12 Newsletter Growth Channels To Scale Your Audience
Paid and Unpaid Channels To Skyrocket Your Newsletter Growth
Every successful newsletter begins with a unique angle or a “big idea.”
Your big idea is a seed. It has the power to grow into a luscious tree, providing fruit for generations.
But if you don’t water your seed, ensure it gets proper sunlight, and remove pests and weeds, it will never reach its full potential.
The same is true for your newsletter. You might have the perfect idea, but if you don’t know the right techniques to expand your audience, it will struggle to grow.
In this guide we’ll break down the top newsletter growth channels you can leverage to expand your audience and grow your newsletter.
What’s a newsletter growth channel? It’s a marketing channel specifically designed to grow an email newsletter.
While there are dozens of different marketing channels, some of them wouldn’t be the best option for an email newsletter (i.e. running TV ads, door-to-door, network marketing).
Here are twelve newsletter growth channels to expand your audience.
1. Leverage Social Media
Social media is one of the most powerful newsletter growth channels today.
It’s never been easier to find an audience and quickly pull them into your newsletter for free than by using social media.
Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and TikTok are just a few of the main social channels you can use to start reeling in subscribers.
If you’re on a budget, this is an incredible way to expand your audience by consistently posting, interacting with others, and of course, sharing a link to subscribe to your newsletter.
2. Focus on SEO
Another way you can leverage the power of free is with SEO.
SEO, or search engine optimization, includes the tactics and strategies you can use to get your website to show up in the search results. It’s a powerful long-term strategy you leverage to get organic traffic to your site, which can then be turned into newsletter subscribers.
Compared to social media, SEO is a slower path to growth. But the work you put in upfront can pay dividends for years.
A simple path to grow your newsletter with SEO is by crafting blog posts driven by keyword research. And, with a subscribe form on your website, you’ll be able to direct that organic traffic to your newsletter.
3. Spread the News with Word of Mouth
There’s nothing more powerful than word-of-mouth marketing.
According to Statista, word of mouth is the most trusted form of advertising. In Statista’s findings, 90% of respondents trusted word-of-mouth recommendations.
While you’re likely thinking of all the digital channels you can use to grow your newsletter, this “offline” marketing method has stood the test of time.
The same word-of-mouth principles apply to your newsletter too, even though it’s digital. If you want to expand your audience, then you need to think of all the ways you can grow. Word of mouth is especially valuable when you’re in the early stages of your newsletter. Sometimes, you just need a bit of traction. Then, once you get the ball rolling, you can start using some even greater tactics as mentioned in the next channel.
4. Launch a Referral Program
As mentioned above, word of mouth is one of the greatest forms of marketing, if not the best. Early on, you should be spreading the word to your friends, family, and coworkers to get some initial traction.
Here’s where it gets fun. You can launch your own referral program within your newsletter. Some newsletter platforms allow you to offer incentives to your subscribers if they refer a friend. With beehiiv, you can create an easily customizable reward program that’s set up in minutes.
A referral program like beehiiv’s is one of the most amazing channels you can use to grow your audience since your subscribers start growing your newsletter for you!
5. Advertise in Other Newsletters
If you want to grow your audience, you essentially have two options:
1. Use free tactics that require time and sweat equity.
2. Use paid tactics that lead to rapid growth.
The first four tips above fall under the “free” category. They’re great when you’re bootstrapping or starting with a budget.
However, if you’ve got some cash you can invest in your newsletter growth, then you’ve got even more options. One of the greatest ways to invest in your audience’s growth is by advertising in other newsletters.
It’s simple: you pay a newsletter creator to show off your newsletter in one of their newsletters.
With beehiiv’s Ad Network, you have access to some of the most-read newsletters in the world. We’re talking newsletters with a few thousand to 100,000+ subscribers!
This is a great way to fast-track your newsletter expansion strategy by leveraging someone else’s audience.
P.S. One day you can be on the other side. With beehiiv, once your newsletter hits 1,000 subscribers (and you’re an active sender), you can start getting paid to advertise other people’s newsletters. Yay, money!
6. Run Pay-Per-Click Ads
As mentioned in the previous tip, you can pay other newsletters to advertise your newsletter and grow your audience. However, the world of paid ads isn’t just limited to newsletter ads.
You can also leverage pay-per-click ads like Google ads, Twitter ads, and Facebook ads to promote your newsletter. In fact, we wrote a step-by-step guide on How Facebook Ads Can Get You More Newsletter Subscribers.
7. Get Active in Private Communities
Another way you can expand your newsletter audience is by getting among the people—digitally.
If you want to get more subscribers, one of the best ways is to become a trusted authority in your niche. Online communities like Facebook groups, Subreddits, and private forums are a highly underrated channel for building a tribe.
The key is to consistently provide value and offer advice to members of the community. Get in the “in” crowd, and people will be asking how they can get closer to you. Then, make that community your community by bringing them into your newsletter.
8. Lean into the Influencer Network
If you want to expand your audience, you need to think big.
When you think of an influencer, what comes to mind?
A trendy fashionista on Instagram with 10,000 followers?
For most people, that’s the kind of picture that comes to mind when the word “influencer” comes up. However, influencers can be much more than an Insta-queen. An influencer could be a business mogul on Twitter with 500,000 followers. It could be a blogger with a million monthly visitors. It could even be an author with an email list of 30,000 people.
An influencer is just someone who influences. They have an audience they’ve built up trust with. They’re close with their audience. And their audience takes their advice when it comes to life, business, and sometimes purchasing decisions.
You can partner with influencers organically or by paying to get them to talk about your newsletter. The key is to determine who your specific audience would be influenced by, and reach out to them.
9. Acquire Newsletters on the Open Market
One of the fastest ways to expand your audience is by buying someone else’s newsletter.
We saw one of the biggest newsletter acquisitions in history back in 2020 when Morning Brew was acquired by Business Insider. Since then, newsletter acquisitions have become commonplace in the digital business world.
Last year, Milk Road—a newsletter run on beehiiv—grew to 250,000 subscribers and was acquired one year after launching.
If you’ve got cash in hand and you want to make a big move, the newsletter market is arguably the quickest channel you can leverage to expand your audience.
10. Repurpose Newsletters into Videos & Podcasts
Content is king. Ever heard that phrase? In 2023, it’s never been truer! The written word is incredibly powerful, but it’s not the only type of content out there.
People consume different types of content every day: text, audio, and video.
If you want to expand your reach and grow your newsletter, then you should tap into video and audio content. Two of the best growth channels for newsletters are YouTube (video) and Podcasting (audio).
I know what you’re probably thinking… ‘I don’t have time. I’m already running a newsletter!’
Don’t worry. There’s a not so sneaky little hack you can do to produce all three types of content without triple the work: repurpose your content.
You’re crushing it with your newsletter content. But, you can take it one step further. Turn your daily newsletter into a weekly video roundup. Transform a newsletter topic into a podcast episode.
Rather than creating brand new content ideas from scratch, simply take the content you’ve already written in your newsletter and tweak it so it aligns with video or audio. And, the reverse is true. If you have a good video or podcast idea, think of how you can turn it into a newsletter.
11. Use Your Own Email Newsletter to Grow
Want to know one of the best newsletter growth channels? Your own newsletter!
That’s right. One of the best ways to grow your newsletter is by leveraging your newsletter!
Every email you send to your subscribers should include some type of call to action with the specific goal of growth. For instance, you could:
Ask your readers to forward your newsletter to a friend
Include social sharing buttons
Offer incentives to refer a friend
Remember to include a link to subscribe in your newsletter. That way, if someone receives a forwarded email, they can subscribe right then and there.
12. Tap Into Your Newsletter Platform’s Growth Tools
Your newsletter in itself is a powerful way to expand your audience. And another way you use your newsletter to grow is by taking advantage of the features in your newsletter software.
For example, beehiiv offers users a variety of incredible growth tools built directly in the platform:
beehiiv Referral Program: Offer intuitive incentives to your audience for referring friends.
beehiiv Ad Network: Advertise on some of the most widely read newsletters in the world.
beehiiv Recommendations: Get your newsletter recommended by thousands of other beehiiv newsletters for free.
Your email newsletter is going to be one of your best growth channels. With beehiiv, you can make it your best growth channel. Get started with beehiiv for free today!