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Boost subscriber growth by mapping your reader's journey

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Thanks for joining me for what I hope will be a particularly valuable issue of The Week in Newsletters. I’m going to talk to you about promotion strategy and — drumroll — subscriber growth. 
This issue is all about mapping your reader’s journey from finding out about your newsletter to becoming a subscriber (and maybe even a superfan). It’s worth drilling down on this no matter how long you’ve been a newsletter creator because it will help you pinpoint the moments where you can maximise conversion — and go all in. 
The growth map
So, you know what value you bring to the table and you know what you want to write about. Now it’s time to turn your attention onto your reader, and map out their journey from start to finish. Grab a pen and paper (or your notes app of choice) and let’s get started.
For the sake of new newsletter creators, I want to emphasise at this point that you don’t need to have this all figured out before you start writing. These will be assumptions to begin with — but once you have some ideas down on paper you can get started on testing those assumptions to find the right fit. I’m going to work along with a rough example for this newsletter to show you what sort of layout you’re looking for.
Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. 
Step 1: Find your audience. Where do they hang out? Are they your Twitter followers? Readers of a certain publication? Members of an online group? People who live in your town? This is the top of the funnel, so you’ll want to think about where you’re likely to find the most potential subscribers, and write that at the top of your page. 
To demonstrate, I’ve selected ‘Revue customers’ and ’Twitter’ as my two main audiences:
Step 1
Step 1
Step 2: How will they find you? Think about how they’re most likely to find out about your newsletter. This will depend on what you’re writing about and who you want to target, but some ideas could be: your Twitter profile, your website, a group on social media, another publication you run, word of mouth, etc.
I’ve drawn an arrow from ‘Revue customers’ to our website, and from ’Twitter’ to our Twitter handle. Those are the main spaces where readers can find this newsletter:
Step 2
Step 2
Step 3: How do they sign up? Depending on your answers to the questions above, different strategies may apply here. For example, if most of your traffic comes from your website, you’ll want a signup form to live there (find out how to set that up on Revue). If you expect most signups to come in via links to your profile page, you can add the details to that process, too (ie. click on link, land on profile page, enter email address). The more specific you can be, the better.
Revue has a signup form on the website, so that one’s straightforward. On Twitter, we Tweet links to new issues of The Week in Newsletters, and sometimes to our profile page. We also link to our profile page in our bio:
Step 3
Step 3
Step 4: What happens next? Will you send readers a welcome email when they sign up? Will you set expectations for when you’ll publish? Will you respond to their messages and maybe even include them in your next issue? It’s great to think about the reader’s experience as a subscriber and how to leverage that to encourage further growth. 
Here’s the simple version of what happens when you sign up to The Week in Newsletters (but you can go into more detail if you like!):
Step 4
Step 4
Now, let’s put all that together:
Laying out the points above will help you home in on areas which could be optimised or improved. And as you go about testing those assumptions, you’ll make some discoveries that will kick your promotion strategy to the next level. 
Go all in
Once you know (or you think you know) where most of your traffic is coming from, don’t be shy. Go to that place, and be loud.
If you believe your core audience lives on Twitter, add a link to your profile in your bio. And Tweet a link for good measure. Pin it to your feed for a while, and make sure to Tweet links to your issues on your timeline as you send them (you can do this automatically on Revue — here’s how). 
Experiment, and have fun with it!
Another thing to remember is that your subscribers are your greatest ambassadors, and can be a great resource for finding a wider audience. A lot of successful newsletter writers include a callout in every issue where they ask readers to forward it to friends who may enjoy it as well. We even add a note in the footer of every issue for people who were forwarded the email, providing a link to the profile page to sign up.
Test your assumptions
As you start acting on (and experimenting with) your growth map, you’ll see if there are areas where the focus is in the wrong place. Whether you’re on issue #1 or issue #100, it’s always good to make sure your time and efforts are earning you maximum reward.
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all promotion strategy, but following these guidelines should help you hone yours.
What do you think about this issue? Do you think the outline above will help your newsletter grow? I’d love to hear if you think anything was unclear, or even missing. You can reach me by replying to this email.
Have a great week!
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Swapstack launched via Product Hunt today
Oh, and we’re hiring
Two engineering roles are officially open within the Revue team @twitter. If you’ve worked with Rails in the past, check them out and apply here:
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Anna from Twitter
Anna from Twitter @revue

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