When I first started building my email list, I owned two small businesses: carpet cleaning and a commercial office cleaning company. In 2011 I went on my first mission trip to Guatemala and came home feeling called to go back and serve.
My family was extremely supportive and immediately banded together. We left our comfy life in Colorado and journeyed to help children where there was no help for them.
That’s when I decided to start an email list about our adventure in Guatemala.
The reason I picked that was because I feel that we all have a choice in how we can support others and it isn’t as complicated as it may seem.
Fast-forward 4 and a half years and I’ve built an email list of 1,355 subscribers.
Now we’re using Indiegogo campaigns to help build support for our mission and are about to launch our second campaign!
How did you do it?
I got my first 100 subscribers by doing one thing: reaching out to everyone we knew on Facebook.
We felt that our strongest supporters were already in our close social circle so we set up a Facebook Page and invited our friends to like it.
The key was that we would immediately follow up with those who liked our page, like this:
This took us to 284 subscribers.
Currently our list is at 1,355 subscribers.
I went from 284 to 1,355 subscribers by doing 2 things: 1) offering a free guide, and 2) giveaways.
We wanted to provide value to our community and future followers so we created a guide we call “The Power of Prayer Journal” as a free offer to join our list. We then optimized the website to offer this guide in multiple places.
Here’s our current homepage:
We also created a pop-up that appears as guests browse the site:
We also have a slide-in form that comes up in the bottom-right corner of our site:
We also went back Facebook to share our free guide with our followers. When a new follower joined, we sent something like this:
Creating giveaways has been a fun way to grow our list and bring more people to our community.
Between two giveaways we’ve added a total of 820 subscribers.
Here are the results from our past two giveaways:
Here’s a screenshot of our most recent giveaway:
We currently (August 2016) have a brand new giveaway going right now where we’ll be testing new ways to get exposure using Instagram and will report back on progress!
Here’s what it looks like:
While we haven’t sold a product yet, we have raised $61,200 with the help of our email list.
We raised $1,235 to help build a boys academy here in Guatemala and then started experimenting with Indiegogo to raise more funds. Crowdfunding communities like Indiegogo allow you to create a project and present it the to the world to be “backed” by those who want your product or believe in your cause.
To date we’ve raised $60,750 using the Indiegogo platform.
Here’s a screenshot of the packages we made available for purchase in exchange for backing our cause:
We’re launching another Indiegogo campaign in November 2016 with a $50,000 goal . It is based around a product which we also plan to sell to our subscribers: a prayer journal at $25 each.
Here’s a glimpse of what the inside will look like:
What has building an email list changed in your life and allowed you to do?
When our ministry has needs, we feel confident we can get those needs met with the help of our email list and supporters. Earlier this year we wanted to raise funds to buy 100 water filters and we were able to raise $6,030 in just four days. We were able to purchase 134 of those filters.
We also recently gave people the opportunity to sponsor boys at the academy, which helps pay the bills to run it. We got 43 sponsors in a few days at $30 a month.
Let’s just say we really think having an email list is important 🙂
What’s next for you?
Moving forward means focusing on 3 things:
Wife + 3 Kids + Grandkid
Carpet & Commercial Cleaning Business
When I was at 350 subs I was out of ideas. I had a goal of reaching 10,000 people but I HAD NO IDEA HOW TO GET THERE. Videofruit gave me the secret “decoder ring”. Apply the principles. Do the work.