3-Days:100 Email Subscribers: The Ultimate List Building Challenge (Day 3)


We’re now into the final 24 hours before our 3-day email list building challenge ends!

In this last set of instructions:

  1. We’ll be sharing a few more steps you can take to add more people to your email list.
  2. We’ll show you how to import your contacts into an email service provider.
  3. We’ll give you text for an email that you can send to your brand new subscribers to help you get more helpful information about your topic or idea.

Before all that, however, Jess & I just wanted to say thanks!

First, to everyone who signed up to this challenge, especially those who pushed hard through those fears that popped up when asking people if they would like to learn more about their topic.

Ben Hucker & Jess Mellington from the Surf Coast Creatives.
Big congrats from Jess & I for pushing through the fear barrier!

Imagine the people you may be able to help or provide service to. Don’t ever let that fear stop you from potentially helping them, because remember—a successful business is one that serves!

Lots of you have already reported collecting dozens and dozens of email addresses by now! There are a number of you who have already surpassed 100 subscribers (congrats!), and several are reporting just a handful of emails so far (congrats to you as well!).

Either way, you should be excited and proud! Real people want to learn more about your topic, and that’s awesome!

Whether you get to 100 or not by the end of this challenge, it doesn’t really matter to be honest. What matters is this:

You are taking action!

That’s more than what 99% of the people who only dream to start something like this someday can say.

And, even if you had only 1 person interested, that single person can be an amazing opportunity for you to learn more about your topic of interest.

You actually have an amazing advantage over those who have 1000s of subscribers because you’re more likely to be able to take the time to have a real, genuine conversation with this person, and understand deep down what their interests, pains and needs might be.

For those who use the steps in this challenge who genuinely try and still get zero subscribers, that’s still a huge step forward!

“But Ben, what do you mean? I’ve failed :(“

I beg to differ. You did not fail, because you tried. You just learned that either:

A) no one is interested in your idea, or

B) you just didn’t ask the right people, yet.

And those are HUGE realizations! Wouldn’t you rather know that now about your topic or idea, versus 3 or 4 years down the road?

Zeros in marketing are great. They tell you quite obviously (again, after you’ve truly given something a chance by taking action) that something is not working, and you can reassess, tweak, reframe and try again, but in a different way, and with a new energy.

I’m getting a little off tangent here, and I know you’re anxious for day 3’s instructions, but I just had to share this because it’s so important!

As you probably can tell, at lot of this “business stuff” is definitely related to what’s happening in the mind. Mindset is everything, because without the right mindset, your’e not going to give yourself the full energy you need to succeed.

You’re on your way though, you’ve been doing great these past two days, so let me stop rambling here, and get into today’s instructions.

3 More Ways to Gain More Interest and Grow Your List

Beyond continuing the work from Day #1 & #2 by reaching out to people you know and are connected with (which we still recommend doing), here are a few other ways that you can potentially get some more subscribers.

#1 – The “Signature Move”

You probably send and reply to a number of emails every day. If possible, instead of just ending an email with your name and other contact information, why not add in one more line, or perhaps a post-script (p.s.) casually mentioning what you’re up to.

For example:

Thanks again for your time, and hope to hear from you soon!

Ben Hucker

P.S. By the way, this is kind of random, but if you’re interested in creativity & entrepreneurship, we’re starting a podcast interviewing creatives living on the Surf Coast. If this is something you’d like to learn more about, let me know.

Voice is in your own way, of course, but you get the idea. Because it’s casually at the bottom of your email, it’s not aggressive or weird.

For some topics, this may not make sense, but for others, it may make perfect sense and can add a few more interested people onto your list.

#2 – In Person

How many people, in person, do you interact with each day? Well, it probably depends on what day it is, and also where you live, but chances are you will be running into, and interacting with loads of people today.

Beyond your family and those who you have already spoken to about your topic, why not mention your topic and just see if others are interested in it?

This is challenging because it’s in person, I know, but you’ve heard me say this before: “what’s the worst that can happen?”

They say no, and life goes on.

If they say yes, ask for the email address, and that’s that!

This is also GREAT training for stuff you’ll eventually have to do as an entrepreneur at some point…like getting uncomfortable, and interacting with others.

You got this!

#3 – In the Context of an Existing Conversation

There are several conversations going on right now that your target audience is having about stuff related to your topic.

Find those conversations, and join in.

The trick is, however, not just going in there and asking for emails right away. That never works.

Get in there, add value to the conversations if you can, and after a few moments, there may be a time for you to say your “pitch”.

Something like:

That’s awesome Bob. We do the same thing when trying to grow our social media following, although we don’t any filters at all. By the way, if you or anyone here is interested, we’ve been researching and learning a lot about social media. If you want to learn more about this, let me know or DM me.

DM = direct message, by the way.

This may seem a little awkward out of context, but once you actually join a conversation, these don’t seem as random anymore and can convert quite well.

So, the big question is…where do you go find these groups.

Well, Facebook Groups are a MAJOR source of highly targeted audience, so start there if you have an account. Use the search tool at the topic to find groups and pages relevant to your topic.

Twitter is great as well, although because there are no groups, I’d recommend joining conversations and replying to people who use a specific hashtag (#) to start those interactions.

And finally, forums are also a great place to find audiences that are already having conversations. Just type the following into google, replacing KEYWORD with any keywords or phrases you have related to your topic:

forum: keyword

It’s that simple. Type that in, and you’ll see all the forums related to that topic right in front of you. Register if you need to, find active conversations, and get involved.

That should give you a good number of things to try to help you get more subscribers.

Importing Your List into an Email Service Tool

Collecting emails is obviously the most important step when building an email list, and guess what, you’ve been able to do all of this without spending any money or using any tools yet! Well done!

At some point, however, if you truly want to best serve your subscribers and grow your list at scale later (like when you have a website), you’re going to need access to an email service provider, or ‘ESP’.

ESPs are great because they help you organize your contacts, send emails to all subscribers at once (or a segment of your subscribers, depending on how you organize them), and also send emails out automatically to new subscribers that you’ve already written ahead of time.

Jess & I have gone through our fair share of ESPs, and the one we currently use is ConvertKit.

We love ConvertKit! If you’d prefer a different ESP, or perhaps you already use one, no worries! You don’t need ConvertKit to do what we’re doing in this challenge. We just prefer it for several reasons, but we will not at all be offended if you don’t use it.

They have lots of walkthroughs and intructional videos on their website to help you upload a list of subscribers.

We think you’ll really love ConvertKit. They do an amazing job of simplifying the email management process and give us powerful tools, like tagging, to better serve our audiences.

Sending Your First Email through Your ESP

As your list begins to grow, you’ll definitely see the obvious need for an email service provider. At the start, however, it’s hard to see the benefit because you could send emails out individually with just a handful of people on your list at the start.

With an ESP, you’ll be able to send all of your subscribers emails and track whether or not they open them or not, which is important. You can also see if they click on links in your emails too. Additionally, you don’t want to send emails from your personal email and have to BCC everyone so they don’t see everyone else’s email addresses. It just gets messy, and an ESP is a business lifesaver.

You can also take advantage of automation sequences, such as the autoresponder emails that go out to new subscribers after they subscribe. You could have 10, 20 or even 50 pre-written emails go out to a single person in a perfect rhythm that you set on your own, like once per week. Some of those emails could be sales emails, and then boom – your email service provider is doing the marketing and communication for you.

Anyway, you get the idea. ESPs are important, but so are the messages you send through them.

Here’s what we’d like you to send to your brand new subscribers after you’ve felt you’ve got a good number of people imported in:

Subject line: Thanks again!

Email body: Hey there! I just wanted to shoot you a quick email to say thanks again for letting me know you were interested in learning more about [topic]. I had a quick question about that actually.

What made you interested in it in the first place? I’m just doing research, and I’m super curious to know what about [topic] made you say yes to learning more. Are there any specifics or stories you can share related to that?

If you have a minute, let me know! Thanks again!

[your name goes here]

The purpose of this is three-fold:

  1. To show you’re not just going to immediately send them a promotional email with something they don’t want.
  2. To show that these emails are ones that still seem personal from you.
  3. Most importantly, you’re going to potentially get some great information from your subscribers to help you understand more about this topic.

You may find specific problems you might be able to solve. Perhaps there are commonalities between different people who reply to you. You’ll also know what made people say yes, so you can find more people like them!

So many great things happen when you start conversations like this, and be sure to reply and try to continue those conversations if you can. You’re early in your list-building journey, so you have a great opportunity to easily do this now with your core first set of subscribers. We, for example, cannot do that anymore with the size of our list.

We truly hope you’ve enjoyed this 3-day challenge. We’re not done yet (and I know you’re just getting started and pumped!), but we have 1 more recap blog for you to read tomorrow, which includes some next steps for you…

In the meantime, WONDERFUL JOB! Keep up the great work.

Cheers, and all the best!

Ben & Jess

Ben Hucker is the founder and host of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. He’s a former finance guy who traded Collins St for the Coast 3 years ago now. Tune in for a weekly episode of the Surf Coast Creatives podcast. Each episode is packed full of hints and tips on creativity, health, business and mindset.

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