Note: This post on How to Attract Subscribers is part 2 of a 3 part section on List-Building Strategies in “The Email Marketing Strategy That Works” series. Read part 1 “Email Marketing: Build Your Subscriber List.”

Attract Subscribers with Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing (in a nutshell) is the art of producing content of such high value that you attract potential customers to you. If you’ve already started optimizing your website for email marketing by adding awesome opt-in forms, this strategy can really help you to attract subscribers to your newsletter. A few Inbound Marketing tactics include:

  • Offering an Incentive on a Landing Page
  • Creating Cornerstone Website Content
  • Blogging
  • Adapting blog posts for content sharing platforms like Medium and LinkedIn Pulse (also known as blog distribution)
  • Creating SlideShare presentations that link to your site
  • Hosting webinars on your site (or that link to it)
  • Creating valuable content on social media that links back to your site
  • Curating valuable content on social media to get noticed and ultimately drive traffic to your site

Let’s break these down.


Incentives are when you offer a reader something for download as a special offer given to newsletter subscribers. This could be anything from an ebook to a template collection. Arguably the best way to attract subscirbers, offering an incentive in exchange for a subscription is a great way to hook them, but be careful about attrition (unsubscribes).

The emails that follow the incentive offer should not be overshadowed by the incentive, but rather should tackle the same or similar topics and provide an equal level of value to the reader. Otherwise there is little to keep a person from unsubscribing.

Cornerstone Website Content

Coined by Brian Clark on Copyblogger, Cornerstone Content is content that you create on your website that is highly relevant and useful to your target audience. It has a lot to do with figuring out how your site can be the answer to the questions asked by people on Google about your topic. Creating content like this will attract a great deal of traffic to your site, and as long as your newsletter promises more of the same, will help you attract subscribers.


In many ways, blogging is like an audition for earning the role of an email newsletter provider. When you produce blogs of value on a consistent basis, you prove that you’ll do the same in your email newsletter. Blogging is an excellent way to enhance your SEO strategy, because each post can focus on answering a single topic or question in detail, making keyword optimization a cinch!

Also, blogs are excellent content to share on social media, and allow you to capture attention and traffic around hashtagged keywords. To determine which related hashtags will be the most successful for promoting the topics you blog about, check out the RiteTag hashtracker.

Blog Distribution

In addition to using social media and SEO to promote your blog, occasionally you’ll want to distribute your blog onto other platforms. First, you can adapt or slightly re-write your post to avoid producing duplicae content (a search engine no-no). Then post the slightly different versions of your post on Medium or LinkedIn Pulse, which both have large audiences. As long as you link back to the original post or site, you’ll be able to attract new visitors who may ultimately become new subscribers.

Rand Fishkin talks about this in detail in this episode of Whiteboard Friday.


SlideShare has been heralded as an incredible way to attract visitors to your website and generate subscribers. When you produce a valuable presentation around a topic you’re trying to become known for, it can be a great way to boost traffic and win over new subscribers. Like every other tactic on this list however, be sure to cover the same content topics in your emails that attracted the visitors to your site in the first place.

Convince and Convert has a great post on this topic.


These can be very valuable to the people you’re trying to help and you can always ask for users to register for your webinars by providing you with their email address. In any registration form, you can include a checkbox for visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. If the box is checked by default, this can be a fabulous way to grow your list.

ProTip: Tools like GotoMeeting make live webinars easy, but you can always pre-record webinars like any other video and allow access on demand when users register.

Social Media Marketing

You can always invite your social media followers to sign up for your newsletter. This is especially great when you can send them to a landing page that talks all about the benefits of subscribing or offers an incentive.

Social Media Curation

While this is probably the most indirect way to attract new subscribing, curating content (which is when you share useful articles, videos, etc. from other sources about your topic of interest on social media) is a great way to build credibility and grow your audience. It’s actually how I have been growing my Twitter following by a little over 100 people per week this year. When you build that audience of loyal followers, you earn the right to ask them to subscribe to your newsletter. If your newsletter matches or exceeds the quality of the content you curate, you’ll be sure to keep your audience happy.

Final Thoughts

This was a brief overview of how to use Inbound Marketing to attract subscribers. While I tried to link as many helpful resources as possible, I plan to examine each of these strategies in greater depth on my blog and report how they worked for me. They’ll be categorized under the “Inbound Marketing” tag so you can find them easily, and I’ll link them to this page as they’re added. Be sure to come back for more!

Next we’ll discuss Part 3, “How to Recruit Subscribers: Outreach Strategies for Email Marketing.” You can also return to the main page of The Email Marketing Strategy That Works for additional topics.