Kayla Hicks - Author Kayla Hicks - Author

Why Moving My Newsletter to SubStack Increased My Subscribers

4 min read

Authors who are trying to build their subscriber list may consider moving their newsletter to a more social atmosphere

Authors strive to create a solid platform in order to reach their readers, and sometimes it’s hard to get readers there.

For a while, I struggled to gain subscribers to my newsletter.

I’d done my research on what pulls readers in. I tried to create freebies that subscribers would receive when they subscribed to my newsletter. And I wanted to offer them discounts once in a while if I could.

However, over the span of eight years, I managed only to gain 32 subscribers.

I was using Drip, which is great for many reasons:

  • I could design and shape my emails any way I wanted

  • I could set up workflows

  • I could set up automated emails

  • I could split and vary my emails to certain subscribers

But even with all of this great stuff, I wasn’t attracting subscribers.

I had finally reached the point where I needed to decide how I was going to make some progress.

What did I do?

I sat down and planned out what I was going to focus on moving forward and how I was going to present it to my audience. Because up until this point, I was gathering a mixed audience of writers who wanted publishing information and readers who wanted reading material. So I decided that being forward about what was coming in my newsletters moving forward would help my audience decide if they wanted to join and stay.

So I:

  • Researched what I could do to pull subscribers in

  • Researched ways to create titles that would make the subscribers click to open my emails

  • Started creating eye-catching images to convey my information in my newsletters

  • Created and set aside freebies to give to my audience

  • Looked at my options for hosting my newsletter

After all these things were started and some of them completed, I stumbled across SubStack, which is a social platform for newsletter hosting.

I heard a few of my writer friends had begun hosting their newsletters there, so I popped over to check it out.

Once I had scoped out the site, I found out some things about Substack that I wasn’t getting from Drip.

  • Other platform users can recommend your newsletter

  • People can comment and like your posts

  • You can share a link to your newsletter posts and users can directly reach the site

  • You can enable paid options for your newsletters

  • The site already had users that could find me

After I saw all of these features, I decided that I was going to move the subscribers I had to SubStack for a while and see how it went.

So, to start, I created an email letting my subscribers on Drip know that I was moving to SubStack.

I told them that they would continue to get the same content from me with the exception that I would also infuse more publishing and writing information into my emails. And most importantly, my newsletter was going to remain free to subscribe to.

I then exported my subscribers via a CSV file from Drip and imported them into SubStack.

And then the strangest thing happened.

I posted on social media that I had moved my newsletter to SubStack and my subscriber list increased by 60 followers within a week.

And what was weirder was that they stayed!

As of now, I am still figuring this out as I have only made this switch in the past month.

Despite the spike in my subscribers, I am still going to strive to learn and grow as an author in the area of newsletters.

Time and experimentation will tell if I will be able to grow my list and if they will remain subscribers.

Kayla Hicks Newsletter