How to Get 1,000 New Email Subscribers in 30 Days


Editor’s Note: In “Tough Love Tuesday,” we’re connecting side-hustling entrepreneurs with support, resources and advice from amazing experts. Sign up for our email newsletter to be notified about our Tuesday Facebook Lives and check back to our side hustle topic page for more helpful tips.

Below is an article syndicated from Noah Kagan’s website, Sumo. Noah was our guest for Tough Love Tuesday and discussed how to use marketing growth hacks to grow your email list, get more traffic and create a better user experience.

Want to grow your email list by 1,000+ subscribers?

I have some good news for you…

You can make it happen right now. In just 30 days.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the exact process of growing your email list step-by-step. And I’ll give you everything you need to pick up 1,000+ subscribers in the next 30 days.

Here are just a few reasons why you should be growing your email list in 2017:

Ready to jump in? Let’s go…

Days 1-2: Create content upgrades 

The most effective way to grow a high quality email list is with content upgrades.

And you may think creating content upgrades will take forever. Aren’t you supposed to get this done in 30 days?

But you don’t need to create content upgrades for every single piece of content on your site.

Start by creating content upgrades for the top five pieces of content on your site.

First, open your Google Analytics dashboard.

Then, under “Behavior”, go to “Site Content” → “All Pages”. Set the date range at the top to display 3-4 months.

Finally, identify your most popular pieces of content or your top viewed product pages (if you’re ecommerce). Here’s an example of ours:

Offer a quick content upgrade for each:

  • Create a checklist
  • Make a cheat-sheet or resource list
  • Share a spreadsheet

If one of your most popular blog posts is about deep-sea fishing, you might create an equipment checklist and offer it with the post.

Every Sumo guide has a CTA offering a valuable resource in exchange for an email address. This swipe file on our Instagram marketing guide helped us collect almost 10,000 emails between the Click Trigger and Welcome Mat: All your future content should have content upgrades as well, but start with just the top 5 pieces.

Day 3: Create a side-wide upgrade 

To grow your email list, you need to collect emails from every single page on your site in multiple ways.

You may think a simple “Join our newsletter” message will work, but, honestly, it won’t.

We’ve done the research…

We studied over 400 million pop-ups and found that:

  • Asking people to join your list doesn’t work ?
  • Instead, you should be giving something of value to your reader in exchange for their email (a download, ebook, infographic, course, etc) ?

For example, check out how Dana from Minimalist Baker entices readers to join her list

Her 42-page detox guide is promoted on every page of the site and offers awesome value to all subscribers.

Dana knows that her audience is into healthy eating and love the recipes on her blog, so her detox guide is a perfect upgrade.

Think about how you can create a content upgrade that will broadly appeal to all of your readers.

This could be:

  • A summary: Create a download that summarizes on some of your most popular content (if people are already visiting your site for that content, you know they love it)
  • Video content: Provide exclusive video content to subscribers, for example Adam Frater offers video workouts to his Powers.tv subscribers[*]
  • Quick start guide: If your blog covers some complex topics, offer a free guide to help people get up and running fast. For example, Nerd Fitness offers a ‘Newbie’ exercise guide to help beginners avoid mistakes[*].

Day 4: Email your LinkedIn contacts

We all know how awesome LinkedIn can be for networking.

But did you know you can export the email addresses of all your LinkedIn contacts?

To export LinkedIn connections:

  1. Head to the LinkedIn site on your computer (this doesn’t work on mobile)
  2. Click the ‘My Network’ icon in the main nav
  3. Click ‘Your connections’ on the left of your screen

  4. Then in the top right of the next screen click ‘Manage synced and imported contacts’
  5. Under ‘Advanced options’ click the ‘Export Contacts’ link
  6. Request a ‘Fast file’ this will be emailed to you within 10 minutes
  7. From the file you will be able to see the email addresses of all your LinkedIn contacts

So now you have the data. What next?

First, you shouldn’t just add these people to your mailing list. They must opt in themselves.

You could email everyone manually. But a quicker way could be to set up a Google Contacts group[*].

To set up a Contacts group:

  1. Go to Google Contacts
  2. On the left-side menu click ‘Import contacts’
  3. Upload the ‘connections.csv’ file you just downloaded from LinkedIn
  4. At the top of the page click the ‘More’ button and select ‘Rename group’. Give your group a memorable name (maybe LinkedIn for ease)

  5. Head over to Gmail and click the ‘Compose’ button
  6. In the ‘To’ field start typing the name of your group, then select the group from the list
  7. You’ll now have all members of that group added to the ‘To’ field

Now you’re all set up, it’s time to email your contacts about your new mailing list.

For example, here’s an email you could send:

Day 5: Update your email signature 

How many emails does your company send every day?

I’m not expecting you to have an answer to that question…or to go count the exact number.

But whether you’re a solopreneur sending 40 emails per day or a team people sending over 500 emails per day, this tactic can help you to grow your email list.

And best of all, it’ll only take a few minutes to implement.

All you need to do is add a simple, compelling CTA in your email signature.

Check out how Noah uses his signature to link to his podcast:

Replace your email signature with a CTA to join your list. To update your email signature in Gmail, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open your Gmail settings (the cog icon in the top right corner)

  2. Head to the ‘Signature’ section and add the copy you’d like to include. You can also add images and change the formatting of your signature here, too.

Once you’ve updated your own signature, copy + paste the below text and send it to everyone on your team to help them update their signatures too:

Pro tip: Use a tool like Bitly to measure the number of clicks the link in your signature receives. You could even A/B test different copy using Bitly to see which variation generates the most clicks[*].

Day 6: Add new email opt-ins 

Once, you’ve got your site-wide content upgrade ready, it’s time to think about how you can promote it.

Most people will ignore subscribe boxes in your sidebar or under your article (after all, they only read 20 percent of your article).

Luckily, Sumo can help out here.

With Sumo, the average email opt-in rate is 1.95%, so that means on average just under two in every hundred visits will join your list.

As Sarah explains in our email signups benchmarks post, we have seen sites convert at a rate of more than 20 percent and other sites that don’t seem to convert at all (maybe those sites could do with improving their copywriting).

To kickstart your list growth, try these three strategies:

Create some click triggers

The best place to ask for email addresses is right where you readers are paying attention…in your content.

With Click Triggers, you can make any text, image or button a link to subscribe to your email list.

Sounds good, right? We’ve even seen conversion rates of up to 50 percent using this tool.

Mind = blown.

Here’s an example of Click Triggers in action:

Try out Click Triggers with List Builder.

Step 1: Set up a welcome mat 

Welcome Mat turns any page into your highest-converting page by displaying a full-screen call to action that appears when visitors land on your site.

Here’s an example:

You can:

  • A/B test copy, templates, buttons, colors and more to get more conversions
  • Customize the design to match your website
  • Add images, videos and GIFs to your design

Create your first Welcome Mat now. It’s completely free.

Step 2: Add a scroll box opt-in 

If a visitor begins to read your content and continues scrolling through the page, they dig your work.

So there’s also a good chance they’ll subscribe to your list.

Scroll Box can help you convert these readers into highly-dedicated subscribers.

Here’s how it works:

As a visitor scrolls through your content, a polite CTA peaks up from the corner of the page offering to take their email address.

With Scroll Box, you’re also free to choose exactly when and where your CTA appears on your page.

Step 3: Create a smart bar 

The top of your page is valuable real estate.

Maximize the potential of that space by setting up a Smart Bar to remind your visitors to join your email list.

With Smart Bar you can customize the behaviors:

  • You’re able to choose whether your bar sits at the top of bottom of your page
  • You can have the Smart Bar show up at all times or set it to appear at your chosen intervals

Here’s a quick walk-through from Chief Sumo: