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How to Get Your First 1,000 Subscribers: 7 Takeaways from 3 Marketers

How to Get Your First 1,000 Subscribers: 7 Takeaways from 30+ Marketers

Not too long ago, I asked more than 30 online marketers how they got their first 1,000 subscribe free and what they would do if they had to start all over again and grow their email list as efficiently as possible.

Although there were a lot of unique responses, some people used similar tactics to scale their growth.

Here are some insights on how bloggers and influencers grow their audience from scratch.

1. Use an Opt-In Page to Give Away Something of Value

Using an opt-in page to give away something of value was one of the most popular ways that people used to grow their list. The key to making this work is to really understand what your target audience considers valuable and being able to provide it to them.

  • Tariehk Geter from OSI Affiliate gave away free website and email templates to grow a list of over 10,000 subscribers. He used SEO to rank those landing pages in the search engines to drive targeted traffic to those pages.
  • John Nemo, the author of the best selling book LinkedIn Riches, gave away copies of his book for free.

In these examples, people gave away something that had real monetary value for free. While it’s not necessary to do that, the item that you give away should provide enough value to your target audience that they are willing to give you their email to get it.

2. Create Content Consistently

One thing I’ve noticed is that many successful blogs don’t have opt-in forms all over the page. While more opt-in forms can help email opt-in rates, you can still be successful without having too many of them.

  • Jason Acidre didn’t have a squeeze page of freemium PDF download when he started blogging. He just focused on creating high-quality articles and guides consistently to get his first 1,000 subscribers.
  • Bill Gassett from Maximum Real Estate Exposure is one of the top 10 RE/MAX real estate agents in New England. He used blogging and social media to grow his blog and has just one opt-in box at the bottom of each blog post.

What Bill has focused on is creating content for his target audience, which is people looking to get tips for buying and selling homes. Consistent content creation has allowed him to grow his audience and become a top real estate agent.

3. Consider Optimizing for Conversion as You Grow

As your blog traffic grows, consider optimizing for conversion if you want to increase the growth rate of your email list.

  • Andy Crestodina, founder of Orbit Media, increased his email opt-in rate by 1,400 percent by optimizing for conversion. Making the opt-in form more prominent and adding social proof are a couple of steps he took to achieve these results.
  • Janice Wald from Mostly Blogging created several different landing pages to target various audience segments and interests.
  • Jeff Bullas said that Sumo’s Welcome Mat really exploded his list growth.