How to Get Your First 100 Email Subscribers

The biggest mistake I’ve made in growing my business has been not focusing on building my email list.

A large and active email list is the lifeblood of any marketer in almost any kind of businesses.

More recently I’ve revamped my content strategy to focus on email opt ins and it’s going swimmingly. Don’t make the same mistakes I have. Here are the five strategies that have helped me the most in growing my email list:

1. Create awesome content

Just like if you build a product no one wants no one will use it, if you create content that no one wants, no one will read it. Creating awesome content is the basis for any content marketing strategy.

But what does “awesome” actually mean? Just like good software, good content solves a problem and delivers value to your audience. Make sure your content is relevant to your target audience, has attention grabbing titles, includes relevant keywords, and truly provides educational and/or entertainment value to your audience. You can learn about all the strategies and tactics I use to figure out what topics to produce content on here.

If you’re creating content but your email list is not growing, you may have a content problem. If you’re creating awesome content, but you’re still not getting email subscribers, you may have a promotion problem. Which leads to strategy number two….

2. Share content where your audience already is

If you have a new site and domain, publishing a new blog post might feel like talking to a wall. If you don’t have a pre-existing audience who knows about your site, you’ll need to go out and find an audience. Here are three ways to do that:

a. Share your content on your social channels, such as Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Posting in relevant LinkedIn groups, Google+ Communities, Twitter hashtags, and Facebook groups has also generated a lot of traffic and email subscribers for me.

b. Distribute your blog posts on content aggregation sites that are relevant to your industry. Some sites I share on are, GrowthHackers, Hacker News, Reddit,, and Quibb.

c. Consider blogging on platforms like LinkedIn, Medium, or Quora if you have followers there. If you don’t have followers there, guest blogging might be your best option. More on that later.

3. Email opt in giveaways

What email lists do you subscribe to? Why do you subscribe? I’m going to guess it’s because they send awesome emails.

By offering something valuable to people, instead of merely saying “give me your email address,” you can increase your conversion rates. Make sure what you’re offering is valuable to your audience.

I just started using ConvertKit to make the process of gathering email subscribers and giving away content easier. You can see an example of how I do this at the bottom of this post.

4. Tools of the trade

Here are the three tools that have been most beneficial to me in growing my email list:

a. SumoMe – social share buttons to get more traffic, pop up windows to collect emails, and more.

b. Mailchimp – I use the Mailchimp WordPress plugin to display an email optin box on every page of my site.

c. ConvertKit – I just started using ConvertKit to build squeeze pages and create opt in forms to embed on my blog posts (see below) with giveaways.

5. Guest blogging

As software makes it cheaper and easier to create content, and content marketing grows in popularity, it’s becoming harder to build massive audiences. Fortunately you can reap the fruits of other sites’ labor by simply guest blogging on their site.

By guest blogging on a site whose audience is similar to yours, you can quickly reach a large number of potential subscribers. In addition, when a high page rank sites links to your site (“backlink”), you page rank increases. This means you will rank higher on Google search results and get more organic traffic.

Guest blogging is an amazing way to get traffic and email subscribers. That’s why I’m working on an entire book dedicated to describing how I’ve gotten published on top sites like Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post, Business Insider, and The Next Web. Sign up below to get the first chapter for free.