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8 Tools & 4 Killer Strategies to Increase your Newsletter Subscribers

Gaining subscribers is one of your website primary goals?

We may say yes, if we consider:

  • Email ROI;
  • The fact that the emails are a good way to connect to visitors, that would exit without turning back otherwise: about this I suggest you to read my article.

But let’s proceed in steps and let’s start from the first one: email ROI.

What’s the email ROI?

Here are 3 statistics that show email ROI:

email marketing roi


[bctt tweet=”ROI of email marketing is $39.40″]

[bctt tweet=”for every $1 spent in email marketing, the medium ROI is $44.25″]

If this isn’t enough, according to a QuickSprout.com statistic:

[bctt tweet=”emails drive 40% of  the blogs revenue”]

[bctt tweet=”email subscribers are responsibile for 35.7% the blog comments”]

[bctt tweet=”34% of social shares came from email newsletter”]

So, subscribers, through comments, sharing and clients, may become the most attached readers of you website.

statistiche iscritti newsletter quicksprout

Now that we learned the ROI, let’s see the second most important reason why is fundamental to gain email contacts from your visitors.

Why is it essential to make your visitors subscribe?

Statistics are divergent, in this case, but they all agree that

[bctt tweet=”a greta part of your website visitors will not return to your website”]

Do you understand the point?

To lead visitors to your website you need time and money: money spent on Google Adwords, Facebook Advertising or other tools, or simply time spent in creating contents and rank them to gain more organic traffic, in a word, time for SEO.

And what if once the visitor goes out, he never comes back?

Wasted time and money, that should be reinvested to lead another targeted visitor to the website.

Is it a vicious circle? So let’s try to make the visitor stay, by making him subscribe to the newsletter.

Emails are a great way to connect to the visitor, before him going out from the website, let’s see its pros and its cons:


  • Emails arrive: ok, some of them can arrive in the spam section, in the updates section or in the gmail promotions, or get rejected by the server, but it actually come;
  • Emails can be customized: Unlike remarketing, that is intrusive and less “human”, through your newsletter you can create a new human relationship with your subscriber, that is direct;


Do you know what the problem is?

That people do not randomly subscribe to your newsletter, they only do if they have a reason. This reason is called lead magnet, topic that will be discussed later.

So you’ll need to create something to give in exchange of your website visitor’s email.

A good goal? A subscribing tax of 5%

Ok, we already understand some of the reasons why it is important to gain your website visitor’s email.

But what goal should you set in the collection of emaill addresses for your website or blog?

Maybe you think more goal is better, but some of the statistics gives us an idea of how our gaining subscribing strategy is going: according to Neil Patel, a good result should be the 5% of subscribers, in other words, every 100 people that enter your website, 5 should subscribe to your mailing list:

ctr 5% iscritti newsletter

The Tool Box: 4 Tools that are useful to your newsletter subscribers

Do you want to start creating a mailing list with your website visitors? Well, you’ll need 4 tools:

#1: Traffic

If people do not enter your website, they can’t subscribe either. So you’ll need traffic sources.

Here’s where your website visitors can come:

  • Google: organic traffic is an important component to the growth of your newsletter. If your website has a blog or is a blog, writing long articles, optimized by the keywords, you can transmit a lot of visitors to your website, that could subscribe to your mailing list through the tools we’re about to see.

According to a statistic published by Gregory Ciotty, the growth of the organic traffic is analogous to the growth of subscribers:

la crescita del traffico organico viaggia parallela alla crescita degli iscritti alla newsletter

  • la crescita del traffico organico viaggia parallela alla crescita degli iscritti alla newsletterSocial: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn are just some of the social from who you can increase visitors that can subscribe to your newsletter;
  • Ads: Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Twitter Advertising, LinkedIn Ads are just some of the advertising tools from who you can generate visitors to rise the number of subscribers to your newsletter, with the help from a particular kind of landing page, the squeeze page;

#2: Tools of mail acquisition or a Landing Page

Once you’ve chosen how to gain visitors to your website in order to increase the subscribers of your mailing list, you have to possibilities:

  • You can lead them to your website, where you can collect email addresses with some acquisition tools as Pop Up (like Optin Monster) or others;
  • You can lead them to a squeeze page, a page made with the purpose of collecting email addresses;

#3: A Lead Magnet

Whatever decision you make about the traffic source and the method to gain emails, you’ll need a lead magnet, something to give in exchange of the email.

But… Wait… Isn’t enough to say “subscribe”? 🙂

Let’s say that’s not the most effective method, at least according to a MarketingSherpa research:

MarketingSherpa 2013 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

What can you use as a lead magnet? In other words, what do you offer?

The solutions are various: let’s see some of them.

4 Lead Magnet ideas to gain subscribers to your newsletter

Idea 1: An informative content: ebook, video lessons

It’s one of the most used methods, I use 4 unreleased videos myself as lead magnet for the sign up of the Web Marketing Academy newsletter.

You can offer an ebook to download or a case study… A few years ago, thanks to the downloading of an ebook, the SEO guide 2011, I succeeded in gaining 1000 qualified email addresses:


GUIDA SEO 2011 lead magnet

Idea 2: A Coupon

In the case of an commerce, a coupon on the first purchase may be a good strategy to gain email addresses.

Here’s how Zalando.it does it:

zalando newsletter

Idea 3: A trial

If you have a software, you may offer it in a trial version, for a certain time period, prior the insertion of the email.

Idea 4: A free ticket

I used this strategies many times, always with extraordinary results: if you have a company and it participates to a fair, you could increase the subscriber by offering to them a free or almost free ticket.

If you have a shop, you could offer a little gift or a discount on the launch of your new place.

This strategies gave me the opportunity of gaining 427 email addresses in 30 days.

#4: An email marketing professional tool

Whether subscribers are from a Pop Up or through a contact form in a landing page, you’ll need a professional software in order to collect and send newsletter.

The solutions are various, starting from the known Mail Chimp (free till 2000 subscribers), to other solutions as Get response and Aweber.

Get Response

GetResponse is an email marketing solution full of functionalities and totally reducible and able to manage from little to big lists (over 1 million subscribers). In activity since over 10 years, it gives applications to create and manage email, newsletter and autoresponder that convert contacts in clients.

Through practices and the relationships established with the main Internet and anti-spam email Service Provider, GetResponsive maintained the most high email delivery standard possible, guaranteeing that the sent messages offer the best performance possible.


Aweber is one of the most common tool for the sending of newsletter. It gives you the necessaries tools to send email: from list to campaign creation, to autoresponder.

It is possibile to free try it for 30 days, then the prices start from 19 dollars.

8 Methods to increase the email subscribers on WordPress

Do you remember the tool box? We already saw how the second tool to gain more subscribers is using an email marketing professional tool tool.

Whatever tool you choose (I’m going to suggest you some tool after, because there are a lot, KissMetric classified 67 tools to build an email list even other as IncomeMesh), there are 8 different methods that you can use to gain your visitor’s mail: let’s see them together.

1: Pop Up

Pop ups are one of the most used methods. You could say that’s intrusive. But it’s effectiveness is just being intrusive and capturing the website visitor’s attention, especially when it has some special effect as vibration or movement animation.

You can insert a pop up dedicated to email collection on your website using various methods: here are two of them that I used

 Bloom by Elegant Themes

Boom is a premium plugin from our WordPress theme website, Elegant Themes.

It allows you to create a pop up to collect email choosing between different graphics.

bloom elegant themes

Optin Monster

I personally use Optin Monster, right now, to generate collecting emails pop ups.

Differently from Bloom, there’s the possibility to use effects to grab the user’s attention and to do AB Test:


2: Horizontal Bar (Hello Bar)

One of the most used methods is the horizontal bar, that appears over or under you post: this bar ofter “follows” you event when you scroll the page.

You can insert the bar using these 4 tools:

  • Optin Monster, again: It lets you create a bar that stays visible even when the user scrolls the page, and you can test different versions of it through AB Test:
  • Hello Bar: it’s the most famous and free collecting emails bar. You can sign up freely and easily insert it on your website.

Hello Bar

Here are 3 more tools to create a collecting email bar:

3: Il Welcome MAT by SumoMe

Besides the pop up and the horizontal bar, another effective system to gain email contacts is Mat by SumoMe.

I call it with its name because it’s not a pop up, it’s not a bar, it’s a free optic function that you can create through the website SumoMe using the PlugMatter Feature Box.

How does it work? When a user enter the website, before even seeing the article’s title, sees a screen that ask him his email address, like this:

welcome mat sumome

4: Fullscreen with Exit Intent

Another great function to gain visitors’ email contact is using Fullscreen with Exit Intent.

What is it? It’s a screen that appears fullscreen asking you to leave the email. The interesting function is Exit intent: thanks to Optin Monster, you can make this screen appear only when the visitor is leading the mouse closer to the tab closing button of the browser, in other words when he’s trying to exit the page.

Here a Fullscreen with exit intent that I use in Web Marketing Academy:


fullscreen exit intent

5: Opt In on the Home Page

What’s the most visited page on your website?

Isn’t it the home page? So why don’t you take advantage of this to insert a collecting email tool?

Here’s an example taken by the home page of Backlinko:

optin home page backlinko

6: Locked Content

Another way to collect email contacts?

Giving a “locked” content, that unlocks only when someone inserts its email. You can do it always using the Bloom plugin:



7: The Opt In in the Barra Laterale

You can insert a form to collect email addresses even in the lateral bar of your website thanks to Optin Monster, in the Widget/WordPress Text section.

Thanks to a free plugin as Q2W3 Fixed Widget you can fix the widget so that who reads your article will always have the possibility of subscribing visible:


sidebar raccolta mail fixed

8: Content Upgrade

Let’s see the last function: do you know what’s the most effective way to capture your visitor’s attention leading him leaving his email?

Giving something strictly related to the content of the article.

Let’s imagine a visitor entering in this article: thanks to the content upgrade technique, you can give him a content that’s related and integrative to the one he’s reading, in exchange he has to give his email address.

Here’s another example of this technique application: as you can notice, in the yellow space, at the bottom of the image, a document that shows how to apply the 16 technique mentioned in the title of the article, is given.

content upgrade backlinko

How can you practically insert this function on your website?

Using Optin Monster or Lead Pages, for instance.


4 Strategies + 4 Case Histories to increase the number of subscribers to your newsletter

Ok, let’s resume all we have said until now:

  • We started seeing the importance of collecting your website visitors’ emails, according to the ROI of email marketing and to the fact that if you don’t make a connection with your visitors, you may never see him again.
  • We continued seeing what’s on our tool box, what you’ll need to create a mailing list: essentially traffic, an email acquisition system, a lead magnet (I suggested you 4 of them) and, at last, a professional software to manage your newsletter as Get response.
  • In the end, we saw 7 methods to collect emails, and all the relative tools to this function.

At this point you have all you need to start building the emails on your newsletter.

Do you really have anything? No, the strategies are missing. Let’s see together some successful cases, from which you can be inspired.

Strategy #1: Give your visitors various mailing list subscription possibilities

Buffer App doubled its subscribers in 30 days: how?

Simply giving more subscription possibilities. In other words: not only pop ups, but also locked contents; not only the fullscreen method, but the opt in the lateral bar too… and  so on:


If you look at the tools you see here, you have 8 possibilities of choice.

Which are the best? According to my tests: Fullscreen with Exit Intent, The Bar and Pop Ups.

Strategy #2: Give the visitor what he wants

Do you remember when we talked about Upgrade Content? If you don’t remember, it’s a technique that consists of making the user download an integration of the content he’s reading.

Does it work? It seems like it does, according to the results:

How come does it work? Because it gives the visitor what he’s looking  for.

For example: if I enter an article that is about how to make muffins, I’m interested in knowing how to make muffins.

If you propose to me to subscribe to your newsletter and you give me another dessert recipe, I’ll always have a content related to desserts, but, right now, I want to know how to make muffins.

You could create a perfect match between supply and demand, offering your visitor a guide on how to make muffins in 3 steps, or a guide to the right tools… Something strictly related.

As we’ve already seen talking about Lead Generation, the relation between  the pay per click ad and the landing page brings to more conversions.

In a few words, coherence converts.

Strategy #3: Test, Test, Test

Do you want to know what’s the best method to increase the number of subscribers?

I don’t know, and you don’t know it either. The secret is testing: the one that works better at the test, is the one that works better.

How? Using Split Tests.

For instance: Which one of these 3 versions converted more, in your opinion?


ab test A


AB test C


ab test B

And the winner is…


Why? Maybe the clear copywriting, direct to the point and briefer than the others.

What about the second place? A and B versions are different from each other only because of the Call To Action color: well, the winner in this case is the A Version, maybe because of the green that grabs more attention.

How did I know which one worked best? Testing!

Strategy #4:Different source, same message

In the same way we changed our message, according the content, we should do it according to the visitor’s source.

Option Monster lets you do that: for example you could want to show a certain message to visitor’s that comes from Google or the ones that come from a certain blog: thanks to the referrer detection function you can do it.


referrer detection optin monster

How to increase the number of subscribers exporting the registered users by WordPress using 3 Plugins

Let’s end with an automatic and simple method to increase the number of subscribers: exporting the registered users’ email to your WordPress.

Exporting the registered users and commenters on a “Powered by WordPress” website is a particular need, that has an important advantage and may be made through few and simple steps.

Before we mention why we should export the registered users of WordPress, it’s useful to remember that a user has the possibility of signing  up on our WordPress website, in order to do other action than just reading the article, for example, commenting (in the case you ask for the visitor to sign up, to comment) or to insert an article on your website, as happens on article marketing websites, tools to link building or in the case of a forum built using BBPress.

Let’s imagine your website having a big quantity of registered users, in one of the allowed roles. Who signs up on a WordPress website must insert a username and an email. necessaries to enter the website.

Username (Or the “name” field) and email may be exported and used. How? Let’s try to answer these questions.

Why do you need to export registered users on WordPress?

Why export name/username and emails of the registered users on WordPress?

Because that’s a simple way to create a qualified and targeted email list, so a quick method, ready and free, to do list building for email marketing, with the following advantages:

  • The email addresses are freely available;
  • The email addresses have been signed up from your website (they’ve not been taken using lists) so they know it and they will be more willing to receive an eventual DEM;

Do not forget privacy: make sure of sending material only to those addresses that asked to receive it!

If you use the registered users on your WordPress website, it may be an effective and quick method to build an email list for a newsletter or direct email marketing, let’s see how.

How to export registered users on WordPress

The possibilities are, basically, two: giving the job to a professional figure, a web developer who knows about database and WordPress, or using a plugin for WordPress (free or paid).

The second possibility is to use a plugin that does this automatically. Looking in the WordPress plugin directory you  can find various plugins that let you export contacts as username, email and name on a CSV file.

But most of them are old and not working. We tested some of them and here are the best solutions.

SP User Export

SP User Export WordPress

Let’s start from the most updated one, even if you must pay to get it. With a small investment (more or less 10 dollars) SP User Export let’s you export user’s datas via email or FTP as a CSV file, with the possibility of exports scheduled in time. It’s possible to choose the desired fields and integrate it to a multisite.

Export Users to CSV

Minimal but effective plugin, that lets you export on a CSV file even big quantity of registered users selecting the role and a date range.  Free solution.

Users To CSV

Free plugin by Yoast.com, well-know WordPress expert, author of the famous SEO plugin.


Increasing the subscribers number it’s a gradual course, made of tests, mistakes and successes. It needs traffic, the right tools, creativity. And you? How do you collect email addresses on your website? Let’s talk about it on the comment section!


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