3-Days:100 Email Subscribers: The Ultimate List Building Challenge (Day 1)

Welcome to the 0 to 100 Email Challenge!

Jess & I are excited to walk you through the exact process we used to grow our email list from 0 to 100 people in just 3 days.

Oh, and this is BEFORE we launched the Surf Coast Creatives podcast or had an ounce of presence on social media.

3-Day list building challeneg with Ben Hucker & Jess Mellington.
The Ultimate List Building Challenge brought to you by hosts Jess & Ben.

But first thing’s first…

Why Bother With an Email List?

Your email list is vital to the success of your business because it’s the most direct way to communicate with your fans and future customers.

We would go as far as saying the energy of your business is directly tied to the strength of your email list, especially if you want to carve out a niche online.

Starting an online business today almost always means starting an email list, but a lot of businesses neglect to do this when they start out.

That’s right—jess & I both made this mistake when starting other businesses! We both had active and engaged audiences, but remember—even fans may not check your website regularly.

By waiting to collect email addresses, we missed out on a huge opportunity to connect regularly with our audience, and when we were ready to sell to our audience, we didn’t have a way to let them know.

We missed out on sales because we hadn’t taken the time to build a relationship over email.

Big mistake.

We missed out on a ton of marketing and advertising opportunities, and we didn’t even know how powerful an email list was for things like validation and data extraction.

Plus, it’s an amazing relationship-building tool for you and your audience—not to mention a safety net if you lose access to the audience you’ve built on another platform like Facebook.

So, our biggest rule if you want to build an online business selling products & services? You must focus on starting and growing an email list—NOW.

And remember: when building an email list, it’s important that you hone in on a target audience around a specific topic of interest (or niche as the gurus like to say).

If you’re all set and know what topic or target audience to start with, then you’re ready for the first set of instructions!

You’ll get another set in our next blog article. And one more in the blog after to help you complete this challenge in 3 days.

Here we go!

Ya ready?

Your Step-by-Step Instructions For Day #1

Before we share this process with you, we’d like to say one more thing:

This isn’t going to be the sexiest, mind-blowing process you have even seen, because it shouldn’t be. When starting anything, the trick to get moving is to start small and simple.

The process that follows is very simple, and we promise you that it works if you take the time to actually implement it.

You may read the instructions below and be tempted to write it off because it seems so simple, but we want to challenge you to push past that resistance in this challenge.

We’ve watched these same instructions given live on a webinar, and saw people go from 0 to 100 contacts within a couple of hours, so we know this works.

Some of those people now have thousands of subscribers, but only because they started small and simple.

Let’s get started…

Step 1

Take out a piece of paper and write down the names of 10 people you know in real life who might be interested in the topic of your blog or business.

Don’t overthink this process. These can be friends, family members, co-workers, neighbours, people who go to the same gym or to a community group like a surf club or other local clubs.

The only requirement is that there’s a chance they’re interested in what you will write (or podcast or make videos) about.

Step 2

Write an email to these 10 people (if you don’t have their email address, you can use text message, Facebook message, SnapChat, or whatever other form of 1-to-1 communication that is normal for the context of your relationship).

Here’s what the message should say. Again, it’s simple, and make sure you replace (NAME) with the name of that person:

Hi (NAME)!

I’m starting a new site or business (or I have a site or business) teaching people __________________. Would you be interested in learning more about that?

You can obviously make it more personal and use your own voice if you’d like, but there’s only one ask:

“Would you be interested in learning more about that?”

You’re not asking people to “sign up for an email list” because most people won’t even know what that means. At this stage, you just want to know if they want to learn more, that’s it.

Here’s an example I used when building our email list from scratch for the Surf Coast Creatives podcast.

The beginnings of the Surf Coast Creatives subscriber list.

NOTE: Jess & I set ourselves a target of 20 emails (or DMs) for Step 1 since we were doing the challenge together.

Step 3

Wait for a reply.

If they reply no, politely thank them for considering it. “All Good! Catch up soon.”

If they reply yes, see Step Four.

Step 4

Once someone replies with a YES, they’ve given you the okay that they’re interested in hearing more from you!

If they replied via email, take note of what their email address is. You can enter it into a spreadsheet or simply write it down for now. Later, we’ll be putting these contacts into email software, but don’t worry about that for now.

If you’ve communicated via something other than email, reply with something like:

That’s great! Let me know what your email address is so I can stay in contact with you about this.

Here’s an example from my convos on Messenger after I got a YES:

1 down, 10 to go!

Now keep going until you get to 10 emails. And…

Congratulations! You’ve just collected your first set of contacts for your email list!

Now go ahead and send out those messages, and remember: we’re not going for 100 on day one (although some of you may see this working and reach out to more than 10 people, which is completely okay!), but even just one person who says yes can make a big difference at the start.

This is also a great exercise because it trains us right from the beginning to treat your subscribers as real people. Not numbers, not a list, but actual human beings on the other end.

When you treat your email list like that, you will find much more success down the road.

Cheers, and best of luck!

You got this, and look out for our next blog with your next set of instructions.

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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