How do I grow my list?

So you’re starting a publication with Curated? Congratulations! Your first question is probably, “How do I get people to subscribe?”.

Do you have an existing email list?

If you already have an email list, you might want to offer your existing subscribers the chance to subscribe to your new digest publication. A good way to do this is to use our opt-in URLs to send a pre-populated subscribe form to your existing audience. For information on how to do this, read about opting in an existing list.

What if you’re starting from scratch?

If you don’t have an existing list, you’ll want to use social media for promoting your sign up page. Ideally you’ll already have a number of followers on Twitter/Facebook or some other similar service. Post about your issues when you publish them with Curated and you’ll gain subscribers every time.

Before you start this kind of promotion, it’s a great idea to already have your first issue published on Curated, and for that issue to be displayed on your publication’s home page. That way, your potential audience can see the kind of content you’re going to be sending out and make a more informed decision as to whether it’s interesting to them.

One technique you can also take advantage of is to use Twitter’s lead generation cards. These are often used for paid promotion, but can also be used in free tweets as well. These will embed a “subscribe” button directly into a tweet for you, and people clicking it won’t even have to enter their email address. If people opt-in, Twitter will automatically pass on their email address to Curated. To find out more, read about using Twitter lead generation cards with Curated.

Concentrate on quality

Promotion is necessary for growing your list, but the most important factor in sustained growth is to concentrate on the quality of your links and commentary.

If your list is designed to promote your company, it’ll be tempting to only link to your own articles. However, it’s probably better to be much more broad with your content than that. Don’t make issues too focused on your own marketing posts and instead include genuinely interesting content from across the web, from anyone! Your publication’s branding and occasional link to your own content will keep people informed on what you’re doing while at the same time ensuring that there’s enough non-marketing focused content that they’ll still want to read every issue you publish.

You also want to keep your publishing schedule regular. No matter how often you decide to publish, make sure you stick to it! Make publishing a priority for whoever is responsible for putting each issue together. Once you have a base set of subscribers, who are getting genuine value from it, they’ll share it with people without you even having to ask them to.

Integrate with your main web site

You’ve already got traffic visiting your web site, you should integrate your publication’s sign up form so that visitors can easily sign up. For more information on this, read about integrating your sign up form.

Measure your effectiveness

Curated supports conversion tracking using Google Analytics. Set up campaigns and ensure you include UTM parameters on your promotional links. Then track who’s visiting from those links, and who’s actually becoming a subscriber. For more information on this, read about subscription tracking in Google Analytics.

You may also want to consider doing some paid promotion of your publication. The best place to start with this is probably with Twitter or Facebook advertising. Curated supports conversion tracking for both of these tools and it can be a good way to kick start some organic growth. For more information, read about using Twitter Ads with Curated or using Facebook Ads with Curated.

Keep going!

Even after you’ve got a base audience, promotion is an ongoing task. We’d recommend tweeting or posting to Facebook after publishing every issue.

Final advice

There’s just one final point to mention, and it’s probably not what you want to hear! There is no silver bullet for growing a successful and engaged audience.

No matter how tempted you might be to try and artificially accelerate growth (purchasing a list, excessive promotion on social media, etc…), it’s just not worth it. The total number of subscribers you have isn’t important if they don’t actually want to be subscribed and the best way to keep people engaged and subscribed is to concentrate on producing quality content and promoting it respectfully.