How I grew my email list from 0 to 2000 in 18 months

by | Jul 13, 2020 | Email, Starting Out | 0 comments

In my Supercharge Your Website Membership Group I spend a week every two months focusing on email and email marketing with my Members.
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I make sure that they sign up with an email client like Mailchimp (if they don’t already have one) and then integrate it with their websites so that their website visitors have the option to sign up to join their mailing list.
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Once the technical stuff is out of the way, the only thing left to do is write that very first email and start interacting with their subscribers.
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When there are just a few people on there, it can be hard to find things to say.
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You can feel exposed sending to so few people.
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I hear β€œI don’t know what to say” a lot as a reason for why they can’t get started.
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I’ve been there.
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When I started creating online courses just 18 months ago, I had the grand old number of exactly 0 subscribers on my email list.
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I know, you’re shocked, right?
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I had spent months prior to that freelancing and trading my time for money.
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I certainly didn’t feel I had much to say especially as I was working on marketing my client’s products and services, not my own.
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​I regret that deeply. β€‹
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I wish I had got started on building my email list sooner.
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Once I had a product to sell, it seemed easier to go out and talk about it and I vowed to make up for the lost time.
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I started with a small list of the clients and prospects I was already in contact with – asking them to join my list.
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Some did, but others didn’t.
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I didn’t take it personally, I just moved onto asking the next one, and the next.
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I got to my first 100 subscribers by using survey I created in SurveyMonkey to find out more about what people thoughts about my course product ideas.


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Participants had the option to join my list at the end of the survey if they wished to access the course for a free test, and plenty signed up!

I posted that survey link hundreds of times across every platform and forum I was allowed.
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I directed everyone I could think to it and asked others to do the same.
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earned every 100 of those first subscribers.
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After that, it got a little easier to ask people to join and even easier to email them to let them know how the course creation was going.
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I finally had something to talk about!
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I started to run Facebook ads to drive more people to my test online course products, spending just Β£50 here and there.
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Soon enough my 100 subscribers had turned into 500 as the ads found more people outside of my online bubble.

Once the course testing phase had finished, 8 months after starting to build my email list, I had made it to 600 subscribers!! 
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It wasn’t a consistent growth, but it was something. See the growth of those first 8 months from the report I pulled from my account below:

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I then started to scale up the spend with the ads I was running and continuing to provide value in exchange for joining – which is around the time I started running my free 5-Day Supercharge Your Website Challenge.
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By December 2019 I has made it past my first 1000! 
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It didn’t feel as difficult by this point to add new users to my list because I had learned that you grow by offering value.
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I run a free Challenge to give users a reason to join my list and this summer have made it to 2000.

You can see the peaks as users join (and then leave) my list.

I’m getting better at keeping people on my list once a Challenge has ended but it’s still a big goal for me to reduce the unsubscribe number:


I know not everyone is in the position to spend money on growing your email list, but you can certainly go out and get to your first 100 by simply asking just like I did…
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…and then grow it to 1000s by offering value.
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Send useful emails to ensure your subscribers stay and never stop trying to grow your list.
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Don’t leave it too late like I did.
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Email has been one of the best ways to grow my Membership business and it will be the best way for you to grow yours too – whether you sell products or deliver services.

I’ll always be testing how to improve this process and in the coming months plan to implement strategies that will mean I get consistent sign-ups (not just when a Challenge is on) and less unsubscribes at the end of a Challenge.

I will of course, share the journey with you so if you’re not already on my list, please sign-up below!


​PS If you haven’t even got an email marketing tool set up to collect new subscribers, then I have something for you!
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This week I am going to be talking all about how to get started with Mailchimp in my free Facebook group on Thursday 16th July at 4pm BST.
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You are invited to join and learn more about one of top (and free) tools on the market and why it works so well with your website.
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Join us here: 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/onlinemarketingbasicsforbusywebsiteowners

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