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How To Make a “Subscriber Flow” That Will Increase Your Conversion Rate, Open Rate, and CTR

Master these 3 steps to get more newsletter subscribers, customers, opens, and clicks

Deep Dive

How To Make a Newsletter “Subscriber Flow” That Will Increase Your Conversion Rate, Open Rate, and CTR

Your subscriber flow is your first impression.

It’s the first 3 things users should see as they join your newsletter:

  • Landing page

  • Thank you page

  • Welcome email

As a newsletter operator, you need to perfect all 3 of these steps.

If you get them right you’ll have more subscribers, more customers, and significantly more email engagement.

If you don’t you’re missing out on growth, engagement, and sales.

Here’s how to perfect your flow:

Landing page

Your landing page’s job is to get people to subscribe, nothing else.

To do this follow these steps:

1/ Keep it short and simple

We’re asking for an email, not a credit card.

You don’t need a sales page or an essay to get emails.

Your landing page should be about as long (in copy length) as a Tweet.

Your page should be 1-2 sections, max. Ideally, 1 section so there’s no scroll.

The page should include:

  • Headline

  • Subheadline

  • Email capture form

  • Copy below the form (optional)

  • Testimonial / Authority section (optional)

  • Image to visualize your newsletter/brand (optional)

2/ Give people only 2 options

To subscribe or exit the page.

Remove all links to the menu, about page, past newsletters, sponsor page, etc.

Keep a small link to your privacy policy, but everything else needs to go!

This will maximize conversions.

3/ Your headline should have a clear benefit

Your headline should explain the value you provide to readers in a simple way.

Don't make your headline:

  • The name of your newsletter

  • A statement about the topics you cover

Do in your headline:

  • Promise the reader something they want

  • Show how your newsletter solves a problem

To quote Donald Miller: “A caveman should be able to glance at it [your headline] and immediately grunt back what you offer”

4/ Your subheadline should explain how you'll create the value you promised in your headline

Use the copy in your subheadline to show:

  1. How you’ll fulfill the headline’s promise (share exactly what subscribers will learn and/or get)

  2. Why the promise is achievable (make it believable with social proof, testimonials, and authority)

  3. Show how fast and easy is it to get value (takes little time or is easy/simple to learn)

Don’t overcomplicate this part.

Just write about what you’ll teach or give to subscribers.

  • “Learn how to [topics]”

  • “Get our free newsletter with [content]”

Then add in social proof, testimonials, and authority to back up your claims.

  • Social proof = Trusted by 10,000+ readers

  • Authority = Read by people at [prestigious organizations]

  • Testimonials = “This newsletter is great because ___”

(There are many more ways to use proof too. Be creative.)

Finally, emphasize that it’s fast and easy.

  • “We simplify [complex things] so anyone can understand.”

  • “Easy-to-understand and entertaining”

  • “Takes less than 5 minutes to read”

5/ Landing page examples

Thank You Page

Your thank you page has 3 jobs:

  • Tell subscribers what to expect from your newsletter and when it’s sent

  • Get them to open your welcome email

  • Make them aware of your product(s)

The first step to making a great thank you page is actually having one

I’m shocked at how many newsletters don’t use them.

When a user joins your newsletter from a decided landing page or webpage, you must have a thank you page.

People are most excited to learn more about your product and brand immediately after they subscribe.

Take advantage of this with a thank you page!

Here’s what to include on your thank you page

1/ Headline that confirms they subscribed

2/ Copy below the headline that:

  • Gets them excited to read future newsletters. (Here you need to re-sell them on why they should read your newsletter).

  • Tell them what to expect and when to expect your newsletters. (The content you cover + the times and dates newsletters are sent)

  • Ask them to find and open your welcome email (Remind them to check their promotions or spam folder. Bonus points if you incentivize this by including a gift in the welcome email)

3/ Ask them to take action in 1 of the following ways:

  • Click a sniper link that takes them to your welcome email

  • Click to view an offer for a product or service you sell

  • Click to read past newsletter issues or blog content

  • Complete a survey

I recommend 1 call to action, maybe 2 at most.

If you focus your ask on 1 thing it will be more effective. Pick the action that is most relevant to your business goals.

Thank you page examples

Welcome Email

Your welcome email has 4 jobs:

  • Get opened

  • Ask subscribers to take 3 deliverability actions so your future emails are sent to their primary inbox

  • Remind subscribers what to expect and when your newsletter is sent

  • Make them aware of your product(s)

Your welcome email is your most important email.

The way subscribers engage with this email will determine the rate at which they open and engage with your future emails.

Here’s how to make it great:

1/ Don’t use double opt-in

By using a double opt-in you’ll lose 20%-40% of subscribers.

Yes, those numbers are accurate.

20%-40% of subscribers will never confirm their email - and they’ll likely never hear from you again.

Most of those subscribers wanted your newsletter but they forgot, got busy, or your email got lost in a folder.

It’s best to send emails to everyone and remove subscribers who don’t engage after 30-60 days.

You can also use email validation tools to prevent bots from getting on your list.

2/ An amazing subject line

There’s no perfect subject line. You need to create a unique subject for your newsletter and test more subjects to increase your open rate over time.

Split testing your subject line is key. Keep testing new copy until your open rate is at least over 50%.

Avoid generic subject lines like “welcome” and “thank you”.

Ideally, your subject line should be catchy but still relevant.

But don’t get too crazy with it. It’s better to be clear than clever.

Here are some of my favorite examples:

  • The Hustle - Look what you did, you little jerk…

  • MorningBrew - ☕️ Caution: Morning Brew coming in hot

  • Jay Clouse - Hey! Quick question for you…

  • Justin Moore - 🧙‍♂️ Welcome + 5 Sponsorship Pricing Mistakes (Don't Do This)

  • Milk Road - bada bing bada boom. You're on my private web3 list.

  • Marketing Dive - Thanks for signing up! A few things to know…

  • The Publish Press - Quick favor to ask

  • TheFutureParty - Meet your new(s) plug

  • Growth Design - ✌️ quick intro {first name}

  • Inverse Daily - ❗️wtf

  • Niall Doherty - You're in. Here's what's next…

  • Tim Bourquin - Who said you could join my newsletter?

3/ Include these 5 elements in your welcome email

A. Welcome them to your newsletter

Let subscribers know they just joined your newsletter.

Give them a “welcome” and/or “thank you”. This only required 1 or 2 sentences.

B. Tell them what to expect, when to expect the newsletter, and how it will help them

Share what your newsletter covers, when you send it, and how it will help.

Keep it short, 1-4 sentences.

C. Ask them to move your email to their primary inbox

If your audience is tech-savvy include one sentence on how to do this:

“If this email landed in your promotions folder, move it to primary to make sure you see the next edition!”

If your audience is not, you can include more clear instructions:

“Gmail users: Move us to your primary inbox

On your phone? Hit the 3 dots at the top right corner, click "Move to" then "Primary."

On desktop? Back out of this email then drag and drop this email into the "Primary" tab near the top left of your screen

Apple mail users: Tap on our email address at the top of this email (next to "From:" on mobile) and click “Add to VIPs”

D. Ask them to reply to your email

Here are the 2 best ways to get replies to your welcome email:

  1. Ask for a simple 1-word reply that’s easy for the reader to do.

“Hit reply and send a simple “yes.” It tells Google (and other email providers) you actually want to get this.”

Always explain the reason why readers should reply - don’t just ask for it.

  1. Give a “bribe” if readers reply to your welcome email. Your bride could be a free report, course, cheat sheet, checklist, database, swipe file, tool, resource, template, etc.

Do not ask an open-ended ending question. You’ll get fewer replies this way.

Questions require readers to put in time and effort which will lower the reply rate.

E. Ask them to click a link

This could be a link to your social profile, past newsletter issues, blog, product, or anything you want to promote.

Include at least one link in your welcome email that readers can click.

And make sure there’s a clear call-to-action for those links.

Link clicks tell Gmail (and other email providers) that your email is valuable so future emails are less likely to land in the promotions or updates folders.


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