• Email marketing has a great return on investment (ROI).
  • Getting newsletter subscribers can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be.
  • Contrary to popular belief, you can grow your newsletter without a lead magnet.

You’ve probably heard it a thousand times — the money’s in the list. Email marketing is 100% that girl — valuable and effective with a great ROI.

But trying to grow your newsletter can be challenging.

And everyone seems to want you to create a lead magnet or opt-in of some kind to do it.

Lucky for you, I’ll be sharing three techniques to help you get more newsletter subscribers. And none of them include creating a lead magnet.


Side note: Lead magnets have their place in growing a list but when it comes to newsletters, we don’t need them. And I’ll show you why.

Now, how about those three techniques?

1 – Write quality content and share it consistently

Writing a great newsletter and sending it out when you promised (weekly, monthly, or somewhere in between) is a great way to grow your audience.

Just ask Ann Handley who’s been sending TOTAL ANNARCHY for over four years. The newsletter now has over 42,000 subscribers.

And I hear you wondering, ‘How do I come up with content for this killer newsletter, Anna?’

Peep the tutorial below to learn how to find inspiration in your inbox.

2 – Add your newsletter link to your social media profile

I like to call this one a quick win.

It’s super simple but makes a big difference.

When someone visits your profile on social media, you want to make it extremely easy for them to sign up for your newsletter.

Here are a few examples you can model.


Linkedin allows you to add featured links just below the About section of your profile.

Don’t waste that prime real estate. Use it to add a link to your newsletter and encourage visitors to sign up.

Copywriter Joel Klettke adds his newsletter to his featured links section along with two other offers.

Get newsletter subscribers - Linkedin profile screenshot example



Twitter also makes it easy for you to promote your newsletter with the addition of a recent newsletter feature powered by Revue.

With this feature, you can get more newsletter subscribers with a 1-click option like digital marketer Chantelle uses here.

Once someone visits your profile and clicks subscribe they will be asked to confirm then they’re added to your list. No confirmation email required.

Get newsletter subscribers - Twitter profile screenshot example 1


If you prefer to direct subscribers to your opt-in form, Twitter gives you a space for a link in your profile.

And since your location is not information that’s likely to be useful, you can use that line to add a call to action like Katelyn does below.

Get newsletter subscribers - Twitter profile screenshot example 2



Like most social platforms, Instagram also gives you a space to add a link in your bio.

Consider adding some copy for a call to action like author and blogger Ash Ambirge does with the Instagram account for her new travel blog Glossary of Good.

Get newsletter subscribers - Instagram profile screenshot example


3 – Ask for referrals

You have a newsletter with valuable content. You’re sending it consistently. Now it’ll be easy to ask your most loyal readers to share it with their network.

And if Morning Brew and The Hustle have taught us anything, it’s that referrals work for newsletters.

Think about the last time you needed a new product or service (cleaning service, meal prep, software, vacation destination, or hairstylist/barber).

Chances are you asked someone in your network for a referral. And chances are you trusted their referral more than a random search result on Google.

And the data proves it — we trust referrals from people we know and are more likely to act on their recommendations.


A resource like ReferralKit can simplify the referral process.

With email integration for all major ESPs, automation, and multiple reward options, ReferralKit makes getting more newsletter subscribers with a referral system easy.

Get newsletter subscribers - screenshot from ReferralKit website showing signup steps


Armed with those three techniques — and nary a lead magnet in sight as promised — you have everything you need to get more newsletter subscribers and grow your list.

So onward.