When I first started building my email list, I was serving as an active-duty Navy officer. I got back into playing a game called “Magic: The Gathering” (MTG) that had been an old passion of mine.
My passion for MTG quickly grew once again and that’s when I decided to build an email list.
Fast-forward 14 months and I’d built a list of 1,355 subscribers.
I’ve since held a small launch for my first product and am currently ramping up to do a bigger and better product launch with my bigger list.
How did you do it?
I got my first 100 subscribers by doing one thing. I reached out Twitter and directly asked users to join my list.
I had already been sharing MTG tips for over a year and built a decent following, so I reached out individually to my followers and asked them to join.
Here’s an example of how the conversations went:
Currently my list is at 1,355 subscribers.
I went from 100 to 1,363 subscribers by doing two things: 1) adding opt-in forms to my site, and 2) giveaways
At first I was paralyzed by needing to decide on what to offer my website visitors as an incentive to join my list, but I heard Bryan say to keep it simple, so I started offering my most popular podcast episode.
So far this has brought in a total of 38 subscribers.
I also started experimenting with a Welcome Mat opt-in form. This is great because it doesn’t feel like a pop-up, which most people are used to dismissing.
Here are the two active mats I’m running currently:
My Welcome Mats have brought in a total of 82 subscribers:
I learned that giveaways were a powerful way to grow your list and I had a feeling one would work well with my audience.
Here’s what I did:
Step 1: Pick my giveaway items. I decided to give away a fully loaded tournament bag that retails for about $70.
I reached out to a popular carrying case company and asked if they’d donate a bag and they said yes. Since I had some momentum, I went further and asked a deck box company if they would donate a box, and they said yes, too!
I bought a few more things like card sleeves, accessories, and a few cards by one of my favorite artists.
I even thought outside the box a bit and included snacks that are supposed to help your brain, like pumpkin seed bars and dark-chocolate-covered blueberries.
The idea was that all the winner had to do was add a deck and show up to a tournament.
Step 2: Launch my giveaway. I took a picture of my giveaway items and created a new giveaway using the KingSumo plugin. Then my giveaway went live in June 2016.
Here’s a screenshot of what my giveaway page looked like.
Step 3: Promote my giveaway. I reached out to all the podcasters I could in my space and asked them to share the giveaway with their audience.
I tweeted about it and talked about it on my podcast, in my newsletter, and in my FB group.
Contestants were incentivized with extra entries for sharing my giveaway.
Step 4: Choose the winner. My giveaway ran from July 22nd to August 12th, 2016.
I left the contest open for 3 weeks, and when it closed I had 681 contestants and 1227 entries in the contest!
After importing everyone into ConvertKit I added 549 subscribers to my list.
Here’s me announcing the winner:
What has building an email list changed in your life and allowed you to do?
It feels great having an audience that shares the same passion for MTG that I do. Now I am excited to be working on a product launch and membership site.
What’s next for you?
Moving forward means focusing on 3 things:
Wife + 2 Kids
Magic: The Gathering Tutorials
Active Duty Navy Officer (currently serving)
Product Coming Soon
Following the Videofruit’s advice worked like magic for me! By starting off small and reaching out to those within my sphere I saw instant progress and got a budding list. As I followed the step-by-step instructions my list grew slowly yet surely until I hit a strategy that worked in my niche. For me it was a giveaway and my list nearly doubled in 3 weeks. I'm really glad I found Videofruit and am excited for the results that I know are yet to come.