Over the last month, we've been running a “grow your email list by as many as 1000 subscribers in 30 days” challenge.
Because growing your email list is the single best thing you can do to build your brand. It's better than spending hours on Facebook. Better than paying someone to get you more Twitter followers. Better even than creating Pinterest-friendly images (and you know how strongly I feel about creating those images!).
Think of it in terms of building a house.
Let's say you want to build a house from scratch, and someone you know has a lot of land. They tell you that you can build your house on their land, and they won't charge you anything. You accept, and you start building.
You pour a lot of time and energy into building your house. Time passes.
Then, the unthinkable happens. Your friend has changed the rules on their land. All of a sudden, you can't do the things you once could until you paid your friend.
It's not fair, but hey, it was never your land. It was always theirs.
In the analogy, the “friend” is any social network: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, even, to a lesser extent, your website (since Google is the boss there).
The foundation you own, though, is your email list. No matter where you host your list (we strongly recommend ConvertKit, if you're looking for a recommendation), your email list belongs to you.
Meaning, when you send an email, you're getting into the inbox of your fans (as long as you don't have a @gmail email address!) without having to pay another company for exposure.
So, the more people on your list, the more people are seeing your content.
That's why we created this challenge.
Thoughts About the 30-Day “Grow Your Email List” Challenge
- 30 things to do in 30 days is a lot to do, and most people (including me!) didn't finish all 30 things.
- Creating a content upgrade helps you grow your list smartly: you're providing something of value to your audience and all you're asking in return is their email address.
- There are a bunch of types of content upgrades, and the more you create, the more chances you'll have to grow your list.
- Your email provider matters. Using ConvertKit makes it easy to create new forms for each content upgrade. Aweber and Mailchimp are both more complicated.
- Screen Overlay from Thrive Leads is one of the best things you can install to grow your audience. Set it to appear only every seven days so you don't aggravate the people who come to your site every day.
- The Facebook Group helped people stay accountable during and after the challenge.
- Although the challenge on the blog had a firm start and end date, I'm happy with the way it's structured on ConvertKit, which means anyone who finds it can start their 30 days at any time.
- Even if you don't manage to accomplish all 30 things in 30 days, you do end up with 30 emails, which you can keep and refer back to if you want to go to it later.
- As with a lot of lofty goals, if you set out to do 30 things and you only end up doing 20, you're still going to grow your email list by a lot more than you would if you hadn't done anything.
What did you think? How far did you get?
I'm considering creating an ebook to go along with the series. Would that be easier to follow along?