How to Get Your First 100 Email Subscribers (For Free)
how to get subscribers

So you started your online business and now everyone's telling you that you should be building your email list... except you have no clue how to get subscribers!

'I wish I'd started mine sooner!' they say...

'Email is where you'll make most of your sales' they promise...

So you find yourself an email service, you hook it up to your site and you've got shiny new sign up forms everywhere... you've even added a pop-up!

But no one's biting.

So what next? What's the missing ingredient?

How do you get those elusive first 100 subscribers?

Know Your Ideal Clients

Knowing who your ideal clients are won't just help you to get subscribers. It's one of the key foundations you'll need to grow any business.

After all,  you don't want just anyone on your list, you want people who are actually interested in what you have to offer and who are likely to buy!

What type of people are you going to target?

What are their interests?

Do they share similar demographics?

What are their frustrations?

What are their dreams?

The more detail you can build around who your ideal clients are, the better you'll be able to speak to them and to create something of interest to them.

In the right hands (ie. those of your ideal clients), email marketing is the most effective way to build a relationship with your customers - and to make sales.  In the wrong hands, you're just another nuisance email to be cleared out of someone's already overcrowded inbox... 

If you try to target everyone, you'll end up attracting no one - so don't miss this step and get really clear on who your ideal clients are.

ACTION STEP:

Find at least 5 people who fit the description of your ideal clients (try looking in Facebook groups or search relevant Instagram hashtags) and contact them to ask if they'll chat to you. You can always offer some kind of incentive for their time. ☺️

Ask them about their goals and in particular, the key challenges and frustrations they face in achieving them.  Then find out what the perfect solution would look like for them.

Find a Quick Win

Now you know your ideal clients inside and out, you know their biggest frustrations and challenges and you're in the perfect position to find a quick win for them.  The emphasis being on the word 'quick'.

You see, you're going to create a no-fuss solution to that one bug-bear that they've all been telling you about.

Think checklist, blueprint, template or swipe file...

Once they have their eager little hands on your freebie, they're going to be able to take action straight away.  You're giving them a quick win and they'll love ya for it.

ACTION STEP:

Look through all the responses from your ideal client interviews and identify the key trends. What is the biggest challenge or frustration that you can solve with your freebie?

Once you've identified the frustration you want to solve, decide what format your freebie will take.

Create Your Freebie

Once you've decided what quick win you're going to offer your ideal clients, it's time to put it together!

My all time fave resource for creating fab freebies is Canva. Although there's a paid version, you won't need it for this so just sign up for the free option and have a play!  It's super easy to use and you'll be addicted in no time...πŸ˜‰

Here are a few key things to remember when you're putting together your lead magnet:

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    Keep it consistent with your branding
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    Make it visually appealing
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    Leave plenty of white space so people aren't overwhelmed by a wall of content

ACTION STEP:

Create your freebie! 

Then save it as a PDF document and upload it to your website media library (Eg. your WordPress media library)

Create a Landing Page

This is the page that you'll send people to so that they can sign up for your freebie.  β€‹

A landing page is slightly different from a normal page on your website because it doesn't (or at least shouldn't) contain the usual menus, sidebars and other distractions that form the layout of your other pages.

For this reason, you'll need to use a landing page service.  If your budget is tight, then don't worry! Many email services such as ConvertKit, come with landing page builders as one of their features.

In case you're wondering, I use Thrive Architect which I LOVE.

Now, no pressure, but your landing page is going to be a pretty vital element which determines whether or not people are going to subscribe, so here are a few key things to remember:

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    Focus on benefits rather than features - what results will people get?
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    Keep it simple
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    Include an image - pictures of smiling faces may be cheesy but they do tend to work well!
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    Don't forget a clear call to action (CTA) such as 'download now'. Often writing the CTA in the first person works better (eg. 'I want that checklist!')
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    Use language your ideal clients used to describe their goals and challenges
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    Keep all the important stuff 'above the fold' - that is, where people can see it without scrolling.

ACTION STEP:

Create a landing page and connect it to your email service provider.

Drive Traffic to Your Landing Page

Ok, now you've created this awesome quick win for your peeps, it's your DUTY to let them know it exists!

Your Existing Followers

If you already have a following on social media, then this is a great place to start when it comes to sharing your freebie.  These people already know who you are and have shown an interest in what you have to say.  They're what's described as a 'warm audience' and they're the people who are most likely to subscribe. (Assuming they're ideal clients and not random friends, family and 'like for likers'... we all have a few of those don't we? πŸ˜‰ )

You'll want to create an eye-catching post to tell them all about your freebie.  Remember, this is a social media post, not an ad. Keep it chatty and informal - and don't boss people around....

Download this great freebie NOW! 

There's so much wrong with this statement... it's not giving any info on what the freebie is and what it will do for your audience AND it just looks spammy and promotional.  This person doesn't care about me. They just want downloads.

If I saw this in my feed, I'd keep on scrolling - wouldn't you?

You guys have been asking me a lot of questions recently about how I write my emails so I created this cute little cheat sheet to give you all the deets (and a bit of inspiration)! My gift to you ❀️ 

See the difference?  This version sounds like your chum. They've just created something in response to people's questions. How KIND! 😜 . Ooh, and it's going to give me their secrets to writing emails.  Where do I sign?

Other Facebook/LinkedIn Groups

Finding other groups in your niche is a great strategy to help you connect with your ideal clients. Search out the groups where they hang out and then join them and offer value.

See what I said there? Not 'spam your content' or 'drop your links and run'.... 

Add value. Answer questions, provide helpful content (in a non-smug and self-promotional way please!) and where appropriate and allowed, tell people about your freebie.

Your Content

Whether you blog, podcast or make videos, you're going to want to include your freebie as a 'content upgrade'.

This works best when the content itself relates to the same subject as your freebie.  You can give them tons of juicy value in your blog post/podcast/video and then for those that want more - you can tell them about your fantastic free gift.

This strategy works brilliantly because your audience are already interested and engaged.  Signing up for your freebie is the next logical step...

Want to see it in action?  Well, this post is all about how to get email subscribers, so an appropriate content upgrade might be cheat sheet which tells you how to create a great welcome series once people do sign up...

And as luck would have it, that's exactly what I've gone and done...

Want to write an email welcome series that turns your subscribers into fans?

If you're completely stuck for ideas on what to put in your email welcome series, don't worry - I've done the work or you πŸ€“

Grab your free copy of my Email Welcome Series Cheat Sheet and I'll lead you through a fab 5 email welcome series that will make your subscribers fall in love with you and your biz - and ready to buy what you're selling πŸ™‚

Download Now!

PS. You'll see here that I've added the sign-up form directly into my blog post.  This means you don't have to do any extra work to get your cheat sheet.  If you have the functionality to do this on your blog - then do!

Guest Blogging

If you're using guest blogging as a strategy to grow your audience and authority then good news! It's also a great way to grow your email list.

You will be allowed to include a link in your author bio.  In most cases, people link back to their home page - but you're going to link to your landing page!

Make sure that the post you're writing and the freebie you've created are connected.  If you're writing a post on how to make cupcakes, then your freebie about the top 10 soup makers probably isn't a great fit...

By keeping the 2 closely connected, you can even make reference to it in the post itself (where your host's guest posting guidelines allow).

Review and Tweak

Last, but not least, you need to measure your success!

Chances are, you're not going to get everything perfect first time... but that's fine because you're going to measure each stage of the process and you're going to test, test and test again to see what works and what doesn't.

No one visiting your landing page?

Perhaps you haven't created a freebie that people wanted?

OR perhaps you're just not communicating its value effectively.

People going to your landing page but not signing up?

Then it's time to look at that landing page! 

Try a different image

Change the colour of your button (seriously, that can have a real impact!)

Use a different call to action

Or write new copy to describe the benefits (benefits, remember? Not features...)

WORD OF WARNING

Just change ONE thing at a time.  Test it and then move on to the next thing.  If you change everything at once you won't be able to tell what's working and what isn't!

Now you've got 'em, here's how to keep 'em...

Follow these steps and you'll have your first 100 subscribers in no time.

Now you just need to keep them interested... There's nothing sadder than seeing those hard-earned subscribers unsubscribing... 😒

So HOW do you keep your subscribers engaged and loving your emails?

By writing an awesome welcome series of course! 

Want to write an email welcome series that turns your subscribers into fans?

If you're completely stuck for ideas on what to put in your email welcome series, don't worry - I've done the work or you πŸ€“

Grab your free copy of my Email Welcome Series Cheat Sheet and I'll lead you through a fab 5 email welcome series that will make your subscribers fall in love with you and your biz - and ready to buy what you're selling πŸ™‚

Download Now!

Colette Broomhead

Helping you to leave your 9-5 behind for good and create a business and life you love.