A little over a month ago I challenged myself to increase my email list subscribers by 25% in a month and I wanted to share with you a final update of the results of this experiment and what I’ve learned from it.
As a quick reminder, my goal was to generate 285 new subscribers this month, which would represent a 25% increase in the number of Free Tips Newsletter subscribers I got last month. In order to reach that goal, I need to average approximately 9.5 subscribers per day.
I’m happy to report that I wound up blowing way past my initial goal and wound up getting 422 new subscribers! That marks a whopping 85% increase over the previous month’s subscribers.
WHAT I LEARNED (AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHAT YOU CAN LEARN) FROM IT
In previous updates about this challenge I explained what specific techniques I employed to grow my list and which I found to be most effective, but for this final wrapup I’d like to share some more general lessons that you can take away from what I’ve done.
• Setting Goals Is Crucial: There’s no way I would have added that many new email subscribers last month if I hadn’t actually set a concrete goal for myself and challenged myself to do it in a public forum by writing about it on this site. I think it’s really important in anything you do to set a clear goal and attach a metric to it so that you can track your progress. Even if I had failed, I’m sure having a goal would have led me to do better than I would have done without one.
• You Never Know What You Can Do Until You Try: To be honest, I thought it was a 50/50 shot at best that I’d be able to grow my list by 25% and I certainly didn’t think I’d get anywhere near an 85% improvement. I was shocked at how well this little experiment turned out, but I think that’s an important lesson for you to take away from it. You can probably do more than you may think you can, but you’ll never know unless you give it a shot.
• Incentives Drive Subscriptions: The single best thing I did to attract new subscribers was to tease a piece of subscriber-only content (in this case, it was this article about opportunities for comedians). I knew that offering people an incentive to join your mailing list was important, but even I was surprised how effectively promoting that one particular article was in converting people to actually join my list. If you want people to subscribe to your list, you’ve got to offer them something they can’t get anywhere else.
• Don’t Just Do Things, Test Things: In just about everything you do you should constantly be looking to test different things and see if you can find ways to improve it. In the case of this challenge, my experimentation with different versions of my email signup forms led to some great improvements including that signup form you currently see on the side of this page – that form gets twice as many people to join my email list as the form I had up there before. Always be testing.
That wraps up my email list building challenge. I hope you found it helpful – I know I certainly did. If you have an idea for a challenge you’d like to see me take on in the future and chronicle in a similar fashion, please post it in the comments. Thanks!