I’m three weeks into my self-inflicted challenge to grow my email list by 25% this month and I’ve got another update for you this week about my progress, what’s working, and what I’ve learned.
If you’ve just stumbled across this article, I highly recommend you get up to speed by reading my initial challenge to myself, what I learned during my first week and during the second week.
Now on to this week’s update which is a pretty monumental one for me…
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.
THIS WEEK’S RESULTS: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
This past week the number of subscribers I added went up for the third consecutive week and I set a new personal best with 136 new subscribers! But even more importantly, this pushed me past my overall goal with another full week remaining.
This month, I’ve already accumulated 322 new subscribers which represents a 41% increase already compared to last month. Even though I thought I had a shot to hit my 25% increase goal in this challenge, I thought it would be tough and I certainly didn’t think there was any way I’d get this much of an uptick, let alone do it in only three weeks.
HOW I DID IT: EXPLOIT WHAT’S WORKING
While swapping out my email signup forms (as I detailed in Week 1) and running Facebook ads (as I detailed last week) continued to work well, there’s no doubt in my mind that the key ingredient to my success in this challenge has been the release (and more importantly, the promotion) of exclusive content to my mailing list subscribers.
Last week I explained how I used the lure of an upcoming article on 10 Huge Opportunities I See For Comedians to attract new subscribers and I expanded on that plan this week. When you find something that works, you can usually find other seamless ways to capitalize on it and extend the value you get from it. In this case, I thought I had an opportunity to do just that and it turned out I was right.
Teasing my upcoming Huge Opportunities article was a great way to attract new subscribers, but I knew I could only do that for a couple days before I had to actually send out the email – I couldn’t just tease it forever and not deliver. That meant I had to identify some ways to capitalize on the actual publishing of the article to my subscribers.
The first part of that was to make sure that I wrote a kickass article that people would feel was well worth the value of giving me their email address in the first place – otherwise, they’d just unsubscribe once they got it. Second, I wanted to incorporate a way for people who got the article and enjoyed it to spread the word for me and bring in additional subscribers.
So, I used Click To Tweet (which is quickly becoming a favorite tool of mine) to create an easy way for people who got the email to tweet about its existence to their friends, including a link to the original article page where other people could sign up to mailing list to get the article emailed to them.
At the bottom of the article, here’s what subscribers saw:
“If you found this email helpful, please click here to tell your Twitter followers about it.”
And sure enough, several people took me up on the offer – see?
The end result is that the page I created to tease that article wound up getting me 30 new subscribers even AFTER the article was initially released and without any additional promotion by me after that fact.
HOW I DID IT: INSIDE THE NUMBERS
I’ll spare you a full breakdown, but here’s a couple other numbers I thought were worth mentioning as relates to other stuff I’ve been doing to grow subscribers. The sidebar form that I redesigned back in the first week of this challenge has proved to be a dramatic improvement. It’s converting 1.2% of visitors into subscribers, which is double what the old form was doing.
Traffic to my site actually dipped 27% this week compared to last week, but the number of subscribers still increased – this shows that while more traffic definitely can lead to more subscribers, not all traffic is created equal and it’s not just as simple as getting more traffic.
That Huge Opportunities article signup page is converting a whopping 17% of the people that visit it into email subscribers. It’s still amazing me how effective a tool that has been.
Even though the pressure is off and there won’t be any kind of tension-filled final week to my challenge, that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on the opportunity to take another week and try to learn some more lessons. I’ll be back again next week with a final wrapup post including some new lessons about how I (hopefully) get a bunch of new subscribers this week.