Why isn’t your newsletter growing faster?

Does this look familiar?

Day after day you seem to average +0 and might get 1 or 2.

If that’s you, first know that you're not alone. This is a struggle everyone goes through to some degree. But it’s harder when growth is net zero.

You spend hours getting your newsletter together. That should at least earn you a few new subscribers, right?

Most people keep writing, publishing, and waiting for a response. They post to social consistently like they've been told to do, link to their latest content, and still don’t get much of a response.

Burned out, frustrated, and unable to financially support themselves. They quit.

The sad thing is… they had a great idea and valuable things to say. They just didn’t know how to get more eyes on it.

I don't want that to be you, so let’s zoom out to get a better perspective.

Your newsletter is a product

It’s important to define this first so that we can be on the same page about what you’re trying to get people to do. They need to see you (somewhere), go to your landing page, and exchange their email for access to your content.

While subscribers aren’t necessarily giving you money, they are giving you something of value in exchange for something they perceive to be of greater or equal value.

No matter what you might hear some people say, a product never sells itself. It’s wrapped up in good branding, messaging, marketing, and advertising.

I have no doubt you have a great product. Now let’s get more eyes on it.

Conversations are free marketing

When you hear the word marketing, you might think of the shameless self-promoters constantly saying “buy my thing!”.

But, believe it or not, something is marketed to you just about every moment of every day.

  • Is a friend telling you how much they love the latest iPhone? That's word of mouth marketing.
  • Do you have a favorite restaurant? You’ll market the heck out of that place if it means people will go there with you.
  • Have you followed anyone on social recently because they were super helpful? You’ve been marketed to.

I hope those examples highlight that marketing isn’t a bad thing if done well.

You can turn the conversations you have every day on social media into really good marketing for your newsletter.

Rather than replying to creators you follow with “Nice! I agree!”, add real value to the conversation. Here’s a great example from Katelyn Bourgoin:

Katelyn added to JK’s content with a reply that had substance and authority. Even better, she's talking about money and purchasing, so this topic matches her newsletter.

If you saw this in the wild, agreed, and clicked to view her profile, here’s what you would see:

…and just like that, you’re in step 2 of her funnel. You’ll likely follow, see more of the content she’s sharing directly, and ultimately subscribe to her newsletter (which you should absolutely do by the way).

Value is the glue

Everything I just shared can help you move people toward your newsletter, but what happens after is even more important.

Do you give valuable insights?

Would someone share what you’re writing?

You have to make your newsletter so good that your subscribers will start bringing in other subscribers, like I’m doing for Katelyn up there 👆

Her newsletter, Why We Buy, is so valuable for sales that I can’t help but share it.

Your next step

Think really deeply about the experience your subscribers have every step of the way and write it down. Start by answering these questions:

  • Where are you showing up for conversations?
  • How can you increase the value you provide in those conversations?
  • What can you do in your public profiles to tie that value to action (a follow or newsletter subscribe)?
  • How can your public content on social make subscribing to your newsletter seem more appealing?
  • What does your landing page say? Does it offer a solution to a problem?
  • Have you been giving the content of your newsletter and the replies you get all of the attention they deserve?

Written by Kyle Adams

I work at ConvertKit helping top creators every day and bring what I know about growing your email list to Creator Glue every week.