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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Lead generation

When it comes to subscriber lists, you’ve got email users who have signed up to receive your marketing emails. These are different buckets, really, in terms of your subscriber list.

Make sure you don’t rely on a single source for leads. Don’t just rely on your website visitors. Cast a broad net when you’re trying to create your list. Think about the variety of ways in which people connect with your content and, connect with your company. And, again, cast a broad net. Don’t just think about your website visitors. They’ll be an important way for you to get this list build up, but they won’t be the only way.

The online environment is rapidly changing. It is always evolving. Don’t just rely on this idea of rented space for lead generation. There’s going to be changing, moving quickly and platform evolution. It is something that’s always going to be happening.

And so think about all the variety of ways and channels that you can use to build your list, to generate your list, be it a mobile app, social media, the web, and even some old school technology may be part of this. Look at something like Snapchat or Twitter, they’re using effectively QR codes to enable a certain action with their app or their site. Think about the marketing mix as well as all the variety of ways in which we build our lists.

Key considerations

When adding to subscriber lists, there are six points to think about. And some of these are the kinds of things that are just so easy to forget about because we have a lot of things on our heads.

  • Have a submission subscription button: We have a lot of things in our plate we’re trying to sort of gather and make meaning with. But number one is make it really easy for people to subscribe, and have a submission subscription button. That’s probably one of the things that will get you more people to add themselves to your list than anything else is having that subscription button right there front and center, make it so easy. You have probably gone to a website where the first thing that pops up is a, “Hey, would you like to join our list,” little submission box. Or the kind of thing when you’re leaving a website and it says, “Before you leave, would you like to enter in your email address to subscribe to future content?”
  • Ensure that email address entry is as easy as possible: Once again, you want to just keep it simple. You want to keep it so simple that the user has no static. There’s no user experience static that keeps them from entering in their information.
  • Encourage newsletter forwarding: Even adding a sentence or two that says, “Hey, if you like this content, share it with your friends.” Or, “Hey, we’ve made this content so easy for you to share. Just click here.” The easier it is for people to share your content to their friends, their family, to their relevant business contacts, the more your list is going to get out there and populate to a greater audience.
  • Minimize the clicks to subscribe: FeedBurner, while great, has a lot of clicks to subscribe. And one of the things that I like about WordPress.com is if you want to subscribe to new posts, to a blog on WordPress.com, it’s relatively easy. There’s not a lot of clicks. You don’t want to take people’s time. You want to make it really easy and simple for them to add themselves to your list.
  • Offer special deals to new subscribers: This gets into that incentive idea that we mentioned earlier. Perhaps you could offer a special deal to new subscribers, something that only a new reader can get. Sometimes it’s a discount on a product. Sometimes it’s access to a product. Sometimes it’s access to new content. But again, when people join an email list, they’re joining a community. They’re joining a group of people with shared affinity. And so if you offer something new in terms of a special deal to your new subscribers, that gives them sort of an incentive but also you want to make sure that your existing subscribers don’t feel left out if they’re not getting the new stuff necessarily.
  • Invite subscribers through social networks: You look at Twitter, LinkedIn, and we might even add Snapchat to the mix, and Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and YouTube. We could then think about things like Sina Weibo, or QQ, or WeChat, or WhatsApp, and the ways in which we connect with people. Then let them know about our content and then possibly have that call to action be present in there is just growing and evolving. Twitter cards, for example, are a great way to directly invite people to subscribe to your content, a custom generated bit of data and a form on a particular tweet, which then can be actually targeted to a focus group of readers as opposed to just the wider world.
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Eric Stoller

Eric Stoller is a Higher Education Strategic Communications Consultant and Blogger at Inside Higher Ed. With a background in student affairs, academic advising, wellness, technology, and communications, Eric educates clients and audiences on digital identity development. As a blogger, he generates conversations, answers questions, and provides insight about a variety of tech topics, including Social Media Strategies and Email Marketing.

By the end of this topic, you should be able to:

  • Evaluate inbound and outbound email marketing techniques and how they are used in marketing campaigns
  • Critically reflect on practices for managing email data and building an email subscriber base
  • Critically appraise how to optimise email delivery and email open rates for marketing campaigns

    Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

    DMI Short Course: GDPR

    The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

    You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

    You will not be assessed on this content in your final exam.


      Email Marketing Strategy
      Eric Stoller
      Skills Expert

      The Email Marketing Strategy module will introduce the key concepts of email marketing and enable you to develop the knowledge and skills to build highly effective email campaigns. You will learn how to think like an email marketer and recognize that your subscriber list growth and quality is a key metric for the success of your campaign. Finally, you will recognize the role of various email delivery techniques as well as the importance of balancing frequency and volume of email sends.