newsletters.

Another advantage is the availability of users. Messenger UX provides better sharing experience than forwarding e-mails. You don’t have to think what’s Andrew’s email. Just click his face and press share!