How I grew my mailing list over 200% in only 8 weeks

September 2, 2014

How I grew my mailing list over 200% in only 8 weeks
I am a fairly lazy blogger. I don’t like to write about fluff (=nothing) or to write every week just to keep a self-imposed schedule. I love to write but I love to write about things that matter to me and my audience. Since I started blogging less than a year ago I have only written 22 blog posts – only 22 posts in 48 weeks – that is not even two a month. But at the same time I have built a business and gone from zero to 1000 subscribers.  I have even more subscribers as likes on my Facebook page. And I have grown my email marketing list faster than I imagined possible.
[easy-tweet tweet=”5 Stages to build your email list fast! ” user=”sigruncom” hashtags=”emailmarketing, onlinebusiness”]

Stage 1 – Ask your friends and family to sign up

My first subscribers were obviously my family and friends who wanted to support me and follow what I was doing. When you start your mailing list your first subscribers are generally people who already like you and they will subscribe without the promise of a regular newsletter or blog post. So actually I got my first 7 subscribers long before I started my first blog post, just by setting up a mailing list and sending out an email to friends and family.

Stage 2 – Share your blog posts on social media

When I started blogging and sharing my blog posts on social media (Facebook – professional and private page, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn) I slowly started to get the next batch of subscribers. Looking at the email addresses I knew most of the people. They were old friends, co-workers, ex-employees, classmates and extended family. After three months and 10 blog posts – almost 2 blog posts per month – I had 26 subscribers on my mailing list.

Stage 3 – Give valuable content away for free

My growth strategies on Facebook were working much better than my mailing list building so I announced a free video series called 100% Facebook Performance. This is when I realized the power of a buzz and giving away something of value to your audience. Within days my mailing list tripled – from barely 30 to almost 90 subscribers – all with the promise of an upcoming video series. Highly motivated I created the video series sharing all my Facebook strategies on how you can grow your likes and engagement in matter of days and weeks without paying for any advertisements.

Stage 4 – Invite beta-testers to your new course

I had an idea for a course on how to find your true passion and the right business idea – in only 7 days. I wasn’t 100% sure this would work for everybody so instead of charging for the course I decided I was going to run the first course for free to test my theory. I announced the course on my Facebook page and in a few groups and wrote a blog post on the topic. And to me surprise 135 people signed up! Suddenly my little mailing list was not so small any more and I had in total 222 subscribers!

Stage 5 – Give people different types of content

My new course was a huge success but I was not going to offer it for free again so I figured it would be best to create a video series with the some of the content from the course. I had taken the 100% Facebook Performance video series off my site as it was not my core business and instead I was going to offer a new three-part video series called 7 Steps to Find Your Passion and Business Idea. This course is still available on my site and overall 130 people have signed up for it although the course has never been advertised. My list had reached 328 subscribers.

Stage 6 – Do free and live webinars

I had been thinking about it for six months and actually announced my first webinar 5 months ago on the topic How to Turn Your Passion into Profits. On purpose I didn’t advertise the webinar so I only had about 30 signups but my plan was to do another one quickly again if the first one would work out. But the day I was going to my first webinar Google crashed and I was not able to do my webinar. I was so discouraged, started to see this as a sign that I shouldn’t do webinars and all kinds of weird stuff, and basically asked my webinar software provider for my money back.
Luckily I didn’t give up on the idea of doing a webinar, I just needed a bit of encouragement and inspiration to get going again. After doing several private webinars for my Passion-a-thon course I was finally ready 2 months ago and just did it. I didn’t have a grand plan on what the purpose of my webinar was except to finally do a webinar and teach my audience something valuable for their business. The topic of my first webinar was “More Clicks with Canva” and without any advertisements I got 48 signups. And then after the webinar I started to get emails asking for replay or a rerun of the webinar. I decided to do a 2nd webinar on the same topic and do some Facebook advertisements and  then I got 115 signups.
Now I have been doing webinars for 2 months and I didn’t write a single blog post in that time. My list has grown from 328 to 1000 subscribers! I have invested ca. $800 in Facebook advertisements during that time to advertise the webinars or ca. $100 per webinar. It depends on the topic how many signups I get for $100, for some topics I only pay $0.60 per sign up and for other topics the price has gone up to $2. If the conversion cost is too high I stop the Facebook ad and do a new one with a different text or a different graphic or just leave it. You have to accept that some topics will just appeal less to your audience.
I have an overall theme in my webinars – on one hand it is my tagline – turning your passion into profits – and on the other hand – to help entrepreneurs master online business tools. Most of my webinars are how-to-webinars on different software tools that I use in my own business and in-between I do webinars on the path from finding your passion to having a profitable business. Now there is a grand plan in place and I am clear on the purpose of my webinars – I just needed to do one webinar and I got totally hooked!

What are you doing to grow your mailing list?

If you were in any doubt about the power of webinars, you should be convinced by now. If not, then maybe look at my dashboard graph again! But what should your webinar be about? Anything you know already and can teach on video or on your screen. Just use your current knowledge and package it for a webinar. And then have of course something to offer at the end of the webinar… without an offer there will be no sale from your webinar.
And please don’t stop blogging! Not everybody will sign up for a webinar and some prefer to read. Additionally blogging helps your ranking on Google so make sure you blog too 😉
Want to learn how to do a webinar? Then check out my free webinar checklist for over 50 steps I use for my own webinars.

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