An email list is the single most important marketing and sales tool you can have in today’s business world- for nearly any industry!
It’s embarrassing to admit, but the truth is I spent the first several months of running my website with an email list that grew by about 15 people a month.
Yes, I knew it was important. Yes, I started “building it” from day one. But no, I did not really know what I was doing or how truly important it was to my long-term success.
About a year in, I had felt like one of the reasons it wasn’t growing quickly was because I wasn’t focusing on it enough and felt spread too thin. So, I went rogue and didn’t focus on anything else until I got up to 50 subscribers a week- even making sales.
During that time and much to my delight, I established so many systems and figured out so clearly what worked that I barely had to pay attention to my lead generation anymore; it’s nearly all on autopilot and has not fallen below 50 per week since. In fact, It’s not rare for me to get 50 new subscribers per DAY!
Tune in to her the switches I made during that time of intense focus so you can implement them and start seeing your list skyrocket!
Podcast of Episode
Facebook Live Replay on What Skyrocketed My Email List
Transcript of Episode
Let’s see. Hey everyone. Happy Monday. Welcome to the your biggest vision show. I am Leah. I am so excited to be here with you guys. I feel really good about this week and very excited to share the content I’m going to today, as you guys can see that are watching live, I’m wearing a very flowery addressed because it is the first day of spring this week, on Wednesday. And even though it is still like 30 degrees here in New York, I am channeling all the warmth that I can and making it feel as springy as possible. So, if you guys are tuning in live. Let me know where you’re listening from. I’d love to hear where you guys are and what you’re most excited for this week.
I’m very excited to talk to you guys about today’s topic, which is about your email list. Now you might be thinking, I don’t really know what an email list has to do with my vision, but it actually has so much to do with your vision, especially if you’re an entrepreneur. We’ll get into why that is. But even if you’re not, even if you are maybe just trying to build your own personal brand even more, or trying to network more, I really believe that anyone can benefit from having an email list of people that engage with them, that are interested in whatever it is that they’re doing, without actually even meeting a business. But all that is to say, I have done this in the context of my business. It has been the driving force behind my business and a big part of the show is about building a business, if that is your vision. That is definitely my vision, so, I wanted to talk about one of the things that has helped bring my business vision to life the most.
So before we start, what I’m going to share, just so you guys know, what I’m going to share is the five things I did to skyrocket my email list growth and to really bring it up to, at the time what was my goal was about 50 people per week and it was not like that for a long time. I can kind of give you the rundown of my email list evolution because I did not start out really knowing what to do with my email list. I didn’t start out with a big email list. It took me a while to crack the code and I want to talk about the things that really were the turning points for me and I’ve never gone back since my email list has never really grown less than 50 people a week at this point. In fact, it’s not unusual for it to grow by about 50 people per day nowadays. So things definitely changed, but it took me a little longer. And so I just want to share what those really influential things where to me.
So, just giving you a little bit of context here, if you are new to entrepreneurship or maybe you have a blog, or a website, or you have an idea, maybe you have a podcast, maybe you have a brick and mortar business. Truly I have heard it all. I have worked with people and building their email list from every sector, from accounting to coaches to consultants to, I’m working with a law firm right now. So it’s really not industry specific. It’s really about understanding the world in which we live in and the power of technology and the way in which people communicate via email. And if you want to have any communication with the audience of your podcasts, the customers of your brick and mortar store, the clients that you have in your coaching, your consulting business, the readers of your blog. Then this is going to be for you. So I knew when I started urban 20 something I knew pretty quickly that an email list was important, but just because I knew it was important, doesn’t mean I was good at it, or that I knew what I was doing, or that it grew really quickly at all. Quite the contrary. I did actually pretty quickly, read that growing my email list was the number one thing more than page news, more than followers, et cetera. So I have kind of caught myself early on from falling into that trap. But, that doesn’t mean I knew what I was doing. So I would say that I spent the first year, or maybe not quite a year, but like the first eight months getting, like 15 or 20 subscribers a month. So not even one person per day. The way I did that at the time was I would create what was called content upgrades or what are still called content upgrades in conjunction with my blog posts. So I would write a blog post, I would think of some sort of content upgrade to go with it, like maybe a checklist or a video or some sort of addition to it that people would find handy to have and I would add that to the bottom of my blog posts. And that was how I grew my email list. And this worked well. It did work well in the sense that I got very engaged subscribers because it meant that they have pretty much already read a blog posts and that they have probably poked around on my website and that they had been signed up for my email list.
But I had to get real with myself and realize that growing at that speed, at that pace, was not sustainable and was not going to get me to my business income goals, et cetera. You know what I mean? So I had to step back and really reevaluate the strategy here and that is where we are going to talk about today, is what I really shifted to, to bring in subscribers quite a bit more. And how it really was a bit of a reframing of my business. And so without further ado, here are the five things that took me from about 20 subscribers per month to 50 per week, and that has only gone up from there.
The first thing was that I had to rethink my business and realize that blogging was not the core of my business. At the time, I was blogging at least one blog post a week, maybe two. And with that I would do a content upgrade for nearly every single blog post. But I didn’t really think that I wanted to primarily focus on blogging as a way to grow my platform. I started blogging, I liked blogging just fine, but I knew that what I wanted to do was more service based. I also knew that what I wanted to do was more personal, brand based and sort of just a bigger reach than just blogging. So it didn’t make sense that I started putting all the eggs of my optin basket into my blog posts. You know what I mean? So this was a big kind of overview, which was about more than just my email list. So it was also about the way I was thinking of my business. So instead of thinking about which, what I could do as an optin to upgrade the blog posts that I had, even when I was writing them, I had to step back and really rethink what’s one sort of overall optin I can have that would go with any blog post? Or even more importantly, that people could find as a standalone piece of content, having no idea who I was, having no idea what my business was, not even having to go to my website and still sign up for that.
So you might be watching this and you might be thinking like, yeah, Leah, you know, I know that I have an opt in that as a standalone piece of content. But maybe not, and maybe you weren’t as blog heavy as I was, but maybe you still really rely on your website and you really rely on people to go to your website in order to sign up for your email list. And I want you to think about cutting out the middleman. So that’s what I would say is tip one that I did is I cut out the middleman. I thought, how can I get as many people to subscribe to my email list without having to jump through any hoops or go through any platforms? I want to be able to get people onto my email list without them having to go to my website without them having to know who I am without them having to do any Google searching without them having to click a bunch of different places without them having to read a blog post. I want it to be really, really quick.
So I did still add my opt in’s to my blog posts, and I still put them on my website, and I still get subscribers every day that way. Especially as you know, the website has grown, my business has grown, and I get a lot more organic traffic from Google. But in the early days I didn’t get that much organic traffic. A lot of my traffic was coming from things like Instagram or Pinterest or Facebook. So sending people to from social media to my website, hoping that they then read a blog post, then sign up for my email list is a very long process and just not that reliable in the beginning when you aren’t getting that much traffic to your website. So I realized that the number one thing I needed to focus on in terms of sort of optimizing this one often was the landing page. And so that sort of brings me to tip number two.
So number one was that I cut out the middleman, and honestly just made less opt in’s. And that segues into tip number two, which is that I made one really good opt in instead of trying to make 15 different opt in’s, you know, a year or whatever… one with every blog post. So I knew I wanted to get more direct, that was one. I knew I needed to make a better opt in. So I really thought, I did a lot of work when I first did this. I did some surveys to my audience. I did a lot of like asking my readers questions about what they needed the most help in or what they thought would be the most useful. And I would say that I researched it for about two weeks before I really decided on something that I thought was really encompassing of my audience, what I knew how to do something that they really love. And I want to be clear that there’s two pillars to what makes a good optin.
I teach in my program limitless list, which is all about list building, that you should have power opt ins are what they’re called. So there’s two pillars. One is the quality of the content and then the other is the actual form of which the opt in takes place and is that what’s going to make sense for your audience? So what I needed to do is figure out one, what content my audience really wanted and two, what way they most like to digest content. You know, really looks at your audience and ask them if you’re not sure, do they like podcasts? In which case cause you just record something and that could be your free optin. Do they like workbooks? Do they like checklists? Are they busy people on they go and he kept this makes the most sense for the?. Do they like actionable things or do they like emails? You know, you can ask them. You also can do some analysis based on what people have signed up for for you thus far and what people have done in terms of opening your emails or clicked around on et cetera. You should be able to look at those kinds of things from the back end of your custom CRM, your customer relations manager. So I realized that the thing that my audience most would like, they liked my ecourses and they also liked my emails. So I decided to combine the two and I did a free email list course, which I knew was the type of content they would want in addition to having a very clear transformation about building a side hustle, which everyone had really expressed interest in when I was doing this at the time and when I was serving them. So I, you know, met my audience where they were. I thought, what is the best format for this and what is the best piece of content for this? And that’s what I want you to ask yourself too. If you are really struggling to get your email list off the ground and you’re thinking what could this one awesome often be? Then ask yourself from those two perspectives what, what type of content and what type of format is going to make most sense for my audience. And I’m also really just going to give a plug for the email list course because though that did make the most sense for my audience, and I do think that a lot of audiences are different. Um, I have often seen in a lot of my clients and a lot of the surveys I’ve done that email courses work well pretty much across the board.
Again, there’ll be exceptions but I just want to give you the tip here that people like email courses because they are so much value. It is not just sort of like one thing that you sign up for and you are hoping that they, you know, go read the whole book or they go watch the whole video. They probably won’t, and we can talk about that more another time if you guys are interested. But I really like how there’s bite size chunks with an e-course or an email course. It’s also seven emails that you’re sending them instead of just one. So they get used to seeing you in their inbox. They get used to hearing what you have to say. They get used to writing, they have the chance to ask you questions, they can just hit reply if they want. You have more opportunities to pack this with lots of value, which shows your credibility and it helps actually get them from point A to point B, with a free piece of content, which is huge.
There is so much free content out there that is just useless to people. And it’s not because the content isn’t helpful or interesting or informative, but people don’t actually implement things a lot of the times if they just read it once. And they might have every best intention to but they’re busy or something comes up or they get conflicting information. And so having a really clear transition laid out for them, in a way that makes it really easy for them, has been really effective for me and I’ve seen it for others. So that was the second thing I did. I made a really great optin, we’re on to number three now. So first was cut out the middleman. Second was make a really good optin. And then third, this is relating to number one, where we’re talking about cutting out the middleman. When it came to advertising, this optin that I had now thought of, I knew that advertising, it was going to be knocking the ball out of the park.
It doesn’t matter how great your opt in is that people don’t find out about it. They’re not going to sign up for it. And so I had been in this new mindset of cutting out the middleman. I didn’t want this all over my website. I didn’t want this on every blog post that was more work for me. I wanted to think about how I could get it in front of as many people as possible and how I could get as many people to sign up for it once they saw it. So this tip is about getting them to sign up. We’ll talk about getting it in front of eyes in a second. But what I started doing and what I highly recommend for you to do too, is to really take seriously how much you test your landing pages. In business, it’s important to test almost everything you want to always be testing your marketing, your email strategy, your sales strategy. You know, all of that. It’s really important to keep track of that all, but this has been one of the most important things to test for me and that is testing my landing pages. I test the daylights out of my landing pages for really big opt in’s like this, because I know that if I have a really, really good one and it’s optimizing and it’s getting a very good percentage of an optin rate, then that is so powerful because I can just then stick that landing page pretty much anywhere. If I’m on a podcast, I can let the readers know, or listeners know about that landing page. If I guest post somewhere, I can include that landing page. If I’m featured somewhere on some new site, I can add that landing page, to every single blog post I can add that landing page, and ads, I can add that landing page. You see what I mean? So if you have that just ready to go like the ammo ready to fire, then it’s going to help you grow so much more.
So what I did to start testing these landing pages, there’s sort of three things, three main tiers that I test now, and then you can get really detailed with it if you want. But I would do three different copies of the landing page with three different background images or images of me depending on how I was framing it. But I would test three different backgrounds, and then I would do that for about a week, maybe a couple of less days, it depends on how many people went through it and then the whatever one got the most opt ins from it, I kept that image. Then I would test the different texts and like bullets throughout it because I’m wanting to make sure that that was helpful. And in some of them I would have longer bios and like longer texts and longer details and some of them I would just have sort of one little blurb and then another is I would just make it very, very simple where it was all above the folding, you didn’t even have to scroll. And I would test, do people want to know more about this beforehand? Do they want to read more? Do they want to see more or do they just want it short and sweet so that they can get a move on and start getting to the free content? You know, I didn’t know. So that was the second thing. That was the second thing and it is still the second thing I test. And then the third thing I test, if you want to get really detail oriented, it’s sort of like the big headline or the title of the optin and see which one of those people most respond to.
So you need to do isolation testing here and only test one of these things at a time. But after a couple of days or a week, it depends on how many people go through it, so that you get relatively, you know, good data. Then you can move on to the next point and isolate that after making different copies. And you will, you know, eventually come out with this really great landing page and you can get really detailed with it by even testing out different sorts of colors for the subscribe button. You can get really detailed about you know, different fonts that you want to use. It depends how crazy you want to go on this, but my advice is to keep testing it until you are at at least 35, ideally 40% opt in rate, hopefully up to 50. But until you get to that really solid, you know that 40% of people that land on that are going to opt in,
I would keep testing it and keep testing and keep testing it. It’s a bit frustrating but it’s so worth it because like I said, then you just have this bullet, you know fire landing page so that you can just put wherever and know that you’re going to get at least 40% of the people that see it to subscribe to your email list. So number three was I tested the daylights out of my landing page until I got a really good, and again I still do this.
Number four. The fourth thing I did to get my email list up to 50 new subscribers per week is really, obviously, focused on getting it in front of people. I wanted to get specific about this tick, um, because this was a big change for me. Again, I’m not sure where you are at in this journey and if you guys want to hear some of the more complex things I do these days to build my email list, please let me know on Instagram, I’m really accessible, you guys can DM me. You can comment below on Facebook, I really want to hear from you guys and make sure that I’m serving the best about the things I do. But I wanted to start with the sort of transition from the molasses type email list growth to, you know, really having it thrive. And if you are interested in some of the more complexities now again, just let me know. But we’re on to number four. And this tip was changing from traffic adds to conversions. So I was using Facebook ads, at the time to grow my website and grow my business. I had used a couple of different tries on how I thought it would make most sense.
At first, I just did traffic because I wanted people to go to my website and that just made sense to send them there and then I’d hope they’d sign up and it did work okay. I also tried to do click leads I think is the, is the conversion goal or is the campaign goal where people can just sign up for your email list, right on Facebook without going to your website or going to your landing page. And I did get quite a few sign ups doing that, but they weren’t that high quality. So during this time when I was getting really serious about my email list, , I decided to switch to conversion ads on Facebook, which you can actually run on Instagram and Facebook, but you do it via the Facebook ads manager. And this actually tracks every single signup that I get onto my landing page, not just the clicks over to my website or the place to my landing page or anything else like that. I realized that that’s what I was more interested in optimizing because now I had this really great landing page that I knew that about 40% of people would sign up for. And so I thought that’s what I want to optimize it. That’s what I want to pay for it. I want people to get on this list. And since Facebook is smart, they can tell who is more likely to click on something for the sake of traffic versus who’s likely to click on it to actually sign up. So they were doing that optimizing for me. They were then making sure that my landing page was getting in front of not just people who like thought it would look good or who may be would click, but who actually signs up for things, who actually goes the extra mile, who actually goes to the next step.
Those were the people that I wanted. Those are my ideal clients. I am not here for, I shouldn’t say I’m not here for but I am not. I’m best with people that are here for like the life of you know, kind of browsing. I like action takers. Obviously you need to take action to get on my email list. This made a lot of sense to me. So this was a learning curve for me. I definitely admit Facebook ads, we’re not the most intuitive thing, but I really threw myself in with this conversion, that piece because I could see the results relatively quickly and I just knew that if I really understood this, then this would serve me so well throughout my business because you always need to be able to get people on your email list with every new thing you put out there. And so understanding how to do conversion ads has been hugely helpful and it’s actually something I’m able to help my clients now with, which is so great because I never, ever would have thought that I would have come into this and been able to understand Facebook ads the way I do.
So, the takeaway here is that if you are running Facebook ads and you’re just doing it as sort of traffic to your social media or to post on Facebook or even to lies or to your website or something like that, then you may want to consider instead of switching to conversion ads, so you’re actually tracking every single person that signs up, instead of just every person that clicks on something. And if you’re not using Facebook ads yet, then I recommend dipping your toes into it. I know it can be a little bit overwhelming. Trust me, I felt like that. I thought I had no idea what I was doing, but it was a huge benefit to my business. It still is a huge benefit to my business. And the great part about running ads on Facebook is, I know it does cost of it, of money and sometimes that makes people a bit nervous. But once you do have conversion ads that are running well and that are getting people to this really optimized landing page that you have, then you are, you know, not having to pay attention to it as much and you’re able to actually do the work that you set out to do and work with the clients that you want to work with. Or if you are a creator, you can be more creative and you don’t have to worry about your lead generation so much. So they’re kind of their own beast. If you, again, if you guys want me to do a whole episode on Facebook ads, how I used them and all the different ways, or if you have specific questions about them, let me know. I also have a good friend that works with new entrepreneurs on their Facebook ad strategy. So she could help you if you are looking to really take that to the next level. But I just want to make the point that conversion ads were a huge help.
Alright and then the final part of this list that really changed everything, is sort of a mindset shift. I’ve given you a lot of tactical help tips, but this is going to be the best one, which is that you need to think of your email list as your bottom line for everything. So when I was starting out, I was totally the girl, maybe you guys can relate, that wanted to do it all. I wanted to have a youtube channel, and I wanted my Twitter account to grow, and I wanted to have a podcast and you know, I don’t know, write a blog post every day. I wanted to do everything and I would have all these goals every month about how many people I wanted to grow my Instagram followers, to how much website traffic I wanted to generate, how many likes I wanted to have, how many followers on Twitter I wanted to have, how many impressions from Pinterest that I want to have. I had all these different metrics. What I changed during this time, was realizing that the point of all of that is to funnel people to your email list. You should only care about how many impressions you get on Pinterest if you’re sending people to a website and a landing page for them to sign up to your email list. You should only care about how many followers you get on Instagram if you are sending them to your email list. You should only care about your website traffic, if there’s ways for them to sign up to your email list. See what I mean? So it’s really freeing because it helps you realize that all these sorts of numbers and goals you give yourself, might not actually be completely necessary and you might be putting pressure on yourself that isn’t really critical for you at this time.
And I also think it really helped me take some of the things off my plate at the time that I was sort of having shiny object syndrome too. So things like youtube, things like a podcast, which now I do have, things like even social media. You know, I knew that the only reason I would really want to go all out with those kinds of things is if I already had an email list and an optin and a landing page, et Cetera, in place to make the most of it when I launched those. So I kind of took those all off my plate until I really got this email list sequencing down. Until I really was getting followers consistently or subscribers, I’m sorry. Until I had it sequences in place, until I had ads running. And then it made so much more sense for me to start doing other things because I had the lead generation down, I had ways for people that found me through social media and our through my podcast, et Cetera, to get to know more about my business because I have the email set up on the back end. See what I mean? So I hope that it’s freeing for you if you feel like you have 100 million things on your to do list, to realize that really all you need to do is focus on your email list and whatever way’s going to make sense for you right now to do that. That’s what you should be focusing on.
So getting traffic to your website just for the sake of getting traffic. It should not be on your to do list. Getting Instagram followers for the sake of getting Instagram followers should not be on here to do this. I’m speaking a bit generally right now, everyone will have, you know, different businesses, but I just really often see people stay stuck because they’re trying to do so many different things. And I really hope that this can help you hone in on what’s helpful right now. Stick to that. Know that you can do the other things you have interest in once you expand more. But get this part down. I’m telling you it is the foundation and the heart and soul of your business. And contrary to maybe some popular belief, email lists aren’t going anywhere, social media will never be as powerful as your email list, ever. I don’t know if you guys were there last week when Instagram and Facebook shut down for like a day.It’s not a huge deal, but it’s a good reminder that you can’t only be relying on other companies to grow your business, or to post on social media, or to post content for you. Because if they break or shut down and you had to deal with a brand that you’re supposed to post for them and then you can’t, you know, hopefully they’ll understand. But like you might not get paid. And that’s because you are relying on someone else and another company to grow your business to get the word out there for you. You don’t have the ownership over it.
So email lists are key, they are everything. They’re not going anywhere. They are more powerful than ever. And this is how I have really turned that around in my business to make it a priority and make it the driving force behind yet. So I hope you guys found this helpful. If you guys have any questions or you want to hear more about list building, Facebook ads, anything else like that, how I use any of this for my business specifically, then please let me know. I love talking about this all. If you have any sort of desire to start anything of your own, even if you’re not sure what it is, start an email list.
It can even just be a simple little thing that you put up that’s an opt in that’s maybe a little bit about you, or something helpful, or something you’re interested in. See if people sign up, see if they like it, see what they’re interested in. You’ll learn more than you think. This is it you guys. So, I hope that this was helpful to you. I hope you guys have an amazing, amazing week, I have a really good feeling about this week. And I also want to let you know that if you are interested in more of my business evolution and the other things that have brought me to the place I’m at now, working for myself, making multiple five figures a month, then I’m doing a totally free class on Wednesday, with 10 things that are similar to this, similar to this email, this piece about what got me here. I will put the link for that below this Facebook video. On Instagram you can find that link in the bio, but it is all about building a powerful platform and I’ll see you guys there, I’m very excited about it. Okay guys, have an awesome week, thank you for tuning in and here is to your biggest vision! Bye.
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