How to grow your newsletter faster in 2022

23+ of the best channels, strategies and trends to get more newsletter subscribers and explode your email-list growth.

Based on what's working for thousands of the top media brands and publishers we work with at SparkLoop.

CONTENTS

What's inside:

the top 5 newsletter growth trends for 2022

11 free ways to grow your newsletter in 2022

the 7 most effective paid acquisition channels in 2022

Trends

The 5 most important changes that'll impact your newsletter growth in 2022

TREND #1:

Social ads get too expensive

Several factors like the new privacy measures in iOS 14 increased the cost of traditional social ads in 2021.

A majority of newsletter operators we surveyed said that subscriber acquisition costs via Facebook & Instagram ads have become prohibitively expensive. And are now actively looking to diversify into channels with a better ROI.

We expect this trend to continue into 2022.

TREND #2:

More effective monetization

As the new wave of internet-first media brands matures, so do their business models.

In 2021, we saw the best newsletters make a clear shift away from subscription revenue, in favour of a blend of advertising and high-ticket products.

Great examples include Punchbowl News, who reached $10m revenue in their first year with only 10% coming from subscriptions. And Morning Brew's recent foray into high-ticket business education.

TREND #3:

Quality, not quantity

With newsletters exploding in popularity, newsletter fatigue became a real thing in 2021.

In 2022, producing "better than average" content won't be a viable option anymore. The new bar to meet is "top five things to hit my inbox this week".

Consistency and frequency remain important. But you'll need to focus on personality and quality to really move the needle.

TREND #4:

RIP paywalls?

As newsletters and media brands focussed on subscription revenue, the last five years saw a rise in paywalls.

But — with brands getting better at other methods of monetising — this trend seems set to reverse.

In 2022, your newsletter content wants to be free. Increasing your top-of-funnel acquisition and feeding into your (more effective) monetisation options.

Find out more in this excellent article by Jacob Donnelly.

TREND #5:

Newsletter growth turns professional

In the early days of newsletters, audience growth was an afterthought. A part-time role carried out by someone copying what other amateur newsletter creators did before them.

That changed in 2021, as email-list growth became a top priority for newsletter operators and media brands alike.

In 2022, the best newsletter operators are taking a professional approach to audience growth — and seeing an explosion in results.

Paid growth tips

The top 7 paid strategies & channels to explode your newsletter growth in 2022

PAID TIP #1:

Sponsor other newsletters

Know who would love to read your newsletter?

... people who already subscribe to newsletters like yours!

It's no surprise then, that sponsoring other newsletters is one of the most effective ways you can grow your email-list in 2022.

Combined with a referral program, this is how The Pour Over grew from 20k to 100k+ newsletter subscribers in under a year.

PAID TIP #2:

Partner with influencers

Jenny Rothenberg — who led audience growth at Morning Brew — predicted in our interview that influencers would be their top subscriber acquisition channel in 2021.

Based on what we're seeing at SparkLoop, we think you definitely want to try partnering with influencers and thought-leaders in 2022.

The easiest way to get started? Reach out to the top referrers in your newsletter's referral program!

PAID TIP #3:

Add a referral program

2021 was the year newsletter referral programs went mainstream. And why not, when they reliably boost growth by 20-100% on average?

In 2022, thousands of the world's best newsletters will grow faster and more affordably with a SparkLoop referral program.

From creators like Tim Ferriss and James Clear, to top media brands like Punchbowl News and Front Office Sports.

Try our free referral growth calculator to predict how much faster your email-list will grow with referrals.

paid tip #4:

Work with ambassadors

Everybody knows that Morning Brew has a killer referral program. But did you know that most of their early growth came not from referrals... but from ambassadors?

If your newsletter audience hasn't hit the 6-figure mark yet — or you run a local media brand — then you definitely need to try out an ambassador program in 2022.

Oh — and our new SparkLoop "partners" tool makes creating and running your ambassador program a breeze.

Paid Tip #5:

Try running adverts on TikTok

The days of using Facebook and Instagram ads for fast, affordable subscriber acquisition are behind us.

But every new social platform represents a new opportunity to get in early.

Our hot tip for social growth in 2022 comes courtesy of Emanuel Cinca, founder of the Stacked Marketer newsletter...

He started running Spark ads on TikTok in December — and has seen very promising results so far.

With TikTok only set to grow in 2022, this is one tip you'll want to try out sooner rather than later!

paid tip #6:

Use giveaways and sweepstakes

In 2021, we saw two giveaway strategies be highly effective for fast, affordable newsletter growth.

First up, "refer-to-win" giveaways. Used by operators like Tim Ferriss, 1440 and Front Office Sports to grow their audiences and drive sponsorship revenue.

Secondly, "parter sweepstakes". Where you partner with other brands and newsletters to run a shared giveaway and attract their audiences to your own email-list.

The quality of new subscribers from sweepstakes is very low. But — if you want to grow quickly in 2022 — adding a monthly giveaway of some kind into the mix is a must!

Paid Tip #7:

Acquire another newsletter

Why pay to reach another newsletter's audience... when you could just buy the whole thing?

As Sara Fischer of Axios Media Trends reports, this year "you're going to see more consolidation [ in media and newsletters ] — more low hanging fruit continuing to get scooped up".

With everyone else on a spending spree in 2022, can you afford not to have a merger/acquisitions plan this year?

Free growth tips

The 11 most effective ways to grow your email-list for free in 2022

Free tip #1:

Cross-promotion

the top 5 newsletter growth trends for 2022

11 free ways to grow your newsletter in 2022

the 7 most effective paid acquisition channels in 2022

our top curated expert predictions and tips

Paid Tip #1:

Sponsored Referral Giveaways

the top 5 newsletter growth trends for 2022

11 free ways to grow your newsletter in 2022

the 7 most effective paid acquisition channels in 2022

our top curated expert predictions and tips

TREND #1:

Publish online

the top 5 newsletter growth trends for 2022

11 free ways to grow your newsletter in 2022

the 7 most effective paid acquisition channels in 2022

our top curated expert predictions and tips

Paid Tip #1:

Content Repurposing

the top 5 newsletter growth trends for 2022

11 free ways to grow your newsletter in 2022

the 7 most effective paid acquisition channels in 2022

our top curated expert predictions and tips

TREND #1:

Lead Magnets

the top 5 newsletter growth trends for 2022

11 free ways to grow your newsletter in 2022

the 7 most effective paid acquisition channels in 2022

our top curated expert predictions and tips

Paid Tip #1:

Refactor newsletter for shareability

the top 5 newsletter growth trends for 2022

11 free ways to grow your newsletter in 2022

the 7 most effective paid acquisition channels in 2022

our top curated expert predictions and tips

TREND #1:

Community

the top 5 newsletter growth trends for 2022

11 free ways to grow your newsletter in 2022

the 7 most effective paid acquisition channels in 2022

our top curated expert predictions and tips

Paid Tip #1:

Gating

the top 5 newsletter growth trends for 2022

11 free ways to grow your newsletter in 2022

the 7 most effective paid acquisition channels in 2022

our top curated expert predictions and tips

TREND #1:

Frequency

the top 5 newsletter growth trends for 2022

11 free ways to grow your newsletter in 2022

the 7 most effective paid acquisition channels in 2022

our top curated expert predictions and tips

Paid Tip #1:

Personality

the top 5 newsletter growth trends for 2022

11 free ways to grow your newsletter in 2022

the 7 most effective paid acquisition channels in 2022

our top curated expert predictions and tips

TREND #1:

Permissionless co-marketing

the top 5 newsletter growth trends for 2022

11 free ways to grow your newsletter in 2022

the 7 most effective paid acquisition channels in 2022

our top curated expert predictions and tips

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