When I first started building my email list, I was working at gravitytank. I still work there and we’re using content marketing as a way to grow our business!
My colleague, Chris Conley, was an advocate for adopting a content marketing strategy at gravitytank. He had learned the power of it through a variety of bloggers and marketers online, and saw the potential it had for our clients. He helped teach me the value of having an email list.
That’s when I decided to start building an email list. I realized it was an even better way to help our customers grow their own businesses.
Fast-forward 1 year and we now have 2002 subscribers on our list!
How did you do it?
I got our first 100 subscribers by doing one thing. I updated our website with a subscriber form.
We didn’t have a subscriber form before, so we added it to our homepage and our Work Differently page. Work Differently is our sales page, so we realized having a subscriber form would be smart to add there.
Here’s what that form looks like:
It’s really simple, but it worked! We got our first 100 with this subscribe opt-in.
Currently, our list is at 2,002 subscribers.
We went from 100 to 2,002 by doing 4 things: 1) publishing content regularly; 2) promoting that content far and wide; 3) weekly emails; and 4) content upgrades.
Publishing Regular, Helpful Content
This content is mostly blog articles and a couple of videos. This enables everything else to work. It’s the foundation that everything is built on.
You can check out some of those articles and videos here.
The blog and videos bring people to our site, and we’re able to promote those as content all over social media.
Here’s a picture of one of our recent pieces of content:
As mentioned above, we’ve been able to promote our blog and videos all over the place.
We want to help as many people as possible, so we want to get our content in front of as many people as possible (who are in our target audience).
We promote with a few main channels:
A: Social media on gravitytank’s accounts (LinkedIn, Twitter, FB).
Here are a couple of pictures from Twitter:
B: 1-to-1 sharing with clients and connections via email.
We email clients and connections with our articles and videos so we can keep them informed and help them on a higher touch basis.
C: Sharing with existing communities on Quora and LinkedIn. (This has been a HUGE traffic driver.)
Some design thinking groups on LinkedIn have been particularly great for us. By going to where our audience is already hanging out, we’re able to get a ton of unique traffic to the site.
And since we have such great content upgrades on our articles, a good percentage of that traffic converts to subscribers.
You can see our LinkedIn profile here.
Here’s a picture of what we post on our LinkedIn page:
Chris Conley, my colleague, started writing weekly emails to nurture the audience. These give people real value every week. It’s entirely separate from the blog articles. We focus on coaching and inspiration. It’s the reason for people to stay subscribed to the email list. Sometimes we share a blog post as a “PS” at the end, but the main email is all original content.
We’ve added content upgrades on as many posts as possible. We’re teaching new skills, methods, and approaches, so there’s a great opportunity to create checklists, worksheets, and method card resources to help people learn and apply at a later point in time.
This has helped us get roughly 40% of our current subscribers
What really has helped us go from doing alright to really cruising, from 10 to 20 subs/week to 100+/week, has been The Innovators’ Guidebook.
It’s been responsible for half of our email list growth. We set it as an exit-intent CTA and have had really great success. It’s a super-valuable resource, so I don’t feel badly about prompting people with it.
Here’s a picture of the CTA we created for it:
What has building an email list changed in your life and allowed you to do?
It’s exciting to get feedback from our audience that Chris’s emails are inspiring them every week, or that the blog posts are helpful for them. I believe the way we approach solving business problems is really effective, so it excites me to know that others are learning these skills too.
What’s next for you?
Moving forward means focusing on 3 things:
Design thinking and innovation in business
No Product Yet
Videofruit, and the 10ksubs course provided a lot of ideas and proven structures that helped us achieve our marketing goals. I studied marketing in school but digital marketing and content marketing are a really new frontier all things considered. I know that my mindset and skill set are cutting edge, and I've learned a lot of that from Videofruit.