Paul Leslie March 8th, 2021

5 Ways to Be Generous with Your Email Subscribers

“Tis better to give than receive.” You’ve heard this your whole life and now that you’re beginning to gather email subscribers or even if your list is already steadily humming, it’s wise to remember it.

Because email is one of the hottest marketing tools, it can be tempting to believe that the purpose is to “take.” I want you to stop and think again. Being generous with your email subscribers is a good idea and it’s the right thing to do.

Giving is not only a nice thing to do, but it can feel rewarding. It’s nice to help people out, but it’s also good business. It can also be rewarding. 

The brilliant psychologist and author Dr. Robert Cialdini says that one of the principles of persuasion is called reciprocity. People feel in some ways obligated to give back to those who give to them. A waiter leaving a mint receives, on average, an 3% increase in the tip. So what about leaving two mints for each guest? It goes up to a 14% increase!

It’s almost a universal law that if you are of service or have fulfilled a need, you’ll always be sought after. I want this idea to inspire a powerful question in your mind that you should approach positively. 

So how can you create something meaningful
for your email subscribers? 

Now, maybe there’s a way you can make it even more special? Can you personalize your gift? Or maybe you can follow up with them to further the connection?

I hope this article gets the creative juices flowing! It’s great to think outside the box, but to get you started here are 5 ways you can be generous with your email subscribers by giving something they’ll appreciate.

Give them something to listen to

The average worker gets 121 emails in their inbox, on average, every single day. That’s a lot on the eyes, on top of whatever else they may be reading. 

Why not consider producing and recording something for your email subscribers to listen to an audiobook, seminar, lecture, or other interesting material. With some creativity, you can create a download that is fun to listen to and informative.

Who knows? Maybe it will inspire your business to tap into new mediums like podcasting. Even if you don’t have any experience with audio, you can use freeware to create something compelling.

Think about what your readers would listen to while in the car or while running on the treadmill. That means the excitement should be palpable. You should try to be entertaining whenever possible. And remember that when it comes to audio, presentation is everything. 

Give them something they’ll actually read

Could you create a useful white paper or e-book for your email subscribers? Because you have no associated printing or mailing costs, it’s a way to offer something of real value that your subscribers won’t forget.

If you don’t think of yourself as a writer, try not to get hung up on labels. The best writers write a lot like someone talks. Some people feel they have to use big words to sound smart, but did you know it has the opposite effect to most readers

Consider writing it yourself. Just try to envision your subscribers sitting in front of you and remember to keep that conversational tone. Who knows them better than you?

Writing an e-book also doesn’t mean you have to write a huge number of pages. It could even be as short as a few dozen pages. Perhaps you make them available at regular intervals, even numbering them as volumes. Of course, you should let your subscribers know when a new edition is coming out and how they can get their free copy. 

If you simply don’t think you can do it, consider enlisting someone to write it for you. And whether you’re an ace or novice writer, it also helps to get someone to proofread your book. The same goes for the emails you send out! An extra set of eyes can make all the difference.

Give them a helpful infographic

A useful infographic can feel like a lifesaver when you see it. It can take a complex piece of information and translate it into a more accessible medium for your audience.

Brainstorm something your email subscribers and people in your industry would find especially beneficial. Try to offer unique, helpful information in an easy-to-understand way. Also, don’t forget to include your website and/or logo. A fantastic infographic has the potential to be shared on social media or forwarded to friends, so try to present the information better than anybody else could.

If you don’t have experience with graphic design, check out Canva or Easil. They’re intuitive to use and even have infographic templates so you can start immediately. By the way, once you get comfortable making infographics, you can make it an ongoing gift to those who subscribe to your list.

Give them a deal

Everybody loves to save a little coin, including your email subscribers. Since they gave you permission to send them emails, you should view that as a privilege. 

Make being a subscriber a little sweeter by giving a discount, free shipping, or maybe a free item thrown in if they use a secret promo code. You should make the deal something people will really value. 

Finally, tell your readers that their friends can sign up and reap the same benefits they do. All they have to do is forward the email to someone who would appreciate it. That’s why it’s a good idea to include a link to the signup in every newsletter.

Give thema great newsletter!

This one may seem obvious, but it can’t be stressed enough. You should appreciate how big of a deal it is when someone gives you their email address. It’s one of the most valuable ways to communicate with someone. So don’t throw away the potential. Give them a great newsletter!

Some extra tips to improve your deliverability

Sending emails regularly is one of the best ways to help your deliverability. Internet service providers try to determine who is sending spam or who is sending legitimate emails. They do this with a scoring system known as sender reputation.

So what do you do? Actually, send them the newsletters they signed up for in the first place! If you’re just starting a list, you must be consistent with sending. Don’t give up—stick to a schedule. Not sending emails for a time and then resuming looks suspicious because you’re behaving as a spammer does.

In your quest to give them a great email, please make sure they get it. Sending an informative, well-written email helps nobody if it goes directly to spam. One of the easiest ways to end up in the spam folder is to become negligent with your email hygiene.

I look at email hygiene as being somewhat similar to personal hygiene. It’s as much for you as it is for the other person. The fact is, people are going to change their email addresses. If you continue to send emails to inactive addresses, it’s going to hurt your sender’s reputation.

One of the cornerstones to email hygiene is email validation. Now, a good email verification service will be able to identify all the inactive email addresses, but also catch-alls, spam traps, role-based and disposable email addresses. 

If you’ve never validated your list, the best thing you can do is verify it in bulk. From then on, you should verify the list a minimum of twice a year. To keep your list in an optimal state, a reputable email verifier can also provide an API that can verify the addresses of people subscribing via your signup form.

You get what you put into it

There are two sides to the coin of having a great newsletter. First of all, your commitment to making it the best it can be. The other side of that is making sure it gets to the inbox of those who asked to get it. 

Show your subscribers you value them by sending them something meaningful and not taking them for granted. This not only means using email validation but also showing your appreciation in any way you can.


Photo by Adam Solomon on Unsplash

Paul Leslie

Paul Leslie is a freelance writer, researcher and interviewer. He has recorded more than 700 interviews distributed via radio and podcasts. He likes watching and rewatching movies and is always down to try a new restaurant.

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