Update (3/2/15): This feature was discontinued as of June 2013. While we’re considering bringing it back at some point, there are no plans to do so in the immediate future.
The guys at Smashing Magazine have started up a weekly newsletter. And they’re doing it in a cool way.
They’re turning it into a challenge.
They’ll only launch the newsletter if they can get 10,001 subscribers (see: The 10,001 Subscriber Challenge).
We’d love to see them hit that goal, because they’d be using MailChimp to send those emails (yay!).
But I’m actually writing about all this because they’ve got an excellent use of a feature that not a lot of people know we have: the subscriber chiclet. You can grab some code from MailChimp, and put your current subscriber count on your website, just under your signup form. Oh, just in case you want to show your subscriber count inside your email newsletters, there’s a merge tag for that (look for the one called "LIST:SUBSCRIBERS" on our merge tag cheatsheet.
[UPDATE] It’s been fascinating just refreshing their page with the signup form, because I can see how fast their list is growing. Currently, it seems like they’re adding 1,000 subscribers per hour.