Handley said she initially implemented a pop-up window to garner subscribers, like many newsletters. However, she soon took it down. Why? “I want a reader’s relationship with me to be, ultimately, the trigger that would grow the list,” says Handley. Ann Handley Grew It was a revelation to me. And it’s important.”
When you build relationships with readers, you build trust and affinity, which leads to long-term success. If readers don’t feel connected, chances are their interest in your newsletter will wane. And a bonus is that you’ll get inspiration and feedback right from the source.
She built relationships, not just a list
When writing her newsletter, Handley imagines a single subscriber and writes as if to them, specifically. “Put a pillow over the face of Italy WhatsApp Number Data anything with a whiff of ‘Dear Valued Customers,’” says Handley. “Use ‘You’ like you picked up a lifetime supply at a BOGO sale.”
Handley also notes that connecting with subscribers is only a single part of building relationships. Building relationships with other influencers has also been an integral part of growing her list. “Call out the good work of others,” says Handley. “Share the love. Don’t expect and ask for reciprocity—that’s not friendship, that’s coercion.”
She surprised her readers
Many of Handley’s best-performing emails have been the ones that are unique in some way. Or, as Handley likes to say, “Not business as usual.” Handley accomplishes this by using paradoxes or contrarian ideas that pique the reader’s interest.For example, her B2C Phone List newsletter that garnered the most subscriber referrals was titled. Ann Handley Grew Readers may have expected this from Starbucks but not a marketing newsletter. Or her newsletter that was the strongest performer across all metrics. It’s surprising because most people wouldn’t think of TikTok as a source of great writing advice.