How to grow a newsletter list to 1,000 subscribers

Same as growing on social media, finding the first 1K subscribers of a newsletter list is the hardest part of the whole journey. Today, I want to show you how I scaled my own newsletter to 1K subs.

Dec 11, 2023

5 min

Start with defining your newsletter topic and target audience

You can’t just write a newsletter about everything you want. Ideally, you should create boundaries about what you will write. This will also narrow down your target audience.

I’m targetting designers, who want to make a living from the internet without selling their time. Maybe you are one of them. When I started, I exactly knew where I wanted to go and documented this whole journey two years ago on Twitter and after 1 year when I started my newsletter. Every single article on Creative Prosperity is based on this single target topic. Do the same and others will resonate with it.

Plug in your newsletter on Twitter/LinkedIn

When your newsletter list is zero, you need to plug it in somewhere, so that you get your first subscribers. I started to post free-value content on Twitter and plugged in my newsletter at the end of each thread. Every person who completely read my thread, potentially also subscribed to my newsletter as well, where I send longer and more in-depth articles and knowledge. This is my Nr 1. strategy I’m still following right now. It’s the perfect funnel!

A way to speed this process up would be to offer a lead magnet, like an e-book about your newsletter topic. Or a free webinar. I’ve never tried this because I mainly focus on giving value to my socials. After all, this also grows my following at the same time.

High-quality content

You need to offer value. On the full range. People will NOT follow you if your free content is not giving them any value. Publish content that provides value to your audience. This could be blog posts, videos, podcasts, and so on. Use this content to attract subscribers and retain their interest.

Doing this over several years will not only build your online authority on social media but will also massively grow your newsletter list. And that's so important because your social media platform of choice could be offline tomorrow, and so could your reach. This is why a newsletter list is so important. You have full control over it at all times.

Optimize your landing page or personal website

Something that helped me for sure as well is to directly show that I have a newsletter on my website hero which makes sure people can sign up to it very quickly and easily. Also if it’s free, make sure to communicate that. It’s an additional and important reason to sign up for your newsletter.

Analyze your progress

I regularly reviewed the performance of my emails. It’s very important to keep an eye on the open rate of your emails. The average open rate of newsletters is 21.33%. As you can see, mine are tripled as high:

55-60% are my usual open rates, which means, that people are excited to read it. This is a good metric and sign for me, that I was on a good way, and still am.

If your open rates are lower and average, you are not giving enough value maybe. To increase it, make sure you are giving your subscribers actual value and actionable tips to improve.

Last but not least: Consistency and patience

Growing an email list is a very gradual process. Be consistent in your efforts and patient with the results. It took me 6-8 months and one newsletter every two weeks to grow my subscribers to 1K+.

Good things need time. Don’t hurry.

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