When I first started building my list, I was a junior in college in my hometown of Dubai studying computer engineering.
But what I really wanted to do was to learn and write about personal development. After talking with a few friends I noticed they were interested in the topic too.
So that’s when I decided to start building my email list.
I tried starting a blog several times in the past but each time it ended with no traction and no audience. When Videofruit released the “Audience from Scratch” class, I decided to act on it because it seemed doable.
Fast-forward just 48 hours and my list had grown from 0 to 2,023 subscribers.
I’m no longer planning on applying for jobs after college and I’ll be launching my first product when I graduate in the Spring of 2017.
How did you do it?
I got my first 100 subscribers by doing two things.
First, I opened my phone and texted the last 10 people in my messages about a new project I started and asked them to join my list.
Second, I used WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to reach out to my friends and family asking them to subscribe.
Here’s what a few of those conversations looked like:
Since then my list has grown to 2,413 by doing two things, 1) Asking subscribers to share my project, 2) Cold-approaching people in public 3) Getting a little lucky
Asking For Shares
After I reached 200 subscribers by personally reaching out, I sent a template to everyone who joined asking them to share my list with their friends.
Some said “no” or didn’t respond but many gladly helped me out.
This added 100 more subscribers to my list
Cold Approaching In Public
I went around to people in my co-working space and 10 cafés in my town to cold-approach people about joining my list.
I got about 300 emails from one-on-one conversations (outside FB and messaging etc.), and it was all from randomly approaching people in cafes. I didn’t measure this, but I would say I had a conversion rate of about 50%. I would go in, ask what they’re working on (because of the time that I went to the cafes, most people were either in meetings or on their laptops/tablets).
After a short conversation, I would tell them about the email newsletter than I’m starting and if they wanted to join. Those who said yes, I would add their names to my list. Pen and paper, old-school.
Interesting tidbit: I sort of split-tested the approach that I used, so I found out that saying blog post worked better with the younger crowd, and newsletter worked with the older, 35-45 I would say, crowd.
Getting A Little Lucky
Getting over 2,000 subscribers from scratch in 24-hours sound border line unbelievable.
The first 500 came from direct outreach.
But the next 1,500+ came from getting a little lucky.
What has building an email list changed in your life and allowed you to do?
I’m loving what I’m doing! It hasn’t been a month yet and I’m already getting emails from readers telling me how they’ve implemented my tips and have seen changes in their lives.
It feels amazing!
Now that I know there are people want me in their inbox, I’m even more motivated to produce the best content possible.
What’s next for you?
I’m spending all of my time focused on three things:
I’ve tried starting a blog several times in the past, and even bought products from most of the popular bloggers in the industry, but I never acted on them. Videofruit’s “Audience From Scratch” helped me achieve something I’ve always wanted.