9 Small Asks You can Make to Your Newsletter Subscribers, so They can Push Your Growth

What we as newsletter authors can learn from Amanda Palmer.

Matthias Bohlen
4 minutes reading time

In 2014, rock star, crowdfunding pioneer, and TED speaker Amanda Palmer wrote a book: The Art of Asking.

This book helped thousands of people to overcome their fear of asking another human for help. Amanda told amazing stories about her life as a singer, songwriter, and musician. What’s totally amazing is how she started: She performed as a living statue in a wedding dress, wordlessly asking thousands of passers-by for their dollars.

Look at her amazing video, then start asking your newsletter readers for these 9 favors:

1: Support my cause

Ask your readers to support what it is that makes you tick and makes them cry for joy. Use powerful words like these:

To preserve our independence, [newsletter name] accepts no advertising. But, for the last X months, we’ve also made every edition available for free. It’s support from those who can afford it that allows us to make our [main benefit of your newsletter] available to everyone. You can join this effort today with a paid subscription.

2: Try out my newsletter

There are people you know who are in your contact list but not yet in your subscriber list.

Send them an email, each one individually. Tell them what your newsletter is about, how often you write, and what they will get from it.

Then, ask them to try it out and subscribe.

3: Share my newsletter with your friends

Write something awesome and compelling.

You know how to write: Describe WHY something makes sense. Describe WHAT it takes to do it or to stop it. Write about HOW it is done, in which steps, using which material. Describe WHERE it leads your readers if they really do it (or stop it). Then, send it to your subscribers.

At the end, ask them to share this awesome piece with their friends and make them subscribe.

4: Give me feedback about what you just read

Writing can be a lonely job.

You write and write, and nobody seems to respond. Even when you ask for feedback, no one does anything. Is that good news or bad news?

Ask your readers and make it totally easy to give you feedback. (There are even tools to do this).

5: Pay to read about my important work

Use the header or footer of your newsletter to remind people about the paid tier.

Your pitch shouldn’t be about receiving paywalled content (that’s not effective). The most effective pitches involve emphasizing the impact of the work and the importance of what you do.

Explain the importance. Then ask them to pay for a subscription.

6: Look at the special thing I made for you

If you always use the same header or footer for your newsletter, people don’t pay attention any more.

Use the headers and footers for news or other announcements like an upcoming Q&A thread. A good way to get new subscribers is to do stories that get shared a lot and to do specifically targeted offers as special emails.

Prepare something special and ask them to “go get it”.

7: Buy my Black Friday or Labor day Deal

Announce a small discount on the yearly subscription.

Everyone likes a deal. Getting quality content at X percent off, who wouldn’t want that? Even if you get less money, every paying subscriber is a win. Price your newsletter so that you have room to discount once a year.

Then sit down and write that BF promo. Ask people to buy it.

8: Thank you, awesome, buy my special offer

Target engaged subscribers.

There are people who interact more with your newsletter issues. Send this group an email:

Hey, I wanted to reach out to you, one of my most active subscribers. Thank you for reading and supporting [newsletter name]. As a small “thank you”, I offer you [10 to 25 percent] off the yearly subscription. You clearly like what I am doing, so take this deal and don’t miss out on the rest of my stories!

Cheers, [author’s first name].

Watch out what happens!

9: Gift my Newsletter to Someone you Like

Ask your paying subscribers to buy another subscription, for someone else.

Describe who this “someone” can be: A friend, a relative, some person who lives far away from them, a colleague (in case of a business newsletter), a student who hasn’t got the money yet.

Let your imagination run wild. Then write the ask.

Please tell me: What’s your point no. 1?

You may have a different idea of what you can ask your subscribers in particular.

☞ Here I’m asking you for a small favour: While you’re at it, please send me a copy of an ask that you’ve sent to your own audience. And a few days later, please tell me what happened.

Was it effective to ask people? Was it easy, was it hard? What happened then, maybe to your surprise?

Want your own small media business, together with another author you trust?

Download our FREE eBook called "2 Writers Making Money". It shows you exactly how to raise your income as a paid newsletter author by teaming up with a buddy, selling a bundle of your newsletters, and splitting the revenue.

Set this up once, then forget about it and get back to writing.

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