This page describes how to build your subscriber list in GovDelivery.

Do Not Add Subscribers to Mailing Lists Without Their Approval

Your email list should only include subscribers who have opted in for this specific newsletter. Do not add subscribers from one email list to another, unrelated list. Do not harvest email addresses from other sources and add them to your lists.

You can invite individuals to join a new list. Here are the steps:

  • Send one or two emails to an existing list (or a one-time use, temporary GovDelivery list—these include "TEMPORARY" in their list names.)
  • Ask them to join the new newsletter. Include the link to subscribe.
  • The individuals who manually sign up for the new list have agreed to receive your emails.
  • The individuals who did not sign up have not agreed to receive your new content. Do not continue sending them emails for the new list.

In addition, do not use existing GovDelivery subscriber lists in other email clients or for other purposes other than the intended GovDelivery topic. Remember—anyone being sent an email from GovDelivery must have opted in to receiving emails via subscribing. Any changes to a GovDelivery topic (merger, split, deletion, etc.) should be coordinated through the appropriate DOE and EERE channels.

Create a Subscription Page

Create a page that explains what your list is about and how often you usually send emails. This will help users understand what your content is about and decide whether they want to sign up.

Add Subscription Links to Your Website

Add sign-up boxes to your most popular pages and place them in visible, high-traffic areas. Ask your lead contractor or technical contact to help you create and add subscription boxes to

Create an Archive Page for Newsletters

Creating an archive page for your office's newsletters can help readers easily find past editions of newsletters, as well as serve as a way to find new subscribers. Archive pages should be updated with each newsletter send, usually on the same day the newsletter is sent.

If your distribution list is used for both general emails and for newsletters, don't include non-newsletter content in your archive list. This can make it more difficult for users to find past editions of newsletters. 

Set GovDelivery Lists to "Listed"

Email lists in GovDelivery can be listed or unlisted. "Listed" (or "public") lists will be recommended to individuals signing up for other GovDelivery lists.

Listed lists tend to get large numbers of subscribers. You may see large numbers of invalid emails or bots, which GovDelivery will remove when you attempt to email them. Additionally, many valid subscribers may join your list, but they may not know what your office does. Generally, listed lists have more subscribers, but they also see high numbers of unsubscribes.

"Unlisted" lists are not promoted in GovDelivery. However, users can still sign up through subscription boxes or subscription links. Unlisted lists are good if you want a smaller, more focused subscriber base. They are also used for lists with curated subscriber lists.

Feature Your List in GovDelivery

GovDelivery cross-promotes lists between federal agencies. Every agency using GovDelivery can choose a small number of lists to promote in this way.

Featured lists get more subscribers than listed lists. However, only a small number of lists can be featured at a time. Your list must be listed before it can be featured.

Promote Your Newsletter at Relevant Events

Consider promoting your newsletter at relevant events, including webinars and exhibits, if it fits within your office's communications plan. A subscription link can be dropped in webinar chats at the end of the event to help raise awareness of your newsletter, or a QR code can be placed on an exhibit or promotional materials for a conference exhibit to make subscribing easy for visitors.

While promoting on social media may seem like an easy opportunity to add subscribers, EERE analytics have shown that social media posts asking people to subscribe to your newsletter perform poorly.