The 3 things I need to know before I’ll even think about signing up to your email list

“Join my mailing list for news and updates”. I see this on websites all the time. It’s clear and to the point, but this isn’t going to cut it if you want to slide into my emails. 

Why? Because it’s bland, vague and not at all persuasive. It’s a missed opportunity. Copy-wise, your workaday call to action is letting the side down.

Instead of using your brand’s voice to let me know just how empathetic and in tune with my needs you are, it leaves me wondering whether I’d get any value from your emails. And if they’re something I’d actually enjoy receiving. (Yes, I’m afraid it’s all about me.) 

If you want a better chance of me signing up to your list, there are 3 specifics you need to share:

1. What are you going to give me? 

Sorry to be so grasping and blunt, but what exactly are you offering? Is it:

  • Actionable hints and tips? 
  • Links to other articles I might like? 
  • Seemingly whimsical real-life stories that are actually clever pegs on which you hang your effortlessly inspiring ideas? 
  • Stuff you’re excited about and are desperate to share? 
  • Special offers? 

Or something else entirely? Either way, let me know, so I have a good idea of what potential delights await if I do decide to hand over my email address.

2. How will what you share benefit me? 

Be upfront about this. Will your emails: 

  • Educate, entertain or surprise me? 
  • Make me think, or see things, differently?
  • Keep me up to date in areas I’m genuinely interested in?
  • Help me do something that’s a bit of a drag, or I’m struggling with, more easily? 
  • Help save me time, money or energy?

If this isn’t clear, I’ll assume (wrongly, of course) that your messages are going to be unnecessary, content-light additions to the email noise I already have to deal with.

3. How often will you be appearing in my inbox? 

OK, 1 and 2 are non-negotiables, this is more of a nice to have. 

When it comes to email frequency, are you a ‘tiny, thought-provoking injection of wisdom every day’, Seth Godin type? Or are you more of a weekly, monthly, or just whenever you’ve got the time/something worth shouting about kind of communicator?

Again, this gives me more information so I can make an informed choice about whether I want to be one of your subscribers.


So you can see what I’m getting at, here are 3 email list calls to action that work really well.

Liz Goodchild

This lets you know exactly what to expect content-wise, and also how often Liz (a no-nonsense life coach) will be appearing in your inbox. The list of recent articles makes it clear that her tone’s irreverent and open, and she’s not afraid of dipping a toe in the profanity pond.

It’s Nice That

A cheery subscription call to action, and totally on-brand for a company that’s all about creative inspiration. If you’re an arty type, why wouldn’t you want to know about “everything good going on in the creative world?” 

Sonder and Tell

10 out of 10 for brevity and wit. This content and communications agency’s brief, tongue-in-cheek invitation acknowledges that newsletters are ten a penny. It’s reassuring too – you won’t be hearing from any old randoms, only people who know their stuff.

Know what the people visiting your website are looking for

To convince your website visitors that your list’s worth signing up for, you need to know:

  • what they want
  • what their issues are
  • how you can help them

Then you need to build your copy around what you’ve found out, so you can show your potential clients-of-the-future that you (the shining star that you are) understand them and where they’re at. 

Don’t have the time, skills, energy or headspace for this? Find a talented professional copywriter who does in the ProCopywriters UK Copywriters Directory.

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