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How to Grow Your Email List From 0 to 100 in 72 Hours

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How to Grow Your Email List From 0 to 100 in 72 Hours

Sometimes, we make things 30 million times harder than they have to be.

Like growing an email list, for example.

It’s one part of business that thoroughly frustrates many people.

It’s elusive, but a must-have. So you can’t ignore it.

What is the traditional approach to growing your email list?

You work your tail off to drive a bunch of traffic to your website, optimize your landing pages, and then get down on your knees and pray to the email-list gods that someone – just anyone – would join your email list.

This kind of work takes weeks, maybe months, before it really pays off.

What if starting your email list was easier? What would you do if I could show you how to grow your email list?

All without setting up a website, landing pages, and all sorts of optimized funnels that marketing nerds love to talk about.

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I’m going to show you the exact process I used to go from 0 to 100 Subscribers in 72 hours for a client – without a website.

Don’t think it’s possible? My client didn’t either.

Maybe I have the email-list gods on my side, because it works.

Here’s a 3-step process for generating an email list of 100 people in 72 hours.

Step 1: Ask People You Know To Join Your List

Most people make building their email list too hard, and they leave their success up to chance.

Instead, you’re going to ask people you know who may be interested to join your email list.

Or, ask people who know other people that may be interested in joining your email list.

Who could this be?

  • Your Mom

  • Your Sister

  • Your Boyfriend

  • Your Pet Squirrel

  • Etc.

Here’s an example with one of our clients.

He’s a personal trainer who recently opened up a crossfit-style gym that focuses on women looking to lose weight. Since he still does personal training, we had a ton of people we could ask to join our email list. We either asked in person, sent a text, sent an email, or made a Facebook post to ask all of his past and current clients if they wanted to join the list.

Here is the post we made on Facebook (Email version is the same with a few personal touches in there):

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I know, you’re probably saying, “Wait, I don’t have any clients. That’s why I’m working on building an email list.”

All you have to do is ask people who may know people that fit your target market.

For example, in growing our email list, we asked this client’s personal training friend, Addison, to join our list.

Did she need weight loss? No, but I bet she knows people who do.

This will be helpful in the next step when we begin asking for referrals.

This action alone for us netted 38 email subscribers within 24 hours.

How can YOU get those results? It’s simple. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Make a list of people you know who may be interested or who know someone that may be interested in what you have to offer.

  2. Send a personalized message. Feel free to use my Facebook post as a template. Try not to be too formal.

  3. Enter all the email addresses you receive into your email provider.

  4. Rinse, lather, and repeat.

Step 2: Ask Your Current Subscribers To Refer People To You

If you had a problem with asking your friends to join your email list, you’re about to become a lot more uncomfortable.

The next step is to ask the people you know to ask people they know to join your email list.

Think of it like the movie “Pay it Forward.”

One person helps three people, and each of those people helps three people. It continues like that until you have a movement of people helping you grow your email list.

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There were probably people on the email list who would have asked their friends to join, just because we asked them. But we wanted to incentivize them, so we made it a contest.

Give us a referral for a chance to win a prize.

Here’s what it looked like for us:

We sent all 38 people an email the next day thanking them for joining our email list. We told them we were running a contest and they would have a chance to win a prize if they sent us referrals. We were giving away two different prize packages, so the odds of them winning were pretty high.

You might be thinking, “What could I possibly give away? I don’t have money to hold a contest.”

Answer: Anything with perceived value.

This is how we came up with our prizes and what you can do if you have no money.

Step 3: Reward Those Who Gave You Referrals To Grow Your Email List

We offered free classes at the gym for 3 months ($375 value), plus a $50 credit to a nutrition and supplement store for one prize.

The second prize was 1 month of free classes ($125 value) and a $50 credit to a nutrition and supplement store.

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When we were brainstorming giveaway ideas, we were thinking of ways we could pay for the prize.

We could have:

  • Paid for the prize with some of the money in the bank. (Least preferred option.)

  • Paid for it when it came time to monetize the list. (Risky, since we had no idea how much we would make.)

  • Get someone else to pay for it by sponsoring us. (This is a golden ticket that will let you inside the chocolate factory.)

It’s going to require some hard work and possibly some cold-calling.

We called several nutrition stores before one said yes to giving us a $100 credit to their store, and in exchange, we would share their brand with our email list.

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The entire contest gave us an additional 64 clients, which brought the list to 102 email subscribers.

After getting rid of a couple emails that were fakes or duplicates, the list had a total of 100 people.

Not too bad for 72 hours of work. Once I purged the list of fakes or duplicates, I uploaded all the emails into Mailchimp.

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Step 4: Run A Giveaway

The key to a successful giveaway depends on one thing: the PRIZE.

Don’t go chinzy here. If your prize sucks, you won’t get email addresses.

It’s that simple.

So make sure to choose a prize that:

  • Your audience actually wants. If you talk about self-help topics, give away free tickets to Tony Robbins. Or private 1:1 coaching.

  • Gets attention. When your ideal buying sees the ad for your giveaway, it should cause that person to stop everything she’s doing and pay attention. So, the ad headline that would “shock and awe” the audience might be something like “Win a year’s worth of private coaching,” as opposed to “Win $2,500 worth of private coaching.”

  • Showcases credibility. Maybe YOU don’t have anything to offer right now, but no worries. Piggyback on a company that does have authority, like offering a free Udemy course  – any company that will help your promotion get attention is what Videofruit calls “authority leaching.” And it works.

Properly promote your giveaway and watch the email addresses roll in. :)

Final Thoughts

Growing an email list doesn't have to be hard. People want to help and many of your friends will be willing to do what they can.  

You don’t have to leave your list-building up to the fates of the email-list gods.

You can build an email list in a matter of hours – all without fancy buttons and landing pages.

How have you had success building your email list?

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Josh Coffy

Josh has an exhaustive understanding of technology and a creative marketing approach that drives client results. In his free time, Josh does CrossFit and travels with his wife.