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How to Use Rewards to Get More Email Subscribers (In 3 Steps)

Email campaigns are one of the most effective ways to engage your users and increase your conversions. However, building an email list isn’t always an easy task, since you need to convince people that signing up is in their best interest.

Using rewards to get people to subscribe to your list is a time-tested marketing method. If you pick the right incentive and figure out how to deliver it, you’ll be well on your way to a larger subscriber base. As that number grows, so should your chances of converting more of them into customers and increasing your bottom line.

In this article, we’re going to talk about why offering rewards works for getting people to join your subscriber list. Then we’ll teach you how to pull it off and get those new subscribers to stay on board for the long haul, in three simple steps. Let’s get started!

Why Rewards Are an Effective Way to Boost Your Email Subscriber Count

Ideally, your content alone should be enough to convince users to sign up for your mailing list. However, if you want your subscriber number to rise at a faster pace, you’ll often need to ‘sweet-talk’ visitors into leaving their email addresses. The most efficient way to do this is by offering them a tangible reward.

An example of offering a reward for signing up to an email list.
E-books are one of the most common rewards for signing up to an email list.

Offering users something in exchange for signing up isn’t only effective, it also makes sense from a business perspective. Let’s talk about why:

  • It helps users out. Ideally, your reward should be focused on solving a problem or fulfilling a need that your visitors have. That way, you get to help them out and benefit from doing so.
  • You get the chance to convert them. Adding a new subscriber to your list isn’t the end of the road. You still need to convince them that staying on is in their best interest, but it does get your foot in the door.

The effectiveness of using rewards to entice users into subscribing to a mailing list is well-documented. That means it’s not so much a question of whether you should do it, but rather how you should do it.

How to Use Rewards to Get More Email Subscribers (In 3 Steps)

If you haven’t already chosen an email marketing solution for your website, you’ll want to do so before moving on to step number one. Plus, you’ll also need to set up a signup form on your site so people can start subscribing right away.

Step #1: Pick the Right Reward for Your Audience

The first and perhaps most difficult step in this process is choosing the right reward for your audience. After all, if the item you pick doesn’t interest your visitors, you probably won’t be getting too many new subscribers.

An example of a signup form with a reward offer.

Choosing a fitting reward will not only increase your signup rates, it’s also a way of telling visitors that you know what they’re interested in. This will increase their trust in you, which is always a win. Now, let’s go over a few things to consider when selecting the right reward:

  1. Stick to digital products, since they’re far easier to deliver.
  2. Make it something you can send unlimited copies of, so you can maximize the number of signups.
  3. Ensure that you can automate the delivery of your reward to save time (we’ll talk more about this in a minute).

Keep in mind, the content of your reward should be appropriate for the stage your visitors are in. In many cases, that means assuming they’re new to the topics you’re discussing, which is why introductory e-books are so popular.

However, creating an e-book can take a lot of time, so you might also consider offering simple “how-to” guides or checklists, access to an upcoming webinar or previously recorded content, or other similar rewards. Whatever you choose, remember that it should be something that you can deliver via email, which brings us to step number two.

Step #2: Automate the Delivery of Your Reward

Picking the right reward for your audience is important, but so is figuring out the logistics of how to make sure it reaches them. In this case, that means automating its delivery via email.

Doing this will not only ensure that your subscribers receive their rewards promptly, it’ll also take work off your plate. After all, there’s no need to spend your time sending dozens of emails manually if you can get a tool to do it for you. Plus, most modern email marketing tools will give you access to in-depth analytics, which can be just as helpful in growing your list as offering rewards.

There are plenty of email marketing services available online, such as MailChimp. They enable you to create email campaigns for up to 2,000 subscribers using their free plan, which also supports automation:

MailChimp's automation section.

That feature is also known as an ‘autoresponder’, and it enables you to send emails automatically when certain conditions are triggered. For example, you can set it up so that each time someone signs up to your list, they’ll receive an email containing your reward, along with a brief thank you note.

Step #3: Use a Welcome Email Series to Hook New Subscribers

As we mentioned earlier, your journey isn’t over the minute you convince someone to sign up for your mailing list. If you want your new subscribers to stay on and eventually be converted to customers, you need to show them the value of your list (beyond rewards). That’s where welcome emails come in.

An example of a welcome email.

Welcome emails are an excellent way to seal the deal – so to speak – after getting a new subscriber. In fact, you can use your reward email as the first in a series designed to highlight the benefits of staying tuned for further messages. Plus, welcome emails tend to have incredibly high open rates when compared to other types of campaigns. That means you can get a lot of people to pay attention and convince them you’re worth their time.

Fortunately, we covered the most important guidelines for creating a successful welcome email series in a recent post. After reading that, you’ll be well on your way to wowing your new subscribers.

Conclusion

Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal when it comes to conversions. It provides you with a channel to reach your users directly, build relationships, and increase conversions. In turn, readers are provided with additional value, so it’s a win-win situation.

Convincing visitors to become subscribers isn’t that hard, and you can use rewards to help you build a larger base by following these steps:

  1. Pick the right reward for your audience.
  2. Automate the delivery of your reward.
  3. Use a welcome email series to hook new subscribers.

Do you have any questions about using rewards to get more email subscribers? Ask away in the comments section below!

Image credit: Pixabay.

About Corey Hammond

Corey has been directly involved in the web hosting space since 2010 and leads marketing for A2 Hosting.

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