Top Reasons People Subscribe to Email Newsletters

Why People Subscribe

What happens when someone subscribes to your email newsletter? No, I mean what really happens? A bartering transaction between your brand and the consumer that involves items of value, that’s what happens. On your side, the value is in the content you are promising. On the consumer’s side, the value is in the email address.

When it comes right down to it, handing over an email address is akin to handing over cash. Consumers are unlikely to think of their email addresses that way, as something with a tangible value. But subconsciously they know they are making an exchange, and they have to want what you have to offer enough to think it’s a fair trade.

Which begs the question, what do people want? What will entice them to subscribe to an email newsletter in the first place?

The most popular reasons for subscribing to email newsletters
Although there are a variety of reasons why someone will subscribe to a certain newsletter (or not), some are more common than others, including:

  • To be entertained: We spend a lot of time in front of our computers or with our smartphones in our hands. It’s nice when some of that time can be spent being entertained with some good email content! And that content can be text, cartoons, photos or even video.
  • To be educated: Many people simply don’t have time to keep up with reading newspapers or books, or pursuing other ways of building their brains. Educational e-newsletter content can appeal to people who want to know more about a certain topic, even your company’s proprietary product that they want to get to know better.
  • To get deals: OK, let’s be honest here and admit that many people subscribe to newsletters only to get exclusive pricing and coupons. As long as you know that is the caliber of the list you’re building and as long as you’re delivering those deals to your list, it’s fine.
  • To be in the know: Speaking of exclusive, there are consumers who have enough brand loyalty to want to be considered an insider to those favorite brands. They will subscribe to newsletters that promise to give them the inside scoop and give them an edge over their friends or colleagues.

You still have to sell your subscriptions
There is another piece to this though, even after you figure out what your ideal audience wants: promoting the email newsletter. Despite all the years we’ve been doing online marketing, I still see websites with a simple “Sign up for Our Newsletter” box that gives me absolutely no reason whatsoever to do so. And then businesses complain that hardly anyone subscribes. Gee, I wonder why…not!

Don’t be that marketer. Instead, sell your newsletter subscription the same way you sell anything else. Tell people why they should subscribe and what they’ll get out of it when they do. You can even offer a sample newsletter, perhaps by putting your most recent issue on your website each month.

Then deliver on your promises each month, so you don’t see your subscribers turn into unsubscribers when only disappointment shows up in their inbox.

Thanks for reading!

-Scott

scottScott Hardigree is the Founder of Email Industries, the folks behind Indiemark and BlackBox.

3 comments

  1. Great post – it’s all about adding value to your customer’s experience. They’ve given up their email address – give them something back!

  2. You pretty much hit all the right points on why people subscribe to newsletters! I think one thing you can add though is “to be engaged with the community.” Some bloggers hold special events and only those who subscribe will know about those events. 🙂

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